Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brit Marling

Brit Marling is a screenwriter and actress who is taking charge of her own career by creating the roles she wants.  In 2011, she had two films that she wrote and starred in premier at the Sundance Film Festival -- Sound of My Voice, and Another Earth.

A young woman, currently only 31 years old, Brit grew up in Chicago and then graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor's in economics before pursuing her film career.  She was offered a job on Wall Street, but moved to Los Angeles to act instead.  In trying to find work in LA, she was offered "to audition for the cute blonde in horror movies" (The Guardian), and decided to write a role she would prefer to act. Luckily she was roommates with directors Zal Batmanglij and Mike Cahill, who both helped her develop her screenwriting skills and co-wrote with her. "In the mornings she wrote upstairs with her friend (and ex-boyfriend) Mike Cahill" working on Another Earth; "in the afternoon she went downstairs and worked on another with roommate No. 2, Zal Batmanglij" (New York Times) and wrote Sound of My Voice.

Another Earth, a low budget 'Sci-Fi' film, about the existence of a parallel earth with a parallel you.  Brit plays Rhoda Williams, a young high-school graduate on her way to MIT, who causes a car accident, killing an entire family, minus the father.  She finds the father and goes to apologize, but chickens out, and offers to work for him instead.  They form an unlikely relationship, all while there is a competition to win a ticket for a trip to Earth 2.  

I referred to this film as 'Sci-Fi' because it is more about relationships and the human condition, than about the inner workings of this second society.  It is well writing, beautifully shot, and very concisely edited. 

Another Earth was praised at Sundance in 2011, and won the won the Alfred P. Sloan Price for "focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character." 

Another Earth Trailer

The movie she worked on in the afternoons with Zal Batmanglij, was Sound of My Voice.  Listed on Internet Movie Data Base as "A journalist and his girlfriend get pulled in while they investigate a cult whose leader claims to be from the future," Brit plays Maggie, the cult leader.  
Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to see this film yet, but am excited to do so.
Sound of My Voice Trailer

I think Brit's distain for the role of "the cute blonde in a horror movie" and ambition to make her own stand out female characters embodies the theme of "Author/Auteur: Feminist Literary Theory and Feminist Film," by Maggie Humm.  Brit's characters speak, feel, and think, beyond their beauty.  It might help her career that Brit is beautiful, but she is also an amazing writer, and intelligent in many other ways.  Since Sundance in 2011, she has gained more notoriety, which brings funding, and has multiple works in pre and post production currently.  

Clarke, Cath. "First Sight: Brit Marling." The Guardian. Oct 27, 2011. Web. Nov. 15. 2013

Humm, Maggie "Author/Autor: Feminist Literary Theory and Feminist Film" 

Rosenblum, Emma. "How to Succeed in Hollywood Despite Being Really Beautiful." The New York Times. June 24, 2011. Web. Nov. 15, 2013

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