Imagine “Another Earth”

Last night we were pleased to see an original movie, not the same old chasing around to see if the couple stays together in the end.  Here’s the deal — Earth 2 is a mirror-image planet inhabited by all the same people as our Earth, living better or worse lives than those of us on Earth 1 (or Earth 2 to the other mirror-image earthlings). You get the picture, right?

I always check out reviews on Rottentomatoes.com before heading over to the El Con Cinemas. Ratings weren’t incredibly high for “Another Earth,” which opened nationwide on Wednesday, but they were a lot higher than for “Spy Kids 4” or even the perennial romance offering of “One Day.” I’ll confess to having different tastes than mainstream moviegoers (thank the universe). I’m a bit of a movie whore and will go to anything that isn’t poopy-joke stupid or boringly violent. Dan won’t see bio-pics (he walked to the Loft for a 10 p.m. showing of “Troll Hunter” a few weeks ago).

In a review of “Another Earth” the Houston Chronicle writer pondered this question: If there were two Earths how were the tides affected? A valid question. But in this case thinking may be harmful.

Suspend belief! “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” or some facsimile thereof, said Albert Einstein.  I recall nervous parents of 10-year-olds coming into my children’s bookstore, Oz Books, to discuss their kids’ overriding interest in fantasy or sci-fi genres.

“Will they ever learn anything if they never read nonfiction?” parents fearfully asked. I quoted Einsten and tried to explain that it’s imaginative thinking that raises entrepreneurs (what did Steve Jobs read as a kid, anybody know?), scientists, interesting people. Not facts, at in my book. Facts come from research, another valuable tool, but save it for grad school or later (I’m being a little facetious.)

Back to “Another Earth.” I was enthralled. Everywhere that gorgeous, blonde Rhoda went she saw Earth 2 overhead. In fact, it got her into a whole lot of trouble as a teen preparing to go to MIT. Not only Rhoda, but everything about the film was lovely to watch. I liked the music by a group called Fall on Your Sword. (Anybody ever heard of them?)

The New Yorker reviewer, I think it was David Denby, wrote that if you could figure out the ending of “Another Earth” “you should get a refund.” Oh comon’ David. Contemplating the options makes for more fun.

For yet more fun, check out Whatever…, science fiction writer John Scalzi’s blog. Meanwhile, consider this: There’s a time for thinking and a time for imagining.

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3 Responses to Imagine “Another Earth”

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    Are you excited about Lars von Trier’s similarly themed Melancholia? It’ll be released sometime this year….

    • sheilawill says:

      I’m on the fringe of being a science fiction fantatic, really like what I call political sci-fi like “Divided Kingdom” by Rupert Thomson. My partner, Dan, is actually more into it so I’ll pass suggestions on to him. Thanks!

  2. Joachim Boaz says:

    I generally dislike most sci-fi movies — I prefer sci-fi novels from the 50s, 60s, and 70s — post 1980 works seldom inspire me….

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