By Nate von Zumwalt
Time travel, cults, and a beguiling Brit Marling. What more can you ask of a film?
Zal Batmanglij’s debut feature, Sound of My Voice, premiered in the NEXT category at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival — aka Brit Marling’s coming-out party — and opens in the theaters on Friday, April 27. We’d call it a psychological thriller, but Batmanglij’s (yes, we envy his name, too) mind-bender transcends the usual limitations of genre.
The script is co-written by Marling, who dazzles as an enigmatic cult leader from the future whose community is threatened by an inquisitive young couple posing as believers. When Marling last spoke with us at the 2011 Festival, she expressed her hesitations regarding the role.
“Playing a cult leader is so far outside of my life. From an acting perspective, I believed I was from the future, and my doubts were like anyone’s doubts: can I really be an actor or writer? It’s grounded in the mundane and in emotions, but being locked in a time period that’s not your own. As a writer, it’s interesting the way sci-fi can create original juxtapositions in normal human dramas.” Click here to read the full interview with Marling.
Sound of My Voice is the final release in a trio of Fox Searchlight acquisitions from the 2011 Festival that hint at a new “mini-wave” of American cinema. First-time feature directors Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Mike Cahill (Another Earth, also starring Marling) saw their releases in 2011, both of which tread the periphery of psychological dramas while remaining stylistically innovative and quintessentially ‘independent.’