Friday, August 10, 2012

The Man from Earth (2007) [UR] ***+

Ten years after joining the faculty of a California college, John Oldman (David Lee Smith) has decided that it's time to move on. He's invited seven of his closest colleagues to his rural cabin for a farewell party. The question arises as to why he's giving up his hard-earned tenure, and John decides to risk everything and tell them the truth. He tells them a fantastical story about being a fourteen thousand year old Cro-Magnon who's forced to move on every ten years or so, as people begin to notice that he doesn't age. His guests want to see and hear the evidence, the objective proof, and he tries to give it to them, telling them pieces of his history in rich detail. Of course it's impossible for him to give them absolute proof, and they have to decide for themselves. Inevitably, there's disbelief, fear, anger, outrage, threats; ultimately they force him to disavow his entire story as a fabrication.

As night falls, and the guests begin to leave, Sandy (Annika Peterson) who believes John and wants to accompany him on his journey, asks him what other names he's used recently. In revealing several previous identities, John discovers that he IS able to provide proof of his story's truth, although with tragic consequences.

The entire film takes place in or around Oldman's cabin, so it feels like a stage play, and some of the acting is mediocre at best. Shot using hand-held cameras, with ambient lighting and amateur audio, the picture is grainy and shaky. Nevertheless, if the idea of living thousands of years in a body that never ages intrigues you, or you enjoyed thought-provoking films like K-PAX, Orlando, The Quiet Earth and Solaris, you might give this film a try. 

Labels: drama, fantasy, sci-fi, space-time

Internet Movie Database 
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=NA, viewers=80)

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