The Russian Cosmonaut (From “Another Earth”)

Another Earth is a poignant investigation into a person, their life and second chances. We have explored so many “what ifs” that if personified, it might turn out to be Mike Cahill.

But this is not a review of his film. I wanted to highlight a moment that left an indelible mark on me, transcribed below. Go watch it if you can.

This was “The Russian Cosmonaut” as told by Rhoda (Brit Marling).

So the cosmonaut, he’s the first man ever to go into space, right? The Russians beat the Americans. So he goes up in this big spaceship, but the only habitable part is very small. So the cosmonaut’s in there, and he’s got this portal window. And he’s looking out of it, and he sees the curvature of the earth. For the first time. The first man to ever look at the planet he’s from. And he’s lost in that moment.

And then all of the sudden, this strange ticking *tock tock* is coming out of the dashboard. He rips out the control panel right? Takes out his tools, trying to find the sound, trying to stop the sound. But he can’t find it, he can’t stop it. It keeps going. *tock tock*

A few hours into this, *tock tock* it begins to feel like torture. A few days go by with this sound, and he knows, *tock tock* that this *tock* small *tock* sound *tock* will break him. He’ll lose his mind.

What’s he gonna do? He’s up in space, alone. *tock tock* In a space closet. He’s got 25 days left to go, with this sound. *tock tock*

So the cosmonaut decides *tock tock*, that the only way to save his sanity – is to fall in love, with this sound. *tock tock*

So he closes his eyes, and he goes into his imagination. *tock tock* And when he opens them, he doesn’t hear it ticking anymore.

He hears music. 

And he spends the remainder of his time, sailing through space in total bliss. In peace.

Okay, here’s the clip. But I urge you to watch the film. Please.

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