The Future

September 5, 2011 No Comments

Who has time for the future?  Does it matter?  Miranda July’s newest film takes us on a quirky journey towards the unknown with Sophie (played by July) and Jason (Hamish Linklatter), two 35 year olds struggling to generate SOME meaning in their mundane lives before turning 4o.  July offers us a film that mimics the slow, directionless inactivity that defines the couple, who stretch far beyond their usual behaviors and volunteer to adopt a (terminally ill) cat.  Their attempt to negotiate the thirty day waiting period to bring “Paw Paw” (who by the way becomes the film’s narrator) home becomes the film’s central challenge.  July is not afraid to mix the banal with whimsy, a combination that intrigues some and annoys others.  As Paw Paw counts the days for his adoption (July supplies the voice), Sophie and Jason frantically attempt to pack more meaning into the days that remain although their efforts are uncomfortable to watch.  Sophie drifts into an affair that we watch with curiosity and apprehension.  Jason drifts door to door selling eco-friendly trees with little purpose or ability.  And the clock is ticking.  Time passes.  Paw Paw waits.  What has Jason learned that he could actually stop time?   Could he make/stop changes then?  Would it make a difference?  The paralysis of our two (human) protagonists is unnerving and difficult to watch.  July’s “real life” embodies determination and success;  her decision to so completely inhabit this film–as writer, director, star (Jason also “looks” like Sophie/July) and feline narrator is curious.  Is she portraying personal inertia?  Generational inertia?  Cultural inertia?  Existential inertia?  Does it matter?  What are we to think about Paw Paw ‘s decision to depend upon these two unlikely (and possibly) incapable caregivers?  Are we all doomed by such choices?  Should we keep trying?  I understand the complaints about this kind of film…..some reviewers really hated the cat….but I’m still thinking about the film and its quiet persistence…”The Future’ is a MUST SEE movie for the present…..Jolyn Wagner

Must See Movie of the Week

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