The Future: A Film by Miranda July

The Future, the newest film from Portlander now in Los Angeles, Miranda July, has been out for a few weeks now. If you too were also a fan of Me and You and Everyone We Know, then you were excited for the release of her next project. Most of the world got their first introduction to July from her first major release, but she’s been writing, and creating rad video and performance art for years. She was the first feminist film and performance geek that I met, and It’s been awesome watching her gain acceptance from the rest of the art scene.

The movie chronicles a mid 30’s couple, Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater). They hate their jobs. Wanting more out of life, they decide to adopt a stray cat from a shelter. The cat does quite a bit of narration in the movie, processing what it will be like to be a tame cat. In these scenes, all you see are the front paws in the cage, one of these is bandaged up. The shelter tells them they must pick Paw-Paw up in 30 days. If they’re late, the cat will be put down.

This is a good time to mention that the cat.. is a sort of muppet. Also, Miranda July uses a rather bizarre voice to do the Paw-Paw narration. It really gives the cat her signature “I don’t know how I feel about this…” feeling.

Paw-Paw will make even the steeliest queer burst into "poor kitty" tears.

After talking, Jason and Sophie decide that they only have 30 days of freedom left, before they have to start sacrificing their independence to care for Paw-Paw. So, they decide to live their lives to the fullest for 30 days. They quit their jobs. Sophie, a child dance instructor, starts doing a dance a day to post on the internet. Unfortunately, being faced with the pressure to produce, she hides under the covers instead of dancing. Jason starts canvasing to sell trees to end deforestation He got the job he got because a random canvaser hands him a clipboard.

Both of them meet new characters. Sophie meets a man she spoke to at the shelter. She starts to call him, and pursue him sexually in numerous strange ways. Jason meets an awesome elderly gentleman, (one of the best characters in the movie) who misses his dead wife.

We should do something. Something? Yeah, we should do something.

I don’t want to critique this film too much. I  liked Me and You and Everyone We Know, and had fairly high expectations. There is something dark, and beautiful about The Future. The characters are void, purposefully, making them like an abyss you want to peer into. I didn’t think the different plot lines in the movie meshed together very well, but real life is also disjointed. I think you should see this movie. It definitely sticks with you, and watching something that YOU love, and the person next to you might dislike, is the true contrast of experiencing non mainstream art.

The Future is still currently showing at the Laurelhurst Theater.

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