|Miranda July, The Future, Roadside Attractions, 2011.|
The chronology of the sun and the moon and their repercussions on human perception proffer a rich field to be mined by artists of the narrative form. Our waking days and dreams at night, our hopes and fears for what tomorrow holds are such delicately perplexing phantoms that they are difficult to convey with the feverish vision Miranda July displays in her beauty of a new film, The Future.
What in its simplest form sounds like a typically quirky indie dramedy, about a precious hipster couple and their tenuous hold on one another, becomes a profound and exacting meditation on what it means to be human. July, with her wet sapphire eyes and spritely spunk, recalls an empowered yet even more delicate Shelley Duvall at her Altman best. She has written, directed and acted in one of the most rigorously courageous and mysterious feats of pure cinema so far this year.
July and Hamish Linklater's Sophie and Jason are deadpan as they live their lives, working and collecting cool knick-knacks, not very certain of where it is they are heading. That feeling of fighting against malaise and middle-age, of dissatisfaction with the unachievement of your adolescent dreams, illuminates the structure and visual language of the picture enigmatically.
As the tale progresses, it slips more and more deliciously into dream and fantasy, hope and dream, often indistinguishable. The narrative device of a crippled cat voicing it's fears and desires to the audience while awaiting Sophie and Jason to adopt it from the shelter after it finishes healing, is thrillingly original. A crawling yellow t-shirt and the talking moon actualize the secret wishes of two scared people who only want to love and be loved.
With her masterful sophomore feature, performance artist July has surpassed the brilliant promise of her debut film Me and You and Everyone We Know, one of the greatest American films of the last decade. The structural daring and clarity of heart she so faultlessly displays makes us truly believe in the tangibility of miracles, waiting for us after the scrapes of reality, at the end of the day.