“The Future” (2011)
A Film by Miranda July
Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) live a quiet life in L.A. until they decide to adopt a stray cat that is terminally ill. They can’t get “Paw-Paw” right away so they have to wait a month before they can pick him up. They both start to see life in a different light and start to adapt accordingly, quitting their jobs and keeping their eyes and ears open for new opportunities.
Jason finds himself going door to door selling trees to help reduce global warming. His organization’s goal is to plant a million trees. He purchases a used hair dryer and befriends the previous owner, spending more and more time with him when he sees how lonely the man is.
Sophie also quits her job and promises her friends that she will record herself doing 30 dances in 30 days. She can’t quite muster up the courage to do this and never even sends one out. She is frustrated that Jason seems to have all these fantastic and moving experiences while she has yet to encounter anything.
While at the shelter, Sophie notices a drawing and decides to purchase it. The artist is there and his daughter has left his home number on the back of the drawing. He runs a banner and sign company. On a whim she calls him and ends up going to his home under the false pretense that she needs a sign. What follows is the start of the demise of Sophie and Jason’s relationship.
Throughout the film you hear the narrative of Paw-Paw who is an interesting addition to the film with his childlike, yet somewhat creepy, voice. The cat feels so happy to be waiting for Sophie and Jason to return and finally feels like he belongs. Paw-Paw has had such a sad life and is hoping for a fresh start with Jason and Sophie. It was a nice touch to hear about life from Paw-Paw’s perspective.
The film has some mystical qualities such as being able to stop time. It’s done in a way where it seems realistic enough to the main characters, and you see them struggle with getting a grip on their own realities. Miranda July (as Sophie), throws in some of her performance art here and there in some majorly awkward but silly scenes. In one interesting performance art scene she realizes that she made a huge mistake in leaving Jason. He knew and accepted her much more than anyone else. July doesn’t disappoint by bringing her own quirky style to the film as shown in her previous work (see below).
Lotus Wollschlager is the official Her Film movie reviewer. Find her bio on the Her Film Reviews page.
More information on Miranda July:
The Future website and its Oracle transmedia component
Learning to Love You More (website archive of web/non-web project)
Joanie 4 Jackie (archives of chainletter video movement founded by July)