The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

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domino harvey
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Re: The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

#51 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:55 pm

James Mills wrote:
knives wrote: well I hate to tell you there are some people out there as bad as these characters.
Oh I know, that is my point. When I said "people don't act like this," I was referring to the average persons who aren't living their lives in the garish pretense of this kind of hip culture (which answers your other question: I used the word "pretentious" because frankly these kinds of people are constantly and ostentatiously pretending). That's what annoyed me incredibly, the fact that these characters are embracing this incredibly fake subculture that is so decadent and and obnoxiously prevalent in areas like the film's locale, Silverlake.

And their problems stem from their own tragic flaws and assumptions, not from their "hip-zany 'I'm so accepting and unassuming and fragile and talk in slow motion' bullshit". They don't grow out of this, their contrived vernacular is the same as it ever was throughout the entire film; this is NOT some sort of commentary on these people, if that's what you were implying. On the contrary, it embraces this petty idea of "being unique!" when they're not unique at all; that's the irony behind hipsters.
This is just bizarre, because you are equating July's depiction of these characteristics with a defense, which is so counter to anything presented in the film as to be mind-boggling. Indeed, July would, at least in the context of this film, agree with your assessment of hipsters, since her film is an admittedly peculiar damnation of the depicted characters' nascent maturity. July's already made the film you seem to want...

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Re: The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

#52 Post by HistoryProf » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:04 am

domino harvey wrote:But while I enjoyed the Future, I feel its conceit is less bold: a hipster couple, incapable of real maturity and on the cusp of actual responsibility, instead descend so far down from maturity that they literally begin to implement a child's concept of magic as a solution to address their underlying issues. It's Blue Valentine with less shouting and the twitch of a witch's nose. And despite all its outward fancies, it ends up playing out exactly as you'd expect. Despite my reservations, it's a hard film to stay too mad at. July is skilled at picking actors attuned to her material, so the performances are strong, and there are a lot of laughs early in the film (my favorite being July's comment on being more attractive).
I'm w/ Domino on M&Y&EWK - I truly loved that movie in all its glory. I was therefore also looking forward to The Future and came away completely and utterly indifferent to this effort...and i'm not sure what it was that put me off. The final 3rd definitely lost me though, and not because it wasn't happy and carefree. I guess the entire central conceit just fell apart once she tells him what she's been up to during the day...I was rather shocked at how little I cared at that point. a strange experience considering my enjoyment of her previous work.

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Re: The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

#53 Post by Hopscotch » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:44 pm

Miranda July Called Before Congress To Explain Exactly What Her Whole Thing Is:
Though finding her polite, many lawmakers later described July as largely uncooperative, especially in regard to her responses to the committee's queries, which often took the form of enigmatic aphorisms or the suggestion that members of Congress try looking at a candle for a few seconds to find the answers to their questions.

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James Mills
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Re: The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

#54 Post by James Mills » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:18 am

"Perhaps we're approaching this in the wrong way; Ms. July, when I wake up in the morning, I say to myself, 'I'm going to go to work and help make the laws that keep our country running,'" McConnell said. "Now, when you wake up in the morning, what do you say to yourself? What is it that compels you to do all these things that you do?"

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Re: The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

#56 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:41 pm

knives wrote:
Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:27 pm
I agree with Dom that The Future is less impressive than Me and You, but I think it's overall smallness might make it a more effective experience. If her previous movie was Solondz this is Antonioni. Her film, at least in it's themes, is more interesting to me as she doesn't just point out disaffected and alienated youth (simplification I know), but tries to see if there is a cure. The adoption of a cat makes a near middle age couple realize that their life has gone no where fast and so on July's insistence they go 30 days without Internet. This results in very different attempts by them to reconnect with the world.

I don't want to spoil things by going into the plot, but July's ultimate answer and how it comes around left me so seething at the characters that I've actually been dreading this write up. It's a fun movie, hell it's a great movie, but in the end I was so angry at the characters, the world, and myself I had to sit back and just breath. This is all in compliment of course since July once again even with her intense stylization proves to be more honest than many of the supposed realists out there. Beneath the oddities (and she re-enacts Gozu with a shirt) lies a story that knows reality perfectly and that's why I'm so emotional about it. I see this stuff all of the time and have in fact been guilty of more than my fair share (the soliciting scenes were especially funny to me as I used to do that sort of work for politicians as it pays really good money by college student standards). So yeah watch this when it comes to your town.
This gets close to summarizing my thoughts, except I didn’t have as much of a reactively dysregulative experience probably because of not only how July’s worldview mirrors one close to my own, but the acceptance I have come to feel for it in my 30s - though if I had seen this upon its release ten years ago it surely would have been different. I enjoyed the cat’s narration for breaking away from the weighted emotional narrowness of the central characters’ more self-limited perspectives toward one that is just as intimate and personalized but calls for repeated undoings of their solipsistic drownings.

I’m curious to what you see as July’s ultimate answer? I certainly got the impression that apathy isn’t just left there as a cynical ultimatum, but is instead only a searing part of the grand picture that understands our culture as problem-focused and takes on that mentality honestly even if not fating it as a universal truth. Instead of being didactic and promoting us to practice acceptance of pain (like dukkha the Buddhist first noble truth) July does this for us and I thought it was kind of optimistic in taking that supportive avenue in knowing for us that life would be full of ups and downs and acceptances without forcing that down our throats or increasing our anxieties that we should be working on this attitude. I found that method to be incredibly respectful and kind, and I’ve been thinking of an alteration on Camus’ the myth of Sisyphus where an element is added where he can find satisfaction in admiring a sunset off in the distance even if it’s a rarity (which more or less matches my own existentialist beliefs), for July seems to see that side of things - like from the cat’s perspective - at least from an impartial angle as an artist and sees the world as bigger than us even if it’s sometimes not, while remaining humble enough to know that she needs someone to do this for her when she’s struggling as we do, none better than us or any person on this earth.

The ending fits with that theme of hanging on for just one moment, fighting time in the ways that we can- by exercising the brief control we have in this world, even if we cannot overcome our own selves. This finale is definitely seeming to fight the other optimistic slivers of light cast on this mostly cynical picture but I’m not so sure it’s a fight at all, or a signal of the kind of defeat that signifies failure. The glances they give each other hint at as much of an acceptance of their history, gratitude, and acknowledgment of one another’s dignity and worth as it is a depressingly realistic depiction of the wills distrusting themselves to communicate what the heart wants - kind of an inverse of July’s first film in many ways while playing by the same rules.

The few moments of acceptance captured though, like the metaphorically wonderful dance as July finally embraces the shirt, are nothing short of sublime poignancy which is not a combination of feelings easily provoked.

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