The Future (Roadside Attractions) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Future

Studio: Roadside Attractions
Miranda July

Aug 06, 2011 #37 – St. Vincent
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The Future, director Miranda July’s second film, begins not unlike her first, Me and You and Everyone We Know. It features July starring as the quirky, emotionally stunted Sophie, who works as a dance instructor for kids, and her boyfriend Jason, who also is seemingly caught in a developmental moratorium, played by Hamish Linklater. It initially parallels the annoyingly stilted performances of Me and You, as Sophie and Jason swap lines as if they’re rehearsing for a play.

But something radically changes when they decide to adopt the wounded cat Paw Paw from a local shelter. They become increasingly aware of their own age and mortality, quit their jobs, and the film rapidly goes down the rabbit hole via some brilliantly hallucinogenic sequences. Indeed, there’s a time stoppage motif that recalls Donnie Darko, and a surreal dance sequence featuring July set to Beach House’s “Master of None” that brings to mind the miasmatic fever dreams of David Lynch’s Inland Empire.

The abandoned Paw Paw narrates sequences in July’s voice with raw nerve contrition and clarity, essentially articulating the plight of the beleaguered couple. But July in particular dazzles throughout, imbuing Sophie with both childlike wonderment and resigned dignity. Me and You and Everyone We Know fell flat because the characters’ yearning was too often obfuscated by paralyzing fear, but The Future succeeds simply because July’s transcended that façade, revealing teasing glimpses at the frayed vulnerabilities of her flawed yet fascinating characters. (

Author rating: 8/10

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