Sunday, May 01, 2011

IFFBoston 2011: THE FUTURE: spoilery take on WTF is going on

This is a consciousness-streamy post about connections my dopey synapses made while watching Miranda July's THE FUTURE. It started as what was supposed to be a couple of sentences in a short-ramble post about IFFB flicks I've seen so far. If you haven't seen THE FUTURE and don't want to be spoiled for it, stop reading now...

Thanks. =)

The first radical changes that Sophie and Jason make are quitting their jobs. She is a children's dance teacher and he is a tech support jockey. She vows to push her creativity, and create and perform 30 dances in 30 days. He vows to become more alert and aware of the cosmos and any messages or clues it might have for him. She hits a wall, and lets herself get distracted with yelling out the window at an older man who wears a gold chain (a man whose phone number is written on the back of a drawing of his daughter that Jason bought from the animal shelter, stating that the drawing was in fact his "cup of tea." =). From their window, the couple can see an old woman across the way, brushing her hair out every morning and night. Sophie comments that that woman has got it all figured out, while Jason remarks, but she's a spinster! He feels compelled to join Tree To Tree, and go door to door soliciting people to buy trees to plant to help fight climate change (only $10 a tree!). Oh! Before the couple agree to changing their lives, they come up with a signal, something to snap them back to themselves, should either one of them get "lost" somehow. A song. There is an opportunity to save themselves by playing this song—Sophie asks Jason to play the signal—early on—perhaps it's after Sophie yells out the window?—but the power cord for the ipod is in Jason's car. It seems like he's going to get it, but we never hear the song played. Sad. But wonderful that Sophie thinks of it. =) Anyhow, Jason goes door to door, speaks to a woman who has no intention of buying a tree, but does quietly get him to hand her the day's mail, and then asks him to throw away the junk mail she doesn't want, giving it to him. In that junk mail is a PennySaver, which includes an ad for a refurbished hair dryer for three dollars. He visits the man, Joe, who is selling it and buys the dryer for Sophie. Jason continues to visit Joe, a man in his 90s, who reads to him the naughty limericks he wrote for his wife over their 60 years of marriage and shares his relationship wisdom, advising Jason that he is still just in the "middle of the beginning," and that you have to be strong, because one of you will do something terrible, but to have the happy life that Joe and his wife had, Jason will have to bear it, somehow. At the end of one visit, Jason sees the same Escher print on Joe's wall that's on his wall. He also sees three ceramic hippo figurines in a shadowbox frame at Joe's, the same ones that they keep on a table in their home. After a few visits, Jason has told Joe about the cat, and Joe offers him a cat playtoy as a gift, which Jason takes home. Puzzle box. In Joe, Jason has met his future self, one who has led a long happy life with a woman he loved. In the woman across the way, Sophie has seen her future self, alone, but apparently fine with it.

I kind of wanted more from the cat. Meaning, I'm not sure he had to be in there, as himself. Having the cat be a sort of nexus point is great, a hinge upon which the future of the relationship turns, especially cuz it introduces the "cup of tea" drawing and the 30-day deadline. The cat as a character could've been a voice that's more Watcher-like, y'know? Or like a Gaiman cat. Imparting cosmic truths and understandings of her new owners-to-be that somehow only a cat could know. Or maybe the cat did just that and I didn't catch it...?

Keep on keepin on~

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