Friday, August 05, 2011

"The Future": A stray cat has the key to warping time

When I lived in a garden apartment in Dallas in 1979, I was adopted by an unaltered male cat. He learned to recognize the sound of my Chevette and raced for the second landing apartment door as I pulled up everyday, even reaching to turn the door knob.  Once inside, right to the refrigerator.  He would sometimes climb into my bed before I retired.

The voice over for the injured cat Paw-Paw is hard to understand, and we don’t get to see much of the feline in Miranda July’s new spacy comedy, “The Future”.  (She is known for “Me and You and Everyone We Know”).

Jason (Hamish Linklater) and Sophie (Miranda July, who also dubs Paw-Paw) have found the cat and taken him to an animal shelter, which says he will be ready to go home in a month.  But then we gradually learn of their existential bind: they need to learn to make commitments, or they will freeze in time.  So they will bring their cat home in 30 days and change their ways, and maybe keep him going for 5 years, until they are in their forties.  What about the commitment it would take to have and raise children? That’s more than 5 years of “bonding”. Maybe that means marriage.

Jason gives up his at-home tech support job and starts selling tree-planting door-to-door. Sophie teaches dance to kids and wants to do something big with it.  For some reason, the Internet is going to be turned off—is this their “voluntary” plan, or something external that is happening as the world unravels?

The movie then gets weird. Sophie carries on an external affair with an unattractive older man, but wants to stay with Jason, as if she could have two existence trains at the same time and had become her own doppelganger.  Jason seems to have learned how to stop time. 

What disappoints me in the end is that we don’t see more of the cat, who needs to be put on an equal plane with the dog in “Beginners” (made my July’s husband).

Here is the “official blog” for the film from Roadside Attractions, the distributor. 

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