By Betty Kay Coakley for Drew Altizer
Appearing before a group of enthusiastic twentysomethings at a special sneak-peek screening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, independent filmmaker and actress Miranda July spoke about writing, directing and acting in her latest film, "The Future," which ponders the nature of personal development. She began by apologizing for her early attempts at creating art, recalling "in the beginning (my) work was made to put something out and to get something back." She admitted that the artistic process is not always successful, with some pieces turning out to be a "bunch of mistakes and solutions that are delivered to the public." No wonder the audience didn't know what to expect before the screening.
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But "The Future" turns out to be a (mostly) interesting uncovering of the development of a thirty-something couple navigating a path through life. July uses magical realism to tell the story with a cat narrating most of the film, alongside a moon with the ability to stop time. At once engaging and exasperating, July invites the viewer into her world to share her complicated gamut of emotions and experiences. As brave as she is in exposing her "mistakes and solutions," July also exposes her fragility in the film by allowing her personal growth to be shown through a fictional character of her creation. This dichotomy lies at the affecting, endearing heart of this complex and confusing film and its multifaceted actor/director. We may have seen "The Future," but it's not ours. It belongs to July.
Check out pictures from "The Future" screening and Miranda July interview at SFMOMA in our slideshow below:
See Miranda July's "The Future" when it opens in San Francisco on August 19.