London Film Festival 2011 Diary: Day 2

I only saw one of the three press screenings on Tuesday, and I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming (not quite literally, but near as makes no difference) by my friend and fellow critic Mike to the one I did attend.

THE FUTURE (Miranda July)

If this is the future, I’m going to slit my wrists. Miranda July’s second feature is less a film than it is a performance artist masturbating for 90 minutes (no, not literally), it belongs not in a cinema but in a dark performance space somewhere in LA where it can be viewed by seven achingly pretentious goatee stroking hipsters and the rest of us can safely ignore it.

The ‘story’ has 30 something Sophia (July) and doppelganger/boyfriend Jason(Hamish Linklater) deciding to adopt a cat they’ve named Paw Paw, who, in a touch that made me see red seconds into this 90 minute endurance test, narrates the film (July does the voice, in the most gratingly cutesy tones I’ve ever heard), but Paw Paw has a broken leg, and can’t come home for four weeks, during which time Sophie and Jason quit their jobs so they can enjoy their ‘last month of freedom’. Yes, that thumping IS me headbutting my desk.

Nobody behaves like a human, no relationship has any feeling about it, so nothing feels like it is real or matters. The dialogue manages to perform the bizarre trick of seeming horribly overwritten and as though July and the other actors are pulling every word out of thin air. Or perhaps out of a hat, random words from a hat, that would explain a lot. It also stops dead quite frequently for July to do some ‘quirky’, ‘charming’ performance art. At the centre of this debacle is Miranda July, whose entire persona, her every word, her every move, her every expression, seems totally false, all part of some grand art project calculated just to annoy the living hell out of me.

On the plus side there are some good songs in the film, but the for the love of God, just buy a Beach House album and ignore this vapid, self important borefest.

Tomorrow: Reviews from Day 3 of Take Shelter, Black Power Mixtape and Poupoupidou

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