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Calling Planet Earth: Miranda July’s “The Future”

Calling Planet Earth: Miranda July's "The Future"

When discussing Miranda July’s second feature film, The Future, many writers have fixated on the relationship between the artist’s New Age-y pixie persona and her art, weighing in on how twee and precious (words almost guaranteed to be paired with the filmmaker’s name) her latest effort is. Relevant, perhaps, but not entirely fair to her work, which has matured significantly over time. The Future has combined what July is most frequently praised for—unflagging sincerity and an uncanny ear for the idiosyncrasies of human vulnerability, yearning, and existential struggle—as well as what she is most infamously criticized for: that same unrelenting sincerity, which has a tendency to suffocate the material. The result is a film that is both deeply affecting and kind of annoying. However, July seems to have learned to harness the exasperating, overly stylized elements of her filmmaking, such that in this case they’ve become integral to the film’s success in capturing the realities of love and loss. Read Farihah Zaman’s review of The Future.

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