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Monday, 23 January 2012

The Future or How do you choose a satisying film? (Part 1)

The Future or How do you choose a satisying film? (Part 1)

More views of - or after - Cambridge Film Festival 2011
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

23 January

The Future or How do you choose a satisying film? (Part 1)

* Contains spoilers *

For sure, there's no easy way to do it, when:

* It can be hard to avoid trailers totally, which - whoever makes the things - dish up (as Percy Grainger described his arrangements of Bach) bits of the film (and maybe even bits that don't make it to the version that goes on general release and which you will see) in an often unrepresentative way¹ ;

* The man who can make Midnight in Paris (2011), no great masterpiece though it actually is², can also produce Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), where, I believe, the point of interest is not Vicky or Cristina (whichever is which) and what they get up to, but very nearly the third named, if it weren't for the performance from Ms Cruz;

* Likewise, we were given Pan's Labyrinth (2006) by the director who followed it up with (?!) Don't be Afraid of the Dark (2010);

* Not knowing Luc Besson's canon that well (except Subway (1985) [and also The Fifth Element (1997)]), but being well aware that it was not that / either type of film, The Lady (2011) still wasn't what I expected at all in the wake of 2010's Festival opener (which said a lot, but probably not too much, in its title), The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec³ (2010);

* Even the publicity image used for The Future (2011), of much of the top half of Miranda July protruding diagonally from a sash-window (and dressed in a frilly white(ish) dress with black features), is a striking one. However, it actually captures a moment, for me, of utter inconsequence (save to demonstrate a write-up's description of audiences finding her work / acting either 'kooky or cute')⁴.

Which leads us, neatly or otherwise, on to Part 2 - to be found at The Future or How do you choose a satisying film? (Part 2)...


¹ Trailers often enough create a longing to see where that moment fits in, what happens next, when it turns out not to be that interesting. (And, of course, they (distributors, directors, whoever) know that it's not that interesting, but they show it to you out of context to create an appetite that they know that they cannot satisfy.)

² Review to come, some time: it was started in the third week of its run, and unnecessarily long delayed, although oft picked at in the meantime.

³ Call it versatility (DVD, again), I guess, which is what one gets in the range of Woody Allen's work, from mock-documentary Zelig (1983) about Leonard Zelig, 'the human chameleon', to a fraught, but chilling, drama in Interiors (1978).

⁴ Except that, for what one could loosely call The Future's plot, it is part of the zany way in which (as writer) July chooses to set her character up with another man: he is being asked to say whether he can hear the shout that she is making - or about to make, or has just made - from said window, although, from what he has already told her (us) about where he is in LA, he is almost assuredly out of earshot.

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