on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2011 16 Jul

Miranda July and her new film (trailer)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment

When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves.

Coming to theatres on August 17, 2011
Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky, Isabella Acres, Joe Putterlik

Miranda July ist die Meisterin des Subtextes, der kleinen Details, der Absurditäten des Alltags, der Gedanken, die nicht ausgesprochen werden. All das, was nicht gesagt wird und doch so entscheidend ist in Beziehungen zu anderen: das Ringen um Nähe, die Sehnsucht danach, die Schwierigkeit, sie aufzubauen und dann auch auszuhalten. »Das kann ich wirklich gut beschreiben. Darin fühle ich mich als Superheldin«, sagt sie. Sie schafft es durch Humor, genaues Beobachten und emotionale Tiefgründigkeit, die Gegenwart in all ihrer Kompliziertheit und Skurrilität abzubilden. Auch die Figuren in ihrem Film The Future scheinen das momentane Lebensgefühl der Vereinigten Staaten widerzuspiegeln – angeschlagen, etwas isoliert, von sich selbst besessen und dabei in sich gefangen (aus: Zeit-on-line)

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    About Miranda July´s „Me and You and Everyone We Know“: This film is not for everyone and I appreciate the insights in some of the negative reviews. However, it would be unfortunate if such reviews put off viewers to who might otherwise connect with the film. I will try to offer a more successful reading.

    The movie’s most self-referential scene involves the playful conversation between the two lead characters as they walk to their respective cars. In offering their respective interpretations of the walk, they each take chances by playing a game at the risk that the other will not play along. It is precisely this vulnerability of the characters that makes the characters so endearing and the main narrative so romantic. By taking the risks and playing along with the conversation, they each reveal to the other a common openness to a shared way of relating to the world. By extension, through the entire film Miranda July takes risks, asking the viewer „this is game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?“

    A less central but significant scene recognizes that not everyone is willing to play along. An awkward and unsuccessful conversation in the intimate setting of a female character’s bathroom between two recently separated characters presents them as each good and decent individuals who simply cannot connect with one another successfully. I take this sympathetic representation of the separated wife as one of the most admirable dimensions of the film. It celebrates the playful artistic stance of the two main characters, the quality that brings them together and allows them to connect, while respecting the alternative ways that other characters relate to the world around them.

    The scene in which „you“ and „me“ move toward and away from one another captures the theme that runs through the interactions of various characters in the movie. Yes, the characters experience various forms of rejection or unsuccessful attempts to connect with others. However, nothing tragic happens to anyone who breathes though lungs rather than gills. For instance, two teenagers running distractedly down the middle of a street could easily have met unhappily with another character driving her car in a funk after partially obstructing her windshield. They did not. At bottom, Miranda July presents an optimistic world in which connecting is tough and brings painful disappointments but perseverance is ultimately rewarded. Living and loving are hard but the world is not ultimately hostile to either.

    Two scenes involving a bird in a tree bracket the film, symbolizing an openness to be moved by aesthetic pleasures that extend beyond practical concerns. After receiving inadequate or incorrect explanations of a clanging sound heard early in the morning, the youngest character sets out under the bird image to discover the truth by direct investigation. He meets a kindly buss passenger who gives him the coin he had been clanging against the bus signpost. So, the character gets to the factual, literal truth of the matter. Then as the character clangs the post, the sun rises, echoing an earlier explanation given by his mother but on a more magical level. Clanging the coin signals the sun to rise. With that leap the character steps beyond the mundane into the playful stance of the artist: The childlike willingness to find more in the world than what is actually there is the wellspring of artistic creativity. „This is the game that I am playing, are you willing to play along?“ (Keith A. Markus)

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