On the surface this is a relationship movie, an ailing relationship, but at the hands of July we’re made to dig a little deeper. Her deft touch and abundant curiosity allows her to pull the individuals out of their togetherness, unhinging them so we can watch them founder.
Clambering against the downward sink Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) decide to adopt a sickly cat, the proverbial glue, that will bind them together and give their relationship a raison d’être, well, for six months at least as Paw Paw is a sickly puss. On arriving to scoop him up into loving arms they’re told they need to come back in 30 days to pick him up, they also discover that Paw Paw could live for five years. A discovery that cements the future into something that is already over. Sophie: “We’ll be 40 in five years.” Jason: “Forty is basically 50. And then after 50, the rest is just loose change.”
30 days before responsibility kicks in and doors are slammed shut. A finite time to make something happen. So, it’s a talking cat who acts as the catalyst, creating the momentum that pushes the couple into action. They quit their jobs, turn the internet off and wait for something to happen.
Sophie looks out and screams. Unable to generate the momentum to choreograph her dance (“30 dances, 30 days”), she succumbs to her desire to be watched. Looking out she finds a creepy gold-chained man who promises to watch her always and she slips back into inaction, she doesn’t even have to try. Stealing away from her own life Sophie moves in with him and is watched until a part of herself comes back to reclaim her, a creeping yellow shirt, that she eventually climbs inside, reborn, dancing, she makes peace with herself.
Jason looks out and saves trees. Turning to something other than himself he sells trees door to door, knowing that it may be futile but there’s nobility in that. He meets a potty mouthed poetry making old man through the Pennysaver who tells him that relationships are tough and that this is only the middle of the beginning, and that’s the hardest part. Later when Sophie begins to speak of her infidelity Jason stops time, holding them both in their studio apartment at 03.14. The old man appears again, this time as the moon but he doesn’t offer advice – “I don’t know anything, I’m just a rock in the sky” – he doesn’t allay Jason’s fears of being alone and only invites him to create his own action, bringing the future to bear.
All the while Paw Paw waits but it’s only so long before he’s extinguished, put out by his future owners inability to look beyond themselves. They each go to take him home and each discover they let him die.
The message, for me, is don’t give up.
Don’t give up. Don’t stop trying. Don’t think your life will change if you just wait silently, clinging on to the internet, waiting to be picked up by some invisible hand and deposited where you think you should be. Stop assuming there’s something better around the corner. Make changes. Be creative. Feel satisfied. Be grateful. Stop stopping yourself. Propel yourself in the future.
One other thing – Miranda July – what a legend, full of joy and curiosity. She has the ability to unsettle by shifting between humour and sadness, allowing the fears to rise up and be considered in unexpected ways and all she asks is for us to be curious, to look to the future, spread our arms open and prepare for amazing things to happen.continue reading →
…some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life. Sometimes, the mystery of death.”
Show me a girl who didn’t/doesn’t want to be Audrey Horne and I’ll show you a liar.continue reading →
Today I saw a dead girl in a road covered with a red blanket. She’d been knocked off her bike. The bike was bent, like a paperclip spun out of shape, always apart. I felt heavy and rushed. My thoughts almost pushed me in to the ground – a family, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a cold pint never again to be pressed into that hand, a cupboard door not quite closed, a dress never to be worn, a leftover lunch waiting to be eaten for dinner. A life. A WHOLE LIFE gone. Covered in a blanket. Police cordoning off the surrounding area, ambulance people consoling others but she was all alone. Alone in the middle of the road. I can’t get it out of my head. It nearly broke my heart.
In Catch-22 Heller has Yossarian tell us, ‘Man was matter… Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage… Ripeness was all.’
We are matter but so much more, and we are alone, but not so alone as we think. I know that every stranger who saw that red blanket said a silent prayer into the ear of anyone who might listen that the family and friends of that girl can live on with their loss.continue reading →
Not much to ask. Luckily I think I’ve got one.continue reading →
Mystic Pizza, that is all. Oh, and I love Lili Taylor/Jojo.
continue reading →
Here’s what’s hanging around on my desktop. Sadly I can’t link to where I found these and that makes me feel bad.
Here are some of my heroes. I know they’re all men (or aliens). Next time I’ll do a hero round-up where the main requirement is to have a hoo-hah (AKA a vagina).continue reading →
Whistles, what gives? Seriously, WTF? Do you think I’m made of money? Do you think I can go and buy a Carrie skirt in every colour? Huh? Do you think I can walk right in (read ‘log on’ for ‘walk right in’) to one of your shops and just dole out my millions of cash for your neon lace dress? Or your Linda shirt?
You’re being a real tube and you need to quit it. Can’t you just make a couple of decent things a season and make lots of them so we can all have the things we want. Come on, be kinder. Love us as much as we love you. And just to let you know, the Tessa dress in navy is fricking delightful so I’m getting the stripey one next – you need to wear a belt with it though, otherwise you look like an origami cube with legs.
And this mac. What were you thinking? It’s too good. Everyone with eyes and arms will want it. SADFACE. You should have discussed this with me first.continue reading →
I need to tell you about Vozchica (AKA Jackie). You need to know.
Look. Buy. Thread wooden bangles stained neon colours on to your wrists. Stack happiness upon your limbs. Do it NOW before it’s too late. I’ve got two already but need more, I’m thinking an orange and a grey. Stack ’em up.continue reading →