The Future - The SSL Review

The Future is an independent arthouse movie written and directed my Miranda July, who is a performance artist, writer, and director. Charlie and I stopped in St. Louis on our way home from seeing his brother in Kansas to see this movie. We'd been wanting to see it, but we'd missed the short amount of time that it was playing near us. We really liked her previous movie You and Me and Everyone We Know. I'm not going to recommend that one to you unless you feel unfazed by watching, say, John Waters or Todd Selondz movies. Otherwise it might be a little too disturbing, and hey, if that's not what you're into, no need to watch.

Charlie liked The Future a little more than I did, but we both were a little under-impressed - probably because we loved You and Me, and Everyone We Know so much. The Future is about a couple who decides to adopt a stray cat, and then their whole perspective changes, literally altering space and time. The cat sorta narrates the movie, and its voice is Miranda July's but all soft and creaky. July is also the main character in the movie. There were some fun parts to this movie. I don't regret watching it by any means, but it just didn't come together as a nice piece for me.

However, it did have a very small depiction that I thought was worth an SSL review. Normally, I reserve SSL reviews for movies that specifically depict or discuss female sexual release. There are simply too many movies that show sexual acts involving women. If they don't also give the viewer some insinuation or blatant information about how the woman physically responded to that sexual act, then reviewing it isn't a helpful way to understand and critique what Hollywood is insinuating about what is normal and how women should respond sexually.  I made an exception with this movie though, because it showed something a little novel, and I thought it should be recognized.

Sophie, Miranda July's character, becomes interested in a man who is not her boyfriend. She meets with him once or twice. Before she sees him, we see her getting all gussied up. It's obvious there is sexual tension. At one meeting, they are sitting on the couch, and he makes a rather course and abrupt move towards Sophie in a sexual way. She gets up as if she did not want the advance and moves off screen. We then hear a little noise just off screen. I believe it was kind of a gentle creaking of furniture and a little cloth rubbing on cloth sort of sound. It is then revealed that Sophie is just feet away from the man; standing and facing a chair, rubbing her vulva area against it. The man then comes over, pulls down her undergarments (she's wearing a skirt), and then we see a shot of the chair being pushed against the wall in one thrust. That's the end of the scene.

So, I think the part that interested me about this was that Sophie was depicted doing something that is not traditionally a movie sort of thing for women to do in a sexual situation. She was stimulating her vulva area. We don't usually see women doing that or being interested in that, even though almost all women who masturbate do so by stimulating their vulva/clitoral areas, and most (I argue in the movie that it is actually probably all) women who orgasm during intercourse do it by...that's right...somehow stimulating their vulva/clitoral area during the ol' in and out.

I'll skip all the strange emotional stuff involved in this scene, and just point out that the viewer saw a woman in this scene who made a choice to have a sexual interaction, and when she made that choice, she decided to begin it by stimulating herself in a way that is a fairly realistic; a way that may actually stimulate an actual woman. That, in itself, is rare and refreshing. Good work Miranda July.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 vulvas
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