The Future available on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand on Nov. 29th! What’s good about this is that it has 1) my first ever director’s commentary and 2) a little short about the making of the movie including footage from the performance that the movie evolved out of. I think you will like that. I also feel the need to tell all 40,382 of you that I’m wearing an extraordinary amount of make-up in my interview in the making of. In fact this might be what Entertainment Weekly is referring to when they say “Extraordinary!” on the cover.
Remember the Mexican restaurant in Kreuzberg I mentioned? So many friends asked me for the name of the place that I re-found it, by finding my old apartment on Google maps and then “walking” there using street view. I felt very modern. To have the best appreciation for this restaurant you might have to be an American woman who has spent the entire day working with German men in a windowless room on issues of film post-production that are so subtle that no one is even sure they are visible to anyone but you, the American woman, but you are hell-bent and won’t go back to LA until everything is crossed off your list written in tiny crazy-person handwriting. You have to spend all day making very little progress on the list, and then get on your bike and ride in the dark along the side of Grolitzer park, bumping on cobblestones, face freezing, wearing a dumb warm hat with a hipper hat over it, which doesn’t look so hip on top of the other hat. Park the bike at La Pulqueria and come in and order the 3 enchilada combo to go. Watch the one very pretty waitress as she makes her away around the restaurant and is nice to even you, a non-person in two hats. Then put the dinner in the bike basket and ride home, lock the bike, take the elevator up, hoping there is no one else in it at the same time because you always feel married to them during the short upward journey, and you have so little to offer as a wife right now, even a 2-minute wife. Unlock the apartment door, throw off the two hats, the coat, the boots, the scarf, the mittens. Sit immediately at the kitchen table with the 3 enchilada combo and the computer, and, almost crying with relief to be at this moment in the day, this zenith, watch The Office (american version), a tv show that didn’t seem so incredible back in America, but now is EVERYTHING, all your emotions are processed through the show, you laugh, you cry while eating the enchiladas, which are warm, friendly, loving, kind and reminiscent of Los Angeles, a city which (like The Office) didn’t seem so great when you were actually living there, but now, well, it’s best not to think about it because you might never finish this movie and might never go home.
Mexikanisches Restaurant La Pulqueria
Spreewaldplatz 5, Kreuzberg, 10999 Berlin, Germany
Tickets just went on sale for the special screening of The Future at the Tate. I will be there, answering questions by forming sounds from my throat with shapes made by my tongue (pictured below) and mouth.
Saturday 22 October 2011, 18.30
Ok Londoners, I will be making my way towards you, flying with my own giant flapping arms. I may land heavily, descent has never been my strength. Once there I will lay on a towel on my hotel room floor for at least ten minutes, as advised by my acupuncturist. And then the party will begin:
The Future screens at the London Film Festival
Thu 20| 21:00| Vue Screen 5
Fri 21| 12:15| Vue Screen 5
Sun 23| 18:30| Ritzy Screen 2
(The public can book from Monday 26 September.)
A “masterclass” at the LFF
Sat 22| 13:30
| NFT 1
(The public can book from Monday 26 September.)
A “sermon” at The School of Life
The School of Life
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER 2011, 11.30 -12.45
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1
(Tickets for sale now.)
And one more thing that will be announced shortly.
I’m getting pretty excited about the The Future in Germany, it opens October 27th and I will be there in the days leading up, to introduce you to it. Here’s the brand new German facebook site www.facebook.com/thefuture.derfilm, and they are working on some other intriguing web activities which I will update you about soon. At this time last year I was in Berlin finishing The Future (yes it’s true, it is a German/US co-production) and I have to say I feel a bit nostalgic about riding my bike to work, past drug dealers in the park, always feeling guilty that I rode right past them, never once stopping to buy drugs. I also miss poppy seed cake, the oddly good mexican restuarant, even being cold seems kind of romantic right now. Here are some items I bought at shops in my neighborhood, Kreuzberg, on my first day in the city. Good thing I went on the first day, because I was working so hard for the next month that I never had another had another moment to wander around like this, my favorite kind of day. Any Germans reading this? Tschüss.
Skype Q+A, at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, TN. It dawns on me that they are being lit by a giant projection of my face. This is the closest I get to being the sun.
Recorded the director’s commentary track for the DVD The Future today. Just before I started it occured to me I’ve never actually heard a director’s commentary. But that didn’t stop me from talking for 91 minutes straight. About Midnight In Paris.
The Future is playing in Seattle! Miami! Brooklyn! Cleveland! Berkeley! And many other places: http://thefuturetheaters.blogspot.com/
Answer #1 & 2: My ass and my signal
Answer #3: Pineapple
Answer #4: Patti Smith
Answer # 5: Fans
Many of you have asked about “the signal” between Sophie and Jason -the song that will trigger them to remember their love even if they get amnesia or something tragic happens to make them forget. It is “Where or When”, sung by Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman Trio. (The singing starts at 1:17.) Even listening to it now, for the trillionth time, it is still so haunting.
And for those of you who don’t yet know about “the signal”, maybe the movie opens in your city today?? Please check: http://thefuturetheaters.blogspot.com/
We are trying to bring you the signal, the cat, the dance, all of it.
Whenever I stand before an audience I always wonder What did all these people do today, before they came to the theater? I imagine several hundred lives, filled with their intricicies and challenges and it seems like a minor miracle that they all managed to get here, on time, and are sitting so neatly like teeth. Most of you I will not see tonight at the Arclight — but I will see a couple of you. Right now you are looking at this website, but what else will you do today before I see you? Please send me your to do list for today — noting if you will be at the 5:20 or 7:30 screening. (Because I may have some questions for you during the Q+A.)
If you are seeing The Future at another theater today, please also send your to do list; I would like to see the day I will be a small part of. (Note the theater and screeninging time please.)
(The picture is of my To Do list when I was editing The Future. All that done, but always still more to do.)
Woah: This Friday The Future opens in Austin, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Diego & Portland! It is important to see it in the theater because how else will get your “I Have Seen The Future” button?? Which I designed myself so that it will go with any outfit, and even improve some outfits. Check here for exactly where: http://thefuturetheaters.blogspot.com/
Video Shot This Weekend (I made it in advance.)
I will be doing Q+A at the Arclight this weekend! After the 7:30 show on Friday and the 5:20 and 7:30 on Saturday.
Tickets: http://goo.gl/YyVuO See you there.
The moment when the end credits are rolling and I’m standing in the dark waiting to face the 300 people who just watched my strangely revealing movie COULD be a scary moment, but I’m never alone, I’ve got a formidable companion in Jon Brion’s score.
While you were watching the end of The Future at the Landmark last night I was preparing my mouth for the Q+A (in a way that totally grossed out my husband.) I will remember to bring gum for tonight’s Q+As at the Arclight. Tickets here.
In anticipation of The Future opening LA, DC, Chicago and Boston tomorrow (and expanding in NY), I have answered questions from people in these cities, and these cities only, while doing my errands today. (If you live in LA, I can answer more questions, in person, at the following screenings.)
5:20 & 7:45 shows
A Los Angeles Question
A Brooklyn Question
A Boston Question
A Los Angeles Question
The Future also opens in Canada this weekend, and I was just there, trying to ready them up. But they were one step ahead of me the whole time. As exemplified by this small cake given to me by two Canadian women, it reads: “u are enough.” I felt flattered, honored, and slightly taken aback by the presumption that I need reassurance. But there are worse things than reassuring cake. Actually almost everything in the world is worse than reassuring cake. Thank you.
Wow, what a weekend New York! And when I say NY, I mean only the relatively few people in New York who saw The Future at the IFC Center, and when I say relatively few I mean hundreds and hundreds of comitted ticketbuyers, standing in rain and deafening heat: thank you. You made news.
And now we expand! This Friday The Future opens in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and D.C. Which means it’s time for…. REGIONAL Q+As. I will answering questions (in video) from people who live in those 4 cities — only in those cities. So send in your questions and put your city and zip code as the end of the question, for verification purposes. My answers will appear here on Wednesday or Thursday.
Off to Toronto now, looking forward to seeing some of you at the Images Festival screening tomorrow night. Doing even this small amount of travel and interviews makes me wonder how, for example, does Katie Perry, do it?! My current approach is to just not look within at all, for fear of what I will find in there.
(Pictured above: Crazy times in my hotel room last night between 2 and 3am. This happened right after watching a YouTube video about how to apply make-up to mature eyes. I may have jumped the gun on this video, as I don’t yet have the kind of full-on “hooding” that was described. But when the hooding comes, I will be ready. Pants on the light and ready to go.)
(On my way to the IFC Center.)
A lovely screening at USC last night. Such articulate questions! The thoroughbred of questions. While waiting for the movie to finish I made a short movie in the lobby. Above is the poster for the movie, as you can see it stars Mary Pickford (I finally work with a movie star!)
Not my most refined work, but possibly the quickest.
Ok, THIS IS IT New York: The Future opens on Friday at the IFC Center. Here is where you get tickets. I will be there doing Q&As and just generally lurking around, checking if more paper-towels are needed in the bathroom or if someone needs change for a twenty.
This is a picture of me taken in 1996. I am opening a letter from a stranger and no doubt my heart is pounding in a way that is uncalled for. I am 22 and I am just dying to know what this stranger has to say and I’m hoping it will turn my world upside down. Not that my world is so horrible, but I know it will be better upside down and understood by a stranger. It is this desire, to be transformed by understanding, that has pretty much propelled me through every single day since 1996.
See you there.
(Photo taken from the Flickr of one “Sir Ladd Halsey”, a stranger, who took it secretly. I’m taking it back.)
P.S: LA, Boston, Chicago and D.C. open next weekend, 8/5!
1. I walked to the garage sale down the street and gave them some maracas that I don’t need and came home with a lot of new items that I feel are going to open up my life.
I got ones labeled SUMI MATERIALS, BLADES AND KNIVES, and STIPLING BRUSHES. Not a bad turn of events for a Sunday, which I consider a totally doomed day anyway.
2. Last night, however, was a joy. The ice cream and twilight and wavy grass made Eleven Heavy Things slightly more surreal than I could have forseen. And if there’s one thing we know how to do here in LA it’s POSE. Some profound, revelatory posing happened. Thank you to all who came, and to MoCA and PDC. It’s up through October. Send your pictures this way.
3. Tuesday I will be Show and Telling at the Silent Movie Theater in LA. Not just videos either…FAR FROM IT. Here’s a hint: I will need one participant with a very clean mouth and/or scalp. So if you are on the fence about coming, but your mouth or scalp is fastidious and overlooked, come as a favor to me.
(Did I just do the kind of promotion that actually repels people from coming?)
And lastly but mostly: 5 days until The Future opens at the IFC Center in NY. I will be there.
All photos by Mike Mills.
I stared at this view all day, from the balcony, in between interviews. Thoughts had:
1. Can I yell “What are you feeling and thinking?” to the lounging people or is that going to ruin their time.
2. WIth a running start could I jump from the balcony into the pool? Maybe even into the pink thing?
3. That astro-turf is blue in a way that just won’t quit and I’m going to have to make something with it before I leave here.
Nothing came of 1. or 2. but with help of Megahn Burns and James Teel from Roadside Attractions, 3. was totally achieved.
Please do not hesitate to send me your own Walking On The Floor photos. It is a satisfying kind of picture because you needn’t be a great beauty to knock it out of the park. Just a little attention to detail.
Nine days until The Future begins to unroll. Count with me Count Dracula, which is my pet name for you, all of you.
This morning my husband reported that I had talked in my sleep — apparently, I said, very politely, “Can you repeat the question?”
Today we have a miscellaneous group of news items:
1. This afternoon I will be I will be psychically attending to the essential dilemmas of strangers for Studio 360, via a call-in radio show. This won’t be aired today, but I thought you might enjoy, as I have, reading these essential dilemmas. Life is so problematic.
2. Yesterday we began installing Eleven Heavy Things at The Pacific Design Center (presented by MoCA).
The moment they were on the grass people began posing with them, which was encouraging. They’ll be up through October, so stop by (and send us your snapshots).
(I keep writing “us” and “we,” but the truth is, it’s just me, sitting here with wet hair and a hurried feeling.)
3. And finally, this evening you can beat me at ping pong while raising money to support the writing of important stories like these:
Just a Typical Day in Banana City
by Noemi, age 8
When Mac and Peter and The Stranger Fell
by Ronald, age 7
A Cheater Named Turquoise
by Darious, Corey and Khaled, ages 9 and 10
Go here to sign up.
Last night at the IndieWire event at the 92nd St Y I made some Compliment Videos with a few audience members. Each of these people were taken into a room and given the name of another audience member. Then they were instructed to give this person the compliment that they have always wanted to get themselves. I asked them to be as specific as possible and, in this way, acknowledge what overlooked quality they are proud of. We played these videos thoughout the night — and the audience members who heard their names in the videos stood to receive these mysteriously hearfelt compliments from total strangers.
I Ask Of You: Make a compliment video and post it here. Give the compliment to any stranger whose name you can find on this website.
I’m thinking of it like “bar-hopping” which is something I’ve never done. Maybe we can do it together:
The picture is related because it is also an event.
Assorted Thoughts While Doing French Interviews:
Why am I suddenly saying you in stead of I? (Ex: “When you’re writing a screenplay involving a talking cat you tend to –”) Everything has become an oddly inclusive generalization.
The French really get me.
This person thought I was smarter before he talked to me. I am smart but I just can’t seem to say smart things right now.
Is my left eye swelling up or is that the normal way my eye feels? What would happen if I just fell off my chair right now? Could I play it off like it was an accident?
Obligatory photoshoot with mini Eiffel Tower.
I had big ambitions, for example, to take a magic carpet ride over Paris. See the part where it says “Be the star of your own movie” ?? I could have made my next movie before this one even came out. Sure, it might have suffered a little in the quality department — but it only takes 3 minutes! My last movie took FOUR YEARS. So it’s a trade-off.
In the end I only had time to sleep.
Thank you to everyone who watched the movie at 7pm tonight or 8pm last night. It will be in theaters August 17th in France, so mark your French calendars with your French pens and tell your French friends.
Next stop: Minneapolis.
An embarrassingly predictable dream on the first day of a press tour. I’ll try to dream something more deep tonight.
Whenever I go on a trip these days I think I am going INTO Facebook and Twitter, as if leaving my world going into the public means I will literally see every one of you. But of course you guys aren’t out there, all hanging out together, you’re each in your own personal computer worlds.
First stop, Paris, for 2 days, 25 interviews, 2 screenings. Tres bon. Here is the french Facebook for the movie: http://www.facebook.com/TheFuture.lefilm — only 35 people! It’s very exclusive! You have to be really chic! I know they are translating the oracle (Le Oracle, perhaps) so soon you can get your weekly fortunes in french, which will make them much more profound.
Meanwhile, I’m battling through travel anxiety by making various outfit charts and taking out the insoles of my shoes, scrubbing them with dish soap, letting them dry in the sun, and then reinserting them. I almost can’t wait til i have to take them off in in airport security and am not ashamed and smell like clean dishes. Here are a few more tips.
Travel Tip #1: When out of town I search bookstores for this book (see video above). Not to buy it (I already own it), just to flip through and remember that life is wide open and I have lots of options in terms of how to draw pleasure from it.
Travel Tip #2: In the airport go to the duty-free shop and find the most expensive face cream and slather the tester all over your hands and face. This is within your rights as a potential consumer and it will protect your skin from the drying effects of the plane. The flight becomes one long hydrating facial.
Travel Tip #3: Afraid of flying? My dad sent me this and it really did help. When it’s really bumpy I also like to turn to the person sitting next to me and grill them about every detail of their life. “What do you do for a living? Really? How did you get into that? Do you have kids? What do they do? Where do they live?” Etc. When it smooths out I thank them and then reseal my privacy bubble. It’s a little awkward after such intimacy, but who cares? I’m alive.
Travel Tip #4: This last tip I got from a website run by travel-advice-giving-stewardesses: When we visit toilets, bathrooms, hotel rooms, changing rooms, etc., how many of you know for sure if the seemingly ordinary mirror hanging on the wall is a real mirror, or actually a 2-way mirror (i.e., they can see you, but you can’t see them)? Just conduct this simple test: Place the tip of your fingernail against the reflective surface of the mirror and if there is a gap between your fingernail and the image of the nail, then it is a genuine mirror. However, if your fingernail directly touches the image of your nail on the mirror, then be aware for it is a two -way mirror.
I Ask Of You: Please share your travel tips with us. Things they shouldn’t be: untested, vague. Things they should be: actually helpful.
When I was 20 I dropped out of college and started a network for girls and women making movies called Joanie 4 Jackie. It was very lo-fi; women would send me their short movies and I would send them back a tape with 9 other movies on it, plus their own. At that time it wasn’t so easy to share videos and knowing other young women filmmakers made me feel like I was part of something important – my plan was to share that feeling and create a, like, revolution. Over the next eight years, as I taught myself filmmaking, I compiled and disseminated more than a hundred and fifty movies made by other women. I mailed VHS tapes via the US Postal Service and drove around the country with a video projector, trying to create an audience for something I myself wanted more of.
If someone had told me that in 15 years there would be thousands of videos made by girls in their bedrooms I would not have been surprised; I knew it was the perfect medium for people who are raised to be self-conscious anyway. But I never would have guessed that most of these videos would be of girls DANCING.
Type “me dancing” into YouTube if you don’t know what I mean. Are these women thinking of themselves as directors? Probably not. Are they bored and wanting attention? Probably. I know I was bored and wanted attention the first time I turned on the camera. But now the camera is always on, and the audience is always there.
I was watching a lot of these videos when I was writing the script for The Future. The character I was writing for myself, Sophie, was a dancer, but she was (of course) my age, so she was a little too old to be a YouTube dancer. But I imagined she would be mesmerized by how easily these younger women made their dances and put them out there and got an immediate response. They loved to dance, and they loved to be watched, by strangers. For me an audience seems to promise a kind of deliverance that never comes. And I love to wait, believing that it still might, one day.
This is dicey territory, because of course I, Miranda, am also a woman who makes movies of herself, albeit on a larger scale. Doing that is already pretty tough, so it felt almost reckless to associate myself with these women and girls who are so easily ridiculed. But don’t forget, for me this all began, my whole career began, with Joanie 4 Jackie. So when I watched the “me dancing” videos I could not dismiss them. In fact, viewed en masse, they were like one big daring, poignant, funny, heartbreaking exquisite dance. Or at least a pretty bright fucking flare saying We are, actually, here. I for one would like to respond to that flare.
So serious and so much done with such a tiny bit of space.
Her world seems like a really dramatic, romantic place.
I Ask Of You: Yes, I really do want to see you dance, in your own particular way, to your favorite danceable music. But I don’t want to see your face. Either keep your back to the camera the whole time or make sure that your head is cut off, no matter where you are in the room, and then: GO FOR IT! A sad dance. A complex mixed feelings dance. A dance of love. A dance where you barely move! A dance that you can do secretly where it looks like you are working! You can do no wrong. Title your dance: A ____________ Dance, so we know what kind it is (fill in the blank.)
Before the show last night I asked a few audience members about their hopes and fears for their own Future. As it turns out everyone has a ready answer to this question – maybe because we are hoping these hopes and fearing these fears almost constantly.
What are yours? 1 specific hope and 1 specific fear. Specific means not about world peace. You have a plan for yourself: what is it. And what is your worst vision of what could happen instead.
I try again, this time responding to questions that were sent to thefuturethefuture.com.
Wherein I try to answer all your questions from facebook but manage to answer almost none of them.
And so begins the first of a series of questions that you write for me and I respond to, in video, to the best of my abilities.
If your question is why is my face so dirty, the answer is because I fell asleep on a magazine, specifically, Time magazine, which I ordered from a limited selection of magazines offered as part of a fundraiser for my nephew’s school. He’s in first grade. The article on my face is about Jason Segel’s Muppet Movie.
If that was your only question, then my work is done. If you have any others, please send them as they occur to you. Feel free to go easy on the cleverness and heavy on the actual wondering. Do not follow my example in this post.
And even though I don’t always mention it, let’s not forget: The Future.
How did you meet me?
Gina Kwon called me and said she was producing a film called Me You and Everyone We Know and they were looking for a Costume Designer. I read 30 pages and called Gina back and said I’m in! When can I meet Miranda July? I met Miranda that afternoon and the rest is sweet history.
I think I will will forever have dreams about the magenta and purple diagonal striped shirt (with tiny belt!) that my character wore in Me and You. Does that shirt haunt you too?
That shirt does haunt me! I get random emails still about that shirt. I got an email not too long ago from a guy in Germany and he wanted to know where he could get that shirt from or if I could make that shirt for his girlfriend. Sadly it’s an original and could not be replicated.
Please describe the process of creating the characters’ looks for the movie. How does it begin? What are the steps between that and the final costumes in the movie?
After I read the script I sit with the characters and try to imagine the world in which they live in. I start by breaking down their economic and social status, afterwards move onto color, tone and look of their costumes. I get most of my color inspirations from my favorite painters. In the case for The Future I turned to Elizabeth Peyton for Sophie’s color palette — rich jewel tones.
Then I move onto the look. I wanted Sophie’s look to be eclectic, a mixture of pieces she’s collected throughout the years and pieces that look like Sophie made it herself.
I also wanted to stay away from traditional dance attire. I used a lot of pieces that came from turn of the century swimwear and 1920′s undergarments. I was very interested in shape and flexibility in the fabric. Jason’s costumes were based on some of the DC bands you and I loved as teenagers, Nation of Ulysses, Guy Picciotto from Fugazi. It was my way of paying homage to the original style makers.
After all the creative brain storming is done I have a meeting with Miranda and we continue the process even further. I remember in one of our meetings Miranda had mentioned she thought Sophie had altered or embellished her clothing in a strange way. This comment really stuck with me and the search began for interesting pieces we could use for embellishing. My fitting with Miranda was one of the best fittings i’ve ever had. We had a room full of the most eclectic clothing, bits & pieces and I knew we could spend hours organically putting together costumes. I think in the end Miranda and I were bummed we didn’t have more changes for Sophie.
Show us 2 reference photos that were important for The Future, and explain what was useful about them.
I love this photo! This photo really helped shape Sophie’s character for me.
I was really drawn to all the interesting details of this costume.
The scarf, the writing across the chest, the 2 little dots near the breast, and the heart on the thigh.
It looked like a outfit she could perform in or hangout in at a party.
This helped me to get away from the traditional dance attire for Sophie.
Nation of Ulysses.
I’m not sure I need to explain how badass this photo is and why it helped shape Jason’s character for me.
Lastly, can you share your History with us? And by History I mean browser history.
I’m gonna be honest with you, things have things have taken a turn for the paranoid over here.
STILL AWAKE!! IN THE HILTON! IN AUSTRALIA! HOW MANY THINGS CAN A PERSON DO IN A HOTEL ROOM?? LET’S FIND OUT OVER THE NEXT 62 HOURS!!
Wherein I am so tired that I’m not even tired.
Every now and then we will turn to the scrapbook and relive moments from the The Future’s past. The scrapbook is old with parchment pages and a torn velvet cover. No, actually it’s iPhoto.
When you’re making a movie, just like writing a book (or even maybe living a life) you are constantly scouring the world for details to steal — or even just evidence to support your theory. My character Sophie often has her head covered – by blankets, a shirt, or bowed in confession. This was one of the many pictures of covered people I gathered over the last few years. I managed to take it before the light changed. Just because you live in public doesn’t mean you can’t hide.
When we did the location scout of the animal shelter, there was a goat in the Animal Receiving area! Utterly distracting to me.
This is the production designer Elliot Hostetter and the costume designer Christie Wittenborn (and me) figuring out the color palette for the movie. We’re using pens from Muji (the store) that Nikolai von Gravenitz suggested we both buy. He was in Berlin and we had to be creative about how to discuss color while apart. You’ll notice all the cheerful pastels are together in the right hand corner — the discard pile. All those colors reminded me of my first movie. We loved the flesh colors, browns and pinks. Also there is a lump of gold in there, there was no gold pen, but we wanted gold in the palette.
Getting bad news on the phone while simultaneously doing a costume fitting with Christie and her assistant Mairi Chrisholm. The nice thing about being an actor/director is that no matter how big the director problems are (can I make this location work or is it going to ruin the whole movie?) you can always shift over to actor problems for a moment (how does this shirt make me feel?) Each one is a break from the other. The shirt did not ultimately make it into the movie.
Coming up: The report from Australia! Tomorrow I fly to to the Sydney International Film Festival.
In order to really understand The Future, i think it’s important to look at History. By History I mean that word you click on at the top of your web browser that reveals everything you clicked on recently. History has meant all different things throughout time, and now it can mean this. I’m always curious about people’s web histories, it’s a little like looking at a list of the last 20 things they thought about. Sometimes you can see how one thought/website led to another, and sometimes it makes no sense at all. Frequently it’s humilating, and a little endearing, like watching an animal bump around the forest. Often I click on Clear History as if this will also clear my conscience. If you are the kind of person who uses the word “herstory” in daily conversation, instead of history, then you probably think of it as your web herstory.
Over the next few months I will be inviting friends of the movie to share their History with us. I can’t promise they won’t click up a brand new, non-embarassing History, but if they don’t, please reward them for their bravery by sending in your own honest History. Below is Hamish Linklater’s History, followed by one of mine.
The Awl: I was hoping there will be something as good at the Eileen Myles piece they ran a few months ago.
The Vulture: because I needed a picture of my own movie poster for my blog and it’s just easiest to pull it off this website.
I Ask Of You:
On a Mac using Safari click on History, click on the day you want to share and take a screen shot (hold down these buttons all at the same time: command/shift/4 and then select what you want to take a picture of). On a PC press “print screen” and then crop the image. Upload the image using the uploader below. Send it to us along with the date and a 1-2 sentence explanation of what was going on in real life that made you click on these things.
I Say Something Incredibly Helpful To Hamish and He Listens Attentively photo by Tim Barber
I would like introduce you to my co-star, Hamish Linklater, aka: your future imaginary boyfriend. Hilarious, whip smart, handsome, reads good books, etc. (Also completely married to an equally smart, beautiful, writer/director, which is what really sealed the deal for me. Nothing is more appealing than a man coupled with a for real woman that I would want to be friends with. It let me know that there was room in his reality for a complicated woman like me.) After a couple of sweaty auditions (I’m the one sweating, because I have to act with the actor, to see if I can), and a fateful walk, I knew he was the one.
The first thing we did together was go to a Clippers/Nets basketball game, he had tickets. Hamish would occasionally yell something really specific to a player and I was worried the player might hear and get distracted or get his feelings hurt, but Hamish said No, this is what you do, this is part of the game. At one point there was this thing called “Kiss Cam” – the live-cam would zero in on couples in the bleachers; when they saw themselves on the screen they had to kiss. Hamish and I sat through this totally silently, shaking with fear that the Kiss-Cam would land on us and we would have to kiss like the real couple we were professionally committed to becoming, but weren’t yet. But it didn’t land on us, and later we laughed very hard at our mutual terror.
For our next meeting I built a little cave in a closet in my house. I lined the floor with couch cushions and blankets and pillows and set up delicious food on plates. I asked him to bring his photo albums and favorite music and then I locked us in there and we told each other the stories of our lives and played each other songs, trying to explain why they meant so much to us. Looking back, I don’t think this automatically created the four-year history that our characters have, which is what I hoped it would do. But it was a ritual that required us both to care a lot, to be vulnerable, to feel stupid, to cry. So that later, when we did all those things on the set, it wasn’t for the first time.
Hamish threw his whole self at this movie, and it shows. I can’t wait for you to see him stop time with the sheer force of his will, and then start it again, with his arms and resignation.
As we prepared for and then shot the movie, we traded clues as to who who were, emailing each other snapshots (I think Jason would wear these shoes) and sudden revelations. In closing, I send you a picture that struck me when we were rehearsing – it’s Rodin’s sculpture, Orpheus and Eurydice. I really don’t know anything about mythology, or Rodin, so it was just the picture itself I liked, and sent to Hamish. Below is his email back, typed with one finger on his phone.
I have a lot to say on this. (surprised?) here’s the speech. I’m Orpheus right? You’re eurydice right? U don’t want to be looked at by me right? I’m heading out of hell to the ocean but I don’t look back because I know you’re not there, right?
I always thought Orpheus gets to her because of his artistry, but loses her because of being human. Like art is deathless but everything human, ie love or doubt, is mortal and once it dies it’s dead.
The image itself is really good. Can we do that in the movie? The blind reverse spoon? Also how r u feeling about Jasons vinyl collection? h
1. I was in a photo-shoot for a magazine called Nylon. The location of the shoot was an elementary school that happened to be The Brooklyn Free School. Have you heard of this place? It’s a school where the children make the rules, democratically. They vote on everything. You can listen to a pretty fascinating radio story about it here. The shoot had nothing to do with the school, it was chosen for it’s light and timeless look. But as I posed in pretty clothes and make-up I was of course also trying to take my own pictures of this messy, wild place that kind of vibrated with a lack of standardization.
These are notes from a meeting I should have had a loooong time ago.
The start of a poem that will be finished later? With extra yellow paper because the writer is sure it will be quite long? I already like it.
I tried to take this of myself in the Art Room. Paint all over the walls, a fucked up cardboard fort, it was the most hectic of the rooms, and of course all the art was ridiculously excellent like look out Whitney Biennial.
Thank you to Seth for hanging out with us while we put ourselves through our funny paces.
2. Another thing that happened was that I was the first person to ever feel exhausted and bereft in NY while wandering the streets waiting for a meeting. It was pretty shocking, a lot of people stared at me and my lack of direction or haste. I checked my email on my phone so many times that my phone was finally like WHAT. Then I saw this wall. You would. You would find a way to create a miniature crisis in exactly 45 minutes. You would then sit on the curb and ask yourself what is actually wrong and the truth would come tumbling out like hidden bagels. You would go get some lemonade pretending that you are your own child. And you would arrive at the meeting feeling much better, shaking hands and making the gestures and noises of a completely casual person, even showing them the picture on your phone of the wall, just for fun. You would.
3. I went to MOMA with MM and had a pretty ecstatic time with the Francis Alys show and a Thomas Hirschhorn piece. I also looked at this book, The Brown Sisters, in the bookstore. It’s just one photo a year of these four sisters, starting when they’re teens and twenties in 1975 all the way through 2005. By the end I was doing that thing where you look at the ceiling to make all your tears go back in your head. They are very pretty sisters, prettier than most of us, but I’m not going to tell you I was moved because they were so beautiful when they got older. I wasn’t looking at complexity or emotion; I was only focused on physicality. Their skin thickened, their pores got bigger, their brows became furrowed, eyes complicated with wrinkles. I think I was crying because the images were so unfamiliar to me. The thing that should be the MOST familiar thing in the entire world was nearly shocking. I can’t think of any original way to put this: all day every day I see young women, or old women who look young. Sure, I see my mom and the older people I know, but frankly they’re not marketed to me very well and I’m very impressionable. Whoever wants to make an impression on me pretty much can. What I wished, looking at the ceiling, was that I had known about this from the start. That this book had been handed out in school when I was 17, maybe in flip book form, and that all of us girls had flipped through it again and again until we got it through our heads that this would absolutely happen. Then we might have set out at a different angle, creeping very slowly towards death, together, in some magnificent way.
I’m going to do my best to get started on this now, but honestly it’s a little late in the game so I will need your help.
4. The real reason I came to NY was simply to be a very proud wife. Just one more week til Beginners opens!
Thank you to all the people who made videos of familiar objects coming after them. Such great skittering, sliding, floating, and clunking. I watched them all, with a smile.
Coming Up: The Real Truth About My Co-Star Hamish Linklater.
1. I hung out in a mall while The Future played there as part of the SIFF. I was looking forward to how normal and boring this was going to be, but the mall failed me in this respect.
2. I signed things, including an 18 year-old girl’s fake ID. She wanted me to sign it with my own name. I think this is legal because I’m over 21.
3. I posed. I try to think: you won’t always have a body, at some point you will die and be a soul or ghost or maybe something even vaguer. So try to appreciate this era where there is physical representation.
4. Then I flew to NY. On the way we passed an iceberg, pictured below (we took the long way).
Thank you to Carl, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the charming audiences.
My character, Sophie, has a security blanket that’s a yellow shirt named “Shirty”. This shirt is based on my actual, real life security blanket – a much older, paler yellow shirt named, “Nightie”.
I’ve had Nightie my whole life, and if I were to ever forsake my soul, as Sophie does, I know Nightie would come crawling after me. I used to be ashamed of it and hope I would outgrow it, but instead I outgrew my shame. I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with the special fx guys where I had to demonstrate exactly how a security blanket t- shirt would crawl. Using my hands I made it move down the long table we were sitting around. And because this is their job, they all took me very seriously, they nodded and asked important questions like: what is Shirty’s emotional state?
I Ask Of You:
If you were ever to forsake your soul, betray yourself, take the wrong path – what would come crawling after you? This should either be your security blanket/object, or any inanimate object you’ve had for a long time. It must know the true you. Make a 10-15 second video demonstrating the way that it would move. Only your hands and the object should be in the frame. If you want to get tricky you can use invisible wires, or puppetry, but that’s really not necessary. Remember that each object moves in it’s own way, so, like, if it’s your stamp collection, then the stamps might follow each other, like ducklings do.
Along with the video email a caption that states what the object is (and its name, if applicable) and how long it’s been in your life.
A t-shirt, named Nightie, which has been in my life for 37 years. This is how it would come after me:
Just paste URL of your video (from YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc) into your comment.
Note: only videos which follow the assignment will be posted.
Making a movie takes a long time, so I’ve been working towards writing this blog for years. Some people fantasize about their Oscar acceptance speech; I fantasized about this. Getting to hand The Future over to you in the best possible way. Like when you carefully hand over a newborn baby and for a moment there are four hands holding the baby, because you want to make sure the other person really has it before you let go. The next few months are the four-hand moment, extended.
To kick things off, I thought I would give you a brief diagnostic test so you can evaluate whether this movie is something you might be in to. Make a mark on a piece of paper for each “true” answer.
1. “I have survived a devastating break-up.” [true/false]
2. “I want to have a kid, but I’m also worried a kid will make it impossible for me to pursue my dreams. Especially since I’m already finding that pretty hard.” [true/false]
3. “I feel guilty about the above statement.” [true/false]
4. “I often find meaning in coincidences.” [true/false]
5. “I would like to take a break from being myself.” [true/false]
6. “I would like this break to involve sex, ice cream, and sheets with a high thread count.” [true/false]
7. “I think cats are pretty wonderful.” [true/false]
8. “I have a serious problem with procrastination that borders on paralysis at times.” [true/false]
9. “The job I have requires me to hide my soul.” [true/false]
10. “I spend way to much time online.” [true/false]
Now tally up your marks. If the resulting number is even, then you will love The Future so much it’s not even funny. If the the resulting number is odd then you’re odd. Which makes it hard to know what you’ll think of The Future. Which is something I just have to endure.