Starts off strong, with a few promising threads of urban whimsy lingering through the halfway mark, but eventually gets mucked up in a gummy cloud of rue and melancholy, not to mention magic realism. Maybe I would have liked it better if I had seen it before Take This Waltz, which strikes me as a much more engaging and detailed (also, yes, more conventional) tour of some of the same territory. But The Future is a hard film for me to dislike, in part just because some of Miranda July’s deep thoughts about aging are familiar to me, but also because her critique of annoying hipster archetypes seems painfully self-aware.
Silent Light, an unhurried, largely unmodulated story of faith and unfaithfulness in a Mexican Mennonite farming community, is fundamentally a study in opposites. Light and dark are considered in the images that bookend the film, twin tracking shots that depict, in time-lapse, gorgeous sunrise and sunset. So perfectly are these moments captured and compressed, despite the tricky decision to move the camera as they transpire, that the technical facility of director Carlos Reygadas and his crew, including cinematographer Alexis Zabé, is never in doubt. The pictures they gather, which find deep colors and a pregnancy of feeling in simple landscapes, stormy skies, and shadowy figures seen through windows and doorways, express meaning as the narrative progresses deliberately through its paces.