Saturday, December 3, 2011

Miranda July

Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her videos, performances, and web-based projects have been presented at sites such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and in two Whitney Biennials. July wrote, directed and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know(2005), which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Camera d’Or. Miranda July’s most recent film is The Future (2011), which she wrote and directed and stars in.

Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (Scribner, 2007), won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty countries. Her latest book is It Chooses You (McSweeney’s, 2011).

From her Q & A with Carolyn Sun at The Daily Beast:

In your latest book, It Chooses You, you go out and interview people you’d met through the Penny Saver as a way to distract yourself while finishing your script to The Future. At what point did you realize you had a book or material for a project?

A lot of projects I start feel very open-ended at the beginning, so I’m used to it. But usually I don’t write about it like I did in this book. Every project feels unreal at the beginning. So I didn’t worry about it too much. But definitely it was very unclear where I was going with this. My photographer and assistant [whom I brought on the interviews], we would have these long conversations on these long drives—what are we doing? What is this?

Some of these people’s stories were quite touching. I’m wondering if there are stories that are hard to shake?

Andrew, the tadpole guy, he got to me. Something about the fact that he was so young. And I remember talking to him on the phone and trying to convince him it was a good idea to have me come over. I was trying to be cool at first, because I thought because he was a 17- year-old boy he would be cool, and that would be what mattered to him. But the second I met him and saw his tadpole garden, I was like, “Oh, this kid is not any cooler than me.” And also, out of a slight paranoia because of the book being out, I keep thinking about...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue