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Ten Things You Should Know About Miranda July: She's Totally Not Kidding

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood July 18, 2011 at 8:15AM

Ten Things You Should Know About Miranda July, courtesy of The NYT Mag's Katrina Onstad. (If you missed it, here's our Sundance interview with the writer/director/star of The Future.) The film opens in limited release July 29 through Roadside Attractions.
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Thompson on Hollywood


Ten Things You Should Know About Miranda July, courtesy of The NYT Mag's Katrina Onstad. (If you missed it, here's our Sundance interview with the writer/director/star of The Future.) The film opens in limited release July 29 through Roadside Attractions.

1. "A talking cat [like the one in The Future is exactly the kind of detail that might endear people who are endeared by Miranda July and infuriate people who are infuriated by her. There are plenty of both."

2. Her husband, Beginners director Mike Mills: “You’ve met us at a weird time. We’re usually just two workaholics in our separate corners.”

3. "July is preoccupied with intimacy — she habitually uses the words 'you' and 'we' in her titles — and this demands, and inspires, an intense engagement from her followers."

Thompson on Hollywood


4. "...she has also become the unwilling exemplar of an aggravating boho archetype: the dreamy, young hipster whose days are filled with coffee, curios and disposable enchantments."

5. "It’s odd that she has come to represent, for some, a kind of soulless hipster cool, because in July’s work, nobody is cool. There’s no irony to it, no insider wink…So her project is the opposite of hipster exclusion: her work is desperate to bring people together, forcing them into a kind of fellow feeling. She’s unrelentingly sincere, and maybe that sincerity makes her difficult to bear."

6. “When I was very little [in Berkeley, CA], I probably wanted to be more normal,” July tells the NYT. “I probably wanted the Laura Ashley bedroom, and instead I got thrift-store everything.”

7. “I was always interested in sex, even as a kid. Sex includes shame and humiliation and fantasies and longing. It’s so dense with the kinds of things I’m interested in.”

8. “I’m not a cinephile. My films don’t reference films. I’m more interested in rhythm and feeling.”

9. On male directors, she says: “They become kind of brands. It’s much harder to do that if you’re a woman. That’s crucial for longevity.” And: “All those men are also personal. I don’t mind that, but I do mind that it’s not really questioned, whereas I or another woman is looked at as so self-obsessed. Men are just not being judged in the same way. They’re never going to be annoying in the same way.”

10. What she'd like her haters/doubters to know: “I would just say I’m totally not kidding. Life is too short. This is all too hard to do to actually be kidding about the whole thing.”

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Independents, Interviews , Lionsgate/Roadside


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.