‘I WASN'T INTERESTED IN
ONE STORY LONG ENOUGH TO
FOLLOW IT THROUGH'
Hotter tha July
Tom Dawson meets MIRANDA JULY and asks her to talk about me, you and everyone she knows.
ultimedia artist. short story writer. radio playwright the 31-year-old (‘alifornian Miranda July is a woman of impressively diverse creative talents. And now she has starred in and written and directed her first feature film. an idiosyncratic romantic comedy Me and You and Iz'i'wjvoiu' We Know. which has already been awarded the Special Jury Prize at Sundance and the (‘amera d‘()r at Cannes.
Ask .July why her offbeat account of suburban individuals seeking to connect emotionally in their everyday lives should have struck such a chord with audiences. and she admits she doesn‘t have definitive answers. ‘.\Iy intentions were to try and capture the way life felt to me now. that core of loneliness and fantastic hope inside of it. and to not follow any path that led away from that. I feel I can tell when I‘m watching the film that a real person was behind it and really. really. cared. To me it‘s embarrassingly obvious how much I caredl’
lirom the outset July realised that she wasn't interested in sticking to a conventional plot. and used the device of an ensemble cast and series of interweaving stories. which would encompass adult and child characters. ‘I knew I wouldn't be interested in one story for long enough to follow it through‘. she says. ‘I actually had no problem coming up with characters. and writing for kids is what comes most easily to me. What was difficult was devising reasons to cut stuff out.‘
Despite what she calls her 'laughable pitches' to
potential backers. July managed to attract investment from Britain‘s liilmliour. America and Japan for her low-budget project.
One of the most notable aspects of Mr and You . . . is how July uses humour to address the taboo subject of child sexuality: in one startling scene a six-year- old (played by Brandon Ratcliff) shares a coprophiliac fantasy with a middle-aged stranger in an internet chat room. Presumably. I ask. the parents of the younger actors needed some reassurances about July‘s intentions. ‘l was very nervous about that‘ she admits. 'but Brandon‘s mum told me that this was the first really age appropriate thing he had done. All the stuff about the poop. it was completely familiar to him and where he was at mentally. What was disappointing was that it was rated in America ‘R‘ for disturbing sexual content involving children —-l‘m sure people will think there‘s a rape in it.‘
Right now July is working on a variety of projects. 'l’here's a book of short stories to finish. a big performance piece. and the possibility of another film to act in and direct. ‘I tend to work on whatever feels right. and at the moment the script is the least appealing thing.‘ she reveals. ‘I know that after Mr and You . . . there's a lot of expectation. but then I tend to go where the light isn’t.’
Me and You and Everyone We Know is at GFT, Glasgow and Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 19 Aug. See review, page 18.
THE BEST FILM & DVD RELEASES
* Me and You and Everyone we Know Miranda July’s eccentric, darkly funny ensemble drama about a kooky performance artist and a shoe salesman’s struggle to connect in suburban America. See left and review. page 18. GFT, Glasgow and Cameo, Edinburgh.
* Bad News Bears Richard Linklater‘s very Iikeable remake of Michael Ritchie’s 1976 sporting comedy. See review, page 18. General release.
* Crash Mildly intelligent essay on racism in LA starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle. Matt Dillon and Jennifer Esposito. Hey, it’s not a Charles Burnett film but few things are that good. General release.
=l= Football Days Cheeky Spanish comedy about friends. football and therapy. GFT, Glasgow.
3!: Agatha and the Storm Lightweight but enjoyable romantic comedy from the director of Bread and Tulips. GFT, Glasgow (from Fri 79 Aug).
* L’ Ecllsse Brand new print of a classic Antonionni flick. GFT, Glasgow (Thu 78 Aug only).
* Dear Wendy inspired and very odd satire of US gun culture. GFT, Glasgow (Thu 78 Aug only) and Cameo, Edinburgh.
* l Vltellonl Fellini's mega influential film gets a lovely new DVD release. Out now (Nouveaux Pictures).
3|! Pele the Conqueror Danish filmmaker Billie August's 19808 Oscar winning sweeping epic gets a new DVD release. Out now (MGM Home Entertainment).
THE LIST 17
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