8 23 13
Two events in Boston! October 5th and 6th. Please come:
5 31 13
Today is the first day to sign up at http://wethinkalone.com/
A new project in collaboration with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dahn Vo, Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst, Lee Smolin, Sheila Heti, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Etgar Keret & Catherine Opie.
I think you’ll like it.
4 24 13
My stand up comedy act:
4 19 13
Let’s meet up in Tampa in June ok?
4 18 13
TODAY, 4 PM EST/ 1PM PST: Miranda July joins StarleeKine and Jo Firestone in this week’s livestream comedy show. See it at: http://www.rachelcomey.com/
What will this be like you are wondering? Will it actually be funny? I feel it will be.
1 9 13
Attending the Japanese premiere of The Future? I’ll do a skype q+a at the 11:30 show, Jan 19th, Theatre Image Forum. Dress well I can see u.
Also, the website for the The Future in Japan: http://www.the-future-film.com/ Just automatically looks more interesting.
12 8 12
If I was in NYC next Wednesday I would definitely go to this: http://goo.gl/IGRac (and not just out of a sense of daughterly duty.)
12 7 12
Does anyone have a Missing Movie Report (circa 1996ish)? Or any other Big Miss Moviola / Joanie 4 Jackie memorabilia?
11 15 12
11 7 12
Working on this today & getting kind of excited. Seattle! December 5th! Us!
11 2 12
Reason 90 from Miranda July
Obama expanded the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act to include leave for domestic violence and sexual assault.
11 1 12
David Sedaris Reads Miranda July’s story on NYer podcast:
10 19 12
Regarding the TOAST; this is the kind of thing the Library Foundation/Young Literati supports: http://www.lfla.org/about/whatwefund/investing-in-new-readers.php
10 8 12
After you download Eli’s crazy futuristic, novel-app thing: http://thesilenthistory.com/
write a field report from where you are so I can read it.
9 18 12
I’m using this hometown show to try out a bunch of new things THAT MIGHT NOT WORK. Come be part of that!
October 18th, LA.
12 20 11
Making-of-the-book video #5: Joe
“The visit was suffused with death. Real death: the graves of all those cats and dogs, the widows he shopped for, and his own death, which he referred to more than once — but matter-of-factly, like it was a deadline that he was trying to get a lot of things done before. I sensed he’d been making his way through his to-do list for eighty-one years, and he was always behind, and this made everything urgent and bright, even now, especially now. How strange to cross paths with someone for the first time right before they were gone.”
— From “It Chooses You”, wherein I share with you the part of my life where I was interviewing people selling things through the Pennysaver classifieds as a sort of open-ended visionquest that I secretly hoped would help me finish my screenplay (The Future) and teach me how to be a better liver of a finite life.
12 18 11
Making-of-the-book video #4: Dina
“I felt like Miley Cyrus was speaking directly to me through Lenette, and she was being very clear — she wanted me to keep the faith. I read Dina’s Popeye T-shirt, i yam what i yam, and I felt that I too was what I was. I was a writer, and my characters, Sophie and Jason, were right here with me. In fact, they were me, both of them. We thanked Dina and I said goodbye, knowing that it wasn’t really goodbye. I wanted to wink at her or give her some kind of indication that she would soon be starring in a major motion picture, but I restrained myself.”
— From “It Chooses You”, wherein I share with you the part of my life where I was interviewing people selling things through the Pennysaver classifieds as a sort of open-ended visionquest that I secretly hoped would help me finish my screenplay (The Future) and teach me how to be a better liver of a finite life.
12 16 11
Making-of-the-book video #3: Ron
“Ron was exactly the kind of man you spend your whole life being careful not to end up in the apartment of. And since I was raised to go out of my way to make such men feel understood, I took extra-special care with his interview. But as he talked on and on (the original transcript was more than fifty pages), I realized that I don’t actually want to understand this kind of man — I just want them to feel understood, because I fear what will happen if I am thought of as yet another person who doesn’t believe them. I want to be the one they spare on the day of reckoning.”
— From “It Chooses You”, wherein I share with you the part of my life where I was interviewing people selling things through the Pennysaver classifieds as a sort of open-ended visionquest that I secretly hoped would help me finish my screenplay (The Future) and teach me how to be a better liver of a finite life.
12 8 11
Making-of-the-book video #2: Andrew
“Andrew turned out to be a seventeen-year-old with three ponds in his backyard. Teenage boys never really made sense to me, and I’ve pretty much avoided them since high school. But Andrew was the one kind of teenage boy I was familiar with: the sweet, curious loner. My brother had also built ponds in high school. Andrew’s ponds were thick with water hyacinths and the special fish that eat mosquito eggs. Actual lily pads floated in the sun and the frogs seemed happy, as suburban frogs go. I watched the sunlight sparkling on the water and practiced mind-body integration for a few seconds by quietly hyperventilating.”
11 23 11
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.
11 14 11
In celebration of “It Chooses You”, Miranda July and her team scoured the New York classifieds, buying up once-meaningful objects and interviewing the sellers. These items, ranging from a modest bottle cap collection to a massive work of art, will be resold for the original asking price (plus tax) at Miranda July’s resale shop within Partners & Spade. Specially-designed packaging will offer insights into the lives behind the hundreds of unique objects, and the local sellers will be in attendance — as will Miranda July herself, signing copies of “It Chooses You”. Joe Putterlik’s obscene and tender homemade cards (described in the book) will also be on display.
10 28 11
Montreal! First time ever for me. No more tickets for this but I know they are holding some that you can get by showing up early on the night of.
What about this? Who is coming to this in Los Angeles?
November 29, ALOUD at the Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
in conversation with Joshuah Bearman
7 p.m., Mark Taper Auditorium-Central Library, 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Or what about the reading in Brooklyn? You going to that?
November 15, BookCourt
7 p.m., 163 Court St, Brooklyn, NY
And did you catch the last installment of It Chooses You on the New Yorker site? That’s not the end of the book though, there’s more.
For you people who asked about an SF event…
Nov 30: City Arts and Lectures
10 22 11
Ladies and Gentlemen! I am pleased to announce a new book in the world, It Chooses You. I wrote this book.
It is has a cover that is only risque if you look carefully. It is the first book I’ve made that is non-fiction, ie: autobiographical. While not exactly being a “tell-all” I do tell a fair amount. Other people do too. I was looking through my old emails trying to find the one my best friend wrote me after reading it, but I could only this email about a dream she had: “last night i had a dream about you set in thailand, where you were making a movie that was quite a departure from your previous work. it was scared of the thai water getting in my mouth, but i was very tan, with long braids, and very attractive. you were good friends with lots of stars, including julianne moore. i was about to have sex with a few charming people. it was all very vivid and weird. there were no locks on doors and when stores closed they left all theirs goods out, but no one ever stole.” She really liked It Chooses You, and I think you will too. You can get an early copy here: http://bit.ly/qKnJUH
9 28 11
Berliners! 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
9 27 11
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
9 26 11
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.
9 19 11
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.
9 10 11
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.
9 9 11
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.
8 26 11
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
8 19 11
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.
8 15 11
Denver! Atlanta! Las Vegas! San Francisco! My hometown of Berkeley! These are just some of the cities The Future is playing in starting this Friday. Check here to see where else: http://bit.ly/oFTra3 If you live in one of these cities and read this blog then you are The Official Host of The Future in your city — you are the core constituency. Please welcome it, introduce it to your friends, take care of it for me. Your word of mouthing and facebooking has been breathtaking to watch, don’t stop and I won’t either.
8 13 11
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.)
8 11 11
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.)
8 9 11
This just in! 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.
8 6 11
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.
8 4 11
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.
7 30 11
Some Things That Happened Last Night
1. I debated if it was ok to wear the same exact thing that I wore to the Apple store talk and decided it was.
2. I was driven to the IFC Center. The driver made a point of getting an umbrella out of the trunk to shield me for the 3 feet between the car and the theater. I kept thinking this wasn’t neccesary, but then thought maybe he’ll look like a bad driver if I just walk out into the rain.
3. I did the first Q+A following the first real screening of The Future.
4. A woman gave me a ribbon/macaroni bracelet. The ribbon is tied together with string. If there was one thing that you would think didn’t need to be tied together with string, it would be ribbon, which, itself, ties. There must be a reason.
5. I got a bannana popsicle, thinking it would make the memory of the night seem better. I ate it on the street while talking on the phone to my husband who is in Australia. Standing on the street was like standing inside a person’s body. In terms of the weather.
6. I watched the first 40 minutes of the movie Tabloid.
7. Did the second Q+A following the second real screening of The Future.
8. I autographed a photo. It was a photo taken of me at the Apple store. “I’m wearing the exact same outfit as tonight,” I said to the man holding the photograph. The man nodded gravely in recognition of this fact.
9. I was driven back to the hotel by a new driver. The first one had hit his head on the trunk of the car while putting the umbrella back. His head was bleeding and he had to go home. This could have been prevented, by me. I tried to think of some other things to feel bad about but was too tired.
I realize this ended on a low note, but it was, in fact, a wonderful night. Because you showed up – all the shows were sold out. Thank you. Let’s do the same exact thing tonight except I’ll say “I can just run in” when he goes to pop the trunk. Don’t forget the bracelet.
7 29 11
Back to the airport life.
(On my way to the IFC Center.)
7 28 11
The New Movie is Called “Outer Space”, starring Mary Pickford.
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.
7 27 11
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!
7 24 11
YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TUESDAY
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.
7 20 11
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.
7 19 11
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.
7 15 11
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.
7 14 11
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.
7 7 11
Getting fit for the Minneapolis screening and a busy week in NY:
7 6 11
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.
7 5 11
YET ANOTHER THING THAT DOESN’T SEEM TO BE AGAINST THE LAW!
An embarrassingly predictable dream on the first day of a press tour. I’ll try to dream something more deep tonight.
7 3 11
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.
6 30 11
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.)
6 26 11
LA Film Festival: 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.
6 21 11
I try again, this time responding to questions that were sent to thefuturethefuture.com.
6 21 11
Wherein I try to answer all your questions from facebook but manage to answer almost none of them.
6 17 11
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.
6 16 11
Introducing Costume Designer Christie Wittenborn!!
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.
6 10 11
Let The Right One In (Jetlag Video #3)
I’m gonna be honest with you, things have things have taken a turn for the paranoid over here.
6 9 11
JET LAG VIDEO #2
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!!
6 9 11
Jetlagged Australia Video #1
Wherein I am so tired that I’m not even tired.
6 6 11
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.
6 2 11
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.
Hamish Linklater’s History, April 22, 2011:
Miranda July’s History, Saturday May 21:
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 to another website (like flickr or photobucket) and then include the link in your comment like this: imgsrc=”http://urlofimage” inside of < >‘s. 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.
5 31 11
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
5 29 11
Some Things That Happened In New York
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.
5 25 11
Some Things That Happened in Seattle
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.
5 23 11
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:
Respond here: http://thefuturethefuture.com/blogsingle/shirty/
5 21 11
Allow me to point you towards www.thefuturethefuture.com.
When you go there you will see there is, among other things, an opportunity to receive advice from me about your future, on a bi-weekly basis. What qualifies me to give you advice? Well, I just felt pretty sure that if I tried really hard I could do it. This is allowed, for me, but if your therapist or doctor ever says anything like this to you, you should feel Uneasy. My other qualification is that often when I call my mom she says, “You must be psychic, I was just thinking about you.” Maybe I really am.
There is a blog on the website too, which I plan on throwing my whole self into, repeatedly and often. For a limited time.
All these theatrics are in honor of my new movie, The Future, which comes out in theaters July 29th-ish, depending on where you live.
4 19 11
Do you ever play that game where you shut your eyes and pretend you’re yourself as a 9 year old, and then you open your eyes and pretend that you’ve time travelled to 2011 and you have to quickly deduce where you are and how old you are without alerting the people around you? It’s fun. First you discretely touch your face, look at your hands, and study the expressions of the people around you to gauge how well you know them and who they think you are. Then you have to jump in and say something, and hope that you’re speaking in a way that’s appropriate to the situation and your age. Once it seems like you’ve suceeded, and your friends are convinced (or is that your husband? He seems to think you’re close), you have to decide if you’re gonna stay, and live this new, older life – or try to go back. I usually decide to stay, because going back just seems anti-social. I’ve actually been playing this game since I was nine; I used to do it in the back seat of the car on road trips, generally overplaying my disorientation and staring at my mom’s face with a look of horror at how she’d aged until she got annoyed. I bring this up now because my screenings at the San Francisco International Film Festival this weekend will be a really good opportunity to play the game. When I was a kid in Berkeley we usually only drove over the bridge to SF to visit my relatives. So the first thing I’ll notice is that we’re not at Uncle Paul’s house. And my parents are staring at me from the audience and they’re Uncle Paul’s age, which means he must be dead and I must be my mom’s age. Woah. I’ll be doing my entire Q+A from this perspective, wish me luck.
The Future plays on Saturday, April 23rd at 6pm at the Sundance Kabuki Theater, and Sunday, April 24th at 9:15pm at New People Theater.
3 18 11
Were you there?
MJ Incoporated (a board that consists of a candle, a sack of flour, a cracked CD, and a good intention) is gathering materials for an eventual, all-encompassing MJ Performance DVD. Something special for the truly interested. So were you there? Did you see Love Diamond, The Swan Tool, Things We Don’t Understand and Definitely Are Not Going To Talk About, or any of early shows which may have included work from the CDs, Ten Million Hours a Mile or The Binet Simon Test? Yes? Then perhaps you have some pictures, vidoes, or memories you’d like to share with us, the board. We will discuss your contribution at our next meeting — by the light of the candle, flashing the cracked disc, snorting lines of flour, with a good, no – the very best of intentions.
Send here: mirandajulyperformance (at) gmail.com
Photo by Sir Ladd Halsey
3 9 11
Me: Can Austin come out and play?
Austin’s mom: Austin’s at his dad’s house. He’ll be back on Thursday.
Austin: I’ll tell him you came by.
Austin’s Mom: Anything else?
Austin’s Mom: Do you want to come inside and you can talk to me while I make dinner?
Austin’s Mom: Ok, come in here.
Yes people, that was my way of saying that me and my movie, The Future, will be in Austin, Texas at SXSW. We arrive this Sunday.
Also, we aren’t quite done with the poster yet, so the poster above is a place holder.
2 14 11
Where is the child in the red jacket, red pants and red hat going? Probably to daycare. What about the man zipping his coat? He is off to exchange his new cell phone because it’s defective. They better not try to screw him, he’s thinking while zipping. The woman with the blue scarf and red jacket is going to work, which is, awkwardly enough, at her ex-boyfriend’s house. That is the problem with dating your boss. It wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t work at home, but all day long she can’t help but look for signs of someone new in his life. Like for example, since when does he buy kleenex in the decorative box?
Not today though, today she feels suddenly totally over it. As if it all happened 100 years ago. She doesn’t even care if he notices how over it is she is. And that, she feels, is proof.
2 13 11
Looking at Music 3.0
February 16–June 6, 2011, MoMA, NYC
When we were 18 and making our fanzine did we imagine that one day we’d be 36 and showing it at the Museum of Modern Art???
Actually yes, I bet we did. Teenagers are pretty grandiose.
So come examine me and my best friend from high school’s sliiiiiiightly embarrassing young xeroxed rants, along with some of the video work I collected in the 90s through Joanie4Jackie, and 70 other works by artists and musicians including the Beastie Boys, Kathleen Hanna, Keith Haring, Johanna Fateman, Christian Marclay, Steven Parrino, and Run DMC. Looking at Music 3.0, the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the influence of music on contemporary art practices, focuses on New York in the 1980s and 1990s.
The cover of the first issue of Snarla.
2 10 11
For more than a year now I have had the great honor of being assisted by a diligent, courageous young man named Aaron Beckum. He makes movies, takes pictures, is a graphic designer, sings, plays guitar, and patiently explains things to me. He has also made me cry when I have asked him to make me cry, which is really going above and beyond the call of duty.
Aaron has recently completed a new album called Hologram. For a while it only existed as a cassette tape, and in order to share it with people I had to drive them around in my car with me. Now it is also in digital form, which is much better for the environment even though I have a Prius.
You can (and definitely should) get it here
Photo of Aaron, by R.J. Shaughnessy. I chose this one because along with everything else, he is modest.
2 7 11
Here are some kids activity pages I made for a magazine called Apartamento. Apartamento means “apartment” in the spanish language. A child living in an apartment might get bored, as children everywhere do, and might therefore need an activity to do. Please print out these pages and give them to the bored child immediately, before he gets into any more trouble.
note: this last page was not actually included in the magazine. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and surmise that there was a space issue.
2 3 11
You will be able to see my favorite movie in June. It’s called BEGINNERS; some guy named Mike Mills made it. Between now and then you must prepare yourself, get ready for it, week by week, by reading this blog
1 25 11
SOME THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT SUNDANCE
My dad lost his glasses.
Our shuttle driver told us he was in a reality show in which he had to run through an obstacle course to win a million dollars. But he couldn’t tell us any more about it because he’d signed a confidentiality agreement.
I accidentally squeezed Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream on to my toothbrush.
I paced around a parking lot practicing my introduction, talking into my fist as if it were a microphone.
On the way to the premiere we got stuck in traffic behind a van with the letters MEL on the license plate. MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL.
I stood in the wings and watched John Cooper introduce me to 1200 people. Then I walked onstage.
My legs shook for 91 minutes.
My dad found his glasses.
I posed next to a fake tree for a photograph.
A man in his underwear banged on his hotel window while I was being interviewed outside. When I looked up he pressed his whole body against the glass.
I posed next to a real tree for a photograph.
I listened to a very long, loving description of the movie “The Mill and The Cross.”
I watched 15 minutes of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer is wrongly accused of murder and arrested and about to be electrocuted, he’s strapped in to the chair, the big switch is thrown, and then…. it turns out to be a reality game show called Frame Up and he’s SO relieved, he almost cries with relief. And then he flies home to L.A., over the salt lakes and mountains, goes to bed early, and sleeps better than he has in more than a year.
1 14 11
This is the ticket you are given after you’ve seen the movie and before you step back into the world.
(It’s useless, but so many things you want are.)
12 22 10
As it turns out, we can’t anticipate the movie premiere every single second of the day. In fact, that’s a pretty good way to get a stomach ache. Lets turn instead to some things I didn’t have time to show you before.
I wrote a new book! No, just kidding, it’s only a book cover. This was part of a series of bookcovers made by artists for Opening Ceremony in celebration of the NY Art Book Fair. You can still get them here. Marcel Dzama and Spike Jonze collaborated on one that involves sleepy penises. I was in a kind of dark place when I made mine, so it’s possible you should not use it to cover a high school text book (or the sleepy penises for that matter.) This one is covering Maurice, by E.M. Forster, which just happened to be the exact right size. But is also a really good book.
12 15 10
My first car was a white Plymouth Sundance. It cost $800. I didn’t know how to drive very well when I bought it, so my friend Julia came with me to do the test drive. The two of us drove around Portland with the middle-aged woman selling it. Julia tested the horn and it worked, but it never worked again after I bought it. We speculated that the middle-aged woman had a horn in her pocket that she squeezed at the exact moment Julia pressed on the steering wheel. In the end I could have bought a new Prius for what I spent fixing that car over the years. But Priuses hadn’t been invented yet. Eventually neither of the two doors worked so the only way I could get in was through the trunk, which didn’t stay up by itself, so I had to lift it all the way up and then dive in before it slammed shut. When winter hit it was covered in snow and I could barely lift it, I had to kind of flatten myself and roll in sideways. This finally got to be too much for Julia and even though she didn’t have any money either, she paid $300 and had the doors fixed. That $300 still seems like the largest amount of money anyone has ever spent. All this comes to mind because I’ve been thinking about another Sundance, not the car but the film festival. My new movie, The Future, will premiere there on Friday January 21st at 6:15pm. Please come.
If you live in Berlin or thereabouts, please come to the european premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, in February.
12 5 10
I know I was already kind of a questionable website-updater, so I’m pretty sure not posting any news for more than six months sent me right over the edge. What could a person possibly be doing that wouldn’t allow them even tiny little second to write a post? What? What could it be? Here are the options that I can think of:
a) Hostage situation where person is tied up with ropes.
b) Person falls down and gets paralyzed and can’t figure out how to write with eyeball like Diving Bell and Butterfly.
c) Person has on the kind of mittens on that bunch all the fingers together in one pouch and thumb in another, for six months.
d) Person is finishing her movie and so has to step away from the world in order to be sure she gets it right, and when she’s done, she comes back again, oh look here she comes, hobbling over the hill, wearing a sweater we’ve never before, she doesn’t see us, now she sees us, she smiles, almost shouts, and runs the rest of the way down the hill, as she nears we can see there’s something different about her, maybe it’s just the sweater, we’re smiling too, and running towards her, we come together, hugging, then apart – looking at each other – then hugging again, just like in the movies. ‘we have so much to talk about!’, she says, and then ‘did you cut your hair?’
5 24 10
Planning on posing this summer? A little recreational posing? Why not do it with the support of props designed just for this purpose. It might be a relief to have a some help in this department, after years of free-form (and let’s face it, often inaccurate) posing. For your convenience, eleven professional props will be installed in Union Square Park in New York, all summer. If you fill a little posing coming on, hurry over.
Eleven Heavy Things
May 29 – October 3, 2010
Center Lawn, Union Square Park
PRESENTED BY DEITCH PROJECTS AS ITS FINAL PUBLIC PROJECT.
THE WORK IS EXHIBITED IN COOPERATION WITH THE UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP AND NYC PARKS & RECREATION.
Label your photos “Eleven Heavy Things” and post them online so we can all see.
4 28 10
I’m sure you have read about Carl Jung’s Red Book. Jung (who invented Jungian psychology) wrote it 100 years ago, but think of it less like a book and more like your diary during the part of your life when you were going through such darkness you thought it would never end. Remember that?! You wrote in your diary a lot during that time because on some level you knew that each demon, each nightmare you survived was transforming you in a way that would always matter. The book is about how Jung recovers his soul, recovers meaning in his life through enabling the rebirth of the image of God in his soul. There are other red books (for example, I see that Enough is Enough by Karen Finley is also red) but this one was hidden away in a bank vault in Switzerland for the last quarter of century. And so we, Leonard Nimoy, Helen Hunt and I (What? You didn’t realize the three of us were a team?) are celebrating by having conversations with Jungian psychologists. I’m talking with John Beebe, next Wednesday at 7 the Hammer Museum. It’s free, and you should be too. See you there!
Which book is Jung’s Red Book? The one on top obviously!
2 3 10
Does Everyone Know About Crap Hound?
It’s a magazine made by Sean Tejaratchi. Each page of each issue is filled with high-contrast, public-domain images on a theme, like, for example, sex, or death, or telphones, or scissors. Sean’s home is filled with intricate file systems of all his amazing original source materials – ancient catalogs, obscure books, found things, etc . This stuff isn’t on the web; craphound both pre-dates and post-dates the internet. It’s larger and more profound than that. You can use it as clip art, or study it to try to understand who we are as a people. I especially like the introductions and credits pages. Sean has also designed zillions of album covers and books and posters – including this one:
And this one:
Anyway, the point being, now is a good time to discover Crap Hound. If you order it later you are just an ordinary person, but if you order it within the next 10 days, you become a HERO. (Also, let’s get real here, you probably can’t afford one of Jim Drain’s sweaters.)
1 20 10
I first heard of Jim Drain when my best friend, a waitress at the time, showed me a crazy present that one of her co-workers had given her. It was a 3D light-up heart made in the medium of CEREAL. I said, Woah, you should totally go out with this guy! Unforgivably, she didn’t. But that didn’t stop Jim Drain. He kept expressing his feelings and sending them in to the world:
These days we never think about the cerealheart, in fact he and I have never even discussed it and it may come as a surprise for him to read about it here.
But it comes to mind today, as I consider the many strange ways that Jim Drain has entered my life over the last decade (for example, what are Jim and I doing in this picture?)
Today we can all have a Jim Drain cerealheart, in the form of an amazing sweater. Actually, only thirty of us – I think he only made
thirty of these sweaters, but the point being, you don’t have to be a cute waitress working at the same restaurant as him because he’s not even working there anymore, obviously, since he’s a famous artist, and also because you can just get one of these sweaters, which are better, in a way, because you become the cerealheart when you put the Jim Drain sweater on. You become vulnerable and hilarious and lit from within.
Available now at www.openingceremony.us.
7 17 09
7 14 09
What was Joanie 4 Jackie? Shauna McGarry answers this question.
6 5 09
European holiday? Or perhaps you happen to live in Venice?
Come visit Eleven Heavy Things at the Venice Biennale.
It is eleven outdoor sculptures that I made for you to pose with — pedestals to stand on, tablets with holes for body parts, and free-standing headdresses.
Take a picture of yourself with a Heavy Thing and post it on your blog so the rest of us can see.
4 14 09
A 125 foot hallway – English in one direction / Japanese in the other.
From the Yokohama Triennale 2008.
(courtesy of Hara Museum)
14 Comments on “The Hallway”
Click here to become a user and make a comment.
lolking on April 14, 2009:
Love this! Miranda July rulz!
meato5 on April 14, 2009:
This is what’s wrong with the world. I hate every fucking thing about her, I hate her hair.
brooklynhottie on April 14, 2009:
I don’t get it. Is this supposed to be funny?
mom1 on April 14, 2009:
That was just lovely honey, very moving. Hope it’s ok that i’m commenting on here!
thefonzerator on April 14, 2009:
Is that really Miranda July’s mom before me?! You’re daughter is pretentious scum, ho!
kelly on on April 14, 2009:
I saw this in Japan. It was one of the best things in the show, for definite.
milkfire on April 14, 2009:
message to thefonzerator, that is really rude talking to miranda july’s mom that way. think how you would feel if someone talked to your mom that way? you are the total opposite of miranda and could never understand her.
thefonzerator on April 14, 2009:
hey milkfire, you’re mom’s a ho too, and so are you! ever hear of freedom of speech??suck m0 ass.
jessup on April 14, 2009:
hey guys! if you like miranda jily you might want to check out my website www.girlzfilmbirdz.com! we’ll be at the santa barbara film festival june 19th! stop by!
stanknines on April 14, 2009:
anyone know when Where The Wild Thing Are is supposed to be released?
claymation on April 14, 2009:
I herd it was in october ( my cousin’s dad is a assistant voice-over editor on it.)
missydots on April 14, 2009:
i wish i could have walked down the hallway myself. art never translates in video, in my humble freakin’ opinion.
firenze on April 14, 2009:
I knew miranda july in high school when she was miranda grossinger. i don’t want to say her success is undeserved, but, uh, it’s undeserved.
queerone on April 14, 2009:
what’s up with all the haters?! why are you even on miranda july’s website if you hate her so much?! get a life!
3 24 09
Fri., March 27, 7:00pm
The Strand Bookstore, NY
Mike Mills in conversation with Tim Barber
10 16 08
You are really going to want to see this one, and now you finally can.
9 23 08
These are harrowing, inspirational days; I’m not sleeping well and neither is my friend Carrie Brownstein. So we got up, turned on the light and made a little website. Please share it.
9 6 08
YOKOHAMA 2008: International Triennale of Contemporary Art
Featuring many of our all time favorite artists, and a new art installation by Miranda July.
13 September – 30 November 2008 Central and Waterfront sites in Yokohama, Japan
5 1 08
I made this for truck drivers and the blind, but you might enjoy it too. I tried to read it in a way that would make it impossible for you to not get me.
The new MGMT album, Oracular Spectacular, is also pretty enjoyable.
Which is the better album, mine or theirs? Well, if we are judging by length, mine is 5 hours long, so mine wins – but we might not have been judging by length. If judged by yellowness, I also win. But if judging by number of young men in feathers and scarves on the cover, I lose. (Unless you think of the word “Unabridged” as a young man?) I also lose on danceability.
It’s a tie. Go to iTunes and get them both.
3 30 08
What was Joanie 4 Jackie? Who was Big Miss Moviola?
These questions answered for the FIRST TIME in a brief, explanatory video and display of related materials, only at:
The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art & Politics
Yerba Buena Center for The Arts
Mar 29 – Jun 29, 2008
701 Mission St. at Third
San Francisco, CA
Also on view, work by: Lisa Anne Auerbach, Andrea Bowers, Nao Bustamante, Tammy Rae Carland, Vaginal Davis, Eve Fowler with Math Bass, Deborah Grant, MK Guth, Taraneh Hemami, LTTR, Leslie Labowitz and Suzanne Lacy, Aleksandra Mir, Laurel Nakadate, Shinique Smith, and more.
2 4 08
And While We’re On The Topic, I Am Voting For Barack Obama.
I’d like to think all the people who follow my work are radical, political firecrackers. But those of you who are don’t need any encouragement from me. Instead I will focus my efforts on the demographic who, like me in 1996, feels completely disconnected from life, nevermind their country. I’m hoping that there aren’t very many of you, in this day and age. You people are hard to encourage, because all the political arguments will mean nothing to you. I just spent the last hour typing up my case for Obama, but you won’t even read it, you’ll skip ahead to something that seems subtler or less cliche, I know you. (And those of you who will read it, who are perhaps torn between Obama and Clinton, are well tended to by better writers.) So nevermind all that.
Here’s why you should vote: you are going to really love it, the whole strange procedure. You get to walk right into a building that you would never normally be allowed in, often an elementary school. You can pause in the hallway to look at all the weird school-art and feel the eerie vibe of hundreds of kids living their endless kid lives right nearby. Then you follow the arrows to the voting room and look at the faces of the volunteers – who are these people? There is a hush of secrecy, the voting booth is clunky, the whole thing seems fake somehow. You consider filling in all the bubbles, like you did on the SATs. But you don’t. You vote. You walk back outside feeling like you just gave blood or something, lightheaded from citizenry. You are wearing a sticker that says “I Voted” and you wish you could continue to get stickers like this throughout the day: I Ate Dinner, I Went To Sleep, I Got Out Of Bed, I Went To Work.
But alas, it is just this one thing that we all do together, savor it.
I tried to find an easy link for you to locate your polling place, but the best thing to do is just type the name of your city + “where do I vote” into google. If you’re not registered, then you might not be able to vote in the primaries, but register right now so you can vote in November.
pps: non-american readers: sorry. for everything. we are working on it.
11 29 07
Parisians, our time has come.
Les Éditions Flammarion et colette vous invitent à rencontrer Miranda July à l’occasion de la parution d’“Un bref instant de romantisme”, avec la participation d’Audrey Diwan, le 13 décembre de 18 h à 20 heures. Cocktail le 13 décembre 2007 de 18 h à 20 h chez colette 213, rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris
Réservations : Charlotte Ajame
01 40 51 33 85 – email@example.com
(Everyone else: this is just the same yellow book of stories that maybe you already have. But wouldn’t it be cool if i had written a whole new book? In French no less!)
09 29 07
Please come to our very small celebration of the new book!
Learning To Love You More
Curated by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher
Book Launch and Exhibition
October 6th – 26th
Opening Saturday, October 6th, 6-9pm
the journal Gallery
168 North 1st St.
Drawing by Cindy Rehm of Murfreesboro, Tennessee in response to Learning To Love You More assignment #18: Recreate a poster you had as a teenager.
9 14 07
The New Yorker Festival
Miranda July and A. M. Homes have a conversation about Deviants
Friday, October 5, 9:30 P.M.
Anthology Film Archives ($25)
And lots and lots of other writers talking about other things.
Tickets will go on sale at noon on September 15th through Ticketmaster.
(And if it’s sold out, remember that 10 percent of the seats to all events will be sold on October 5, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues).
MJ will sign books on Saturday, October 6 at 2pm at Festival Headquarters.
(above photo: Monnica Lewis, a fan of A.M. Homes)
9 7 07
It’s almost time.
First, Harrell and I studied every single one of the more than five thousand Learning To Love You More reports and selected the most bizarre, challenging, heartbreaking, hilarious ones. This process alone took about six months.
Then we worked with Brian Scott to design the book. Here’s me and Harrell trying to figure out what order to put the pages in. Eventually we got to the part where the book was printed. Brian went to Munich to oversee this.
Right now the books are on a boat, floating to America. Pretty soon the boat will dock. I’m a little fuzzy on the details after that, but the third- to-last step is when you click here and then the second-to-last step is when you get the book in the mail and open it up and read pages twelve and thirteen.
9 5 07
I was trying to be discrete about what my THING was, but apparently I’m the only one keeping the secret. So here it is, being made and packaged up to be shipped to you: THE THING REVEALED.
(Making THINGS is hard work, you have to move your arms and torso around, sometimes even your legs. But that’s what’s cool about making things, as opposed to making the words that represent them.)
(Thank you to these people for their vigorous and repeated movements.)
It’s not too late to subscribe, you have until October 26.
8 29 07
I’m not sure what this is a picture of, but it came up when I searched under “George Saunders” :
Maybe this yellow shape represents the way in which his darkness is reassuring to me. The point being, you should hurry to get tickets to his event in LA (which I am marginally involved in.)
8 27 07
We walked around in amazed joy, it was suprising and beautiful. You should go see it, the show is on until Sept 30.
If you don’t live in Holland, perhaps you can go to the Oliver Family LTLYM show in Seattle this weekend. As you know, the Oliver Family has completed all 63 LTLYM assignments and the results will be exhibited at Bumbershoot, Sept 1-3 in the NW Rooms. Bring your family to meet their family.
I will also be at Bumbershoot, giving a presentation on Sept 3 at 8:30 PM at the Boeing Stage. And while you’re waiting for that you could watch a screening of my short movies at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM at McCaw Lecture Hall. After 9:45 you’re on your own.
by Carol, Mary and Nigel Oliver
(Assignment #33: Braid someone’s hair.)
8 17 07
I don’t like to use this site to combat the goofy world of gossip, but my best friend has gently suggested that I make a statement to end a recent debate. So here it is: I am not a scientologist. I am so totally, completely not a scientologist it’s not even funny. (No offense Tom and Katie!) It is a little unreal to me that anyone could have any confusion about this, but I guess strange things are sometimes true. Not this time. Now let’s get on to the important stuff:
What are you doing Friday August 24th? If you don’t already have plans, please come to the opening of the biggest and best Learning To Love You More show ever. I know, you’re thinking, “I can’t come, as usual, because I live in a small suburb in The Netherlands.” Well, guess what? This show is in a small suburb in the The Netherlands! It’s in Eindhoven, at a museum called MU. Yep, I’m flying to Eindhoven next week, and so is my LTLYM collaborator, Harrell Fletcher. The show was curated by the second-year students in the Curatorial Practice Program at CCA in San Francisco. We gave them this assignment in January, and they’re at MU now, putting everything together according to their complicated schematics.
(above photo by Duo, of Bjuv, Sweden, made in response to Learning To Love You More Assignment #63: Make an encouraging banner.)
7 27 07
The next year of your life will be different.
The Thing is a subscription-based, mail-order, art project. Every year four artists, writers, filmmakers or musicians are invited to design a household object that somehow incorporates text. Every three months a new object will be hand wrapped in brown paper and string by the editors ( Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan ) and sent to you. I can personally promise that the first package will contain something really terrific, because I made it myself. And I have a very good feeling about the other 3 issues, all made by artists I admire (Anne Walsh, Kota Ezawa, and Trisha Donnelly.) At $120, the subscription is way too cheap. My object alone should cost that! But what can I do? Subscribe now and my object will arrive in your mail next month and you will have it forever. And by next August you will have many cool things in your house and everyone will ask you: “What’s the story with all these cool new things?” and then in the next breath they will ask: “And what’s the name of that stuff you use in your hair? Do you think my hair could do that?” Or, you can subscribe for a friend and cement the friendship forever, once and for all, no more long nights wondering: “Are we really friends?”
7 17 07
by Nigel Oliver
(Assignment #9: Draw a constellation from someone’s freckles)
Meet the Olivers of Seattle, Washington, USA:
Carol Oliver (age 49), Mike Oliver (age 47), Nigel Oliver (age 20), Pete Oliver (age 14), Sydney Oliver (age 12) and Mary Oliver (age 5) are in the process of completing all 63 assignments on Learning To Love You More. Their videos, drawings, photographs, songs and writing will be on exhibition in Seattle at the Bumbershoot Festival, Sept 1-3. But you can see all the work online as they make it, and follow their trials and triumphs on their blog. They have forty more assignments to complete in the next month, please cheer them on with comments in this final stretch!
17 6 07
It can be yours: One apology, one congratulations, or one invitation. It will hang on your wall forever and only look better over time. One day you will say: I bought that way back in 2005 (you will mean 2007, but it is so long ago that you have forgotten) I bought it at an auction, back when auctions used to be on computers (before computers were discovered to be not such a hot idea after all) It was an auction to support Mc Sweeney’s. And your grandaughter will say: Mc Sweeney’s? You mean Mc Sweeney’s the government? And you’ll say: Yes, but this was way back when Mc Sweeney’s was more of a publishing company, back when the government was a total drag and kids weren’t taken seriously and war was everywhere. And Pipa, your grandaughter, will put 2 and 2 together and say: So maybe if you hadn’t bought that hand-painted, one-of-a-kind poster by Miranda July, Mc Sweeney’s wouldn’t have survived and life would still suck? And little Pipa is so cute that you won’t even bother trying to describe the feeling of possibility that filled your heart back then, and that eBay was actually kind of fun, and that if anyone is to take credit, it would be the people who bid big money for work by John Hodgman, or Chris Ware. Instead you will just say: Yes, it’s true. I saved Life. I did it one day in June, when I was bored at work.
(example of an apology. but the names will be the names of you and your gf/bf. and a different apology.)
(an example of a congratulations. feet only included to demonstrate scale.)
5 6 07
I look forward to seeing you next week if you live in LA, SF, Portland or Seattle.
It will be terrific, I will bow when I see you, you will bow when you see me, we will bump heads and knock each other unconscious and when we come to we won’t remember anything, we will mumble pardon me and shuffle off in to brand new lives. I really can not wait.
4 3 07
Introducing: a book!
One more book for your gigantic collection.
3 12 07
oh new york. it took me a whole week to recover from our insanity. i don’t know about you but i loved it. i wanted it to go on and on, but i also knew that if it did i would die. of exhaustion, of satisfaction. so i returned to LA with just enough energy and dissatsifaction to carry on with my life. but thank you, really. especially thank you to all the donnies, all the fionas, all the kevins. both in the LA rehearsals and in the NY shows (where you were so convincing that d.byrne thought you were plants.) (which of course thrills me to no end.)
pictures taken on 2.28.07 at the kitchen by the picturesque tim barber.
1 22 07
tickets almost gone for this show in march. think about if you really want to go or if you’d rather do something else instead. because maybe you have set aside that weekend for “me time” in which you are just going to do things that you really want to do. i’d like to think that the show could be one of those things, maybe you could go to the show and then go eat twelve agave-sweetened desserts and then go have a bunch of sex. oh but wait – “me time” is the previous weekend. shit. this means you can’t go, you just have to stay home and grade papers. if we see you there we will send you home.
1 13 07
three examples of positions not to take. here is one that is reccomended:
or at very least:
12 30 06
Top Ten Everything Forever
1.Disintegration: things falling apart, nothing working, everything breaking, get out the broom.
2.Rumblefish:be careful Rusty James!
4.A new day: the possibility of one. or of a new second, or a new approach to an old or future second. hello new friend, we know nothing about each other, what an amazing world of possibility, etc, etc. That whole thing is really popular now I’ve been noticing, what with the internet and all.
5.The new day can be brought about by sheer will and strength.
7.Take a moment to try it now.
8.Another thing that I find works really well is Giving Up.
9. You’re supposed to never do that, but you know you do it many times a day and it’s spiritual.
10. And finally, the grand finale ultimate thing forever! Itself! The Ultimate! The Best Ever!
10 30 06
10 25 06
Thank you San Franciscans! It was so terrific performing with you.
(photos stolen from Mai.)
10 03 06
sorry I haven’t been able to call. Things have been hectic getting ready for tour.
I leave tomorrow. Will call you as soon as I get a free half hour,
and until then am sending love via psychic channels.