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It Chooses Youby Miranda July
Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 2009 Miranda July was struggling to write her second screenplay, The Future, when she began to obsessively read the PennySaver classified ads. The iconic Los Angeles newsprint booklet served a computerless demographic—a quickly disappearing group, but one rife with stories. Who was the person selling the LARGE LEATHER JACKET, $10 OR BEST OFFER? It seemed important to find out, or, at least it was a great distraction from the screenplay.
Working with photographer Brigitte Sire, July interviewed thirteen PennySaver sellers to create portraits of their surprisingly moving, profoundly specific realities. Among these was Joe, an energetic 82-year-old with his own sweetly perverse body of artwork. By the end of the summer, July had written Joe into the movie as himself and the voice of the moon.
July reveals her hilariously random and blindly faithful creative process as we travel with her all over the city, and eventually to the set of The Future (in theaters in July). Combining narrative, interviews, and photographs, this book tells the story not only of the making of a movie in Los Angeles, but of the city itself.
"What appears to be the opposite of a self-absorbed endeavour — what could be more radically naive and outward-looking than interviewing perfect strangers in their own homes? — in fact turns out to be strangely solipsistic. "All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life," July writes. The beauty of It Chooses You is that in trying to answer that question for herself, about other people, she answers it for us, about herself." The Guardian
"What makes us uncomfortable, what both repels and compels us, is always worth noting, and July is both candid and insightful about this." The Millions
"A mixture of interview transcripts and the author's own musings, It Chooses You moves much like July's cinematic work. Just when you think it's all about to unravel, there's a connection, a spark that keeps the action (and the audience) tethered to some sort of narrative. For a moment, everything matches up, holds fast to everything else, and then it all loosens up again. Fortunately, July as a narrator helps make the journey a pleasurable one." Baltimore City Paper
About the Author
Miranda July is the author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, winner of the Frank OConnor International Short Story Award. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, and The Paris Review. July wrote, directed, and starred in the film Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera dOr at the Cannes Film Festival. Her second film, The Future, was released this summer.
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