Miranda July, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Artist and Writer
Conversation: Conversation with Miranda July and Kelly Gallagher
Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her videos, performances, and web-based projects have been presented at sites such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and in two Whitney Biennials. July wrote, directed and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005), which won a special jury prize at Sundance Film Festival and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Camera d’Or. Miranda July also wrote, directed and starred in The Future (2011).
Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (Scribner, 2007), won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty countries. Her latest book is It Chooses You (McSweeney’s, 2011). Her novel, The First Bad Man, became an immediate bestseller and was named one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015.
July’s participatory art works include the website Learning to Love You More (with artist Harrell Fletcher), Eleven Heavy Things (a sculpture garden created for the 2009 Venice Biennale), New Society (a performance), and Somebody (a messaging app created with Miu Miu.) Most recently she made an interfaith charity shop in Selfridges department store in London, presented by Artangel. She is currently working on a new feature film. Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.
About Miranda July’s Joanie 4 Jackie Archive:
In 1995, Miranda July dropped out of college, moved to Portland, Oregon, and typed up a pamphlet that she imagined would be the start of a revolution of girls and women making movies and sharing them with each other. The pamphlet said: “A challenge and a promise: Lady, you send me your movie and I’ll send you the latest Big Miss Moviola Chainletter Tape.”
Joanie 4 Jackie (aka Big Miss Moviola) was an underground film network for girls and women, formed in 1995. For more than ten years women sent their movies to Joanie 4 Jackie and received a “Chainletter” tape in return — their movie compiled with nine others. In a pre-YouTube world, this was one-way women could see each other’s work and know they weren’t alone. The project inspired girls to make movies for the first time, circulated work by seasoned artists and connected women across the country through screenings and booklets of letters that arrived with each videotape. By the time the project had run its course the work of over 200 filmmakers was distributed through 22 compilation tapes, and Joanie 4 Jackie had exhibited movies all over the world, from punk clubs to the Museum of Modern Art.
In January 2017 The Getty Research Institute announced the acquisition of the complete Joanie 4 Jackie archives. Twenty-seven boxes of tapes, posters, letters, embarrassing notes, to-do lists, and grandiose plans will be made available to researchers and preserved for all time in a feminist and queer context, alongside the archives of artists such as Yvonne Rainer, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Carolee Schneemann. The Getty Trust is a non-profit organization devoted to arts research, education, philanthropy, and the conservation and preservation of world heritage. (Photo Credit: Todd Cole)