There’s something about Miranda July
Following the release of her third film, Kajillionaire, the artist and filmmaker talks turning social media into a DIY canvas, rabble-rousing, and the search for that ‘15-minute connection’
By Osman Can Yerebakan Photography by Diego Uchitel Video by Luke Scroggins Styling by Rebecca Ramsey Hair by Ian James Make-up by Nicole Walmsley Monday 2 November, 2020
Ice-breakers are a foreign concept for Miranda July, a Renaissance woman whose characters in film, literature and art always appear far from needing one. Playing a struggling performance artist in her directorial debut Me And You And Everyone We Know (2005), or directing Evan Rachel Wood as the protagonist in her latest film Kajillionaire (2020), July crafts misfits who embrace all the awkwardness life has in store. As much as they find their voices through colours surrounding them, a sense of floating rests in her characters. She lives in LA with her partner and their child, but admits to hardly connecting to places, ‘because I am such an internal person, and so are my characters.’
A heartbreaking love story with actress Margaret Qualley was July’s most recent immersion into that sweet immediacy. The couple’s on-and-off FaceTime love letters still live on their personal accounts, hiding their intimate confessions to each other between selfies and film announcements. Two public figures’ supposedly scripted relationship on social media breaks barriers of real and fiction.
Beyond her star power, which can have her call on friend Jaden Smith to do a cameo in a labour of love project (‘He memorised four pages of dialogue in a really short time’), July is a riot girl who started out playing in female rock bands, and making zines around California and Portland in the 1990s. She sees a parallel between the soul back then and now. ‘Instagram’s success depends on its grass-roots opportunities.’
From top: coat, vintage; necklace, July’s own