I know I’ve been on a huge “like” streak, but who cares? Life’s better if it’s a love train.
I’ve just started reading “‘No One Belongs Here More Than You.’ stories by Miranda July” And I’m loving it.
Truthfully, I feel a bit of a novice when it comes to July’s work. I saw ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW back when it came out and had a very strange experience. I had no idea what I was walking into and it was one of those films that grows with you, especially in the days after you see it and have time to digest. This is mostly due to the fact that it is just so vividly different. Sure, the film is technically linear nor is it really abstract or anything. But it’s a kind of floating, ambivalent narrative. You could use filmy type descriptions and fall back on phrases like ” it’s starkly beautiful” or something like that, but that’s not what makes it relevant or even good. This film is emotionally adventurous. Characters just have moments where they’re floating through each others lives. And it goes into unexpected places. The sexuality can be sudden, abrupt, juvenile. Emotional reactions can be completely disarming. Every character is just a bit off. They have these moments and we feel like we fall into their brain, and we follow their logic or desire just a few steps past the well reasoned response and into a territory just a step beyond. It’s fascinating. The film seems like a grouping of short stories, but it’s also not; it’s a cohesive movie that just happens to be about brief moments with these people.
It makes sense that Miranda July is first and foremost, a performance artist. The main stake of performance art is cause and effect (AKA reactions). Thus all her art, writing, and even her film operate on a kind of momentary appropriation. Scenes and inclinations follow the will of the moment. It’s like all her characters possess varying kinds of monomania that rear their ugly, or perhaps beautiful head. Tonally, it’s absorbing.
The other neat realization is that this behavior of “following a momentary logic to it’s end” is one of the central definitions of being crazy. And thus I feel like much of her work is a series of explorations of what happens when someone desires and thoughts cross an accepted social norm.
Miranda even appears to be the perfect vehicle for this entire world she explores: there’s a slightness to her, a plain and natural beauty, but also a child-like cuteness displayed by her stark, wide eyes. They contain the perfect mix of innocence and an intrinsic sadness; she seems like the perennial adolescent.
I can’t wait to read some more.