Thursday, 6 October 2016

It Chooses You by Miranda July

We’ve all done things to procrastinate when the task at hand seems simply too hard. It Chooses You is Miranda July’s personal form of procrastination. It started simply enough; reading the PennySaver (America’s version of Trade and Exchange) as a way to avoid working on a screenplay she was struggling to finish. But July found that reading the ads was simply not enough, she wanted to know more about these people, why were they selling this hairdryer/leather jacket/care bear and what did it say about them? The result is a wonderful collection of interviews and accompanying photographs of everyday people living their personal version of everyday life.

July is a writer/director/actor with a very particular style. The ability to observe everyday mundane things with a unique honesty of detail lends reality to her work that’s often more true than life itself. She talks often about the most human of things, the everyday habits and obsessions we would never share with anyone she talks of openly and thoughtfully. She’s not scared to share her personal world, which is told throughout the book and somewhat links the interviews. Perhaps her willingness to share and her understanding of human nature is the reason the interviews get so deep so quick, though that might just be the kind of people that sell in the PennySaver.

It Chooses You is a voyeuristic look into another world, often slightly left field but always touching and real. July lets herself get wrapped up in the lives of the people she’s decided to meet. She uses them to disconnect, and then reconnect, with the characters in her neglected screenplay. There’s a quirkiness to July’s work that I can’t help but love. I’ve enjoyed her novels and her movies, and if you enjoy this one you’re in for a real treat.

Posted by Jessica

Catalogue link: It Chooses You

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