It Chooses You
Mcsweeney's Literary Arts Fund
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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.
Miranda July is the author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, 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 d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Her second film, The Future, was released this summer.