Miranda July

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Miranda July
Miranda july.jpg
Born Miranda Jennifer Grossinger
(1974-02-15) February 15, 1974 (age 43)
Barre, Vermont, U.S.
Occupation Actress, director, screenwriter, singer
Spouse(s) Mike Mills (m. 2009)
Children 1

Miranda July (born Miranda Jennifer Grossinger; February 15, 1974) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, author and artist. Her body of work includes film, fiction, monologue, digital media presentations, and live performance art.

She wrote, directed and starred in the films Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) and The Future (2011). She wrote the book of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007) and the novel The First Bad Man (2015).[1]

July was a recipient of a Creative Capital Emerging Fields Award.[2]


July was born in Barre, Vermont, in 1974,[3] the daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard Grossinger. Her parents, who taught at Goddard College at the time, are both writers.[4] Her parents founded North Atlantic Books, a publisher of alternative health, martial arts, and spiritual titles.[5] Her father was Jewish, and her mother was Protestant.[6]

July was encouraged to work on her short fiction by author and friend of a friend Rick Moody.[7] She grew up in Berkeley, California, where she first began writing plays and staging them at the all-ages club 924 Gilman. She attended The College Preparatory School in Oakland for high school. She later attended UC Santa Cruz, dropping out in her sophomore year.[8]

After leaving college, she moved to Portland, Oregon, and took up performance art. Her performances were successful; she has been quoted as saying she has not worked a day job since she was 23 years old.[9]



Miranda July reading at Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco

Beginning in 1995,[10] while living in Portland, July began a project called Joanie4Jackie (originally called "Big Miss Moviola")[11] that solicited short films by women, which she compiled onto video cassettes, using the theme of a chain letter.[12] She then sent the cassette to the participants, and to subscribers to the series, and offered them for sale to others interested. In addition to the chain letter series, July began a second series called the Co-Star Series, in which she invited friends from larger cities to select a group of films outside of the chain letter submissions. The curators included July, Rita Gonzalez, and Astria Suparak. The Joanie4Jackie series also screened at film festivals and DIY movie events. So far, thirteen editions have been released, the latest in 2002.[citation needed]

In 2017 the Getty Research Institute announced that they had acquired an archive of Joanie4Jackie as a donation from July. The collection includes more than 200 titles from the 1990s and 2000s, videos from Joanie4Jackie events, booklets, posters, hand-written letters from participants, and other documentation. Thomas W. Gaehtgens, the director of the Getty Research Institute, stated that the acquisition is “an esteemed addition to our Special Collections that connects to work by many important 20th century artists who are also represented in our archives, such as Eleanor Antin, Yvonne Rainer and Carolee Schneemann.”[13]

Me and You and Everyone We Know[edit]

Filmmaker rated her number one in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004. After winning a slot in a Sundance workshop, she developed her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which opened in 2005.

The film won The Caméra d'Or prize in The Cannes Festival 2005[14] as well as the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Best First Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival, Feature Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival.[15]

The Future[edit]

On May 16, 2007, July mentioned that she was currently working on a new film. This film was originally titled "Satisfaction" but was later renamed The Future, with July in a lead role.[16] The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.[17]

Other film achievements[edit]

Wayne Wang consulted with July about aspects of his feature-length film The Center of the World (2001),[18] for which she received a "story by" credit.

On June 29, 2016, July was one of 683 artists and executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as a writer.[19]

Music and spoken word[edit]

She recorded her first EP for Kill Rock Stars in 1996, titled Margie Ruskie Stops Time, with music by The Need. After that, she released two more full-length LPs, 10 Million Hours A Mile in 1997 and Binet-Simon Test in 1998, both released on Kill Rock Stars.[citation needed] In 1999 she made a split EP with IQU, released on K Records.


At the San Francisco Cinematheque fundraiser at Theater Artaud, 2006

July has acted in many of her own short films, including Atlanta, The Amateurist, Nest of Tens, Are You The Favorite Person of Anyone?, and her feature length films Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future.[20] She also made a small appearance in the film Jesus' Son. She appeared in an episode of Portlandia in 2012.

Live performance pieces[edit]

In 1998, July made her first full-length multimedia performance piece, Love Diamond, in collaboration with composer Zac Love and with help from artist Jamie Isenstein; she called it a "live movie." She performed it at venues around the country, including the New York Video Festival, The Kitchen, and Yoyo A Go Go in Olympia.

She created her next major full-length performance piece, The Swan Tool, in 2000, also in collaboration with Love, with digital production work by Mitsu Hadeishi. She performed this piece in venues around the world, including the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In 2006, after completing her first feature film, she went on to create another multimedia piece, Things We Don’t Understand and Definitely Are Not Going To Talk About, which she performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.[21]

In March 2015, July premiered her performance work New Society as part of the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival.[22] In the program for the performance, July requested the audience not share details of the show, stating it is now "a rare sensation to sit down in a theater with no idea what will happen.”[23]

Various art projects[edit]

With artist Harrell Fletcher, July founded the online arts project called Learning to Love You More (2002–2009). The project's website offered assignments to artists whose submissions became part of "an ever-changing series of exhibitions, screenings and radio broadcasts presented all over the world".[24] In addition to its Internet presentations, Learning to Love You More also compiled exhibitions for the Whitney Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and other hosts.[24][25] A book version of the project's online art was released in 2007.[25][26] Starting May 1st, 2009 the project's website stopped accepting assignment submissions. In 2010 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art acquired the website, in order to preserve it as an archive of the project online.[27]

In 2013 she started We Think Alone, an art project involving Sheila Heti, Danh Vo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lena Dunham and Kirsten Dunst among others where some friends share with July a private mail on a specific topic.[28]

In 2014 she created an iOS app, Somebody,[29] which allows users to compose a message to be delivered to someone else in-person, or to deliver someone else's message in-person. When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. Somebody is a far-reaching public art project that incites performance and twists our love of avatars and outsourcing — every relationship becomes a three-way. The project was funded by Miu Miu.[30] The app closed on 31 October 2015.[31]


Her short story The Boy from Lam Kien was published in 2005 by Cloverfield Press, as a special-edition book with illustration by Elinor Nissley and Emma Hedditch. Her next story, Something That Needs Nothing, was published in the September 18, 2006, issue of The New Yorker.

No One Belongs Here More Than You[edit]

No One Belongs Here More Than You, July's collection of short vignettes, was published by Scribner in 2007.[32]

It won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award on September 24, 2007.[33] In her review for The New York Times, reviewer Sheelah Kolhatkar gave the collection a mixed review writing, "A handful of these stories are sweet and revealing, although in many cases the attempt to create “art” is too self-conscious, and the effort comes off as pointlessly strange."[32]

As of 2015 the collection has more than 200,000 copies in circulation.[34]

The First Bad Man[edit]

July's first novel The First Bad Man was published by Scribner in January 2015.[35] The narrative centers around Cheryl Glickman, a middle-aged woman in crisis whose life abruptly changes course when a young woman, named Clee, moves into her home.[35][36] The novel explores the complex relationship between Cheryl and Clee.[37]

In her review for The New York Times Book Review, reviewer Lauren Groff writes The First Bad Man "makes for a wry, smart companion on any day. It’s warm. It has a heartbeat and a pulse. This is a book that is painfully alive."[37]

Personal life[edit]

July dated Radio Sloan from The Need when she first moved to Portland. She went on to date K Records founder Calvin Johnson.[38] July is married to the artist and film director Mike Mills, with whom she has a son.[39][40]

Johanna Fateman, of the post-punk band Le Tigre, has referred to July as being her "best friend from high school".[41]

In a 2007 interview with Bust magazine, July spoke of the importance which feminism has had in her life, saying, "What's confusing about [being a feminist]? It's just being pro-your ability to do what you need to do. It doesn't mean you don't love your boyfriend or whatever...When I say 'feminist', I mean that in the most complex, interesting, exciting way!"[42]

July expressed her views on intersectionality and education in a 2017 interview with Vice: "I too have learned so much in the past few years, and I love that we've become so articulate and conscious and educated and aware of intersectionality...but I don't think the way to say thank you for all that education is to just sit back and hold it inside, and be smart alone in your room."[43]


Full length films by July[edit]

Full length films with contributions by July[edit]

Short films by July[edit]

[n 1]

  • I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Have Most of It Left[44]
  • Atlanta (1996) – appeared on Audio-Cinematic Mix Tape (Peripheral Produce)
  • The Amateurist (1997) – part of Joanie4Jackie4Ever
  • A Shape Called Horse (1999) – appeared on Video Fanzine #1 (Kill Rock Stars)
  • Nest of Tens (1999) (Peripheral Produce)
  • Getting Stronger Every Day (2001) – 6 mins 30 secs,[45] appeared on Peripheral Produce: All-Time Greatest Hits: a collection of experimental films and videos (Peripheral Produce)
  • Haysha Royko (2003) – 4 mins[46]
  • Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? (2005)[44] – appeared on Wholphin issue 1
  • Somebody (2014), Miu Miu's Womens' Tales 8 – 10 mins 14 secs
  • Miranda July Introduces the Miranda (2014) – advertisement for a handbag designed by July and Welcome Companions. With music by JD Samson.

Short films with contributions by July[edit]

  • The Portland Girl Convention (1996) by Emily B. Kingan – documentary
  • The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal (2001) by Matt McCormick – with narration by July. Appeared on Peripheral Produce: All-Time Greatest Hits: a collection of experimental films and videos (Peripheral Produce).

Music videos[edit]


Full length publications by July[edit]

Full length publications with others[edit]

Short story by July[edit]


  • Love Diamond (1998–2000)
  • The Swan Tool (2000–2002)
  • How I Learned to Draw (2002–2003)
  • Things We Don't Understand and Are Definitely Not Going to Talk About (2006–present)
  • Eleven Heavy Things (2009)
  • New Society (2015)



  • 10 Million Hours a Mile (1997) (Kill Rock Stars)
  • The Binet-Simon Test (1998) (Kill Rock Stars)


  • Margie Ruskie Stops Time EP (1996) with music by The Need (Kill Rock Stars)
  • Girls on Dates split EP with IQU (1999) (K Records)



  1. ^ Many of these works are distributed by the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


  1. ^ July, Miranda (2015). The First Bad Man. Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 978-1439172568. 
  2. ^ a b "Miranda July: Emerging Fields". Creative Capital. 2002. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ Morris, Wesley (June 26, 2005). "Putting all they know to work". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 27, 2012.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ "The Miranda July Story". Underground Literary Alliance. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  5. ^ "North Atlantic Books". North Atlantic Books. 
  6. ^ Onstad, Katrina (2011-07-14). "Miranda July, The Make-Believer". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Ashman, Angela (2007-05-08). "You and Her and Everything She Knows". The Village Voice. 
  8. ^ "A moment with performance artist/filmmaker Miranda July". SeattlePi.com. 2005-05-30. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  9. ^ Johnson, G. Allen (2005-06-29). "Performance artist's new role – film director". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-04-11. 
  10. ^ July, Miranda, ed. (1996). Joanie4Jackie (VHS). Portland, Oregon. 
  11. ^ "Everything About Some Kind of Loving". Joanie4Jackie.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  12. ^ "How This Underground Feminist Art Project Turned Miranda July Into a Filmmaker". ELLE. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  13. ^ Vankin, Deborah (2017-01-30). "The Getty acquires Miranda July's feminist DIY video archive for 'Joanie 4 Jackie'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  14. ^ "Cannes 2005: The Winners". indieWIRE.com. 2005-05-21. Archived from the original on November 30, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  15. ^ "Me and You and Everyone We Know". IFC Films. 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  16. ^ Finding 'Satisfaction' Variety, May 15, 2008.
  17. ^ Olsen, Mark (2011-01-21). "Sundance Film Festival: Miranda July looks into 'The Future'". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ The Center of the World (2001), IMDb
  19. ^ "NEW MEMBERS 2016: ACADEMY INVITES 683 TO MEMBERSHIP". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  20. ^ "Me and You and Everyone We Know". MirandaJuly.com. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Miranda July: performances". MirandaJuly.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  22. ^ "San Francisco Film Society and SFMOMA Co-Present Miranda July's 'New Society' at 58th San Francisco International Film Festival". San Francisco Film Society. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  23. ^ Brantley, Ben (2015-10-11). "Review: In Miranda July's 'New Society,' the Audience Makes the Show". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  24. ^ a b Yuri Ono (designer) (2009). "Hello". Learningtoloveyoumore.com. Miranda July; Harrell Fletcher. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b KCAI (2009). "Current Perspectives lecture series, Spring 2009: Harrell Fletcher". Kcai.edu. Kansas City Art Institute. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  26. ^ July, Miranda; Fletcher, Harrell (2007). Learning to Love You More. Munich; New York: Prestel. ISBN 3791337335. 
  27. ^ "Learning To Love You More". www.learningtoloveyoumore.com. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  28. ^ July, Miranda. "We Think Alone", Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  29. ^ Stinson, Liz. "Miranda July Creates an App That Doubles as a Social Experiment". Wired. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  30. ^ Alter, Alexandar (9 January 2015). "An Escape Artist, Unlocking Door After Door Miranda July Blurs Fiction and Reality to Promote a Novel". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  31. ^ http://somebodyapp.com/
  32. ^ a b Kolhatkar, Sheelah (1 July 2007). "Cringe Festival". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  33. ^ Lea, Richard (2007-09-24). "Award-winning film-maker scoops short story prize". London, UK: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  34. ^ Alter, Alexandra. "An Escape Artist, Unlocking Door After Door Miranda July Blurs Fiction and Reality to Promote a Novel". New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko. "Crouched Behind a Barricade, Until a Crude Stranger Barges In Miranda July's 'The First Bad Man'". New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  36. ^ Miller, Laura (2015-02-11). "The First Bad Man by Miranda July review – strenuously quirky". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  37. ^ a b Groff, Lauren (January 18, 2015). "SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW: 'The First Bad Man,' by Miranda July". New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Miranda July". KUCI.org. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  39. ^ "Judd Apatow vs. Miranda July". Huck Magazine. January 5, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  40. ^ Hiebert, Paul (June 2, 2010). "Miranda July Makes Art That Requires People". Flavorwire. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  41. ^ Fateman, Johanna. "My Herstory". LeTigreWorld.com. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  42. ^ Profile, Feministing.com; accessed April 5, 2017.
  43. ^ ""what does it mean to have a £3 top next to a £3,000 top?" – miranda july on religion, prejudice and luxury shopping". I-d. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  44. ^ a b Kaleem Aftab, "Miranda July: A renaissance woman with a bright future", The Independent, 17 October 2011. Accessed 11 November 2017
  45. ^ Xan Brooks, "Miranda July", The Guardian, 6 March 2001. Accessed 11 November 2017
  46. ^ "Haysha Royko: Miranda July", Video Data Bank. Accessed 11 November 2017
  47. ^ "Get Up: Sleater-Kinney's last show: A retrospective". PitchforkMedia.com. 2006-08-28. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  48. ^ "Video: Blonde Redhead: "Top Ranking"". PitchforkMedia.com. 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-08-08. [dead link]

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