Three Questions with Miranda July

The filmmaker and author reveals the mantra that kept her going, a trick of the trade, and why she avoids the internet.

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CARICATURE BY STEVE CARROLL

How does it feel to see your work collected in this book?
The whole time I was making it, I would remind myself: “You’d love a book like this, a book about a woman artist that was so intimate.” To make a work about work…it’s like a hall of mirrors.

When you’re working on a project, how do you find the faith to move forward?
You have to find a way into the soft, porous side of the world. The internet is the opposite of this. So you can’t be passive about that—you have to be aggressive with yourself when it comes to limiting it.

You cite the “unconscious frisson” of creating movies. How do you invite that spontaneity into your writing?
I have all kinds of tricks, but the main thing that keeps it spontaneous is the act of writing itself. Writing, like acting, is inherently spontaneous. It’s always improv.

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