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Miranda July Talks About "Me and You and Everyone We Know"

July on Writing, Directing and Starring in "Me and You and Everyone We Know"

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Miranda July Talks About

John Hawkes and Miranda July in "Me and You and Everyone We Know."

© IFC Films
The Story: "Me and You and Everyone We Know" follows shoe salesman Richard (John Hawkes), a newly single father of two whose emotions are still on edge over the break-up of his marriage. Meeting the kooky artist Christine (Miranda July), Richard can't help but panic. Meanwhile his two young boys are exploring their sexuality through interactions with classmates and an Internet romance.

Writer/Director/Actor Miranda July on Her Inspiration for “Me and You and Everyone We Know:” “The initial idea in a way was pretty vague. It was the idea of making a territory that I could come up with kind of any number of things in. It was the idea of having an ensemble cast. I have the first thing I wrote – it was like, “Ensemble cast.” A kind of feeling to that world, that it was almost the quality of the light in it. I did think of the father and the two sons and the shoe store and the curator and the artist. And I think that was all I initially thought of on day one.

The main thing was sort of like, ‘Oh, if I were to ever write a feature, probably for my first one it would be best to just not come up with a plot that I’d have to fill out,’ given that I have no idea how to write a screenplay. It’s better to just make a space where I could just keep writing stuff every day, based on what I was feeling that day. And keep adding characters and learn as I go how to make it become a single story.”

On Casting John Hawkes: “Basically I saw a zillion people and then he came in. I remember he came in and I was trying to say like, ‘Hi,’ or something and I completely fumbled what I was trying to say, which I was like, ‘Wow, this person totally threw me off in the first two seconds.’ Which I thought was a good thing because of course I’m casting him, but I also know I have to play opposite him. I just knew three minutes into the audition we’d found the person.

The first scene we did together, which was the first scene I acted in, was that walk down the street and I just remember totally believing it, just feeling so charmed by him. The scene in the car where he kicks me out, it’s like really hard. It’s hard to direct those scenes and be in them and be so hurt by him. You really have to do it. Even though you’re directing you really have to feel and believe that much. Then you have to say, ‘Cut.’ After a while I had other people calling, ‘Cut.’ I thought it was a little schizo to be calling cut in my own scenes [laughing].”

What Miranda July Hopes Audiences Will Take From “Me and You and Everyone We Know:” “I guess that something is possible that wasn’t possible before, whether that’s a feeling or a thought or a conversation with someone else or actually creating something. I love when I see something to feel like there’s a little bit more room in the world that didn’t exist before. I guess that’s the feeling I want to give.”

Writing a Script That Deals with Sexuality in Children: “I feel like I’m trying to make a little more room and perhaps a little vocabulary for a place that I feel like is so narrow. I mean, just the fact that children are sexual - it’s like that’s somehow frightening. Just to state that, even though any mom knows that. And then on top of that the children are sexual and they live in an adult world. I mean, the world really is an adult world. It’s not designed for kids and so of course those two things are going to come into contact with each other, I think, usually in much more subtle ways than in the movie. But the movie is almost a clunky metaphor for that. And I wanted to talk about that and show that without having to have just a vocabulary of blame or shame or some horrifying thing going wrong. To say that like it can be both really scary and okay. It can be also sad and exciting and even kind of fulfilling, you know? And that really it’s not a good conversation to leave to pedophiles.”

PAGE 2: Miranda July on the Cannes Film Festival and Having Sympathy for Her Characters

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