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It Chooses You Paperback – July 31, 2012
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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.
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- 90 days FREE of Amazon Music Unlimited. Included with purchase of an eligible product. You will receive an email with signup instructions. Renews automatically. New subscribers only. Terms apply. Offered by Amazon.com. Here's how (restrictions apply)
About the Author
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.
- Publisher : McSweeney's; First Trade Paper edition (July 31, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1938073010
- ISBN-13 : 978-1938073014
- Item Weight : 15 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.56 x 0.72 x 8.33 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #614,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #777 in Art of Film & Video
- #1,334 in Pop Culture Art
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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That being said, I think this book is definitely worth buying but also, definitely worth reading after seeing the movie. But, in short, this book is an eccentric, and somewhat enviable, exercise in procrastination. Miranda July, in an effort to avoid working on a looming screenplay, pushes herself beyond the normal, typically fruitless and non-constructive StumbleUpon sessions most of us fill our time with. She picks up a copy of the local PennySaver and looks to the classifieds for some sort of cosmic understanding through the mundane or curious items listed and the people who are selling them. A narrative ties all of the interviews together and lends some insight as to what compels the author to continue conducting interviews.
Because it's mostly handled with wit and saddled with the author's neuroses it doesn't come across as pedantic or preachy, she only seems to be looking for some practical enlightenment. Really, though, it's more a story of the journey than anything she may have learned through it. Still, like all of Miranda July's work, it feels poignant and significant and I can never quite say why. I do know that I feel somehow fulfilled whenever I read her books, watch her movies or browse her website.
Top reviews from other countries
I stumbled upon this book and had ordered it from Amazon. It was one of those... if you like this... you'll love this type of marketing tactics that Amazon does. But - I took the bait and bought the book after having read the synopsis.... which sounds intriguing and "right up my alley" (as my mother would say).
The author, Miranda July, had started reading the PennySaver, which is a classified ad type flyer, that allows people to post their items for free, as long as the item was being sold for less than $100. As the author notes in her book, sort of like Craigslist (or Kijii) for those that haven't entered into the world of the internet yet. So Miranda starts looking and reading the PennySaver cover to cover and becomes curious about who the people are behind the ads in the PennySaver. She wanted to know who the person was that was selling the "Large leather Jacket, $10?" and what that person was all about.
So Miranda called up people from the PennySaver and asked to meet with them and offered to pay them $50 to allow her to interview them. Most turned her down but some more adventurous souls or perhaps those desperate enough to earn the $50, accepted her proposal.
Miranda brought with her to each interview, two friends, Brigitte Sire who was the photographer and Alfred her assistant, who was there to "protect them from rape". Brigitte the photographer, captured the other half of the story... in pictures. Candid type pictures of the person being interviewed, as well as their living environment, their calendars, and sometimes taking photos of the interviewees photographs, photo albums or scrapbooks.
The people she meets are fascinating. The author isn't afraid to ask questions... but does so in a way that is gentle, compassionate and understanding toward each individual's different set of circumstances. I feel like her personality, lent a great deal of weight towards each of these interviewees trusting her, opening up to her and revealing their inner selves. I found that with certain interviewees - I was left wanting more. I wanted to know even more about the people behind the items being sold in the PennySaver, just like the author did... view yet unseen.
There is a lot more to the book, than just the interviews and photographs. The author also asks the reader questions about how the internet is providing an alternate world, so to speak, in which people do not discover others who are different from them, in the same way anymore. She notes the affect that the internet has had on our generations new view of what 'reality' is... what our 'world' now has become for us. One we created.
The book, felt like a journey and at the end of it, I found my eyes watering at the beauty of people. The beauty of our differences, the beauty of our life's path but also the beauty of the end of life's path and how both meaningful and meaningless it all can be.
Highly, highly recommend this book!