Miranda July is to Love as David Lynch is to Reality. Both of them fully understand the concepts at hand, yet both of them prefer to capture the illusiveness of them instead of their purest essence. Miranda July prefers to capture the feeling of love and how it presents itself among different people living distinct facets of life instead of simply giving you a stale portrayal that exhibits a dry definition. She’s more interested in the atmosphere surrounding the object rather than the object itself.
July is an auteur in the truest sense, her work in film is somewhat limited, but the little we have is genuinely lovely. From the very opening scene, July defines the mood that will drive this film forward, combining her modernist feel with the blazing fire of Richard Swersey’s (Hawkes) attempt at self-immolation, which brings out something ritualistic, nonsensical, and rooted in tradition that clashes modernism but complements July’s style. Whether its the camera, the actions the characters perform, or the dialogue, there’s always something slightly off about July’s composition and it’s that very wrongness that captures our eyes and ear, in the beginning it’s all we fixate on but by the end we couldn’t care less. Those tiny, purposefully placed oddities are making a stance, they’re telling us to forgive the tiny mistakes that make up the world and focus on the bigger picture, in July’s case, let’s forget about the societal make-up by which we can settle for love and solely devote ourselves to Eros.
By weaving together this Lynchian-love ensemble, July expresses the universality and inevitability of love. Your soul-mate might be four year-olds or a killer of children, but he’s your soulmate and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s a greater pattern to the cosmos and if we could stop micro-managing everything and let ourselves be drifted by the universal current, maybe, just maybe we can actually some form of nirvana.
One could call July’s work poetic, but I like to view it as rampant run-on sentence that carries a whirlwind of emotions or like an unforeseen wave that just hits you, entraps you for a while and then releases you back into the world after having shifted your perspective. There’s something terrifying about the unforeseen and inevitable, but there’s always something rewarding that comes after-the-fact. I don’t remember if I mentioned this in my initial review of The Future, but I vividly remember dozing off to that film, not as a result of boredom or exhaustion, but as if swayed away by a dose hypnotism supplied by July. I awoke to the film still playing and stared at the screen until it ended and when it did, I immediately rewinded, I was sucked in and didn’t want to be released by the wave just yet.
There’s something magical about the way July portrays the magic that weaves the world together. We’re made to love and forced to die, July gets that but decides to keep it in its abstract form, its truly most poetic and beautiful form. Its seemingly ungraspable yet happens to everyone all the time, there’s no way around it, just embrace it and spread the message. That’s Me and You and Everyone We Know is about, everyone knows the message, everyone is a living messenger and how could we possibly avoid this God-given universal form of love if it’s what keeps humans being humane.