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Miranda July Videoworks: Volume 1

Four short videos by artist Miranda July, covering the period 1996 to 2001.

# Title Artists Run Time Year Country
1 Atlanta Miranda July 00:10:00 1996 United States
2 The Amateurist Miranda July 00:14:00 1998 United States
3 Nest of Tens Miranda July 00:27:00 1999 United States
4 Getting Stronger Every Day Miranda July 00:06:30 2001 United States

Atlanta

Miranda July
1996 | 00:10:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

DESCRIPTION

A 12-year-old Olympic swimmer and her mother (both played by July) speak to the public about going for the gold.

“As the film progresses through subtle editing-in-reverse, July reveals the world around the televised facade. ... [T]he 23-year-old performer convincingly plays both Dawn Schnavel and her mom, or rather, vanishes into them. What’s noticeable isn’t so much the ease with which July transforms herself into a pre-teen girl and an older woman but the similarities and differences between the daughter and the mother July becomes.”

—Derk Richardson, “The Marvelous World of Miranda July,” San Francisco Bay Guardian (3 June 1998)

This title is also available on Miranda July Videoworks: Volume 1.

The Amateurist

Miranda July
1998 | 00:14:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

DESCRIPTION

A captivating video about surveillance, identity, watching, and being watched, The Amateurist slides along the edges of horror and satire to create an unsettling portrait of a woman on the brink of a technologically driven madness.

The Amateurist alternately adores and rejects three familiar tropes: the sick and examined woman, the starlet/stripper, and the genius/talentless woman. As a performer living with a chronic illness who has been both a child actress and a stripper, I choose not to speak with an autobiographical voice, which would, in itself be yet another cliché (the confessional). Instead, I create women who are predictable amalgamations of single types… What I choose to say with these figurines is much less articulatable, though no less familiar. The prescribed lines dismantle themselves with mutual interrogation and this process releases fumes of true loneliness, relentless strength, insatiable desire.”

— Miranda July

"The Amateurist has very few precedents--many films provoke laughter and tears, but few (only Chantal Akerman's early work and Todd Haynes Safe spring to mind) do so in a way that taps so directly into submerged contemporary anxiety."

— Derk Richardson, “The Marvelous World of Miranda July,” San Francisco Bay Guardian (3 June 1998)

"I've seen [The Amateurist] three times and it's still so inexplicable. It feels like it has its own invented language and laws. When I try to describe it to people, I can't!"

— Alison Maclean (Director of Crush and Jesus' Son)

This title is also available on Miranda July Videoworks: Volume 1.

Nest of Tens

Miranda July
1999 | 00:27:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

DESCRIPTION

Nest of Tens is comprised of four alternating stories which reveal mundane yet personal methods of control. These systems are derived from intuitive sources. Children and a retarded adult operate control panels made out of paper, lists, monsters, and their own bodies.

"A young boy, home alone, performing a bizarre ritual with a baby; an uneasy, aborted sexual flirtation between a teenage babysitter and an older man; an airport lounge encounter between a businesswoman (played by July) and a young girl. Linked by a lecturer enumerating phobias in a quasi-academic seminar, these three perverse, unnerving scenarios involving children and adults provide authentic glimpses into the queasy strangeness that lies behind the everyday."

— New York Video Festival (2000)

This title is also available on Miranda July Videoworks: Volume 1.

Getting Stronger Every Day

Miranda July
2001 | 00:06:30 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

DESCRIPTION

"There are two movies I saw on TV about boys who were taken from their families and then returned to them years later. One boy was on a fun spaceship for years and the other boy was kidnapped and molested. These boys were never the same again and they just couldn't re-integrate into the family. I saw these movies when I was little. I've often described them to people, always paired together. They are sort of the comedy and tragedy version of the same story and it is a mundanely spiritual story. Getting Stronger Every Day includes these boys' tales, but they are like mystical objects placed on the living reality of the man storyteller. In other parts of the movie actual mystical objects hover in peoples lives without a myth or story attached. I like to think about how these dimensions interact simply and can be enacted: real life / story / worldly / spirit / video / flat drawing."

— Miranda July

This title is also available on Miranda July Videoworks: Volume 1.