Miranda July comes out of the background in “Vice”


What I love about Miranda July is not the fact that she at one time dated a lady. While that may earn her some bonus points, it’s really just her knack of churning out countless original, offbeat creative projects that seem at once completely random and totally genius.

The You Me and Everyone We Know writer/director’s latest offering is a photoshoot for Vice magazine in which she recreates scenes from famous movies. In staying with her typical M.O. of not taking the obvious approach, instead of posing as the main characters of the scene, July instead dresses as an almost-invisible background character–an extra we’d hardly give a second glance, much less second thought.

Accompanying the shoot is a letter to “Julie” from “Sandy” in which July writes:

It seems like I am forever stuck in the background, watching other people say and do all the things I feel inside. One day I’m gonna surprise everyone with my talents. They will be laughing and crying and texting me so often that I will be annoyed.

Here are some of the best July-fied movie scenes:

The Outsiders

Ponyboy got all the attention in this movie. That girl with the long brown ponytail (ponygirl?) basically fades right into the building behind her. But July’s striking profile proves she’s not meant to be an extra — ever. Although, she’d make a very good stand-in, considering how she nails the pose perfectly, complete with the exact same bend of the knee and white paper bag. Now that’s attention to detail.


There were a lot of well-known names in Grease, but, in this scene, Miranda picks out a character I don’t even think had a name (correct me if I’m wrong here). While Sandy D, her friends, and some randoms are singing all about summer love, there’s a lurker in the back with crazy hair and a plaid jacket — naturally, Miranda’s choice. Makes me wonder if she was just trying to find something to wear that jacket for.

Dog Day Afternoon

While this is a pretty famous Al Pacino scene, I’m willing to be not many people paid much attention to the cops. But Miranda’s rendition of one of them is spot on (except she’s using an iPhone in her version). While we can’t see her face, this one is definitely my favorite. Must be the uniform.

Check out the other photos on the Vicewebsite. What do you think of Miranda July’s latest creative endeavor?