Miranda July (born Miranda Jennifer Grossinger) arrived in Portland in 1996. A film school drop out attracted by the Pacific Northwest’s Riot Grrrl scene, she proceeded to create, from the ground up, both her own career and a national support network for other female filmmakers.
I saw Miranda perform Love Diamond, a “live movie” commissioned by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, at Lincoln Center in 1999. The room had maybe twenty people in it. Three years later, I watched her lecture on Nest of Tens to a packed auditorium at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2005, everyone who wasn’t talking about Gus Van Sant’s Last Days was raving about You Me and Everyone We Know, Miranda’s first feature film. Both hit Manhattan at the same time.
It was around this time I began to think that Portlanders underestimated how much Oregon there is in New York.
A classic lillypadder, Miranda July now lives in LA. She has kept her Portland years close to her heart, as you see in the following video, in which she tries to pass on to a group of young Angelenos her love of DIY, postering, and open source everything.