Shoot the Piano Player | The Nation


Shoot the Piano Player

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In a film world that can boast of Audiard, Jia and Joe, it seems unfair to place America's hopes on the slim and wistful figure of writer, director and actor Miranda July. But the big news recently has been the release of her first feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know, so we might as well enjoy what we've got.

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation's film critic Stuart Klawans is author of the books Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order (a finalist for...

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A Los Angeles-based conceptual artist who here plays a Los Angeles-based conceptual artist, July wittily constructs her film as a solar system of small, sad people sharing small, sad jokes, all of them orbiting a really funny joke of stellar magnitude that is revealed toward the movie's end. Although I musn't explain this core gag, I can tell you it involves the Internet, urban anxieties, the contemporary art world, infantile sexuality and what passes for grown-up sexuality. That July manages to address all these issues almost in passing, almost with a shrug, seems to me entirely to her credit--as does her honesty in summing them up with an image that may be translated as "same old shit."

I might object to the film as too superficial, too nice--too American--on the grounds that almost everyone in it turns out to be an innocent. But since July makes her own character the exception, proving to be aggressive despite all that wistfulness, I will admit to having had a shrugging good time.

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