Miranda July’s Quirky Film Presents Somebody, the New App That Connects Strangers in the Real World

Hav­ing owned an iPhone for all of one month, I’m still a bit leery of all it can pur­port­ed­ly do for me. Con­ve­nience is great, but I’m not sure I’m ready to cede con­trol of all the lit­tle tasks, chal­lenges, and puz­zles my own imper­fect brain has been han­dling more or less well for near­ly half a cen­tu­ry.

I don’t hate blun­der­ing. And I real­ly like inter­act­ing with librar­i­ans, local res­i­dents, and strangers who might be will­ing to use my cam­era to take a group pho­to in a restau­rant or scenic loca­tion. 

Film­mak­er Miran­da July’s just released Some­body is, I sus­pect, some­thing of a niche app.

If you cringe at the idea of flash mobs, Improv Every­where, and audi­ence inter­ac­tive the­ater, it is most def­i­nite­ly not for you. 

It’s absolute­ly per­fect for me (or will be once I get up to speed on my touch­screen.)

Basi­cal­ly, you take a self­ie, cre­ate a pro­file, and wait for a stranger to select you to deliv­er a live mes­sage as his or her proxy. In addi­tion to trawl­ing the area for the des­ig­nat­ed recip­i­ent, you may be called upon to weep, hug, or get on your knees to get that mes­sage across.

Will you make a new friend? Prob­a­bly not, but you will def­i­nite­ly share a moment.

And because no good deed goes unre­ward­ed, your per­for­mance will be open to the vagaries of cus­tomer review, a humil­i­a­tion July does not shy from in the pro­mo­tion­al video above.

Is this app for real?

Yes, espe­cial­ly if you live in LA, New York, or anoth­er cul­tur­al­ly rich Some­body hotspot.

If you don’t—or if receiv­ing a mes­sage deliv­ered, in all like­li­hood, by a tech savvy hip­ster, makes your flesh crawl—you can still enjoy the film as a com­ment on our dig­i­tal exis­tence, as well as a reflec­tion of July’s ongo­ing desire to con­nect.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Miran­da July’s Short Film on Avoid­ing the Pit­falls of Pro­cras­ti­na­tion

Learn to Make But­tons with Film­mak­er Miran­da July

David Sedaris Reads You a Sto­ry By Miran­da July

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, home­school­er, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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