DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Parker Posey Day

 

‘Parker Posey’s Wikipedia page is severely deficient. In the late nineties, after starring in dozens of independent films, she was given the label “Queen of the Indies” by Time magazine, and that appears to be her only legacy. But in the two decades since her début, Posey has cemented herself as the greatest character actress of the last few decades. I was reminded of this last week, when a promotional video for the Primetime Emmys was released on YouTube. In the video, Posey plays an eccentric acting teacher named Jan (Just Act Naturally), who teaches a master class on Emmy acceptance speeches. Jan, who is invariably dressed like some kind of gypsy—all bell sleeves and costume jewelry—floats around her studio leading her students through vocal warmups, physical exercises, and theatre games. The video is something of an homage to Posey’s particular craft, even as she pokes fun at it.

‘Over the span of her long career, Posey has always played characters you couldn’t take your eyes off of, and not just because she was and continues to be outrageously good-looking. In 1993, she was Darla Marks, a bitchy high-school senior and self-proclaimed “head girl” in the cult classic Dazed and Confused. In an improvised character interview for the movie, Posey waxes pitch-perfectly for three and a half minutes on “the high school, which I love, I can’t stand it.” In 1995’s Party Girl, she played a city girl-turned-librarian who embraces the Dewey Decimal system with aplomb. That same year, in Drunks, she performed another master monologue, and in Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming, she was Miami, a college senior fed up with her recently graduated boyfriend’s ennui. In Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, she played Meg Swan, one half of what is perhaps one of the best lampoons of a yuppie, J.Crew-wearing, Starbucks-drinking couple ever committed to film. Every line she delivers feels spontaneous, but not insincere.

‘Posey grew up in Mississippi and retains a beguiling southern vocal mannerism—less a drawl than a stretching of her vowels—that she brings, in varying degrees, to every one of her characters. This combined with her almost sing-songy head voice can make many of her characters sound almost vacuous. But it is this delivery that makes her a theatrical genius. Posey appears practically unconcerned with what her characters are saying, and wholly focussed on how they’re saying it. Her character studies are all the more refreshing for never having been repeated (as opposed to those of, say, Seth MacFarlane). Recently, Posey has made some unforgettable guest appearances on television, including a turn as one of Louis C.K.’s love interests on his FX show, Louie. Liz is a bookstore clerk full of intrigue and red flags—one bartender recognizes and refuses to serve her. She and Louis go on a magical date that includes vintage dress shopping and sucking down herring at Russ and Daughters, but ultimately turns very sour; Posey’s execution is both hilarious and haunting. But if I had to pick a single role of Posey’s that exemplifies the breadth of her talent, it would be the aspiring actress Libby Mae Brown, who delivers an audition monologue in Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman in a scene that was not even used in the film. It is a masterpiece of acting, at once poignant and funny, for four and a half flawless minutes. It takes a phenomenal actress to play such a convincingly bad one. How does she do it? She just acts, naturally.’ — The New Yorker

 

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Stills






















































 

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Further

Parker Posey @ IMDb
Parker Posey Website
‘Parker Posey’s 10 Best Performances: From ‘Party Girl’ to ‘Josie and the Pussycats”
‘Parker Posey: Louie’s a creep!’
‘An Ode To Parker Posey: ’90s Indie Queen’
Interview: Parker Posey
Parker Posey interviewed @ INDEX Magazine
The Parker Posey Film Festival
‘It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s . . . Parker Posey!’
ROCTAKON’S PARKER POSEY MIXTAPE
‘Parker Posey: Film Economics and Funny Girls’
Fuck Yeah Parker Posey!
‘Parker Posey undergoes surgery after breaking her wrist’
‘Parker Posey joins the cast of Woody Allen’s next film’
‘Parker Posey Revisits Her Top-Five Favorite Performances’
‘Live from Sundance: A GQ&A; with Parker Posey’
Parker Posey Fan Club

 

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Extras


Parker Posey on The Tonight Show


Richard Linklater interviewed by Parker Posey


Parker Posey on Rosie O’Donnell (1997)


Parker Posey Loves Pottery


Parker Posey interviewed by Conan O’Brien

 

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Parker Posey’s Diary from the Set of SubUrbia

 

From: Bosepud

Subj: intro.

To: MINDTHEGAP

Sent on: MAC

My intro:

Hi, this is Parker Posey and this is my journal for Suburbia. It’s Richard Linklaters new film, written by Eric Bogosian. Read about what Really happens on movie sets. Discover the genius of Rick Linklater! And get to know the members of the cast! Know the scandal before everyone else does!

Or whatever. I mean, you can put anything, I don’t care.

‘kay, rust mun!

parker

by Parker Posey

*

Date: Mon, Mar 25, 1996 8:33 PM EDT

From: Bosepud

Subj: PP’s S on S

To: MINDTHEGAP

Sent on: MAC

Day 1

I’ve just arrived in Austin to start a 2 week rehearsal on Richard “Rick” Linklater’s (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) new film SubUrbia. It’s written by Eric Bagosian, and was originally a Play staged for the theater in New York at The Lincoln Center.

*****I auditioned for the play, was up for the lead, “Sooze”, and was interrupted during a line of my dialog on the second page (of a 10 pg. audition piece), by the director, who said to me, “That’s enough, thank you.” I told him, “No, Thank YOU” and left….of course.****I wonder if he did this to all the actors, and if maybe if I hadn’t of left, if I woulda gotten the part. Different directors work in different ways. I dunno. It’s something I Still think about, wonder about…..contemplate.

A week ago, the whole cast and Rick and Eric got together to read the script 4 times in Los Angeles. There’s really nothing more exciting than hearing a piece of Work read over and over and over and over again. When I slept at night in the Hotel, the Whole script filled my being, and rang in my ears like a silver Bell bought at Tiffany’s. It Echoed through me, is what I mean. By the fourth read threw I was already hearing its essense, its meaning, its story, and its plot.

Just to be really honest for a second, I must admit (and am not ashamed) that I was a little Sad that I couldn’t Highlight as many lines as all the other actors. Giovanni and Aimee and Nicky and Jace, and Steve, and Dina and Ajay ALL have more Lines than I do. Nicky’s highlighter marker ran out during one of his monolouges, and I coulda sworn he threw a Look to me, like, “You really should let me use YOUR highlighter PARKER.” But maybe I was being paranoid. I dunno. This sort of thing always happens to me when I get Immersed in a Role. I “lose” myself. I start thinking like my character and I get confused, as to which thoughts are mine, and which thoughts are Hers. Anyway. Back to me for a second: There are no Small Parts, just Small Actors. And I will be so good in the role of “Erica”.

Hm…

I just realized something….I bet Erica, is Eric’s favorite part, since his name is Eric, and my name is Erica.

Hm…

…..I will save that little tid bit for when I want a close up….

I should talk about the Film, what it’s about. Um….It takes place in Suburbia, U.S.A., and Me and Jace Bartok (“Pony”) come to town ’cause Pony’s playing a concert in his old home town…”suburbia”. Pony was friends with all these losers in Highschool: Giovanni Ribisi “Jeff”, Steve Zahn “Buff”, Aimee “Sooze”, Nicky Katz “Tim”, and Dina Spivy “Bee-Bee”, and then there’s Ajay “Nazeer” who owns the convenient store that they all hang out by. That’s like their Thing. They hang out in front of a Convenient Store, ’cause it’s…convenient. And um….I play Pony’s publicist, Erica. I’m from Bel-Air, Hollywood, and my dad (I’ve named him “John”) is rich, and I shop at all the best stores. There’s more to me, Erica, that meets the eye, and everyone thinks Erica’s really Great and Happy, but deep down, she’s a little girl. She’s fragile. You know, like um…a Hooker with a Heart of Gold…that dichotomy…I think those parts are always the best…and So Does the Academy by the way….3 actresses played hookers, and are up for an Academy Award! Obviously the most winning part for an actress to portray!

Um….

Yeah! Am I right or what?!

So….Anyway. Um….Rehearsals start tomorrow, and it’s gonna take me hours to fall asleep tonight, ’cause I’m so excited!!!!!!! I will fall asleep to one of the tapes I made for my character. (In a couple of weeks I will fall asleep to the tape I made for the film.) It’s all about the process now. About Character.

I ran into Aimee (the lead, “Sooze”) in the elevator and we Hugged like sisters. And Giovanni hugged me too. And Nicky and Jace and Ajay also hugged me. Steve and Dina aren’t here yet, but when they do get here, I’m sure we’ll Hug. I hugged Rick the longest ’cause we’ve worked together before (Dazed and Confused). It’s um….you know…..we’re all becoming a family. We will all get so close. Spend Hours in some Bar talking about the film. We will all have personal jokes by next week, and I’m sure someone will be fooling around and in love with someone else by the weekend. Personally I’M in love the WORK. That’s just me, though. We’ll all have our processes of working. Our means to get into character.

I have to go and figure out what I’m gonna wear for the first day of rehearsal! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t stand it! I’m so excited!!!!!

“Stay gold”, a quote by another character in a film named Pony. Pony Boy from The Outsiders.

(read the rest)

 

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24 of Parker Posey’s 87 films

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Richard Linklater Dazed and Confused (1993)
‘Richard Linklater’s 1993 masterpiece gave breakout roles to a number of actors, and while Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey often get the most “look at them when” attention, Posey’s performance as the fantastically bitchy Darla Marks rivals them for scene-stealing indelibility. Introduced verbally abusing incoming freshman girls, Darla throws herself into Lee High School’s cruel initiation rites, acting less like an upperclassman and more like a drill sergeant. Yet there’s something perversely entertaining in the sadistic glee she takes in pushing people around, every chomp of gum and shout of “freshman bitches” showing someone who’s acting not out of insecurity, but of pure unadulterated confidence and desire for queen bee status.’ — Indiewire


Excerpt


Excerpt


Parker Posey – improvised character interview

 

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Hal Hartley Amateur (1994)
‘Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember that he used to be a vicious pornographer, responsible for turning his young wife, Sofia, into the world’s most notorious porn queen. Sofia’s on the run, convinced she’s killed him. Together, Isabelle and Thomas set out to discover his past, a past waiting to catch up with him. This is one of those movies that Parker just makes a slight appearance in, but as usual, it’s amusing none-the-less.’ — parkerposey.org


Trailer

 

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Nora Ephron Mixed Nuts (1994)
‘Nora Ephron, once known as an expert script doctor, could have used a little doctoring herself: MIXED NUTS is a relentlessly hectic, poorly structured farce that falls embarrassingly flat. All the comedy here comes at the expense of the characters, reflecting a pronounced cruel streak in Ephron’s work for the screen. When this tendency is tempered with a healthy dose of humanism, as in her script for the derivative yet solidly entertaining WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, the problem is less pronounced. But when it involves turning an ex-husband into a philandering ogre, as in HEARTBURN, or making a character unsympathetic just by giving her a laugh like a pig rooting for truffles, as in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, it’s simply mean. One of the few highlight is a brief scene featuring the then unknown Parker Posey as a wicked out rollerblader’. — TV Guide


Trailer

 

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Daisy von Scherler Mayer Party Girl (1995)
‘While the film is largely beloved as a screwball comedy, in retrospect Posey’s Mary is much more surprising and layered than she even needed to be for the movie to be a success. She doesn’t party as a way of self-medication or clichéd cry for help – she enjoys every moment of her existence, and, even in the end, never shows remorse for who she is, despite discovering her calling as a librarian. While Posey says that she didn’t improvise any of the film and gives full credit to the script, it is easy to see how she was able to carry such a role with such finesse. Posey hasn’t seen the movie since its release, because she doesn’t like to watch herself. Yet the experiences of filming, from “wanting to take [her] eyeballs out and soak them in cold water” from exhaustion to going out dancing with the cast and crew, seem clear as day in her mind. She can remember what it felt like to shoot the climactic Middle Eastern-themed party scene, when she would take 15-minute naps with her co-stars and wear a ten-pound ball of hair on her head, but she can barely recall whether all of this happened before or after she filmed Dazed and Confused.’ — Flavorwire


the entire film

 

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Peter Cohn Drunks (1995)
‘For this groundbreaking 1996 production, an Oscar winner, two Oscar nominees and group of highly regarded major film actors gathered in a church basement in New York City to portray a group of alcoholics at an AA meeting. The stars include Richard Lewis (in his first dramatic lead), Faye Dunaway, Dianne Wiest, Parker Posey. “Drunks” also features the late Spalding Gray and Howard Rollins. Rounding out the cast are the young Calista Flockhart and Sam Rockwell. The New York Times called it “superbly realized.” The Boston Herald critic praised the film as “a powerhouse of drama, humor and heart.”‘ — New Day Films


Excerpt

 

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Noah Baumbach Kicking and Screaming (1995)
‘Posey’s next major role isn’t too far removed from Darla in terms of confidence: Miami is just as certain of herself and where she belongs, and she’s quick to show her irritation at her boyfriend Skippy (Jason Wiles) and his friends’ pretensions. But Miami is far more vulnerable, sad that she’s cheated on Skippy and that he’s used her as an excuse to delay moving forward with his life. Her breakup with Skippy, in which years’ worth of frustration over his group’s self-absorption comes through, is the wakeup call that Skippy won’t take seriously. And yet even as she expresses that she can’t stand him, she can’t help but laugh at his goofiness during the breakup, bringing a mixture of anger and affection that few actresses could accomplish.’ — Indiewire


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Gregg Araki The Doom Generation (1995)
‘The opening credit refers to this as “A Heterosexual Movie by Gregg Araki,” and while fans may recognize the cynicism, this certainly qualifies as the director’s most het-friendly movie to date. Set pieces at convenience stores, cheap motels, and in the wide-open American spaces will be familiar to straight audiences of all backgrounds. Cameos by the likes of Perry Farrell, Parker Posey and Heidi Fleiss will delight hipsters, and the soundtrack is straight out of a Lollapalooza show. Rose McGowan plays Amy Blue, whose breasts are showcased in the great Hollywood tradition, while the ass shots of her male co-stars are kept to a minimum. And when Jonathon Schaech, as Xavier Red, starts licking his own semen off his hand after masturbating, well, whoops, I guess he’s just kind of weird.’ — deep focus


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Julian Schnabel Basquiat (1996)
‘Schnabel isn’t the first artist to become a filmmaker: Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Cocteau, Fritz Lang, Andy Warhol and David Lynch all painted or designed, and Schnabel shares with them a talent for creating a rich, defining physical context. Also, by shooting his film in the galleries and locales where Basquiat made his art, and using actors who understand the cool, cutting sophistication of the art world, he brings a ring of authenticity to Basquiat. We see David Bowie playing Basquiat’s mentor Andy Warhol (he actually wears Warhol’s wigs and glasses), Michael Wincott as art critic Rene Ricard, Elina Lowensohn and Parker Posey as gallery owners Annina Nosei and Mary Boone, Dennis Hopper as Swiss art dealer Bruno Bischofberger and Gary Oldman and Courtney Love playing fictitious amalgams of real-life characters.’ — NYSWI


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Christopher Guest Waiting For Guffman (1996)
‘Director Christopher Guest established a great troupe of regular players for Waiting for Guffman, including Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Bob Balaban. Posey became another recurring player in Guest’s films, and she made a terrific impression with her first outing here as a spacey Dairy Queen waitress turned spacey community theater actress. Her audition scene is a marvel of awkward comedy as she “seductively” sings “Teacher’s Pet” out of tune. Her real showcase, though, is her dazed performance of the goofy love song “Penny for Your Thoughts” with Guest’s effeminate Corky St. Clair, with both throwing themselves into their show as much as possible without generating a single spark.’ — Indiewire


Excerpt


Deleted scene

 

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Richard Linklater SubUrbia (1996)
‘Bursting at the seems with subversive speech as if it were the evil-twin devil to Dazed and Confused’s angelic-innocence, SubUrbia’s story of jaded suburbanites slumming and of rebelliousness run amok is ultimately only as engaging as the acting is effective. This is to say that when you have the likes of Geovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, Nicky Katt, Parker Posey, each of them at youthful, thirsty stages in their blossoming careers, all of them freed up by that ever-so relaxed Linklater non-“in your face” use of the camera — Well I guarantee you, SubUrbia acts as true seamless marriage between that always-hoped-for trifecta of filmmaking aces: Script, performance, and direction. Drifting off topic myself, I have to just add that at this point in her career, not only is Parker Posey consistently fantastic and off-kilter in everything she does, but Posey was also still a few years away from really exploding onto the scene as an indie ‘it’ actress and mainstream character-actor. However, that was indeed “then” and now when I think of Parker Posey, the last thing I can recall is Scream 3 — No wait, Superman Returns… anyway you get what I’m alluding to, but I digress — Speaking of character-actors, Ribisi and Zahn help SubUrbia soar to disenchanted heights as they effortlessly emote and personify the epitome of slacker embodiment.’ — Pretty Clever Films


the entire film

 

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Mark Waters The House of Yes (1997)
‘At the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Harvey Weinstein, at the time still the boss of Miramax, was so smitten with this black comedy about a disturbed young woman (Parker Posey) who thinks she’s Jackie Kennedy that he paid $2 million for the distribution rights. Posey (who was also in town supporting Clockwatchers) won special recognition for her performance. Audiences, however, responded to House of Yes with a resounding NO. The movie grossed $617,403 in theaters.’ — Entertainment Weekly


Excerpt

 

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Jill Sprecher Clockwatchers (1997)
‘Posey co-starred in yet another ensemble comedy with this Office Space precursor tracking four office temps (Posey, Toni Collette, Lisa Kudrow, Alanna Ubach) as they pass the time in a deadening job. As the ringleader of the temps, Posey swings from deadpan contempt to outright fury and pain when she’s wrongfully terminated. “How can you fire me? You don’t even know my name!” Her co-stars are all solid, but Posey becomes the de facto voice of anyone who’s ever had to deal with a corporate drudgery that doesn’t even bother to welcome them into their stifling environment.’ — Indiewire


Trailer 1


Trailer 2

 

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Hal Hartley Henry Fool (1997)
‘Posey had worked with Hal Hartley before in a smaller capacity in Amateur and Flirt, but she created one of her most indelible characters in 1997 with Hartley’s Henry Fool. Playing the nymphomaniac sister of unassuming Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) and lover to Thomas Jay Ryan’s gregarious titular hero, Posey’s deadpan charm fitting in perfectly with Hartley’s deliberately mannered dialogue. Posey returned to the character in the sequel Fay Grim, an infinitely less amusing sequel which nonetheless gave Posey a rare lead role and a chance to play Fay both at her most exasperated and her most grounded. Posey appears as Fay Grim again in the third film in the series, Ned Rifle.’ — Indiewire


Excerpt

 

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Nora Ephron You’ve Got Mail (1998)
‘Memorable lines: “If I ever get out of here, I’m having my eyes lasered.” “I use a wonderful over-the-counter drug, Ultradorm. Don’t take the whole thing, just half, and you will wake up without even the tiniest hangover.” What made the role great: Patricia is completely clueless, self-centered, and oddly ruthless. She wears all black, and tends to say exactly the wrong thing at the worst time. It’s a type of New Yorker only Parker could play.’ — buzzed


Excerpt

 

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Wes Craven Scream 3 (2000)
‘“You! Like I’m ever going to win an award playing you,” Jennifer Jolie yells at Gale Weathers in the third and most self-referential (and laughable) edition of the “Scream” series. Jolie (played by Parker Posey) is an actor playing Weathers (played by Courteney Cox) in “Stab 3,” the movie within a movie, which serves as the setting for the murders of Scream 3, the series’ then-final chapter. It is meta. With streaky blond highlights, Posey looks like a trashy version of Cox’s streaky red days in the first Scream. The hair is almost as loud as Posey, who speaks with a shrill voice and manic energy. As an actor haunted by a masked murderer, Jolie initially lets terror consume her in the funniest of ways. “Where! Nancy Drew wants to know where,” she screams when she gets one too many questions from her onscreen counterpart about a previous murder. With her hair twisted up into two Björk-like balls and a cigarette shaking between her fingers, she’s as funny as she is frightened.’ — backstage.com


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Christopher Guest Best in Show (2000)
‘We worked with real dog show competitors. So they were around on set when we were filming. So the people in the background that you see are real dog show people. So we would do a take and then Chris [Guest] would say, do you want a recap of how to brush the dog. I remember he brought over a professional groomer. She came over right before a take and she criticized our dog. She said, the coat’s all wrong, this dog would never compete. The color’s all wrong. And we’re like, we’re about to shoot. I love a backstage look at any kind of show. So this kind of thing is heaven for me. I have a Bichon Poodle Maltese.’ — Parker Posey


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Christopher Guest A Mighty Wind (2003)
‘The occasion for the reunion in A Mighty Wind is a memorial tribute to folk impresario Irving Steinbloom, arranged by his pathologically neat son Jonathan (Bob Balaban). As the Folksmen, a middling group with one minor sixties hit, Michael McKean, Guest, and Harry Shearer are the image of superannuated hippiedom: With his head shaved and a thick beard outlining his jaw, Shearer looks like a fey Quaker; Guest, also bald down the middle, has a dome that’s tufted on both sides and a high, singsong quaver in his voice that works especially well for ballads about the Spanish Civil War. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the Folksmen are the New Main Street Singers—a screechingly cheery and color-coordinated spinoff of the original Main Street Singers—featuring John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, and Parker Posey. They’re like every group you’ve ever avoided while visiting a large amusement park. Of course, in the great all-American tradition, their toothpaste-commercial uplift camouflages weirdness: For starters, Lynch’s character is proud of her past as a porno queen and cultivates her own religion based on the “vibratory power of color.”’ — New York Magazine


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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David S. Goyer Blade: Trinity (2004)
It’s a bit surprising to see you playing a villain in an action flick. I know, right? PP: I almost didn’t go in for the audition. I thought, They’ll want a model, someone with a rack. So what persuaded you to do it? PP: Well, I really liked them. And I felt comfortable talking about my ideas for the character, though a lot of them weren’t executed in the movie. For example? PP: Like, this character’s been alive for 400 years, right? So how would she dress? I mean, isn’t she bored? So I said, “Can we have her in a geisha outfit? A nun outfit? Can she dress like a cavewoman?” In the film, you seem to be channeling a couple of people. Were you mimicking any one in particular? PP: Totally. There’s Bette Davis. Some Nosferatu. I rented all those old F. W. Murnau films, and old vampire movies like The Vampire Lovers. I really liked playing a vampire. Their hunger is insatiable. Even when they eat someone, it’s never enough. They’re like addicts. So that was fun.’ — New York Magazine


Montage of Posey’s scenes

 

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Bryan Singer Superman Returns (2006)
‘I was doing this play. I was doing Hurley Burley for six months, you get a call like “They’re interested in you for Superman!” Well, okay… let ’em figure it out. And maybe I’ll get cast, you know, we’ll see. And um, can I read the script? “No.” Okay, well… is it good? I didn’t see X-Men. I usually don’t see these kinds of movies. But gosh, I hope it’s good, you know — it’s Superman. I got the part and I said, “Am I gonna be able to read it?” you know, to do it? I Googled “Kitty and Superman” and there was a Kitty somewhere in the Superman world. She extracted, like, green energy from plants and solar energy from the sun and she would use this power in… not a good way. And Superman helped her kind of use her powers for good at one point. It was like… just like Google, you know? Very abstract. Like wow, maybe I’ll get to have super powers. (laughter) I’ll have Chris Lee calling me and I’ll be like “Does she extract energy from the sun?!” (laughter). So they literally fly someone from Australia to deliver the script. And I read it at Cafe Mogador in the East Village in New York and yeah, that was like a movie in and of itself. It had this energy, just this (makes a whooshing noise). Already the world was being created. It’s a very… big, majestic movie. And I read it and I was like, “Thank god.” I thought it was really, really good. She was written a little more villainous, like a conscious villain, a baddie, like a bad girl? But I got away with not doing that.’ — Parker Posey


Parker Posey talks about ‘Superman Returns’

 

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Hal Hartley Fay Grim (2006)
‘Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim stars Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum in a search for a mysterious terrorist named Henry Fool. This man, we learn, has been involved in intrigues involving Chile, Iraq, Israel, France, Germany, Russia, England, China and the Vatican (where the pope “threw a chair at him”). All in the last seven years. We feel deliberately distanced from the film. It is not so much an exercise in style as an exercise in search of a style. The story doesn’t involve us because we can’t follow it, and we doubt if the characters can, either. But am I criticizing Hartley, a leading indie filmmaker, for not making a more conventional thriller, with more chases and action scenes? Not at all. I am criticizing him for failing to figure out what he wanted to do instead, and delivering a film that is tortured in its attempt at cleverness, and plays endlessly. Posey and Goldblum labor at their characters, and are often fun to watch. But in the absence of a screenplay that engages them, they have to fall back on their familiar personalities and quirks. They bring more to the movie than it brings to them.’ — Roger Ebert


Trailer

 

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Zoe Cassavetes Broken English (2007)
‘Parker Posey again proves her necessity to the indie film world with her complicated performance in Zoe Cassavetes’ feature debut. Demonstrating that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the screenwriter-director has delivered a well-observed film boasting highly realistic performances and dialogue, if not plot elements. But it’s Posey’s fascinating portrayal of a thirtysomething Manhattan single woman looking for love that lifts the film above its “Sex and the City” predictabilities.’ — Frank Scheck


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Hal Hartley Ned Rifle (2014)
‘He came to me with some trepidations. I’ll never forget it. I was in my tiny apartment in Chelsea, standing in my kitchen. He said, “I’ve got this heavy part for you, would you be able to do it?” I was like, “Of course!” It was mythic, loaded. You know — a Fallstian fable. It seemed like the direction that Hal wanted to take had a weight to it. The material was really special and heavy — it had gravitas. We shot it very quickly. It was one of those 20-day shoots. Hal has a great wit. His style is like a forties film style in the present day mixed with the camera movement — his blocking feels a lot like dance in a way. I like working like that, being told where to move. His dialogue isn’t internalized; it’s external. There’s not a lot of thinking before you speak. The words just come out. It’s reactive.’ — Parker Posey


Trailer

 

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Woody Allen Irrational Man (2015)
‘Posey recalled feeling good about her first meeting with Allen, before being cast. “They say if he’s three seconds, don’t worry about it – you could get the part,” she said. “I think Owen Wilson met him for, like, seven seconds and was cast in Midnight in Paris. I was in there for about three and a half minutes, which was a long time for him, and I heard after that he seemed very engaged.” Still, she wasn’t prepared for what would happen the following day: “I get a phone call from my manager and she says, ‘What are you doing today?’ I said, ‘I’m going to Trader Joe’s to get my snacks and then I’m making these pants with a friend. She goes, ‘Because Woody Allen’s assistant wants to know when a good time is to drop off the pages for his film.’ And I burst in tears. I just walked around in a daze. I’m in a really tough business, so I was overcome with emotion.”’ — The Guardian


Excerpt


Parker Posey on Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”

 

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Woody Allen Cafe Society (2016)
‘That surreal time in the ’30s was inspiring to visit. Women seemed to come into their own in really elegant and offbeat ways. Woody doesn’t like showy wardrobe, so Suzy Benzinger, the costume designer, and I were surprised he liked the more over-the-top styles—like the Schiaparelli dress with the rat chasing the squirrels. I wore vintage pieces that happened to fit, and a few things were copied from original pieces. The wit in movies of that time period was fun to portray. Looking at pictures or interviews, you do see how differently people comported themselves, and the clothes are a big part of that attitude.’ — Architectural Digest


Trailer

 

 

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ps. Hey. ** Kyler, Hi. Thanks for the pentagram background. I didn’t know that in the slightest. Bon day. ** David Ehrenstein, Patti Smith singing Sondheim is a little too Death Metal even for me. ** Misanthrope, Okay, sorry, like I said, nothing I can do about it for now. Dude, I hear you about the cray. When I’m on Facebook, I pretend my keyboard is a hot skillet. ** Sypha, Hi. Oh, a new David Peak. Huh. I like the stuff of his I’ve read, and what a tempting setting. I’ll mosey towards that. Thanks. Yeah, the heat, tell me about it. By tomorrow it’s supposed to be 98 degrees fahrenheit in Paris, which I think is an all-time record. So it’s murder over here too. ** Damien Ark, Hi, Damien. I remember when you were really into it, I think. Man, I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with around you. You-know-who is that shit’s biggest cheerleader. Why hasn’t death’s GPS found him yet?  Corey Heiferman said stuff to you re: the shit you’re going through in his comment yesterday if you didn’t see it. Continued good luck with the mind scrambling publisher hunt. I’m still thinking. There you go: Wojnarowicz. I’m going to read something of his at the Whitney Museum is early September. I have to figure out what. Don’t cry. Hugs. ** Steve Erickson, I’ve only met a few Black Metal band members, mostly through Stephen, and they all seemed like they could secretly like Kesha. I prefer seeing the facial expressions of people I discuss hot topics with, or, if it’s on the phone, knowing the person’s face well enough to take an educated guess. Like I said before, I liked Hospital, but, yeah, I get you. Everyone, Steve has weighed in, opinion-wise, on Denzel Curry’s new album TA13OO right here. Well, excellent idea for a script/movie, and timeliness incarnate as well, obviously. Hope you get to that. ** Bill, Hi! Happy to see you un-disappeared, and I dig about the week. Sorry to hear it though. The heatwave has been just barely tolerable, but it goes up into the high 90s today, and Paris wasn’t conceived or built to withstand that kind of sky-derived hellishness, so ,until it supposedly breaks on Wednesday, god knows what I’ll be like. The ARTE thing is on hold until tomorrow. Gisele broke her foot, but apparently she’ll have adjusted to the pain killers’ fuzz by then. Me too about couture, but, yeah, I want to see the McQueen doc. I hope your today is ultra-pleasant. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey, Ben. Nice to see that earlier work of yours. Well, I’ll direct a whole lot of subliminal positivity towards your favorite team. Sounds promising. Thanks for the Rachel Maclean link. Everyone, _B_A links anyone interested to an article in the Guardian about a fascinating sounding new work by the young Scottish wunderkind artist Rachel Maclean thusly. ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, man. Mm, I listen to something like 85% electronics-based music now, and my live gig going vastly involves seeing same, and I actually find that, in most cases, the live electronics-based shows are really fantastic and give one a very different experience than hearing the work recorded. The live dynamics are certainly different than they are with rock/guitar-based bands, usually more sonic than visual, but the way that music translates into the acoustics of a real space, and how the musician works with that given and challenge, is as — if not more — exciting, to me anyway. Uh, given the kind of music I’m into, I can’t say that I ever think about what kind of person is drawn to listen to it. I’m not sure I ever really thought about that issue, even when I was more interested in various forms of rock. I think if I were a dedicated follower of, say, Black Metal or something, I might, though, and it’s certainly true for me that when I see Metal shows, I’m just as interested in the crowd as I am in the band. That’s my take, I guess. Thanks a bunch, as ever, pal. ** Right. I’m almost sure I made a Parker Posey post on my murdered blog, but when I looked for it among the ruins, it wasn’t there, so who knows. Anyway, since her name seems to be popping up a lot these days due, I think, to some book of hers that just got published, I thought I would offer those who are thinking about her, as well as those who aren’t or have never heard of her, a chance to see what she’s about. And there you have it. See you tomorrow.

8 Comments

  1. J’Adore Parker Posey.
    She manages to be drop dead gorgeous and hysterically funny at the same time. Therefore she has only one predecessor — Carole Lombard.

  2. When you were in New York, did you ever make it to the Brooklyn club Saint Vitus, which specializes in metal shows? I’ve been intrigued by the samples of Imperial Triumphant’s latest album that I’ve heard and plan to download it later this week. The band mixes black metal with elements of jazz, and they have a conceptual element. They perform live and in their videos hidden by masks and cloaks. their music is inspired by the gentrification and extremes of wealth and property of New York, and the two videos I’ve seen respectively depict a group of white teen preppies abusing alcohol and coke, sexually menacing women and then heading outside to beat up a man who’s probably gay and a man shooting up heroin and a woman ritually killing a guy who just went down on her, cross-cut with the band playing in an EYES WIDE SHUT-esque setting.

    When I first got into electronic music, I went to a number of shows that consisted of a guy standing behind a laptop and triggering loops and samples on it, with zero showmanship, and I quickly found it boring enough that I decided this genre was a studio-only medium (or that dancing to it was more interesting than watching live performance.) However, one unique gig was Scanner, where he started doing live eavesdropping on cell phone calls and police scanners rather than just playing back the samples of them used on his records.

    This is not exactly electronic, but I’m impressed by the new album by vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita, BOOK OF LIFE. It’s been called New Age, I’d call it ambient and connect it to the work of jazz musicians like Gary Burton on the same instrument, but what’s fairly unique about it is the way Fujita uses echo and delay even when playing solo vibraphone to expand its tonal qualities beyond what one instrumentalist can usually achieve (and something that was taboo in acoustic jazz when Burton made a great series of vibes/piano duo albums with Chick Corea.)

    I’d love to do another Gig Day, but whether or not I can see replies comes and goes in a fashion that seems totally random right now.

  3. Hi!!

    Well… I honestly think that under the current circumstances, this is the best you can do about the whole ARTE situation. I hope so, so much for some much-needed flexibility on their part! And shit, best wishes to Gisele! If the pain weren’t enough, it must be extra-awful to survive the heat with a cast on!

    I ended up watching this Russian movie ‘Nelyubov’ because I felt like it might fill at least part of the unidentified-craving-hole because of its topic of a missing child. And though it did only fill part of it, I finished watching it with the sense that it was very much worth my time. I didn’t expect such a realistic and natural and – especially because of these very traits – devastating piece. And the actors were spectacular. So, yes, I definitely found something, at least.

    Shit, so you’re not free from the heat either. I mean, sure, it’s summer but it’s brutal.

    Thank you – about the translation. I definitely hope so too. And I keep my fingers so very crossed for the TV script as well!
    Uh, the proposals again… Though it also means that you’ve come such a long way and it’s already at a point where you can actually think about turning script into movie! That’s exciting!
    Wow! A London showing! I definitely hope it happens!! ‘PGL’ is slowly traveling the world and it’s so inspiring!

    Have you seen any films and/or art worthy of mentioning over the weekend?

    I’ve been working a lot on SCAB (there’s finally some fresh content on my blog which serves as an inspirational well for the “SCAB feeling”: http://szeletelttegla.tumblr.com/archive). I also got a Polaroid camera which I’m super happy about. I love actual, touchable, collectible photos a lot more than digital ones and I also love the fact that I can’t really temper with these kinds of pictures. I take them and here they are in my hand a few minutes later, no chance of going through a whole lot of editing.

    Okay. I hope you’ll have a great week with as little melting as possible! I can’t wait to hear what happened! See you on Friday, Dennis!!

  4. Chris Cochrane

    August 6, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    yes, well hello. I’ve been meaning to write, though haven’t had the moment. Went to Pensacola for a couple days to help a friend, talk about heat and sun, though I got to swim in the gulf which made me very happy. Anyway, the night before I left I finally got to hear My Bloody Valentine live. Frankly a mixed affair, not all the songs were transcendent, yet the ones that were, were. Wonder 2 from the most recent record just felt like some future alien music that kept shifting the space of the room and my head. They also played some beautiful things from Loveless, so glad I went. The “white noise” ending song also, made one lose sense of time and reconfigured your ear to be hearing multiple things at once, and Soon and Only Shallow sounded as good as ever. It’s made me re-listen to the Loveless and MBV again with a new appreciation, actually finding MBV from 2013 has a lot more nuance than I originally perceived. Great show all around, especially to prompt me to re-investigate Loveless after so much time, was worth it, though I probably listen to Come in Alone at least once a month or more anyway, I’m a fan. Went to see Wojnarowicz, yesterday with my sister; lots to see, experience, read and feel there, memories of David and my couple of encounters came to mind as well. Just watching people interacting with the work was something. It’s hot here, though you’ve got us beat, new records all around 115 in California and 118 places in Europe. the new normal. Swimming through humidity and sound to send you love, Chris

  5. hi dennis, x

    parker posey, yes, are you asking me to marry her ?

    in a stuttered pigheart beat, yes

    i loved her in louise ck

    she is the mothered face of next year’s love

    dennis, i emailed jimi about help for for the next solo but the ny guys take weeks in replying so il see

    but yes if you anyone in paris whom may be interested in my stuff, im a happy dog for anyone

    as thanks here’s my future past husband riddling his love towards

    (i can’t find any horny electro boys)

    rain love, rain rain, dennis

    alex,x

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgPSpVUg0iM

  6. I hope today’s Paris heatwave was bearable or that you managed to avoid it. .

    I’m not usually very into the sort of films she’s been in and so Parker Posey hadn’t been on my radar before, but I just watched that scene in Broken English and wow she has a real presence alright. The Cassavetes cinema verite style seems to suit her well.

  7. Corey Heiferman

    August 6, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    I always enjoy these posts about an actor or actress I never put the dots together to realize was all one person. She’s so cool in and out of character and the same degree of cool on the page in that diary. Her indie babe persona reminds me of Tuesday Weld or Greta Gerwig before she found too much success. The secret to cool seems to be telling factual lies that contain emotional truths and elicit curiosity. Easier said than done?

    I free associated her pottery video and Mississippi origins with George Ohr, The Mad Potter of Biloxi:

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-mad-potter-of-biloxi-106065115/

    https://www.pinterest.com/cosmicpotter/george-ohr-pottery/

    I was really getting down on myself for being on Facebook instead of doing Hebrew poetry but then I saw a viral video of a construction mishap next to the building where I work. The construction worker improvises brilliantly with both the camera and perfectly timed”colorful” commentary about the leaking paint (the most I can explain is that it riffs on the common vulgar phrase “mom’s pussy”). This brought me joy in the language and in an inexplicable way confirmed why I moved here.

    https://www.facebook.com/MivzakLive/videos/1727547027305872/

    What you wrote about the whole recorded vs. live music thing makes sense. Where this gets weird for me with electronic music is the same groove that recorded fuels chilling at home live fuels cruising in a hellhole.

    Have you ever done a post about lunchboxes?

  8. Big D! Oh, I know you can’t do anything about it. I wonder if frequent commenters like myself are identified as spammers and then our stuff somehow gets marked for fuckery. I have no idea, just throwing shit ideas out there.

    Parker Posey is great. There’s something comforting about her to me.

    Oh, man, I wear out my scroller on my mouse when I’m on FB. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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