Monthly Archives: October 2013

Queen of the Indies



Ah, Parker Posey, yes a withinfilm favorite.  Named “Queen of Indies” by ‘Time’ magazine since she has appeared in some 30 films since 1994, and most of them independent movies!  In her own words she is typecast in Hollywood as “… the girl who has to be annoying so the guy can go to the other girl.”

I personally fell in love with Parker for her work with Hal Hartley, more precisely “Henry Fool.”  I mention this film because it is a Hartley film you can actually take people easily amused to watch and they won’t leave the theater scratching theirs heads.  Don’t get me wrong, it is the typical Hal Hartley film:  Dead Pan shots, isolated shots in group conversation, a melodica sounding music track.   If you haven’t seen a Hal Hartley Henry Fool is the place to start.

Where to begin with the great performances Parker Posey has done?  I already mentioned Henry Fool, but before that she starred in the indie film “Party Girl.”  A great look at the NYC recreational drug scene in the 90’s.  The essential films of Parker Posey are as follows:

1. Party Girl: Mary is a free-spirited young woman with a run-down New York apartment and a high fashion wardrobe. She calls her godmother, a librarian, for bail money after being arrested for throwing an illegal party. To repay the loan, she begins working as a library clerk. At first she hates it, but when challenged decides to master the Dewey Decimal System and become a great library clerk, while romancing a falafel vendor and helping her roommate in his goal to become a professional DJ.
2. Henry Fool: Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talent-less novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the ‘great American poem’. As Simon begins his controversial ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars. The two friends fall out and lose touch until Henry’s criminal past catches up with him and he needs Simon’s help to flee the country.
3. Broken English: Nora Wilder is freaking out. Everyone around her is in a relationship, is married, or has children. Nora is in her thirties, alone with job she’s outgrown and a mother who constantly reminds her of it all. Not to mention her best friend Audrey’s “perfect marriage”. But after a series of disastrous dates, Nora unexpectedly meets Julien, a quirky Frenchman who opens her eyes to a lot more than love.
4. Scream 3.  Ghostface pays Sidney and her friends a third visit while they visit the set of “Stab 3”, the third movie based upon the Woodsboro murders.  I know some of you will be shocked to a withinfilm recommendation to watch the number 3 film of any series, but, not only do we have Parker Posey playing the actress who plays Cortney Cox from from the first 2 Screams, this is a  Wes Craven film, and done very well to not have the blood-and-guts effects to get in the way of the story.  Also, this is a trilogy and which describes the genre of a trilogy as if this was a graduate course in Horror Film Making. 
5. The House of Yes: A mentally unbalanced young woman (who thinks she’s Jackie Kennedy) flips into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he’s engaged. That’s the short version, the longer version is that the film begins with Parker Posey explaining how she dressed as Jackie O for an Ides of March party with a ketchup on it for blood and macaroni for brain splatter.  Did I mention they live across the street from the Kennedy’s?  Needless to say, everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing that day. 
I have only mentioned five “must see” Parker Posey films, but let me assure you that any film she has been in, even the crappy ones like “Boston Legal – yes, television,” “Superman Returns,” and “Josie and the Pussy Cats,” she is still great.  I also need to tell you that I most admire her work with Hal Hartley.  The first one you will find is a short called “The Flirt,” which was turned into a trilogy telling the same story in two different countries with the same question:  “Do you see a future in our relationship.”  So, if you do watch The Flirt, remember the first story with Parker Posey was shot as a short first and then included included in a trilogy.  Also, her work in “Henry Fool” (still on the top ten withinfilm list to watch), Hal used Parker’s character Fay Grim to go searching for Henry only to find him in a cave?   Finally, Hal, Parker, and Thomas Jay Ryan from Henry Fool and Fay Grim, have another film to be released in 2014 called Ned Rifle.  Personally, I can’t wait.  Until then, I have compiled a page of Parker Poser fan stuff here


Drew Barrymore talks film in Dallas

Finding a graveyard in Dallas

Finding a graveyard to shoot in:

I’ve shot two times in a graveyard and both times was run out — fortunately,  after I had enough footage, but not the footage I wanted!  So, this time I figured I would get permission, take my time, and maybe not feel so guilty about forging the location release — we’ve all done it.

Well, I don’t do it anymore.

So, I found this cemetery in Dallas by accident.  It just popped up from a parking lot I was in one day like the land of OZ.  I saw these bad-ass headstones from a not-so-fancy apartment complex through a chained fences: very old, very gothic, but not too cluttered like you sometimes see.  Anyway, I drove around and couldn’t find it.  Seems you have to enter the alley behind the SW BEll building to get to it.  It’s the McCree Cemetery in Lake Highlands off of Walnut and Audelia (9938 Audelia Rd).  Yeah, how many years have I missed that.  It’s cool, it’s very open with enough tombstones to give you the perfect backdrop and plenty of space to setup a jib.  Furthermore, the latest anyone was buried there was like 1942.  And the coup de grace, its a Historical Landmark.  Image

Well, I searched for week trying to find the owner (some guy called Ingress Egress) only to discover that ingress egress is the Latin word for the right to enter and leave.  So, I called the Dallas Film Commission and as usual they were extremely helpful.  They informed me it was private property and even gave me the ℅ address of the person.  Unfortunately, finding that person was as hard as finding a cemetery behind an eight story building in an alleyway:  the address didn’t exist.

So, I figured I had done my due diligence and would just go for it, but, have a location release from another cemetery as a backup plan.  That’s when I came across the words: McKinney Texas is Film Friendly.  “McKinney Texas,” I thought, “no way.”  Well it is.  And the graveyard I have permission to shoot is…  well, that will come in a later post because it is close to Halloween and I’m sure a lot of us are looking for cemeteries right now…

Oh, however, here is a clip I shot with my DSLR one afternoon with Melissa on one of our afternoon walks with the dead.  It’s something we do for fun.


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