If you have been following my blog for a bit, you will know by now that I am a major fan of film festivals. The vibrant atmosphere, the opportunity to see so many different and unusual films in a short period of time with a passionate audience... After Cannes earlier this month, I am hoping to cover as many as possible in the next few months, with Frightfest and the LFF coming up soon. And now news have emerged of a Parker Posey Film Festival taking place on the 15th of September this year. As far as I am concerned, the fact that there is a Parker Posey Film Festival is instantly making the world a better place.
With more and more festivals popping up there and then, there is the danger that too many of them might be chasing diminishing returns as the yearly pool of interesting films has not increased to satisfy this growing demand. Indeed, even the grand master of them all, Cannes, often has to resort to showing some duds if it means bringing over an interesting director to La Croisette or even just a glamorous cast. So it makes more sense for newer, smaller film festivals to carve themselves a unique space with a more original, niche angle, even if it means showing older, cult and unusual films as opposed to newer releases.
And this is where the Parker Posey Film Festival comes in, as part of the Scala Beyond season (after the successful first run with Scala Forever). It will be a celebration of this wonderful actress with the screening of several of her films over the course of one day.
Parker Posey crashed into the indie scene in the mid 90's, and there just has not been anybody like her ever since. Her impeccable comedic timing, her wit, her unusual yet charming delivery, her timeless elegance and her endearing quirks have not been matched since. Her career has been prolific and varied, mainly in the independent cinema but it also seen her flirt with the mainstream, with turns in the otherwise incredibly dull Superman Returns, in which she was pretty much the only thing worth watching, and Blade 3 in which she played a rather sexy vampire.
|The House of Yes|
So on the 15th of September, throughout a whole day, a wide selection of her films will be screened at the lovely Hackney Picture House along with a few mini-lectures, culminating with the UK premiere of Party Girl (1995) which will see the festival move to the Rio Cinema for this late screening. This film is what catapulted her in the spotlight in the US although it never got a UK release so there is your unique chance to catch it on the big screen. In it, she plays a, well, party girl, who takes on a job as a librarian to repay a fine she incurred for throwing an illegal rave (it was the 90's!).
Also in the line up, The House of Yes (1997) which brought her to Europe's attention, a deliciously dark film in which she plays a slightly disturbed woman with an unhealthy obsession for Jackie O and a few family secrets. I saw this when it came out and still have some fond memories of it, so one not to miss for sure if you have not seen it yet!
I must also applaud the decision to include Scream 3 (2000). After the hastily released and dire Scream 2, in the wake of the unexpected success of the first one, Scream 3 was a guilty pleasure, perhaps a little too self-referential for some, and lacking of real scares, but I enjoyed its tighter script and acidic vision of Hollywood. In it, Parker Posey plays a spoilt and tantrums-prone actress taking on the part of Gayle Weather (Courtney Cox) in Stab, the film within the film, and the two actresses' bickering and on-screen comedic chemistry makes it worth the price of admission alone.
Rounding the selection, Best In Show (2000), a hilarious mockumentary by Christopher Guest, set in the competitive world of a dog show (with a pre-Glee turn by Jane Lynch) and The Daytrippers (1996) with Liev Schreiber, a road movie which had a certain impact at its Cannes presentation at the time but which I have never seen.
|Party Girl (1995)|
This selection is actually making me a little nostalgic for a certain kind of independent cinema of the 90's. Is it too early for a 90's revival? And if not, what's next? Personally, I would love a festival dedicated to that other 90's indie icon, Lily Taylor! I Shot Andy Taylor, The Addiction, Short Cuts, Arizona Dream... We must totally make this happen!
You can find more details about the Parker Posey Film Festival in here, tickets will go on sale shortly. As for me, I will definitely be there for a couple of films at the very least!