Author: Parker Posey
Title: You’re On An Airplane: a self-mythologizing memoir
Narrator: Parker Posey
Publication Info: Penguin Audio, 2018
Parker Posey, once known as the “queen of independent movies,” has starred in many movies that I enjoy. Party Girl, for one, played a not insubstantial part in my choice of career. In this unconventional memoir, Posey addresses the reader directly as if one is sitting next to her on an airplane (and in the audiobook, this comes complete with the sound effects of the airplane taking off and a flight attendant serving drinks). After the first chapter, this affectation of writing in second person only pops up from time to time, but nevertheless, this is a stream-of-conscious memoir. Posey tells stories of her Catholic, Southern gothic childhood in a family of “characters” and her experiences on the sets of various films, including her work with directors like Richard Linklater and Christopher Guest. She also writes extensively about working with Woody Allen (and humorously impersonates his voice). While many actors have justified working with Allen, and its understandable that an independent actor would want to work with a notably independent director, I found it deeply unsettling that Posey doesn’t even address that Allen is an accused child rapist. In other chapters, Posey goes into deep detail about her yoga practice, her work with ceramics, and her dog. It’s clear that this book is meant to show that Posey is as quirky and funny as her movie characters, but sometimes its hard to tell if the self-absorption in these chapter is parody or for real.
It’s an industry (an art, hopefully) full of orphans left to create their own worlds with one another. I don’t feel glamorous, I feel like a possum—the animal born clinging to its mother’s tail, that grows up by falling off it, and probably too soon. Acting is the possum’s defense.