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Sex & Relationships

Parker Posey: I see a dachshund in you

On hallucinating a teensy Virgin Mary in a water fountain, our weird relationship to fame, her stint as an elf-hunting camp counselor, and more in what feels like a 4 am college conversation with the inimitable Parker Posey.

The impulse to make art is with us from childhood. It’s the desire to play. To say “hey! Look what I made!” It’s the wild fun of making a big mess that’s nobody else’s but your own—and not having to clean it up. Above all else, art is wild. It’s independent. It’s free. And that’s one reason why the art industry is a very weird thing. In order to make money “at scale” as the Silicon Valley kids like to say, movie studios, fancy galleries, and concert promoters have to quantify, systematize, and package that sense of freedom. If it sounds like a paradox, that’s because it is. I’m just gonna say it: the more money at stake, the less breathing space for everything that draws us to art in the first place.


I’m here today with an actor whose name is basically synonymous with creative freedom. Parker Posey has created unforgettable characters in indie films like Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim, and Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, and in big studio productions like You’ve Got Mail and Netflix’s Lost in Space. Wherever she shows up, Parker fills the screen with an energy teetering between hilarious and deeply uncomfortable. A sense of chaos barely contained. Her new memoir – her first book – captures that same wonderfully unpredictable honesty and humor. It’s called You’re On An Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir.

Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode:

Danny Sjursen on how Americans value the lives of non-Americans

Nick Offerman on staying balanced in an insane industry

About Think Again – A Big Think Podcast: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.

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You’ve got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we’re pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think’s interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.


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