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Director Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman

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#21 BethR

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:41 AM

Huh. I haven't seen any of this guy's films. Which one should I start with?

Start here.

#22 Overstreet

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:25 PM

Goodness. There's a substantial profile of Stillman in the December 2010 issue of First Things!

(Seemed I should put this here, since it's a general thread about Stillman.)

Edited by Overstreet, 12 November 2010 - 03:26 PM.


#23 John Drew

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

For those in the Los Angeles area, the New Beverly Cinema is showing Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco on April 20th and 21st (I have not become a bot for the New Beverly Cinema... they just have a good month of films, well regarded by many A&Fers).

#24 Anders

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

I caught up with METROPOLITAN finally this past winter, and re-visited THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO. My estimation of Stillman has gone up.

#25 Jason Panella

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:20 PM

For what it's worth, I finally caught Metropolitan and Barcelona over the past month or so. I absolutely loved both, and I'm excited to see them again (and watch his other films too).

#26 Tyler

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

Whit Stillman's top 10 Criterion titles.

#27 Christian

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

Whit Stillman's top 10 Criterion titles.

Only two would be in my Criterion Top 10, which may explain why Stillman's films have never connected with me.

#28 Anders

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:08 PM


Whit Stillman's top 10 Criterion titles.

Only two would be in my Criterion Top 10, which may explain why Stillman's films have never connected with me.


I don't know for sure about Top 10 at the moment (what with over 500 titles), but I'm happy to see THE 400 BLOWS, THE SEVENTH SEAL, and especially BLACK ORPHEUS (one of the first Criterions I ever bought) and NOTORIOUS (one of Hitch's best).

Edited by Anders, 05 April 2012 - 07:08 PM.


#29 BethR

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

Whit Stillman's top 10 Criterion titles.


Know what I love most about this list, which does include several films I also love?

"...not in any order of preference."

Someone else who prefers not to rank his favorites! Mr. Stillman, I salute you. Now where's that movie?

Edited by BethR, 05 April 2012 - 07:29 PM.


#30 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

I just finally saw Metropolitan. It was quite charming. Another film to kick myself for not seeing much earlier. Also, this thread (along with Ron's introductory posts) may have just become one of my favorite A&F threads.

So has anyone here read Doomed Bourgeois in Love yet?

#31 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:20 PM

So has anyone here read Doomed Bourgeois in Love yet?

Well, I've begun reading it. It's great. How can you not like writing that includes paragraphs like the following:

From Mark C. Henrie:
... While necessarily touched by anxiety, Stillman's young men and women at least remain aware of a rumor of the noble and the gracious, of the higher things which are properly human. Thus, oddly, Stillman's rare specimens may be closer to human nature than are we. But like all of us, the gentlefolk suffer the disorientation of modernity, the loss of tradition. The perplexity that animates each of Stillman's films is how to find our way, how to live well, when the cake of custom has been broken ...

... Stillman's films are comedies. They are usually thought to be comedies of manners, but that is likely not correct. In a typical comedy of manners, conventional people confront situations which try the resources of conventional manners to the breaking point. But this is not the source of the delight in Stillman's films. How could it be in an age which has unsettled all manners, when there are no conventional resources to be tapped, let alone strained? Stillman's characters, moreover, are self-conscious about the plight of convention in the modern world in a way which unsuits them to the traditional unreflective roles in a comedy of manners. If anything, Stillman's films might be classified as comedies of mannerlessness ...

From Mary P. Nichols (spoilers):
... Religion makes an appearance in [The] Last Days [of Disco] in a more muted form than in Barcelona, where there is mention of the Bible, prayer, and angels. Nor does religion receive the serious attention it does in Metropolitan, when Charlie argues at an afterparty that most of us as we mature lose our innate belief in God, which we later "regain only by a conscious act of faith" - although Charlie has not yet experienced such an act himself. We do see Charlie's utter faith in Audrey by the end of Metropolitan, perhaps foreshadowing Last Days. There, Alice not only finds value in a religious book and promotes its publication, she overcomes her hesitancy about Josh, whose "mania" became manifest in college by singing a hymn asking God's forgiveness. Charlotte, who originally criticized Alice's interest in Josh, later attacks her for being "weirded out" when Josh sang a hymn on the street. Charlotte claims that she herself has sung hymns on the street, and she breaks into "Amazing Grace." The words of the hymn continue to follow Alice as she walks along Manhattan streets. Charlotte's defense of singing hymns is only one more way to attack Alice, and to make her feel bad about herself under the guise of good advice. But this time she does give good advice, which Alice follows. Stillman does not mock the hymn, any more than he mocks the advice, by putting it in the mouth of such a defective character as Charlotte. The hymn is not less beautiful in being sung by Charlotte, nor the advice less good by being ill-intentioned. Greater the power of divinity when it works through imperfect means. As the words of "Amazing Grace" suggest, religion is less the conscious act of faith Charlie supposes than an acceptance of grace that permits one to find the good even in its imperfect forms ...

... Stillman's comic perspective is not one of ridicule, either of the low or of the high. Ted speaks for Stillman in Barcelona when he objects to a "perceptiveness" that ridicules rather than comprehends. Stillman's films ask us, as Audrey asks Tom, to look at ourselves from Jane Austen's perspective. But asking is not enough. For denizens of the modern age, Austen is an acquired taste. Tom's coming to know and eventually love Audrey was a precondition for his liking Austen. Stillman's films, including the one in which we too meet Audrey, function for us as Audrey does for Tom. Appreciating Austen - or Stillman - is a metaphor for something important today: attaining a comic standpoint of mocking affection rather than of ridicule and cynicism ...

Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 19 October 2012 - 06:21 PM.


#32 Christian

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 05:01 AM

Richard Brody's video essay on Barcelona.



#33 Anodos

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 07:38 AM

Just realised how deeply I love Whit Stillman's idiosyncratic works when I saw this headline and for the briefest moment thought it was an RIP. Whew...

 

I really hope Love & Friendship works out, and is a return to (stronger) form than Damsels In Distress, which was good but lacked that intangible 'something' which makes his previous three films such treasures.



#34 Mike_tn

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:33 PM

Anodos: "when I saw this headline"

Is that the video essay link which Christian posted or I'm missing something.

 

***

I really hope Love & Friendship works out, and is a return to (stronger) form than Damsels In Distress, which was good but lacked that intangible 'something' which makes his previous three films such treasures.

 

For Whit I've only seen Damsels In Distress and Last Days of Disco. Of the Whit Stillman/Wes Anderson films, (call it the Whit&Wesson genre), they never neglect a modern inclusion somehow on the topic of sexuality, so I tend to like their PG-13 entries for their restraint in that area. I've liked all their PG-13s I've seen. Whit Stillman tends to be more family friendly than Wes except for Disco so I'm looking forward to any of his upcoming releases.


Edited by Mike_tn, 18 August 2014 - 08:34 PM.


#35 Mike_tn

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:48 PM

Stillman: upcoming pilot for the TV

 

Amazon Studios Sets August Premiere for Third Group of Pilots

Amazon is releasing five new pilots to the public on Aug. 28. The third slate of pilots, which will be available on Amazon Instant Video in the United States and United Kingdom, will include projects from Steven Soderbergh and Whit Stillman...There are three comedies in the upcoming wave of pilots, including Paris-set The Cosmopolitans from Stillman, starring Chloe Sevigny and Adam Brody; Really from Jay Chandrasekhar, starring Sarah Chalke; and workplace comedy Red Oaks from Soderbergh.

The Hollywood Reporter 08/11/2014



#36 Nick Alexander

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:41 AM

DVR alert.  Metropolitan and Barcelona will be playing on TCM this coming Sunday night (8pm and 10pm EST).







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