Director Whit Stillman
Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:41 AM
Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:17 PM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:34 PM
Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:20 PM
Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:08 PM
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.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:28 PM
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.
Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:00 AM
So has anyone here read Doomed Bourgeois in Love yet?
Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:20 PM
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.