Metropolitan, the 1990 dramedy about a group of chivalrous preppies whose debutante ball after-parties are so articulate and decorous that they might have driven J. Alfred Prufrock to throw a TV out the window like Keith Moon trashing a hotel suite, earned auteur Whit Stillman the appellation “the WASP Woody Allen.” Stillman, who wrote for The American Spectator when young, developed a cult following among rightist intellectuals because of his out-of-the-closet political and cultural conservatism....
Since Metropolitan, however, the indefatigable Allen—who famously claimed that eighty percent of success is showing up—has released twenty films versus the defatigable Stillman’s two. Finally, though, Stillman’s first movie in almost fourteen years, Damsels in Distress, will be arriving in NY and LA on April 6th.
Extra points for recognizing the mathematically correct classic rock lyrics reference in the last quoted sentence above.
Whit Stillman lines are sometimes more quotable than actable, but they sure can be quotable. A miscellany:
I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelists' ideas as well as the critics' thinking.
Well, the past is gone, so we might as well romanticize it.
Christopher Eigeman on Disney's Lady and the Tramp: What's the function of a film of this kind? Essentially as a primer on love and marriage directed at very young people, imprinting on their little psyches the idea that smooth-talking delinquents recently escaped from the local pound are a good match for nice girls from sheltered homes. When in ten years the icky human version of Tramp shows up around the house, their hormones will be racing and no one will understand why. Films like this program women to adore jerks.
On WASP declinism: Take those of our fathers who grew up very well-off. I mean, maybe their careers started out well enough, but just as their contemporaries really began accomplishing things, they started quitting—'I’m rising above office politics,' or refusing to compete and risk open failure . . . or gradually spending more and more time on . . . conservation or the arts, where even if they were total failures no one would know it.”