One of the great American independent films of the 1990s, writer-director Whit Stillman’s surprise hit Metropolitan is a sparkling comedic chronicle of a middle-class young man’s romantic misadventures among New York City’s debutante society. Stillman’s deft, literate dialogue and hilariously highbrow observations earned this debut film an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Alongside the wit and sophistication, though, lies a tender tale of adolescent anxiety. —The Criterion Collection
A writer/director whose light, urbane sensibility launched him to the forefront of the American independent filmmaking movement of the ‘90s, Whit Stillman was born in New York City in 1952. The son of a member of John F. Kennedy’s Presidential administration and an impoverished debutante, he was raised in the upstate New York area of Cornwall, and later attended Harvard University, where he wrote humor pieces for the college daily. Upon graduating in 1973, Stillman relocated to Manhattan and began working as a journalist. While in Spain in 1980 for his wedding, he met a group of film producers and attempted to convince them that he could sell their movies to Spanish-language cable television stations in the U.S. The producers ultimately agreed, and Stillman spent the next several years as an international sales agent for Spanish filmmakers including Fernando Trueba and Fernando Colomo. He also occasionally appeared in motion pictures, including Trueba’s 1982 work Sal Gorda and Colomo’s… read more
As Damsels in Distress opens, Stillman crisscrosses the City for revivals and Qs&As.
Also: Ross Douthat, film critic. Woody Allen on Broadway. Whit Stillman at Harvard. And Orson Welles performs Shakespeare on the radio.
Speaking about dialogue heavy films, Whit Stillman’s debut feature is filled with high class witticisms and slick one-liners. Stillman’s NYC is definitely heightened. I want this NYC to exist, I want… read review
Oh man, what a joy this movie was to watch. Not only does it set up the mannerist candor that Wes Anderson continued and Noah Baumbach has attempted to make absolutely dull but it has also made me… read review
I have discovered a new cinematic character worth quoting and his name is Nick Smith. Ever since Criterion decided to release a couple Whit Stillman films, I was intrigued to find out exactly what… read review