Einst Hoffnungsträger des Indie-Kinos, brauchte der Regisseur 13 Jahre, bis er mit der Komödie “Algebra in Love” zurückkam: Ein Gespräch über ewige Jugend und feine Unterschiede zu Woody Allen.
tip Mr. Stillman, der Ausgangspunkt des Films war die Zeitungsmeldung über eine Gruppe von Mädchen, die Traditionen des Campuslebens wiederbeleben wollten.Google translation:
Whit Stillman Ich habe versucht, von der ursprünglichen Geschichte wegzukommen, indem ich mich in die Situation dieser Mädchen hineinversetzte. Bei der Suche nach Geldgebern (der Film wurde schließlich mit privaten Geldern vollkommen unabhängig finanziert) erzählte mir eine Frau, an ihrem College hätten ähnliche Verhältnisse geherrscht – eine dominante männliche Atmosphäre, wo die Jungs am Wochenende regelmäßig zu viel tranken und dann auf die Türschwellen der Mädchen kotzten.
An Interview with Whit Stillman
Once hope of indie cinema, the director took 13 years until he “in Love Algebra” back with the comedy: A conversation about eternal youth and subtle differences to Woody Allen.
Algebra in Love
A movie titles such as “The Last Days of Disco” may sound trendy, but as the film by Whit Stillman was released in 1998, the disco wave had long since past. To be on the amount of time it has never appealed to the now 61-year-old director, he has held dear little known youth rituals in his films as an ethnologist. The focus of his directorial debut “Metropolitan” were 1990 New York preppies who paid homage to the style of a bygone era in dress and manners. Even the girls who gather in “Algebra in Love” by Violet Wister (Greta Gerwig), have a mission: to teach the boys on campus better manners and to free them from their routine of hanging out and drinking. Violet also has yet created a new dance, which she believes that he has great potential. However, their determination is interpreted by others as fanaticism …
tip Mr. Stillman, the starting point of the film was the newspaper story about a group of girls who wanted to revive the traditions of campus life. Whit Stillman I tried to get away from the original story, as I put myself into the situation of these girls. In the search for financial backers (the film was eventually completely independently financed with private funds) told me a woman at her college that similar conditions prevailed – a dominant masculine environment where the guys at the weekend regularly drank too much and then on the doorsteps girl puking.
tip Algebra in Love In “Algebra in Love” there is dancing as therapy and at the end of a proper musical sequence, but dance also already played a role in your earlier films. Your film is in the original “Damsels in Distress”, as one may think of the musical “Damsel in Distress” with Fred Astaire. Whit Stillman I love the Gershwin song “Things are Looking Up,” and therefore he should be at the end of the film. I checked where this song came and met with “damsel in distress”. “Damsel” comes from the French “Demoiselles” and the Spanish “Damas”. This comes from the days of Don Quixote: Knights and Ladies who are saved – what the film on its head.
With tip Greta Gerwig you have found a great cast for the lead role.
Whit Stillman After she promised she got the offer for a studio production, the remake of “Arthur,” and asked us if we could move the pivot in the summer. We did that. Later I learned that she would have given our movie the privilege if that would not work out.
tip Greta Gerwig is not the first of your main characters, which subsequently appeared in Woody Allen.
Whit Stillman Mira Sorvino he has occupied for “Barcelona”, and then they got the Oscar for “Mighty Aphrodite”. Chloë Sevigny played some time after “The Last Days of Disco” in “Melinda and Melinda.” This time, he asked if he could see scenes from the movie. So I cut together some, and my assistant brought the material to him. Then he occupied Greta “From Rome with Love” – she flew to the last recordings immediately to Rome.
tip If you require percentages of Woody Allen for his casting?
Whit Stillman No, we are all indebted to him, because he has created a certain atmosphere in which something was possible. My first three films were sold as “in the style of Woody Allen,” as a cross between Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer – which ultimately is no limit of two. What distinguishes me from Woody Allen, is the fact that it violates the limits of naturalism if he can draw a joke. In “Damsels” there are some moments when I’m doing that also – so far agrees with the comparison with Woody Allen for the first time
tip The protagonists of your films have always been young adults …
Whit Stillman In not a few of the negative reviews my age is mentioned. But I think the view does not change necessarily, when you get older. I was always interested in this period of life, because then is the identity. Of which my films tell rather than that they are romantic comedies. For this, my characters were already criticized in “Barcelona” and “The Last Days of Disco” – they were, unlike in “Metropolitan”, too old to have to behave as “silly”.
tip What have you done in the 13 years ago, “Algebra in Love”?
Whit Stillman I lived for nine years in Paris and two in Madrid. I thought I could make the films from London. One who tells of the meeting of people from different generations in Jamaica, had three financiers – but in the end they probably thought, someone who makes films about preppies in New York, can not worry about colored youth! In Madrid, my roots are as a filmmaker. I worked the mid-80s when the American independent film was still in its infancy, with Fernando Trueba and Fernando Colomo and helped them to sell their films abroad. This way, based on a bluff: I gave the impression that I would know me, even though I had learned only a “Variety” special for the Spanish film by heart.
Interview: Frank Arnold
Photo: Sony Pictures
Places and times, “Algebra in Love” at the cinema in Berlin
Algebra in Love (Damsels in Distress), USA 2011, directed by Whit Stillman; Starring: Greta Gerwig (Violet), Carrie MacLemore (Heather), Megalyn Echikunwoke (Rose), 95 minutes, Rated 6
Release date: 16 May