Carl’s Rock Songbook #70: Social Dancing as a Key to Whit Stillman’s Films

Carl Scott from First Things writes:

Whit Stillman fans know that his first three films are a loosely connected trilogy of sorts, with THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO being the film that ties them together by means of our meeting key characters from the other two in its Club. How then, does his recent DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, a rather stranger film and one made more than a decade after the others, work with the earlier films?

The way I propose is that it caps off another trilogy, a more thematic one concerned with social dance. This trilogy is composed of METROPOLITAN’s portrayal of the debutante dance scene in late 60s or very early 70s, THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO’s re-evaluation of the disco scene of the late 70s and very early 80s, and DAMSELS IN DISTRESS’s consideration of how hard it is to start a dance craze in contemporary times. So BARCELONA is the odd film out.