Hundley, who lives in Westchester, told me the enduring popularity of the movie — now playing at Lincoln Center and returning Friday to Los Angeles and Washington — is “pure joy.”
Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan continues to play across the country. It is supposed to open in Chicago and some other cities as well (according to an interview with Stillman). See if you can check out the UHBs in your town.
Manhattan (HELD OVER!):
Film Society Lincoln Center August 7-20
Los Angeles (with Stillman and Cast):
Laemmle starting August 14th
AFI Silver starting August 14th for one week only
The essence of “Metropolitan” isn’t so much the U.H.B. but its twilight—the danger that it will be reduced merely to its social traditions and become as obsolete and as absurd as Europe’s titled aristocracy. That was already a threat in the time of Stillman’s youth and was even more conspicuous when he made the film, twenty years later. Throughout the film, young men wonder whether their class is doomed, whether they’re condemned to failure, and what form such failure would take.
Vulture’s Nate Jones writes about Whit Stillman’s influences. Of course Jane Austen and J.D. Salinger are talked about. He is also a big fan of Hitchcock and his film Strangers on a Train.
I don’t know why Strangers on a Train affects me so much, but there are elements that connected with me. You can see a bit of that in Barcelona, where the Chris Eigeman character feels that people are accusing him of doing something wrong. In Metropolitan, too, there’s that question: Is someone a bad person?