The Last Days of Disco Writer-director Whit Stillman will be on hand for the 20th-anniversary screening and discussion of the final installment in his loosely linked “doomed bourgeois in love” trilogy. Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale play recent college grads who work in publishing and dance their nights away in a Studio 54-like club while maintaining a frosty frenemy status as roommates. With Whitman regular, the ever-droll Chris Eigeman and Matt Keeslar as a preppy, buttoned-up assistant DA who passionately espouses the greatness of disco even as the genre threatens to become uncool. American Cinematheque,Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 260-1528. June 22, 7:30 p.m. $8-$12.
Whit Stillman and Chloë Sevigny Look Back at The Last Days of Disco by H.W. Vail for Vanity Fair (June 11, 2018).
The article talks about how elements of disco are still in vogue today, the soundtrack, how Stillman got into Studio 54, how Winona Ryder was almost cast, and how the great literature he read talks about social gatherings that were lacking in the early ’70s.
Asked where his preoccupation for this rarefied (and dwindling) stratum of society originated, Stillman pointed to a critical observation he made upon graduating from Harvard. “I guess it comes from a feeling I had when I got out of university, in June 1973. It seemed like society was totally atomized,” he said. “There were no connections; there was no social fabric. So when you read the world of Tolstoy and War and Peace, social gatherings were all connections between people. Or Jane Austen, where there are always connections. Or Fitzgerald . . . I guess it’s trying to imagine and reconstruct the links between people, and ask, ‘Is there really a social fabric at any time?’”
Stillman talks about why Alice was “friends” with Charlotte, his experience in clubs, the sound mix of the film, and his future projects.
Do you have any updates on The Cosmopolitans and Dancing Mood?
I’m working on both and I have another possibility, something written by someone else. It’s the first time I’ve been offered a good script, frankly. I’m waiting for things to settle at Amazon to finish The Cosmopolitans scripts and submit them. I’m recasting what I was thinking of doing for Dancing Mood. It might be called something else, but I really hope both of those things will happen. I also have the chance to, maybe, do a TV series based on the Love & Friendshipnovel I did. In that there’s a continuation character, Rufus Martin-Colonna, who is a really funny character. So there might be this funny, silly English aristocrat in the 1800s as a TV comedy. Essentially it’s the same character Tom Bennett played in the film. In the novel he’s the nephew of Sir James Martin played by Tom Bennett. But if it becomes a TV show, I would like Tom Bennett to play the nephew.