Here’s an interview with Whit Stillman from 1991 that I haven’t seen before, and it’s possibly the earliest interview available online. Betsy Sussler talks to Stillman about Metropolitan, and it’s definitely worth a read.
The material seemed pretty rich, almost rank. And perhaps it’s better approaching a subject people feel strongly about, even if that strong feeling is hatred, than something colorless and unspecific. Also, I love anachronism and this was the chance to film, essentially, a costume picture set in the present day or recent past. But a large part of the idea was to disguise our pitifully low budget by filming the most elegant subject available.
Some of it is interesting to look back on, nearly two decades in its future:
I hope I get offered some good scripts, because I’m such a slow writer, I really love the directing job, and feel I can do it. I’d love to be able to do adventure films and historical films, silly comedies.
Right now, I find the project [Barcelona] very boring but I hope that will lead to “catharsis” and “turning point” taking the script in a more interesting direction.
I guess that one worked out happily.