Stillman still plans to make ‘Dancing Mood’

While doing press for Damsels in Distress, Whit Stillman told John Hopwell at Variety that he:

…still plans to make Dancing Mood, about young people in the Kingston, Jamaica, church music scene in 1962 through ‘66.

“If I can’t set it up via traditional methods, we’ll use our own resources, do the film on a small budget,” he said.

Stillman’s been talking about this for a few years. In 2007 he told the New York Post he was thinking of Danny Glover and J.J. Walker for roles in this, “his next film”.

He also discussed the movie in a 2008 interview with IFC.com:

IFC: When I heard the description of it [a love story mainly shot in gospel churches], it sounded like a departure for you.

WS: I think that there tends to be too much emphasis on the subject matter of films when really it’s the tone and treatment that are crucial and interesting. The Jamaican film, in tone and treatment, will be related in certain ways to what was done with the other films. But I think people are hung up on subject matter when it’s not so important.

It’s also been hard for the [previous] films to get a wide audience because of the bad class elements – people feel sociologically antagonistic to the protagonists of those three films, as well they might, and therefore we haven’t had as much acceptance as maybe we would’ve had if the characters were more ingratiating in their social situation. In the Jamaican story, I think the situation of the characters is much more endearing and likable, and so I really hope that it’ll be a breakout film in terms of popularity. We’ve gone back to the original title, which is Dancing Mood. [We] called it Creation for a while. It’ll have a lot of music, but it’s not really about music, and I think the characters are ingratiating and funny and I really hope financing will line up and we’ll be able to do that soon.

IFC: Did you actually spend a lot of time in Jamaica to research the film?

WS: No. But I spent a lot more time in Jamaica than I did deb parties.

Hopefully, if Damsels is a success, Stillman will finally be able to get this film – and others – made.

1 thought on “Stillman still plans to make ‘Dancing Mood’

  1. I hate to say this, but having just seen the TIFF special presentation of Damsels, I have a hard time seeing anyone lining up to back another Stillman picture. I love his movies, and was quite taken with the new one, but if anything it’s less accessible to a broad audience (it’s certainly “weirder”). Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

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