Tag Archives: Christmas

This Is the Perfect Time of Year to Rewatch Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan

Very nice article by Nate Jones at Vulture, but I would argue, that while Metropolitan is a Christmas vacation film, (it has a title card for that) it’s also very much a Christmas film as well.  So it’s both a Christmas and “after Christmas” film.  Metropolitan even has the distinction of being in Criterion’s 12 Days of Criterion Christmas.  The 12 Days of Christmas being celebrated 12/25 to 1/5.  Stillman has also stated in past interviews (including one with The Awl, by Sharan Shetty) that the film represents the 1969 deb season:

There also seems to be a change in tone before and after Christmas. Before, the film is mostly intellectual conversation. After, it’s drug-taking, candor games, and fistfights. Was that a conscious decision?

Definitely. That’s supposed to represent 60s going into the 70s. The whole transition between the cultures of those respective decades.

Christmas Related Articles

Here are a few Christmas related items from Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan:

From the archives of the New York Times comes an article about the Yule Log from Thomas Vinciguerra:

Like Christmas itself, the Yule log means different things to different people. ”It’s sort of a symbol of loneliness,” said the director Whit Stillman, who depicted a solitary Yule log viewer in a melancholy scene in his 1990 movie ”Metropolitan.” ”It probably wasn’t a great Christmas for you if you were watching it.” But, Mr. Stillman added, ”it’s a great thing to have when you touch bottom socially. No matter how low you go, if you had a TV, you had the Yule log.”

The Yule Log will be making a comeback this year as well:

NEW YORK — PIX11, Tribune Broadcasting’s New York flagship station, is thrilled to announce the station will air the original 1966 version of the Yule Log, which has not been seen on air since 1969. The 1966 Yule Log, long assumed to be permanently lost, was found and restored. It will air as a one-hour presentation exclusively on PIX11 on Christmas Eve 2016, exactly 50 years after its debut and again on Christmas morning.

Whit Stillman’s favorite Christmas film is Shop Around the Corner (New York Times, October 28, 2011).

The film’s timeless quality suggests the lasting attractions of Christmas, changing with the period of one’s life but not so much between the generations.

James Wolcott at Vanity Fair wrote on December 23rd, 2011 that:

But the movie that best captures the mood of Christmas for me is one that isn’t thought of as a holiday classic at all–Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan.


‘Metropolitan’ Article from The Edge

Camilla Cassidy for The Edge, writes a nice article on Whit Stillman’s Metroplitan and how you should check it out if you are looking for a Christmas film.

4 Christmas Eve Church Service Metropoiltan  copy

Following on from yesterday’s piece, columnist James Slaymaker has one final idea for alternative seasonal watching for you – should you be feeling a little tired of The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, or you’re not exactly looking forward to a fifth viewing of Love Actually.

Metropolitan (1990)

A masterwork of gradual world-building and delicately crafted dialogue, Whit Stillman’s micro-budget period piece Metropolitan resembles something akin to a Hollywood classism revival filtered through the giddy formal shabbiness of a Luc Moullet movie. Detailing the romantic entanglements of a group of bourgeois, over-educated college over the course of their Christmas vacation, this half-mocking, half-affectionate comedy of manners is so effortlessly witty that it takes a while to register that it’s essentially an elegy. Stillman’s ambivalence lies in the fact that he doesn’t necessarily see the inevitable passing of this way of life as a negative development for society as a whole, yet it deserves mourning anyway.