Tag Archives: clips

First three ‘Damsels in Distress’ clips

It looks like the first three clips from Whit Stillman’s forthcoming Damsels in Distress have been released, ahead of its screening to close the Venice Film Festival.

It’s hard to tell if these are officially-sanctioned clips or a leak, as the official Damsels website shows no sign of them. But they’ve already spread to many sites with no apparent attempt by Sony to suppress them.

So, if you can’t wait for the film’s release to see your first Whit Stillman scenes since last century, here you are… (If the embedded versions below don’t work, all three are also available at IMDb.)

Violet and Lily Comfort Priss

This seems like classic Whit Stillman and I’m already loving Greta Gerwig’s character, Violet. She appears to show that same overly verbose and rather insensitive (or maybe just unaware) nature that is familiar from previous Stillman films. And, as many of you will have noticed, this conversation is very like that in Barcelona, in which Ted and Fred discuss the merits of “plain, or even rather homely, girls”. Maybe this mirroring reflects the overall shift from male to female leads this time around.

Lily Introduces Charlie to Violet, Heather and Rose

More fun “Stillman-esque” dialogue here, right up to Violet’s wonderful final line. I’m not sure this scene would win over anyone who didn’t “get” Stillman’s style before, as I can imagine this exchange seeming stilted and somewhat fake, but it seems like good stuff to me!

The Alegbra of Love

This clip isn’t available on YouTube yet, hence the smaller version from elsewhere. As a standalone clip, this seems like the least successful, but there’s no reason it won’t work well as part of the whole. I have been wondering how Stillman’s style would hold up in 2011, given the increasing numbers of “indie” romantic comedies over the past decade, with their almost parody-able quirky, elliptical dialogue. This clip could, on its own, seem like a continuation of that style, rather than of Stillman’s own, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works in situ.

All three clips feature a non-diegetic soundtrack of strings and (I think) woodwind. I can’t recall now if this is familiar from previous Stillman films, or if, as I suspect, it’s new. I wonder what it indicates about the tone of the movie, if it’s a common feature.

So, if you’ve watched the clips, what do you think? What interesting points or ideas have I missed? Do they live up to your expectations? Feel free to post a comment below…