Tag Archives: Hans Morgenstern

Second Part of Hans Morgenstern’s Interview With Whit Stillman

Hans Morgenstern continues his interview with Whit Stillman in this second and last part.  Stillman and Morgenstern talk about the posters in Damsels, how distraction can help with depression, and of course the bad review. 

Hans Morgenstern: One thing I am wondering about is your intention in the film.

Whit Stillman: There’s a very serious intention in the film.

But I mean, is it a cultural criticism of today?

Rainy Day Coffee Damsels

Of course. All the films are. But I think it’s a kind of life preserver. I think there’s a very serious intention in the film where there is all this kind of romance of suicide, the romance of depression, in college. And the way most people deal with this is to therapize it, take it really seriously and re-dramatize it. And, actually, to get out of those moods for people, when it’s not clinical mental illness, is to distract, to make active, to do these things, and then, with the passage of time, they very often get out of that cast of mind…

But it’s background. It’s nothing to the theme of your film, right?

Nothing on the walls is supposed to be focal. For instance, my university daughter still hasn’t got her posters back because I took all her posters from her wall because she had to decamp from her room and so the posters were in my apartment, and they were by an artist friend who I had represented, and so I just took her posters and gave them to the art department and said, “Put these in the girls’ room.” And, anyway, he built this whole review about my pretentiousness in my references.

Can a Cup of Coffee With Whit Stillman Change Hans Morgenstern’s Mind About “Damsels” (Part 1)?

In this part one interview, Hans Morgenstern at Independent Ethos rethinks his bad review of Damsels in Distress over a cup of coffee with Whit Stillman.  In this first part interview they talk about the bad review and among other things, technology in films and how it dates things (sometimes in unintentional comic fashion).  All in all an interesting an insightful read.  Look for part two in a jiff.

Hans Morgenstern: So I put in the article “either A) I have grown too old and cynical…”

Whit Stillman: Oh, yeah, I was going to say A (laughs).

Coffee Damsels in Distress

Of course, it has to be my first choice, because of course you haven’t lost your knack for smart writing, which was option B.


But you don’t think Millennials are too dumb to speak the same language as the generation before them, which was C?

I didn’t quite get that point. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t quite get it.

So, let’s go back to the ‘90s, think Richard Linklater. That was another very smart peer of yours during the rise of ‘ 90s indie film. I came of age in college watching these films. So when I think of those characters, I feel they seem as intelligent as I had felt, whereas the characters in Damsels don’t seem as bright.