SEPTEMBER 26: Director Whit Stillman, currently editing his new film LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP in Paris, will discuss the film via Skype at the Saturday screening.
Newly restored to commemorate its 25th anniversary, METROPOLITAN made writer-director Stillman a rising star of the early indie explosion, scoring a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for a script brimming with bon mots and quotable lines. His subject is the self-designated Urban Haute Bourgeoisie (or “UHB”)–college-age socialites and swains who prowl the party scene on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This elitist bubble is seen from the perspective of Tom (Clements), a middle-class arriviste who is tutored in the ways of the wealthy by the manipulative cynic Nick (Eigeman in a brilliant performance). Perhaps because it seemed anachronistic even at the time–more F. Scott Fitzgerald than Bret Easton Ellis–METROPOLITAN has dated very well. By neither sentimentalizing nor sneering at his pampered protagonists, Stillman lets us discover, however grudgingly, the fragility behind their poses–to quote from another film about the haute bourgeoisie, they are “only superficially superficial.” New 2K DCP digital restoration from Rialto Pictures. (MR)