Richard Brody at The New Yorker writes another excellent article regarding Whit Stillman. This time focusing on his new pilot, The Cosmopolitans.
This suspense is at the heart of Stillman’s drama; it’s how he gives a theatrical kick to situations that are spare on action. He equips his characters with expository dialogue that’s so smart and sharp that it, too, seems like a sort of action—thought in action. But then he sets those characters in motion and puts them to the test. He also puts their identities to the test, with the comedy and the drama of self-definition and self-creation (this comes to the fore especially in “Damsels in Distress”). In effect, for Stillman, exposition is a matter of form; the deft interweaving, from the very start of “The Cosmopolitans,” of disparate situations arises from a sense that labelling, whether through self-identification or the identification of others, is itself an act of high drama.
Brody brings up something that Stanely Kubrkick noted in Whit Stillman’s Barcelona. Excerpt taken from a previous article I published on the site:
Nicole Kidman had also told Stillman that Kubrick talked about the film all the time and that he said he liked the technique of dialogue advancing the story.
Kubrick was known to have loved Whit Stillman’s Barcelona.
A while back our site posted a link and information obtained from the The Last Days of Disco audio commentary that Stanley Kubrick loved Whit Stillman’s Barcelona. Shortly after the post BFI then added Barcelona to their BFI Stanley Kubrick, cinfephile list (more specifically the Off List). Now here is some more uncovered information through some searching on the internet. It comes from interviews with Thomas Gibson who got the role in Eyes Wide Shut due to the fact that Kubrick had seen him in and loved Barcelona.
In these three articles Gibson talks about how Kubrick loved Whit Stillman’s Barcelona (please see at the very bottom for two of the articles).
Movieline Magazine, February 1999 page 18 article by Joshua Mooney Hype:
“But Kubrick turns out to be a big Whit Stillman fan, and he saw me in Barcelona” (Gibson was a yuppie marketing genius in that film).
UPI Hollywood Reporter, May 30, 2003 Pat Nason’s article Feature: Thomas Gibson, good guy:
“I will talk to people who say they loved ‘Tales of the City’ or ‘Far and Away’ or ‘Love and Human Remains’ or ‘Barcelona,'” he said. “That’s actually how I got ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ Stanley was a big fan of ‘Barcelona.'”
Orange Coast Magazine, October 2000 page 40 article by Jill Daniel Monkeying Around With Thomas Gibson:
A performance as a snooty American marketing executive in the Whit Stillman movie Barcelona indelibly impressed the late director Stanley Kubrick, who cast Gibson sans-audition for a small role in 1999’s Eyes Wide Shut.
The Official Podcast interviews Whit Stillman for their third episode.
In Part 1 Stillman talks about:
- Ice cream sandwiches (yes, he does)
- TV and how he may be going into that arena soon
- His use of social media
- How Metropolitan played for seven months in NYC
- 1/3 of Metropolitan’s gross came from Manhattan
- Why he chose Chicago as the hometown of Ted
- The location of the lake at the end of the film
- His love of Lake Shore Drive
- The self help books in Barcelona and how a studio head helped keep their significance in the film
- Stanley Kubrick’s love of Barcelona and how Kubrick wanted to know more about John Thomas’ cinematography
- How a shot in Eyes Wide Shut is similar to one in Barcelona
- Stillman’s advice on who you should listen to when writing a script
- How the G and H in The Last Days of Disco are gonorrhea and herpes and not HIV like some people have speculated on the internet
- Lastly he talks about Evelyn Waugh
It is sort of known and not too surprising (at least to me) that Stanley Kubrick loved Whit Stillman’s film Barcelona.
This is talked about in The Last Days of Disco commentary and Kubrick even asked Stillman to take a meeting with him. Thomas Gibson (Dickie Taylor) even got the gig in Eyes Wide Shut without an audition, just because Kubrick had liked him in Barcelona. Nicole Kidman had also told Stillman that Kubrick talked about the film all the time and that he said he liked the technique of dialogue advancing the story.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing a Criterion release of Barcelona soon. Don’t forget to tweet or email Criterion about how you would like to see it released by them.