Remember the UHB?
March 6, 2006 7:30 PM   Subscribe

What became of Whit Stillman.
posted by grumblebee (23 comments total)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
posted by edgeways at 7:38 PM on March 6, 2006

I always loved Chris Eigemen in Stillman's movies. It's a shame he didn't continue doing interesting things.
posted by xmutex at 7:51 PM on March 6, 2006

Well, Eigeman was in a short-lived series that had Jennifer Gray in it. One of the episodes had to do with mexican baskets, and a repeating "MEXICAN BASKEHHHHHHTS!" sound clip that'd play over and over. Amusing, but only because I like Eigeman. I think he's also been in Malcom in the Middle, but I haven't really been watching much TV for a while.

Good interview. Always thought Stillman was kidnapped in some plot involving OTAN and the AFL-CIA.
posted by herrdoktor at 7:58 PM on March 6, 2006

Slim Whitman?
posted by at 8:01 PM on March 6, 2006

More at the A.V. Club.
posted by unmake at 8:10 PM on March 6, 2006

Thanks grumblebee. I love Whit Stillman's movies. I can relate all too well to the UHB as a recovering debutante, refugee from Fifth Avenue, now in Hell's Kitchen, who saw that strange, surreal world up close in the mid-late 60's, transitioning (fading) weirdly into the next decade.

Taylor Nichols was brilliant in Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco. Somehow Stillman wittily captured Social Register culture orphans, young East coast WASPs adrift in the world. It was uncanny how accurately he portrayed the UHB.

In some ways I think of Whit Stillman being a narrator for NY uptown WASPs like Woody Allen is for NY uptown Jews.
posted by nickyskye at 8:37 PM on March 6, 2006

Herrdoktor, that was "It's Like, You Know..." and it was pretty good, for tv. Looks like Eigeman has been on Gilmore as of late.

Oddly, after making my S.O. watch Barcelona (on VHS!) a few months ago, I too found myself wondering what the hell happened to Mr. Stillman. Thanks, grumblebee.
posted by shoepal at 8:38 PM on March 6, 2006

I have been wondering what happened to him. One of my favorite directors. Thanks grumblebee!
posted by vacapinta at 10:09 PM on March 6, 2006

the only stillman movie I saw was last days of disco, and I was so completely annoyed by it that I remember thinking to myself "I hope stillman never makes a movie again."

now, I say, "I hope I make a million dollars a year for the rest of my life" and hope that that mojo works for me again.
posted by shmegegge at 11:04 PM on March 6, 2006

Urban Haute Bourgeoisie - for anyone else who wasn't.
posted by unmake at 1:54 AM on March 7, 2006

Great films that hold up to repeated viewing.
Love the scene in Barcelona where Eigeman
drops the rock on the "red" ants.
posted by archaic at 3:17 AM on March 7, 2006

Stillman films are defintely love 'em or hate 'em and I've had both those feelings watching the same Stillman film at different times.

Remember in "Metropolitian" when Tom explains why he doesn't read novels?

"I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelists' ideas as well as the critics' thinking.

That's basically why I often bypass links in a FPP and jump right to the comments.
posted by sexymofo at 4:56 AM on March 7, 2006

That line, and more or less that line alone, is why I always recommend Metropolitan to people. Very few moments in film have shocked me as being so good...
posted by MattD at 5:34 AM on March 7, 2006

I remember being disappointed by both Metropolitan and Barcelona, although in a way that was disappointment because I thought that they had unacheived greatness in them rather than because they just sucked. Does that make sense? Hearing that he's a big Jane Austen fan (as am I!) explains a lot about the tenor of those two movies. I am glad that Ang Lee ended up directing Sense and Sensibility, though. Thanks for the link.
posted by OmieWise at 6:25 AM on March 7, 2006

"When you're an egoist, none of the harm you do is intentional." -- from Metropolitan

Excellent line.
posted by chrisgrau at 6:42 AM on March 7, 2006

The acid test is whether you take any pleasure in responding to the question, "What do you do?" I can't bear it
That's the danger of midtown Manhattan, running into far more successful contemporaries.
I like Stillman, and he made three little charming films, and I hope he'd direct more. but I really think he is mainly a screenwriter. also, reading the (good) main link of this post, I notice he seems to have realized that he may have run out of things to say.

and this from an unabashed Chris Eigeman fan
posted by matteo at 7:30 AM on March 7, 2006

Stillman's three films have been among my favorites for so long... I'm glad I'll finally get to have all 3 on DVD (my VHS copy of Metropolitan is well worn from making people watch it.) I'd been wondering if the DVD would ever even happen, so... thanks for the post. I had kind of figured there wouldn't be any more films out of him, but it's good to see the guy's doing well.
posted by ab3 at 8:33 AM on March 7, 2006

matteo, thanks for the neat link to the audio bytes from Metropolitan. That scene moved me, encapsulating the pain/life quandary of doing the expected job, succeeding financially but not liking it or doing the unexpected job and comparatively not succeeding financially.

There is a wonderful dynamic in Stillman's movies between Chris Eigeman and Taylor Nichols. Memorable moments in Metropolitan still haunt me, like when Tom Townsend finds his childhood toys in the garbage or hides that he's catching the crosstown bus to the Poorer Part of Town from his Park Avenue taxi sharing cotillion mates.

I sure hope Whit Stillman makes another movie. I look forward to his movies as much as I do to Ang Lee movies, always an unexpected, subtly intelligent and delightful surprise.
posted by nickyskye at 9:13 AM on March 7, 2006

"Last Days of Disco," is only film I can think of where a character's promiscuity is rewarded with a sexually transmitted disease -- a truly wild deviation from the Hollywood rule. It also shows characters living in the kind of tiny, grubby, spiritually confining apartments that people in New York actually live in (compared to endless vistas of the apartments in "Friends" and most movies about NYC).
Still, the script to "Disco" was flabby compared to "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona." Stillman may be played out. I hope this isn't the case, but it happens.
posted by Faze at 10:18 AM on March 7, 2006

Nicely said Faze.
posted by nickyskye at 10:43 AM on March 7, 2006

"Americans aren't more violent. We're just better shots."
posted by tkchrist at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2006

faze, didn't she get an std from her first sexual encounter? I mean, I suppose how we each see "promiscuity" varies, but i've always seen promiscuity as casual sex with many partners with little discrimination regarding the partners. I guess how much constitutes "many" also depends on perspective, but I find it hard to see sleeping with one person as promiscuous.

also: the movie kids was largely about promiscuity and drug abuse being rewarded with an std.
posted by shmegegge at 12:59 PM on March 7, 2006

And the same chick in both movies - Chloe Sevigny.
posted by vronsky at 2:00 PM on March 7, 2006

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