326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Fletch F. Fletch
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326 Metropolitan

#76 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:31 am

Anthony wrote:I just finished watching Metropolitan the other night and must say that I liked it very much. Yes, the film had its flaws (some stale acting, strange editing, etc). But I loved the fact that the melodrama seemed to be pushed beneath the film's surface.
On a side note, Did anyone notice that Stillman casted Carolyn Farina in Metropolitan and Last Days of Disco as the same character (Audrey Rouget)? It's been many years since I saw Last Days so I can't quite remember how large or small of a part she had in it.
Yep, that was intentional as Metropolitan, Barcelona and Last Days of Disco comprise a trilogy of sorts.

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326 Metropolitan

#77 Post by Penny Dreadful » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:00 am

I just finished watching METROPOLITAIN, and I found it to be quite amusing, in an underspoken yet brilliant way. The dialogue didn't remind me much of "Clerks" or "Annie Hall"--it was more like The Rules of the Game, only Americanized, self-consciously intellicualized, and tinged with a glow of fond nostalgia.

Even before the cocktail party scene where one character discusses his hatred of "The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie," I thought to myself that METROPOLITAIN was a re-telling of that film, only this time the twits were actually charming.

I have New Englandy relatives who act exactly like the people in this movie--and I assure you, these Preppie Handbook types are all too real.

The movie chronicles the characters' brief glory days. These dinner party scenes are so mundane and purposeless that (like Tom) the viewer doesn't realize they were supposed to represent high times until they're over. After the last deb ball, the characters will all begin their descents into mediocrity: a sorry but widely accepted fate.

Also, I love how Tom swears he never takes taxis, but by the end of the movie, he's the one who suggests taking a cab all the way out to the Hamptons.

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326 Metropolitan

#78 Post by kschell » Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:51 am

The appeal of the film escapes me.

Seemed to me to be an amateurishly written Evelyn Waugh novel improbably set in NY in the 1990s with bad acting. I found it unwatchable. We cut it off after 30 minutes.

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326 Metropolitan

#79 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:41 am

people who don't watch an entire film should be barred from discussing it negatively.

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326 Metropolitan

#80 Post by ben d banana » Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:42 pm

domino harvey wrote:people who don't watch an entire film should be barred from discussing it negatively.
I feel pretty safe in the assumption that Napoleon Dynamite didn't get any better.

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326 Metropolitan

#81 Post by kschell » Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:44 pm

domino harvey wrote:people who don't watch an entire film should be barred from discussing it negatively.
Bad films should be barred.

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326 Metropolitan

#82 Post by cdnchris » Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:58 pm

ben d banana wrote:
domino harvey wrote:people who don't watch an entire film should be barred from discussing it negatively.
I feel pretty safe in the assumption that Napoleon Dynamite didn't get any better.
It didn't.

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326 Metropolitan

#83 Post by portnoy » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:17 pm

cdnchris wrote:
ben d banana wrote:
domino harvey wrote:people who don't watch an entire film should be barred from discussing it negatively.
I feel pretty safe in the assumption that Napoleon Dynamite didn't get any better.
It didn't.
If you can't at least understand the joys of Napoleon Dynamite, you probably like movies for all the wrong reasons.

And Metropolitan is great.

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domino harvey
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326 Metropolitan

#84 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:21 pm

I don't like Napoleon Dynamite, but at least I've actually seen it.

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326 Metropolitan

#85 Post by ben d banana » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:23 pm

portnoy wrote:If you can't at least understand the joys of Napoleon Dynamite, you probably like movies for all the wrong reasons.
Wow, someone's getting all Henrik in favor Napoleon Dynamite!?! Last time I checked, comedies, stupid or otherwise, and trust me, I like a lot of stupid ones, are supposed to make one laugh, not fill them with seething rage.

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#86 Post by cdnchris » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:35 pm

ben d banana wrote:
portnoy wrote:If you can't at least understand the joys of Napoleon Dynamite, you probably like movies for all the wrong reasons.
Wow, someone's getting all Henrik in favor Napoleon Dynamite!?! Last time I checked, comedies, stupid or otherwise, and trust me, I like a lot of stupid ones, are supposed to make one laugh, not fill them with seething rage.
What he said

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326 Metropolitan

#87 Post by Doctor Sunshine » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:40 pm

Napoleon Dynamite is hilaaarious.

And, actually, I really enjoyed Metropolitan. And because the 2nd post in this thread was a pre-viewing, denunciation of said movie by myself, let me say this: I've learned my lesson and I'll never judge anything without having firsthand knowledge of it again...

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326 Metropolitan

#88 Post by tryavna » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:47 pm

Doctor Sunshine wrote:Napoleon Dynamite is hilaaarious.

And, actually, I really enjoyed Metropolitan. And because the 2nd post in this thread was a pre-viewing, denunciation of said movie by myself, let me say this: I've learned my lesson and I'll never judge anything without having firsthand knowledge of it again...
=D>

I just thought this message deserved applause....

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Jeff
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326 Metropolitan

#89 Post by Jeff » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:38 pm

Attn: Matt and other Stillman completists

Metrodome will be releasing the R2 version of Metropolitan complete will an exculsive, new commentary track by Stillman. Enjoy.

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326 Metropolitan

#90 Post by kevyip1 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:33 pm

kschell wrote:The appeal of the film escapes me.

Seemed to me to be an amateurishly written Evelyn Waugh novel improbably set in NY in the 1990s with bad acting. I found it unwatchable. We cut it off after 30 minutes.
I love this film. The dialogs aren't bad at all. "Urban haute bourgeosie? Couldn't we say it simply as, uhb?" "You don't need to read a book to have an opinion." "Men are dates, potential dates, or date substitutes. I find that dehumanizing." "The acid test is whether you take any pleasure in responding to the question 'What do you do?' I can't bear it."

Also, frequent shots of nubile, young girls in scantily-clad clothings are very welcomed (and a strip-poker scene to boot).

And I like the tone of the film. It's not too critical of this class of people, and not too sentimental nor comical in the various situations depicted. The film keeps it real, without the kind of fantasy aspect present in many Woody Allen's films. And it still keeps it entertaining (I categorize this film as a comedy).

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326 Metropolitan

#91 Post by JabbaTheSlut » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:19 am

If anyone wants to order a reasonably priced dvd of a movie called Les derniers jours du Disco, links below.

Amazon.fr or Fnac

PS. It has non-anamorphic letterbox 1:1;85 image.

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326 Metropolitan

#92 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:47 pm

I finally saw this after avoiding it, mostly due to the R2 cover, which sells it as "a peach of a picture". I can't see why people bash the film, now that I see it's quite excellent.

One movie kept coming into my head while watching this, and that was The Magnificent Ambersons. It both gave me this feel of "an end of an era", and like the Ambersons, all the characters were rather innocent. Instead of most films about modern youth, instead of meaningless sex, vulgar dialougue, and gross out antics, everything was quite simple. These are a group of friends who get their kicks from debutante balls, and Cha-Cha-Cha sessions, rather old fashioned. One of the best scenes is where they meet a middle aged man in a bar, who was once like the happy bourgeoisie, but now is stuck with doing something he doesn't like. It sort of pushed the theme even more.

Oh, and the ending is excellent. It's funny, and very, very memorable. I'm going to make a point to see Stillman's two other films. The man comes off without a single ounce of arrogance, and credits himself on the same card as his editor and cinematographer. Love it!

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326 Metropolitan

#93 Post by jbeall » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:37 pm

I first saw Metropolitan as a teenager and loved it. I even bought the VHS tape when it first came out. I think it's a pretty realistic depiction of that social class (the U.H.B.'s). More important, the dialogue is much more believable than dialogue found in Kevin Smith's movies.

It's been quite some time, but I recall Barcelona being quite enjoyable, too.

And Napoleon Dynamite sucked. I watched the entire movie, figuring that it would eventually get better. It didn't. It's Exhibit A for why Mormons shouldn't make comedies.

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326 Metropolitan

#94 Post by rohmerin » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:53 pm

I've watched this film today for first time and it has impressed me. Wonderful script, brilliant dialogues, horrible outfits (gosh, how tacky the 80's were), excellent portrait of that upper-class people (Spanish and Latin-American riches are the same) played by good and very young actors. I loved, loved, loved it.

I agree that it's close to W. Allen's cinema, but it's a million times better than Burn's rubbish films. That Edward -beefcake- Burns tried to be W. Allen with a gorgeous face many times. How pathetic.

There's another picture very familiar with this one: Six degrees of separation. How much I love that film!

I saw (for the outfits, I must confess) the Gossip Girl pilot episode, and they should pay royalties for that Xerox copy of Stillman's. It's the worst TV show I've ever seen.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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485 The Last Days of Disco

#95 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:29 am


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485 The Last Days of Disco

#96 Post by Cronenfly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:12 am

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:In a recent interview, Whit Stillman goes into a little more detail about what's holding up the Criterion edition of this film:
Karina: Does that have anything to do with why there is no Last Days of Disco DVD in print?

Whit: Yes. Last Days of Disco - there should be a Criterion edition. But, that contract has not been - I think Criterion is negotiating with one of the studios to bring it out. But, those negotiations are taking a very long time.

Karina: Well, that is good news. Are the music rights one of the issues there?

Whit: No, there are no rights at all. It is just that the film was owned. Castle Rock was then having the film financed by PolyGram and Warner and either PolyGram would take international or North America. Warner would take the other one.

In our case, Warner took international and PolyGram took domestic. So, it went out through Gramercy. Then, when PolyGram went down, the rights… It was issued by PolyGram video right away. Then, they had some problem with their licenses. It was going from laserdisc to DVD.

It came out on DVD, I guess in a small edition in ‘99 I believe, through PolyGram Video. A studio has the rights now, I think it is Universal. But, maybe it has been shifted over to MGM or something or Sony.

So, it has been in an enormous film library, where they have tons of films to exploit. It has not been a priority perhaps because it’s a split rights thing, where it is not all their money. So, now theoretically Criterion is trying to license it and it will come out on a good Criterion edition.
So I was wrong about the music rights holding it up, but I called the Polygram/Castle Rock weirdness as a cause for delay...

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485 The Last Days of Disco

#97 Post by domino harvey » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:54 am

Zumpano wrote:Interview with Whit Stillman yields this nugget:
Q: The funny thing is, as great as it is to see "Metropolitan," it's "The Last Days of Disco" that's become incredibly rare on DVD. Is that a film you ever think might be going through this type of service?

A: I don't know. I control "Metropolitan." I don't really control "Last Days of Disco" and what happens with it. I think Criterion is supposed to bring it out, but those negotiations seem to be taking forever -- not with me, it's with one of the studios.

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485 The Last Days of Disco

#98 Post by jaredsap » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:19 pm

Whit Stillman wrote:A studio has the rights now, I think it is Universal. But, maybe it has been shifted over to MGM or something or Sony.
Definitely not Sony. We lost almost all the Castle Rock titles, not that we ever had anything to do with THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO in the first place. And I see no reason it would be MGM.

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485 The Last Days of Disco

#99 Post by Narshty » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:56 pm

If it was PolyGram before, it's definitely now at Universal and they've been having nothing short of a garage sale to Criterion over the last 12 months.

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485 The Last Days of Disco

#100 Post by Cronenfly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:47 pm

Narshty wrote:If it was PolyGram before, it's definitely now at Universal and they've been having nothing short of a garage sale to Criterion over the last 12 months.
Indeed, and I can't see this title not coming out soon unless Castle Rock's involvement (or some other such factor) really is a big legal hassle.

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