March 18, 2018

NO ONE WILL MISS LABOR:

Whit Stillman's Sympathetic Aristocrats (Nicholas Rowan, 3/17/18, Imaginative Conservative)

The American indie director Whit Stillman has made only five movies, but if you're an aspiring cineaste, you need to see them all.

Focusing exclusively on young members of the upper crust, Mr. Stillman humanizes a class of people typically derided for belonging to the privileged one percent. Mr. Stillman endears audiences to his heroes by depicting them as prosaic mourners, the last of the noblesse yearning for a forgotten age of civility.

Like the British author P.G. Wodehouse, Mr. Stillman possesses the delicate ability to present serious topics through lighthearted and often absurd-sounding dialogue. He injects the aristocracy with a whimsy underscored by an urgent desire for order and meaning in an often inexplicable world. His best films fit the author Joan Didion's assessment of the nature of American art. "Every real American story begins in innocence and never stops mourning the loss of it," she once wrote for National Review. "The banishment from Eden is our one great tale, lovingly told and retold, adapted, disguised and told again."

So it goes for America; so it goes for Whit Stillman.

Posted by at March 18, 2018 4:04 AM

  

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