whit stillman

How ‘sex, lies, and videotape’ Changed Indie Filmmaking Forever

It began with three brief items in his notebooks. “A film about deception and lost earrings,” went one. “Everybody has a past,” went another. And finally, “Friend on the couch. Affair with the wife.” The filmmaker jotted down those three ideas in 1986; three years later, the movie those three ideas spawned became the sensation of the nascent Sundance Film Festival, the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and an international box office smash. The young writer/director was Steven Soderbergh, the film was sex, lies, and videotape, and its release 25 years ago was, author Peter Biskind would later write, “the big bang of the modern indie film movement.” … Read More

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‘Superbad’ Director to Adapt Jeffrey Eugenides’ ‘The Marriage Plot’ for the Big Screen?

Well, this is an interesting choice: Superbad director Greg Mottola, who also wrote and directed Adventureland, is in talks to adapt Jeffrey Eugenides’ most recent, marriage plot-dissecting novel, The Marriage Plot. While Mottola wouldn’t be our first choice for this novel about academia, philosophy, love, and mental illness, we can’t deny that there’s something exciting… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in May

It’s May 1st, and the summer blockbuster season begins with explosions and superheroes galore this Friday as The Avengers hits theaters. And though we’re looking forward to that and a few other big summer movies, it’s easy — particularly in this season — to overlook the smaller and more challenging movies that are rolling into your local multiplexes and arthouses. Thus, we’re kicking off a new monthly feature here at Flavorwire, where we’ll take a look at some of the exciting indies of the month to a come, and a few smaller titles from previous weeks that you might’ve missed. Check them out after the jump! … Read More

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Trailer Park: Throwbacks and Festival Hits

Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got seven new trailers for your Friday viewing enjoyment; check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds In Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we wondered why Daniel Craig is giving Rooney Mara a piggyback ride on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly (seriously, we only imagine Lisbeth Salander being OK with that scenario if it was reversed). We thought that having the Muppets host the Oscars was a great idea… Read More

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A Brief and Incomplete History of Preppy NYC Teens on Film

Filmmaker Gary Winick died on Sunday at the age of 49. While in recent years he was known for his work on larger movies like 13 Going On 30 and Bride Wars, we’ve always been partial to his breakthrough film: an indie comedy from 2002 called Tadpole. The premise is simple: Oscar Grubman, a 15-year old preppie with an ancient soul (think Max Fischer), has a crush on his oblivious stepmother, Eve. But because the film is set in the affluent social circles of the Upper West Side, our protagonist likes to randomly speak in French and quote Voltaire; when characters fight, the heated exchange takes place over a game of tennis; and a romance between an adult woman and a young boy seems plausible rather than illegal. It’s a very adult world for a teenager to inhabit, and one that has only been captured a handful of times on film. Click though as we revisit some of our favorite examples. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Robert De Niro and Richard Price have sold a crime drama to CBS called Rookies that’s about “a team of six freshman cops who are sent into high-crime trouble spots.” They will also executive produce the series. [via THR]
2. Indie filmmaker Whit Stillman is busy at work shooting his first… Read More

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Exclusive Q&A: Filmmaker Whit Stillman

In 1990 Whit Stillman gained both critical acclaim and a cult following with his debut film, Metropolitan, a low-budget, high-comedy masterpiece about a group of college-age Upper East Siders who talk their way through Christmas break, riffing on everything from strip poker to Lionel Trilling’s take on Mansfield Park, all the while attending debutante balls. Subsequently, Stillman completed a trilogy with Barcelona — perhaps the greatest movie ever made about the American experience abroad — and The Last Days of Disco, a haunting, hilarious meditation on lost innocence and the end of the disco era. Disco was released last week by Criterion Collection – an honor rarely bestowed upon recent films, and the second time Criterion has chosen a Stillman film; Metropolitan came out a few years ago. Stillman, who currently lives in France but was in route to LA to help fight the forest fires, was gracious enough to answer a few questions over… Read More

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Quote of the Day: The Upper, Like, East Side

On Attractive Qualities in Men:
Metropolitan, Nick: “Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.”

NYC Prep, Taylor: “I’m, like, attracted to Sebastian. I like his… Read More

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