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There’s always been more than a touch of Jane Austen about the films of Whit Stillman, the incisive social satirist behind 1998’s The Last Days of Disco and 2011’s Damsels in Distress. Stillman’s 1990 debut feature Metropolitan drew inspiration from Mansfield Park, and his subsequent studies of social manners have all possessed an arch observational tone that one imagines Austen might have appreciated. In 2003, he was reported to be working on a project called Winchester Races, which would marry material from the unfinished Austen novels The Watsons and Sanditon. Here, he draws on the title and plot respectively of two early epistolary works; Love and Freindship (Stillman duly standardises the young Austen’s spelling) and Lady Susan. The subtitle of the former was Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love, »
- Mark Kermode
Chicago – Say the name Whit Stillman in certain cinema circles, and a rush of admiration soon follows. The director made a name for himself with his debut film “Metropolitan’ (1990), and followed with the same emotional pallette in “Barcelona” (1994). He is back with an adaptation of a Jane Austin novel, entitled “Love & Friendship.”
The title is taken from one of Jane Austin’s short stories, but the narrative is from her novel “Lady Susan,” published 60 years after her death. It involves the title character (portrayed in the film by Kate Beckinsale), a widow without fortune, who is looking to marry again to wealth, and wishes the same for her daughter. She visits the estate of her sister-in-law and brother-in-law – Charles and Catherine Vernon – in the hopes of making a match for her lovely child Frederica, or at least herself.
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In this episode of CriterionCast Chronicles, Ryan is joined by David Blakeslee, Scott Nye, Aaron West, and Mark Hurne to discuss the Criterion Collection releases for April 2016.
Links The April 2016 Criterion Collection line-up The Newsstand – Episode 52 Only Angels Have Wings Only Angels Have Wings (1939) The Art of Francesco Francavilla Amazon.com: Only Angels Have Wings Blu-ray.com: Only Angels Have Wings Barcelona Barcelona (1994) Pierre Le-Tan Amazon.com: Barcelona Blu-ray.com: Barcelona A Whit Stillman Trilogy A Whit Stillman Trilogy: Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco Amazon.com: A Whit Stillman Trilogy The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew and Associates The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates () F Ron Miller Design Blu-ray.com: The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew and Associates Amazon.com: The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates Phoenix Phoenix (2014) Nessim Higson Amazon.com: Phoenix Phoenix Blu-ray Brief Encounter Brief Encounter (1945) Brief Encounter on iTunes David Lean Directs Noël Coward Essential Art House, »
- Ryan Gallagher
Anyone who’s followed the career of Whit Stillman wasn’t surprised to hear that he was adapting the obscure Jane Austen novella “Lady Susan” into his new film “Love & Friendship.” The writer/director established his Austen fandom with his first movie, 1990’s “Metropolitan,” which featured two characters debating the merits of “Mansfield Park” (while they themselves […]
- Noel Murray
Anyone who’s seen a film by Whit Stillman knows him to be an accomplished social satirist, continuing the legacy of authors like Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, and of course Jane Austen. In fact, the English writer is at the center of one the most sardonic exchanges in all of his films, when one of the characters expresses “I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism” when asked if he has read any of Austen’s works. Like the Romantic author, Stillman captures the wants, desires and fears of the haves as they desperately try to grab onto a world the have-nots are trying to infiltrate. In films like Metropolitan, Stillman wonders if the upper classes only let someone from a lower class to share their space as means of experimenting, or amusing them in their endless ennui. In Damsels in Distress he explores the notion of people constructing »
This is a reprint of our review from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Has there ever been a purer match between author and adapter than Jane Austen and Whit Stillman? Stillman’s first film, 1990’s “Metropolitan,” updated Austen’s explorations of social values and romantic ardor among the upper classes, and even had two characters debate her contemporary relevance. […]
- Noel Murray
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Over the course of the 1990s, writer-director Whit Stillman made a trilogy of films about the acid tongues and broken hearts of some haplessly erudite young Americans in New York and abroad. Set in the eighties, these films trace the arc of that decade, led by Stillman’s Oscar-nominated debut, Metropolitan, which introduced moviegoers to a strange, endangered species of privileged New Yorker, the “urban haute bourgeoisie. »
- TFS Staff
"Metropolitan" and "Barcelona" director Whit Stillman has reunited with his two "The Last Days of Disco" stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny for his fifth feature - the upcoming period drama "Love and Friendship".
An adaptation of Jane Austen's unpublished early novella 'Lady Susan' and set around eighteenth-century English society, the story focuses on the machinations of beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) who takes up temporary residence at her in-laws' estate.
While there she becomes a determined matchmaker for her daughter Frederica and herself too, enlisting the help of an old friend (Chloe Sevigny). Soon, two particularly handsome suitors (Xavier Samuel and Tom Bennett) complicate her orchestrations. Stephen Fry also stars in the Victorian-era comedy which opens May 13th.
- Garth Franklin
Often described as the WASPy version of Woody Allen, filmmaker Whit Stillman (“Metropolitan,” “Barcelona”) has made a career out of sharp, witty observations of the urbane and affluent upper classes. But so far, all of his films have been largely contemporary, “The Last Days Of Disco” being his one “period” film that looked back on the same class and culture of (white) people in the late 1970s. But by and large, all of his films are of a piece: droll comedy-of-manners pictures with similar societal concerns and preoccupations. Read More: Sundance Review: Whit Stillman's 'Love & Friendship' Starring Kate Beckinsale & Chloe Sevigny But for his next film, “Love And Friendship,” Stillman will at least examine brittle social interplay from an entirely different era. Starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny, his two muses from ‘Disco,’ Stillman’s fifth film is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s unpublished early novella “Lady Susan. »
- Edward Davis
My guest for this month is David Blakeslee, and he’s joined me to discuss the film he chose for me, the 1994 romantic comedy-drama film Reality Bites. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.
As I mentioned in the intro, this show is joining up with the fine folks at CriterionCast This film doesn’t just feature Ben Stiller, he also directed it It was written by Helen Childress, who is supposedly working on a television version of the film Both David and I are nominally members of Generation X, although that can be argued for both of us as well This film also stars Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder when they were painfully young The film bares some resemblance to my choice for the previous episode Chungking Express The film reminds me of the fiction of Mark Leyner And also of the essay E Unibus Pluram »
- Arik Devens
Amsterdam-based Cineart has acquired Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship, which received its European premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) this week following its Sundance debut.
Cineart will release in Benelux this summer, after negotiating a deal with the film’s French producer Lauranne Bourrachot of Chic Films and Dutch co-producer Raymond van der Kaaij. Amazon Studios secured Us rights last year and Curzon Artificial Eye has taken the film for the UK. Protagonist reps world sales rights.
The film is screening this week at Iffr, where it is nominated for the Vpro Big Screen Award.
Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry and Emma Greenwell star in Love & Friendship, which reunites the two lead actresses with Stillman for the first time since 1998 cult classic The Last Days Of Disco.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Ever since his indie breakout Metropolitan in 1990, Whit Stillman has built a specific kind of comedy within class structure. From the strait-laced businessmen struggling to break free of themselves in Barcelona to the ambitious, two-faced college girls in Damsels in Distress, Stillman finds the laughter in the deviousness of human nature.
Love & Friendship, his fifth film, premiered at Sundance and is set to be released by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions this spring. Adapted from Jane Austen‘s little-read, barely-published novella ‘Lady Susan,’ the costume-drama setting and biting social commentary allows for some of the funniest moments in Stillman’s career. It’s as though Austen was writing for a filmmaker like Stillman to adapt her. It’s a true match made in heaven.
Check out conversation with the director from Sundance 2016 below.
The Film Stage: Was this adaptation something that you had in your back pocket for some time? »
- Dan Mecca
Read More: The 2016 Indiewire Sundance Bible: All the Reviews, Interviews and News Posted During The Festival Filmmaker Whit Stillman is a modern master of comedies of manners, from "Metropolitan" to "Damsels in Distress" -- funny films that hinge on the unique personalities and behaviors of their indelible characters, which makes it a bit of a surprise that his Sundance premiere, "Love & Friendship," is his first attempt to adapt the work of another famous humorist known for her character work: Jane Austen. With "Love & Friendship," Stillman takes on Austen's novella "Lady Susan," arguably her least well-known work, and infuses it with quick wit and snappy storytelling. The film is also a reunion of sorts, with his "Last Days of Disco" leading ladies Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny again playing best friends in the feature, as Beckinsale takes on the Lady Susan role, with Sevigny serving as her wry American pal »
- Kate Erbland
"Has there ever been a purer match between author and adapter than Jane Austen and Whit Stillman?" asks Noel Murray at the Playlist. "Stillman’s first film, 1990’s Metropolitan, updated Austen’s explorations of social values and romantic ardor among the upper classes. Then, in the second and third parts of his 'earnest young yuppies in love' trilogy (1994’s Barcelona and 1998’s The Last Days of Disco), Stillman continued his consideration of how income, religious faith, and social pressure still play as much a part in guiding romantic decisions as they did in the 1800s. So when the news came out that the writer-director was making a big-screen version of Austen’s posthumously published novella Lady Susan, under the title Love & Friendship, could any fan of the filmmaker be surprised?" We're gathering reviews of the film starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. » - David Hudson »
Whit Stillman, expert chronicler of privileged youth, adapts the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan for his first period film, Love & Friendship. The material is a perfect fit for the film-maker behind the elegant comedies Metropolitan, Barcelona and most recently, Damsels in Distress. His pantheon of highly literate heroines would be at home in Austen’s world of manners and unrequited passions.
Related: Wiener-Dog review – Gerwig, Delpy and DeVito, united by a dachshund, divided by Solondz
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- Nigel M Smith in Park City, Utah
Has there ever been a purer match between author and adapter than Jane Austen and Whit Stillman? Stillman’s first film, 1990’s “Metropolitan,” updated Austen’s explorations of social values and romantic ardor among the upper classes, and even had two characters debate her contemporary relevance. Then, in the second and third parts of his “earnest young yuppies in love” trilogy (1994’s “Barcelona” and 1998’s “The Last Days of Disco”), Stillman continued his consideration of how income, religious faith, and social pressure still play as much a part in guiding romantic decisions as they did in the 1800s. So when the news came out that the writer-director was making a big-screen version of Austen’s posthumously published novella “Lady Susan,” under the title “Love & Friendship,” could any fan of the filmmaker be surprised? Read More: First Look At Chloe Sevigny And Kate Beckinsale In Whit Stillman's 'Love & Friendship' Kate Beckinsale »
- Noel Murray
“He’s very silly, but he has a charm of a kind.” “He’s lively; he brings a new angle to things.” The man being described thusly is an extremely foolish if conveniently wealthy 18th-century gentleman by the name of Sir James Martin, but the kind words might just as well apply — without a hint of euphemism, and with far more honest approbation — to the director of “Love & Friendship,” a supremely elegant and delicately filigreed adaptation of Jane Austen’s epistolary novella “Lady Susan.” With his love of fine clothes and finer diction, Whit Stillman proves an unsurprisingly intuitive fit for Austen, but he also knows just how to give her pointed social satire an extra stab of wink-wink postmodern drollery without breaking the spell. Starring Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan, the most irresistibly devious of Austen protagonists, this inspired marriage of two distinctive stylists should become a delectable arthouse »
- Justin Chang
It took Wes Anderson directing “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to make it clear that, with his love of dioramas and infinitely detailed set pieces, he’d been crafting animated movies all along, albeit usually with live-action casts. Similarly, “Love & Friendship” marks Whit Stillman‘s first screen adaptation of Jane Austen (or any other writer, for that matter), and his skill at crafting witty banter and portraying lovers constrained by etiquette and custom reveals that he’s always been making Jane Austen movies. (Stillman tipped his hand as early as his debut feature, 1990’s “Metropolitan,” which featured its romantic leads disagreeing over the merits. »
- Alonso Duralde
Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios are partnering for the domestic theatrical release of “Love & Friendship,” a period comedy directed by Whit Stillman. Set in the 1790s, the film stars Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel and Emma Greenwell. The writer/director of “Metropolitan” and “The Last Days of Disco’s” latest work is based on a posthumously published, little-read Jane Austen novel called “Lady Susan,” whose heroine, Lady Susan Vernon (Beckinsale), is intelligent, irresistible and entirely lacking in scruples. She is aided in her trouble-making by her conniving American sidekick, Alicia Johnson (Sevigny). Also Read: Sundance 2016: 15 Hottest »
- Debbie Emery
Amazon has landed domestic rights to the adaptation of an unpublished Jane Austen story, and brought in Roadside as the film’s theatrical distributor. The film centers on a socially disgraced widow who takes up residence with her in-laws.
The comedy of manners reunites Stillman with “Last Days of Disco” stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry and Emma Greenwell round out the cast. It premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.
The film will debut in theaters before hitting Amazon’s streaming platform. Both Amazon and its online rival Netflix have moved aggressively to lock up top titles in advance of Sundance’s start on Thursday night. Netflix has scored distribution rights to the Iranian horror film “Under the Shadow” and the Ellen Page comedy “Tallulah. »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
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