Whit Stillman - News Poster


Rushes. Two Restorations, North Korean Cinema, Schrader's Diagram

Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSToday is Agnès Varda's 90th birthday. In accordance, we have to re-share cléo's latest issue dedicated entirely to the auteur.Recommended VIEWINGAcclaimed French auteur Jacques Audiard has finally made his first American film, in the form of a star-studded Western. Check out the trailer below.We're equally fans of both the recording artist Mitski and filmmaker Zia Anger. Thus, we're naturally enamored by this new song and video for "Geyser," which finds Anger's usual graceful compositions and blocking further animating the gorgeous new track.Below: MoMA curator Dave Kehr shares details on the many difficulties of restoring Ernst Lubtisch's first American film, Rosita.Recommended READINGIn the event of the major Sylvia Chang retrospective at New York's Metrograph, writer Fariha Róisín has penned a lovely overview of the many talents of the master
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Remembrances by Anne-Katrin Titze

Whit Stillman with Anne-Katrin Titze's Steiff owl, relative of the owlet seen in Metropolitan‪: "It's really important in cinema because a significant prop gives you so much and you don't have to direct it too much." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

On the afternoon before the 20th anniversary screening of The Last Days of Disco, starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny with Chris Eigeman, Matt Keeslar, Robert Sean Leonard, Tara Subkoff, Mackenzie Astin, Matt Ross, Burr Steers, Michael Weatherly, Jaid Barrymore, and Jennifer Beals, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Whit Stillman sat down with me for a conversation.

The director of Metropolitan, Barcelona, Damsels In Distress, and Love & Friendship and I speak about the importance of locations, props and Alfred Hitchcock, Christian Kracht's The Dead, Lady And The Tramp in The Last Days Of Disco and the film's costume designer Sarah Edwards.

Josh (Matt Keeslar) with Alice (Chloë
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Bodies in the water by Anne-Katrin Titze

The Mentalist star Simon Baker with Anne-Katrin Titze on the evolution of Tim Winton's Breath, adapted by Baker and Gerard Lee, to become his directorial debut‪: "I was given the novel by my producing parter Mark Johnson, seven or eight years ago now, just to sign on as a producer." Photo: Denise Sinelov

At the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo before meeting with Simon Baker for a conversation on his film Breath, I was greeted by Pepper, his agent's lovely dog, who is also friendly with Ben Mendelsohn. When Simon joined us I told him that I had just come from an interview with Whit Stillman on the 20th anniversary of The Last Days Of Disco. Simon is also in Fabien Constant's Blue Night, starring Sarah Jessica Parker with Jacqueline Bisset, Renée Zellweger and Gus Birney.

Elizabeth Debicki (who was in Jean Genet's The Maids at
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Whit Stillman Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Last Days of Disco’

Among the memorable scenes from The Last Days of Disco is the easily discouraged Josh Neff’s (Matt Kesslar) dissection of Lady and the Tramp. Just as Disney released the pups from their vault this year, director Whit Stillman and select cast will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Disco at select screenings this summer.

The third film in the director’s “Doomed-Bourgeois-in-Love series” follows what today we call “frenemies,” Alice Kinnon (Chloë Sevigny) and Charlotte Pingress (Kate Beckinsale), as they spend their days working their way up the ladder at a New York publishing house and their nights dancing and romancing at a Studio 54-style nightclub.

Cinephiles on both coasts and London (with more screenings to come) have that rare opportunity to see Disco with the filmmakers in person. The Film Society of Lincoln Center kicks off the summer tour with Stillman, Chloë Sevigny, Michael Weatherly, and Mackenzie Astin
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Review: Alan Rudolph’s ‘Ray Meets Helen’ Makes for an Ample Reunion with Keith Carradine

Even in his prime, Alan Rudolph always seemed lost in time, nostalgic for an unlived past. His flawed characters reflect this alienation to modernity, fatalistically drawn towards each other in expressionistically empty cities populated only by other luckless, lonely ensemble members. He is a genuine romantic, working against a mainstream Hollywood that seems historically unkind to romantics — see also the similarly neglected career trajectories of other scrappy, romantic classicists such as Hal Hartley or Whit Stillman — held in high regard by those with the pleasure of having stumbled upon him but criminally unrecognized otherwise. In a vast filmography of 22 feature films shot over 30 years, this isolation has never resounded more autobiographically than in Ray Meets Helen, his long-awaited return to filmmaking after some 16 years of inactivity.

The production is significant all-around. Ray Meets Helen marks Rudolph’s sixth collaboration with Keith Carradine, as well as Sandra Locke’s first role in almost two decades.
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‘Metropolitan’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

Stars: Edward Clements, Carolyn Farina, Chris Eigeman, Taylor Nichols, Allison Parisi | Written and Directed by Whit Stillman

One might think of Whit Stillman’s minor hit debut as the uptown, Eastside answer to Richard Linklater’s Slacker, which was also released in 1990. Between them they set the template for many a late-century indie: a loose and unfocused narrative peopled by an array of flawed characters discussing life, love, inclusion and exclusion, human existence and God.

The plot ostensibly concerns our sort-of-hero, Tom Townsend (Edward Clements), as he attends a series of preppy parties in various posh apartments in Manhattan. But Tom can’t share a taxi home with the others. He is – gasp! – a “Westsider”, which to a UK audience means he’s not quite as ridiculously wealthy as his friends. This isn’t a late-teen friendship group we normally see on screen. Remember that brilliant tennis club scene in Trading Places?
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'Golden Exits' Review: Brooklynites-Behaving-Badly Indie Boasts Stars, Chops

'Golden Exits' Review: Brooklynites-Behaving-Badly Indie Boasts Stars, Chops
"People never make films about ordinary people who never do anything."

"They're out there..."

That first meta-statement comes from Naomi (Emily Browning), an Australian twentysomething with a work visa, a temp gig as an archivist's assistant and the sort of youthful bloom that attracts both wanted and unwanted attention. The reply is from Nick (ex-Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz), her married fortysomething employer who's currently doling out the latter; he finishes the sentence with "... and I could take you to one some time," which suggests that underneath his nice-guy facade, something potentially toxic this way lies.
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10 Directors to Watch: Greta Gerwig’s Career Soars With ‘Lady Bird’

10 Directors to Watch: Greta Gerwig’s Career Soars With ‘Lady Bird’
When Gerwig enrolled at Columbia U. in the early 2000s, she didn’t think she would be able to make movies. “Film still seemed pretty inaccessible,” recalls the “Lady Bird” director. So Gerwig got involved in theater (which remains her true passion), volunteering in any capacity: lights, sound, stage management.

“I loved being around actors,” Gerwig says. “I managed to con my way into the ‘Varsity Show,’ ” Columbia’s satirical musical theater troupe, around the time that Jenny Slate and Kate McKinnon were members. “I was never as funny as they were, but I was always enthusiastic.”

While she was still in college, something seismic happened to the film industry. Digital technology made cameras cheaper, and aspiring directors who never could have financed their films before suddenly found it possible to experiment.

“I saw Andrew Bujalski’s film ‘Funny Ha Ha’ at the Cinema Village, and I think I watched it three times in a row,” she
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Wes Anderson, Whit Stillman, and More: Inspirations for Michelle Morgan’s Love Letter to Los Angeles, ‘It Happened in La’

  • Indiewire
Wes Anderson, Whit Stillman, and More: Inspirations for Michelle Morgan’s Love Letter to Los Angeles, ‘It Happened in La’
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles provided fertile inspiration for Michelle Morgan, director of the recent iTunes New Filmmaker Spotlight “It Happened in L.A.” (Click here to watch the film)

“I’m born and raised in La, so it’s a world that I know pretty well,” she said. “I lived in the city when I was a child and then I spent most of my young-adult years in the suburbs, so the city was always this mythical thing to us in the suburbs.”

It Happened in L.A.” follows thirtysomething Annette (Morgan), her boyfriend, Elliot (Jorma Taccone), and her Bff, Baker (Dree Hemingway), as they navigate the perils of the bleak dating scene in Los Angeles. Is there such a thing as a perfect couple, or is that an urban myth?

It Happened in L.A.,” which was Morgan’s feature directorial debut, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
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Listen: Greta Gerwig and Spike Jonze Discuss ‘Lady Bird,’ Directorial Advice, and Motherhood

Not only is Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, one of the year’s best films, it’s also one the most successful. In under 250 theaters, it’s already made nearly $5 million and is well on its way to becoming one of A24’s biggest films. Since its debut at Telluride, Gerwig and her collaborators have been going in-depth on the making of the coming-of-age story and now today we have one of the most essential conversations.

Sitting down at the DGA theater in Los Angeles, Gerwig participated in a talk with Spike Jonze. In preparing for the film, Gerwig would call up directors — including Jonze, Mike Mills, Rebecca Miller, Wes Anderson, Todd Solondz, Whit Stillman, and, of course, Noah Baumbach — and talk to them for hours about a variety of questions she had. So, this was a reunion of sorts for Jonze and Gerwig as they discussed the advice that was given.
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New to Streaming: ‘Logan Lucky,’ ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,’ ‘Mudbound,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Allied (Robert Zemeckis)

That thing we can’t take for granted: a film whose many parts – period piece, war picture, blood-spattered actioner, deception-fueled espionage thriller, sexy romance, and, at certain turns, comedy – can gracefully move in conjunction and separate from each other, just as its labyrinthine-but-not-quite plot jumps from one setpiece to the next with little trouble in maintaining a consistency of overall pleasure. Another late-career triumph for Robert Zemeckis,
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Trailer for ‘It Happened in L.A.’ Introduces a Whit Stillman-Esque Portrait of Los Angeles

One of my favorite discoveries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Michelle Morgan’s It Happened in L.A. (then going by the Seo-unfriendly title L.A. Times). As writer, director, and star, her voice was among the most unique I saw at the festival, mixing Whit Stillman’s sensibilities with a Wes Anderson-esque visual approach to deliver a sweet, distinct romantic comedy. Also starring Jorma Taccone, Dree Hemingway, and Kentucker Audley, the first trailer has now arrived ahead of a release next month.

“In an age where the modus operandi of love-seeking is ever-changing, a film can feel immediately dated on its journey from script to screen, yet Morgan’s voice feels like one of the freshest on this particular topic in some time,” I said in my review. “Eschewing the insufferable nature of the bulk of today’s romantic comedies, It Happened in L.A. stands apart with
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Actress Tara Subkoff Says Harvey Weinstein Sexually Harassed Her (Exclusive)

Actress Tara Subkoff Says Harvey Weinstein Sexually Harassed Her (Exclusive)
Actress Tara Subkoff has opened up about her experience with Harvey Weinstein, alleging the producer sexually harassed her in the 1990s when she was up for a part in one of his movies.

That night I was offered the role, and I went out to a premiere after party that Harvey Weinstein was also at,” she told Variety. “He motioned for me to come over to him, and then grabbed me to sit me on his lap. I was so surprised and shocked I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so awkward. But then I could feel that he had an erection. I got quiet, but got off his lap quickly. He then asked me to come outside with him and other things I don’t want to share, but it was implied that if I did not comply with doing what he asked me to do that I would not get the role that I
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‘Assholes’ Director Peter Vack Made the Most Disgusting Movie Ever With ‘Recycled Amazon Money’

‘Assholes’ Director Peter Vack Made the Most Disgusting Movie Ever With ‘Recycled Amazon Money’
When Peter Vack scored a role over the summer playing Lola Kirke’s boyfriend on the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle,” he used the money to direct his first feature. The actor had scored in dozens of low-budget projects and directed a short film a few years earlier, but he had reason to believe nobody else was going to back his feature-length debut.

Just imagine the first sentence of the pitch,” said Vack, over lunch at Soho House. “‘It’s about two people who share an anal fetish, and I’m thinking of my sister to play the lead.’ I knew this particular endeavor was not something I’d be able to find investors for.”

The movie, by the way, was called “Assholes.” It premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, where it won the inaugural Adam Yauch Hornblower Award (a prize reserved for unique filmmaking visions); it also jolted audiences and critics alike,
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‘Hannah Takes the Stairs’ and the Coalescence of Mumblecore

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

Declaring 2007 to be the year mumblecore came of age would be equally as fair as labeling it the year mumblecore collapsed. The signs of ascendance and coalescence—group coverage in high-profile publications, series programmed at art houses,
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The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
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First Images of Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s Directorial Debut ‘Lady Bird’

While she co-directed Nights and Weekends nearly a decade ago with Joe Swanberg, Greta Gerwig’s first solo outing as director will be arriving this fall. Picked up A24 for a release this November, Lady Bird follows a mother-daughter relationship starring Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. Ahead of a release, the first images have now arrived, featuring our leads.

Likely to premiere at Telluride before heading to Toronto and Nyff, Gerwig has worked with a number of talented directors — including Noah Baumbach, Mia Hansen-Løve, Whit Stillman, Todd Solondz, and Rebecca Miller — so it’ll be curious to see what form this debut takes. Check out the new images above and below, along with Nyff‘s synopsis.

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a portrait of an artistically inclined young woman (Saoirse Ronan) trying to define herself in the shadow of her mother (Laurie Metcalf) and searching for an escape route from her hometown of Sacramento.
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‘Only Living Boy in New York’: Marc Webb Says He Needed to Direct Something on a Smaller Scale After ‘Spider-Man’

‘Only Living Boy in New York’: Marc Webb Says He Needed to Direct Something on a Smaller Scale After ‘Spider-Man’
At Monday night’s New York premiere of the indie drama “The Only Living Boy in New York,” which took place at the Museum of Modern Art, the film’s director, Marc Webb, told Variety that after working on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and its sequel, he was happy to take a break and helm something on a smaller scale. Though, “if they’ll have me, I’ll return to doing bigger movies in the future.”

He then elaborated on the need for a change. “I needed a little bit of that after the ‘Spider-Man’ thing, where there’s so many expectations,” he said. “This was really fun to make, and low stress. It was a bunch of people in a room messing around, having a lot of fun.”

The premiere was held by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, and Webb said he appreciates that Amazon lets their movies have a theatrical run before they hit the Amazon
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Amazon Moves Into Self-Distribution With Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ (Exclusive)

Amazon Moves Into Self-Distribution With Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ (Exclusive)
Amazon is moving into self-distributing its own movies, putting it on the path to becoming a full-fledged film studio.

The company will release Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” without bringing in a distribution partner. The film opens in theaters on Dec. 1, 2017, and is expected to be an Oscar contender.

Amazon began buying and producing films in 2015, working with filmmakers such as Whit Stillman and Spike Lee, and earning Academy Awards for last year’s “Manchester By the Sea” and “The Salesman.” However, it has relied on independent studios such as Bleecker Street, Roadside Attractions, and Lionsgate to bring its film to theaters.


Amazon, Retail Behemoth, Taking Smaller Steps Into Hollywood

With their deep pockets and big ambitions, Amazon and Netflix have upended the film distribution landscape, although they have taken different approaches. Netflix is solely focused on servicing its streaming service subscribers. Amazon believes in premiering movies in theaters before offering them on its Prime digital
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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