BY JON CRONIN
This weekend, New York City cinephiles will have the distinct pleasure of talking with film director Whit Stillman after a viewing of his 1990 sardonic film Metropolitan.
The movie is about a college-age group of Manhattan socialites navigating their youth with endless amounts of time, money and privilege. Set against a snowy Manhattan backdrop, the young socialites gather every night to discuss their love lives and the death of their debutante lifestyles. The program begins with the film at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29. The movie stars Chris Eigeman, Taylor Nichols, Edward Clements and Carolyn Farina.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Stillman wrote the screenplay for Metropolitan between 1984 and 1988 as he ran an illustrating agency in New York. He funded the film by selling his New York City apartment for $50,000 and through contributions from friends and family.
In a 2016 New Yorker interview, Stillman called Metropolitan part of a semi-autobiographical triptych that went along with his two other ’90s films, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, which he said was about the “group social life” of young Wasps making their way through high society.
Stillman was a young journalist in Spain in the early 1980s and was convinced by filmmakers there to help them sell their films in the U.S. He then based his 1994 film Barcelona on those experiences. For The Last Days of Disco in 1998, which starred Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, Stillman loosely based the movie on his experiences in various nightclubs in Manhattan.
In 2016, Beckinsale worked with Stillman on a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Love & Friendship. She said of working with Stillman in a Huffington Post interview earlier this year, “I sort of believe Whit can kind of do anything, and wouldn’t be surprised by anything, but it was an extraordinary experience.”
The event is part of the MoMI’s “Rialto Pictures: 20 Films for 20 Years,” which markets 35 mm older and foreign-language films to younger audiences.
Tickets: $15 (free for members at the Film Lover level and MoMI Kids Premium levels). Order tickets online. (Members may contact email@example.com with questions regarding online reservations.) Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the museum.