It is about damn time that we heard something new from Whit Stillman.
After directing two fantastic films, Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco, the filmmaker (who also directed 1994’s Barcelona), has been rather silent on what he would be helming for his next project. Now, 12 whole years later we may have some sort of movement on his next project.
According to OpenCastingLive (via Production Weekly/The Playlist), the film, known as both Damsels In Distress and Diorissimo, is set to start in mid July, and should shoot for five weeks in New York. Here’s the synopsis:
[The picture] centers on a group of college girls who take in a new student and teach her their own misguided ways of helping people. Lily, a new student at Seven Oaks University, winds up filling in with a dynamic and highly individualistic group of girls, addicted to the elegance of the past: Heather, Violet and Rose all volunteer at the campus Suicide Prevention Center, convinced that musical dance, sharp clothes and good hygiene ‘” the Dior perfume “Diorissimo” is their trademark ‘” can all contribute to staving off the inevitable self-destructive impulses that follow hard on the heels of failed college romances. Despite their sophisticated talk and savvy use of perfume, the girls are plagued by Cupid’s arrows and must adjust their psyches to the onset of amour.
Stillman is writer and director on this film, and will but under the watch of a shingle known as Westerly Films, owned by Castle Rock Entertainment. If this film doesn’t scream Stillman, than I don’t know that the hell does. For my money, when looking at filmmakers who base their films around social and economic classes, like the likes of Wes Anderson, there is no fresher or more original of a voice than one Whit Stillman. While his films may be off putting to some, or at least the oft-considered pretentious dialogue, films like Metropolitan are some of the most interesting indie films of the past few decades.
That said, this story has a bit of a Criterion touch as well. According to WhitStillman.org (again, via the same Playlist story), Stillman said that his much beloved film, Barcelona, is currently being negotiated for by Criterion for a possible box set. The film is currently housed at Warner Brothers, who still have the distribution rights, but it seems like we may be seeing a Whit Stillman box set sooner rather than later. Maybe with re-releases of Metropolitan/The Last Days Of Disco on Blu-ray? It’s plausible.
All in all, for fans of WASP heavy stories of class elitism, you can rest assured that no matter the set back (as seen with his oft troubled adaptation of the Christopher Buckley story Little Green Men and his music film, Dancing Mood), it looks like we may finally see the return of your champion, Whit Stillman.