Screening on Film
Directed by Whit Stillman.
With Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen.
US, 1994, 35mm, color, 101 min.

Two actors from Metropolitan reprise similar roles as Americans abroad fumbling through the languages of love and politics during the “last decade of the Cold War.” Running his company’s foreign sales office, Ted agrees to host his cousin Fred, a young officer in the Navy who quickly confronts Leftist Spain with an ardent, ostentatious patriotism. Between Ted’s pragmatic intellectualism and Fred’s lies and obfuscation, they both appear anxious and insecure compared to the flowing architecture and sexual liberation of Barcelona. Once again finding themselves in a tenuous limbo, Stillman’s uncomfortable bourgeoisie search for their souls and soulmates amid increasingly volatile ideological clashes. With a humorously-verbose script as quirky as its characters, Barcelona obliquely outlines truth and beauty forming in collusion with imperfection, difference and complete misinterpretation. – BG

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The Discreet Charm of Whit Stillman