Director in Person
Screening on Film
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Whit Stillman.
With Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols.
US, 1990, 35mm, color, 99 min.

In a time “not so long ago,” the discreet charms of the self-described “Urban Haute Bourgeoisie” imbue the debutante after-party scene of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Beguiled by the clique of collegiate preppies known as the Sally Fowler Rat Pack, Socialist-turned-socialite Tom Townsend finds their unpredictable banter and adherence to an old-fashioned sense of civility curiously admirable. With adult role models ineffectual or absent, this “doomed” class looks instead to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Austen. They replace large emotions with an over-intellectualization of every social misstep and amuse themselves with cruel manipulations, yet their insular microcosm also possesses its own variety of camaraderie, profundity and eventually, love. In his directorial debut, Stillman brings a witty and wistful edge to his sympathetic portrayal of neurotic teenage aristocrats facing obsolescence. – BG

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The Discreet Charm of Whit Stillman