Quick Film Guide – Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, 1990)

Directed by Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman takes us into the world of upper-class debutantes – a world of young men escorting young women to dances and, especially, late-night after-parties full of elaborate and annoying late-night conversations. But as one of the main characters of Metropolitan‘s ensemble cast says, this is a world that “has gone through a rough patch,” and it’s almost difficult to place its chronological setting.

Metropolitan is an exotic American film that encapsulates an exotic side of American society. It radiates influences from F. Scott Fitzgerald novels and the American silent film, while its humor and dialogue-heavy propulsion recall that of the French cinema of the ’70s – particularly that of Francois Truffaut.

Based on the personal experiences of its director, who almost entirely self-financed it, Metropolitan is a most-immersive capsule into a world that may just as well be another planet. Driven by sophisticated observations on the class rituals, and almost devoid of obvious sentimentalism, the film is an exotic, thought-provoking and original exponent of the American smart independent cinema.

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