ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Whit Stillman, film director

Updated on April 25, 2012

Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman is an American writer and film director known primarily for his understated comedies of social manners. He has written and directed four films over the course of slightly over twenty years: Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994), The Last Days of Disco (1998), and Damsels in Distress (2012). While none of his films has achieved widespread commercial success, each has received significant critical success, and Stillman is well regarded by critics both domestic and foreign. Two of his films, Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco, have been given Criterion Collection releases. His original screenplay for Metropolitan earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Stillman was born on January 25, 1952 in Washington, DC and was raised in Cornwall, New York. He attended Harvard University, graduated in 1973, and afterwards moved to New York City to work as a journalist. Stillman became involved in film after pitching several ideas to Madrid-based film and television producers, with whom he worked on several projects before beginning work on his own projects.

In the April 2012 issue of Town & Country, author Hudson Morgan notes that Stillman’s parent’s were “richer in name than fortune,” and remarks upon the effect this had on Stillman’s persona. This theme is dominant in Stillman’s debut work, Metropolitan, which examines the lives of a group of self-described “urban haute bourgeoisie.”

Stillman’s godfather, E. Digy Baltzell, is credited for introducing the term “WASP” into the popular lexicon via an abbreviation of the term “white anglo-saxon Protestant” in his 1964 text, “Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America.” Fittingly, notions of aristocracy and caste permeate much of Stillman’s work, as do the social mores and values of distinct decades.

In addition to examining the social and emotional lives of characters, each of Stillman’s films convey a sense of impending finality. The characters of Metropolitan bemoan both the end of gala debutante season as well as the end of “old money” influence, Barcelona’s title card places the film as occurring during the final years of the Cold War, and the Last Days of Disco illustrates, clearly, the final days of the 1970’s.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)