Whit Stillman needs to make more films. His trademark satiric and witty banter is so often mimicked by screenwriters today, and so rarely equaled. Supposedly, he has had numerous projects in the works since his last film, The Last Days of Disco (1998), but each has been derailed by financial difficulties and all have fallen through. And so there we have it. One of the most brilliant screenwriters of our time can't get a film financed, and we are the ones missing out.
Stillman's self-financed debut, Metropolitan (1989), told the story of a group of college-aged socialites who welcome an "underclass" outsider into their group, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. He followed that with Barcelona, about two American cousins who find love and political disharmony while in Spain. Stillman's three films are all loosely autobiographical, and, thematically and stylistically, all three feel very similar despite having distinctly different plot lines. His style of writing is just so stimulating, and so funny, he makes it easy to relate to the un-relatable. The characters that he creates are often cold, callous and self-centered, but there is always an emotional touch that keeps them from becoming completely obnoxious. Although he only has three (finished) films, it's a hell of an oeuvre -- and it's completely inexplicable that he hasn't been able to get a film made in over 10 years. My fingers are crossed that Damsels in Distress, listed on his IMDB page, actually gets made, and doesn't become another victim of completely dumbfounding studio incompetence.