Ah, Stillmann is back. Adam Thirlwell on Stillman's latest movie "Love & Friendship":
"The injustice is Austen’s youthful lack of empathy for Lady Susan’s projects. For in Stillman’s world, our greatest vulnerability in society is to the judgments of others. “You can’t worry about what misinterpreters think,” someone says to Chloë Sevigny’s character in The Last Days of Disco—and this could be the slogan of Stillman’s oeuvre. Sure, the surface may be all frivolity and flippancy, a high bourgeois/aristocratic setting. Such archness and such a setting can make it easy to see these films as exercises in the unserious unserious. But Stillman’s gravity comes from the way he both understands the terrors of social relations—the pursuit of love and friendship—and also admires all strategies in artifice that might soften these terrors, subvert the tyranny of misinterpretation, and restore a version of utopia. Against the malice of the social, he places a range of tactics: optimism, elegance, tradition, invented selves and accents, the desperate maintenance of outmoded or contradictory ideals. So what if an ideal is absurd! And his highest ideal is eloquence."
Read the article here.
The judgment of others, that's the horror indeed. But it's an horror worth overcoming.
And if eloquence has become an ideal I will turn myself into an idealist.