Posts tagged "Whit Stillman"
Another Week Ends: Bloated Syllabi, the Jeremiah Option, Better Call Saul, Brangelina Vows, and New Culinary Imperatives

Another Week Ends: Bloated Syllabi, the Jeremiah Option, Better Call Saul, Brangelina Vows, and New Culinary Imperatives

1) Our friend at The Dish, Matt Sitman, gave a poignant response to the question of Christianity in modern life. As opposed to Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option”, where stalwarts of Christian virtue create a new community devoid of distractions, Sitman prefers the “Jeremiah Option,” as described by Samuel Goldman, that life as God intended is meant not in escaping Babylon, but in building our houses there. Sitman (hat-tipping our beloved Thornton Wilder) looks to what makes Christianity fundamentally unique anyways—not the stringency of time-honored virtues (many religions honor them) but the power of God to forgive.

Goldman gets at something important…

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5 Reasons Why You Should Watch (and Vote For) The Cosmopolitans

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch (and Vote For) The Cosmopolitans

The day has finally arrived. The pilot of Whit Stillman’s first ever TV series The Cosmopolitans is now available to be watched on Amazon Prime! But here’s the deal. The series itself won’t get picked up unless it receives enough votes. In other words, it’s time to rally the troops. Why should you run and not walk to cast your vote? Why should you either sign up for Amazon Prime yourself, or canvass your friends to find someone who has it and hijack their computer? Five reasons:

1. It’s phenomenal. Here’s the review I posted on Amazon immediately after watching:

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Another Week Ends: Cosmopolitans, Accepting Feedback, Instagram Envy, Ideology Trumping Art, Hawaii Sucks, Muggles, and Mudbloods

Another Week Ends: Cosmopolitans, Accepting Feedback, Instagram Envy, Ideology Trumping Art, Hawaii Sucks, Muggles, and Mudbloods

1. While we try to stay away from plugging anything too exuberantly, and Lord knows TV/movie recs can make one less likely to watch, not more, still – writer/director Whit Stillman is coming out with a new show on Amazon, Cosmopolitans, which sounds like a not-so-veiled reference to his acclaimed feature debut about young WASP life in NYC. Vanity Fair this week got a preview of the pilot, and TV snobs will be heartened to know that Stillman cited Everybody Loves Raymond and Desperate Housewives as favorites. Cautiously optimistic, Stillman said that even if the show doesn’t get picked up, he’s happy to have just a pilot: “I really feel that…

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Yes, You Are Communicating Wrong (And No, You Will Not Like This Post)

Yes, You Are Communicating Wrong (And No, You Will Not Like This Post)

Des: Aren’t you a bit of a cad for leaving town with your girlfriend in the hospital?

Jimmy: It might look that way. I’ve been through this before. After graduation Laurie and I were going to break up, but the same day she came down with terrible back spasms. I hung around the hospital all summer, almost bankrupted her parents, and as soon as I left town she recovered. By going away and putting an ocean between us, i.e. making a definitive break, Charlotte’s likely to recover much faster.

Des: What makes you think that putting…

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Can You See the Real Me? – David Zahl

The second video to be posted from our recent conference in NYC but the first to be recorded, this is from Thursday evening 4/3:

Can You See the Real Me? ~ David Zahl from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Disgruntled Millennials and Theology of the Cross

Disgruntled Millennials and Theology of the Cross

It’s hard to talk about millennials without feeling the same confusion as Whit Stillman’s post-college prep, Des McGrath, over the term “yuppie”, ht DZ:

Des McGrath: Do yuppies even exist? No one says, “I am a yuppie,” it’s always the other guy who’s a yuppie. I think for a group to exist, somebody has to admit to be part of it.

Dan Powers: Of course yuppies exist. Most people would say you two are prime specimens.

Someone asked me the other day what the term ‘millennials’ means, and though I seem to check most of the boxes (20-something, anxious, on a misguided quest…

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Glimmers of Civilization (and Grace) in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Glimmers of Civilization (and Grace) in The Grand Budapest Hotel

I was bonding with a friend in New York last week over our mutual affection for the new Wes Anderson film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. After swapping a few favorite lines, he asked, with a twinkle in his eye, “So how’re you going to shoe-horn this one into your theological framework?” Quick wit that I am, I responded, “A story about adoption and inheritance that ends with an act of radical self-sacrifice – probably won’t need my shoehorn for this one”. Badabing! Obnoxious, I know. What’s even more obnoxious is that I’d been thinking for days about Grand Budapest and…

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Another Week Ends: Negatively Positive Thinking, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Love and Friendship, Fun Families, Facebook Sociology and Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories

Another Week Ends: Negatively Positive Thinking, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Love and Friendship, Fun Families, Facebook Sociology and Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories

1. Think positive! The New Yorker this week pushes back against the “think I can” trend, famously espoused by Thomas the Train – and even in adult media, too. While it’s certain that confidence often sometimes helps (Seahawks defensiveback Richard Sherman self-imputed the title “best cornerback in the league” and subsequently grew into it), it tends to break down in the long run, ht TB:

According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images,…

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The Comforts of Irony and the Terror of Earnestness: A Review of Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan

The Comforts of Irony and the Terror of Earnestness: A Review of Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan

Mockingbird favorite Whit Stillman’s wonderful debut film, Metropolitan, is a social commentary which continually crosses over, wryly and adroitly, into the domain of religious experience, Law and Gospel, anxiety and trust. It follows a young group of debutantes and their escorts in New York City, those sons and daughters of established wealth whose socio-economic trajectory has, in their twenties, stalled out. They are the natural members of a generation of new, white aristocracy (“Urban Haute Bourgeoisie”, or UHB), waiting in the wings but, as the prodigious intellectual-cum-self-parody Charlie puts it, “Downward social mobility…I think that’s the direction we’re all heading…

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Another Week Ends: Biker Church, Wrens Resurrection, Deadend Cool, Helicopter Fans, Lady Susan, Superficial Updike, and Daily Show Grace

Another Week Ends: Biker Church, Wrens Resurrection, Deadend Cool, Helicopter Fans, Lady Susan, Superficial Updike, and Daily Show Grace

1. Right off the bat, an amazing video (on multiple levels), which happens to feature the coolest pulpit I’ve ever seen. We need more of this:

Biker Church from Lucid Inc. on Vimeo.

2. All evidence above to the contrary, “coolness” can be a very cruel mistress. In fact, in terms of identity markers, I would argue it’s even more oppressive than “taste” (under whose umbrella it often falls). Meaning, unless you’re Steve McQueen (or Robert Capon), coolness is nearly impossible to pin down. But that’s also what makes it so fascinating of a subject to write about, or, in Mbird…

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The Ant Farm Analogy (Happy July 4th)

In honor of the big big day, a pair of priceless scenes from Whit Stillman’s Barcelona. Enjoy and we’ll see you back here tomorrow:

Things Are Looking Up: Some Thoughts about Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress

Things Are Looking Up: Some Thoughts about Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress

A couple of things to keep in mind when watching Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, which arrived on DVD this week:

1. It is not part four of his “Doomed Bourgeois” trilogy. Nor should it be. If Stillman had kept us waiting 12 years only to repeat himself, he would not be the artist that he is. Damsels in Distress is something different, something less dramatic and more screwball. Departure is probably too strong a word, as many of the Stillman hallmarks are there, both stylistically (dialogue-heavy, music-centered, ensemble cast, episodic storytelling) and thematically (social and relational mores, the therapeutic value…

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Another Week Ends: Louis CK, Sam Spade, Prevailing Grace, Heavy Metal, Axl Rose, Viennese Creativity, Cabin in the Woods, and yes, more Damsels in Distress

Another Week Ends: Louis CK, Sam Spade, Prevailing Grace, Heavy Metal, Axl Rose, Viennese Creativity, Cabin in the Woods, and yes, more Damsels in Distress

1. “The Filthy Moralist: How Louis C.K. Became America’s Unlikely Conscience” in The Atlantic is remarkable, especially in its conclusion. As always when it comes to Louis, there’s a high depravity quotient, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. But also as always when it comes to Louis, the darkness is not neutral or meaningless (or merely shocking). In fact, it might even be worth the discomfort in this case to get to the final couple of paragraphs, which truly capture what Louis is about, whether he wants to be or not. It strikes me as especially pertinent as we…

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Another (Holy) Week Ends: Unachievement, Damsels Reviews, Gastrodad Confessions, Youth Ministry, Music Snobs, Girls and Darth Vader

Another (Holy) Week Ends: Unachievement, Damsels Reviews, Gastrodad Confessions, Youth Ministry, Music Snobs, Girls and Darth Vader

1. At this point, you’ve likely seen Andrew Sullivan’s Newsweek cover story on the “Crisis in Christianity”. While there’s regrettably little talk of salvation – which I’m not sure is really within the purview of such a piece – and the reference to Jefferson is a bit dubious, the overall diagnosis strikes me as sound. Sullivan’s conclusion is particularly stirring:

The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word “secular.” It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism. The ability to be faithful in…

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Another Week Ends: Jeremy Lin, Scientism, Cosmism, Clergy Burnout, Tearjerkers, Springsteen’s Advice, 30 Rock, and Garbage Pail Kids

Another Week Ends: Jeremy Lin, Scientism, Cosmism, Clergy Burnout, Tearjerkers, Springsteen’s Advice, 30 Rock, and Garbage Pail Kids

1. The Linsanity continues! But this time the hubbub has to do with a powerful (and unexpected) instance of off-court forgiveness. Last week, Jeremy Lin invited the ESPN employee who was fired for writing an offensive headline about Lin to lunch. Newsday spoke with the journalist in question, Anthony Federico:

Federico apologized after he was fired, calling the headline’s play on words ["chink in the armor"] “an honest mistake.” Lin said at the time that he accepted the apology and added, “You have to learn to forgive.” Apparently, he meant it. A member of Lin’s family reached out to Federico via…

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