Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Movies #1: "Metropolitan" (Movie Moment)

I'm way behind on blogging about Movie Moments, and I'm thinking about what to watch over the holidays.
One of my favorite holiday movies (or movies anytime) is Metropolitan (1990).
[Link to a review, about its popularity, 25 years on: "Writer-director Whit Stillman was so green that he brought a copy of the book How to Direct a Movie to the set with him".]

It's set at Christmastime, when middle-class (but Ivy League) college student Tom (redhead, below, in yellow hat) accidentally falls in with a group of UHB ("urban haute bourgeoisie") Manhattanites on winter break.

It's funny, and it includes references to obscure stuff, like Brook Farm and Lionel Trilling.

Just yesterday bink and I were talking about her ongoing graphic novel about Camino and about whether a writer should include obscure information readers might not know.  Metropolitan is a reminder that if you do it well, it works. 

(Though it depends on your audience too---like, who watches this movie?)

Anyway, a viewer/reader like me might look up the unknown-thing  and get that extra layer of pleasure. (Brook Farm is a comic tragic tale of mismanaged hopes of its own.)

So--here's a movie moment, How to Insert Esoteric Knowledge: Tom (right) talking to Charlie about his political philosophy.

Charlie: You’re a Marxist?

Tom: No. I’m a committed socialist, but not a Marxist. I favor the socialist model developed by the 19th century French social critic Fourier.

Charlie: You’re a Fourierist?!

Tom: Yes.

Charlie: Fourierism was tried in the 19th century and failed. Wasn’t Brook Farm Fourierist? It failed.

Tom: That’s debatable.

Charlie: That Brook Farm failed?

Tom: That it ceased to exist, I’ll grant you. Whether it was really a failure, I don’t think can be definitively said.

Charlie: For me, ceasing to exist is failure. That’s pretty definitive.

Tom: Everyone ceases to exist. That doesn’t mean everyone’s a failure.


Bink said...

That is a great movie!

And I was awake half the night mulling over our conversation... I hope I can manage some interesting yet informative dialogue too.

Fresca said...

BINK: I really liked the reminder that Stillman didn't know what he was doing---and he's never made a better film!