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Favorite Quotes From the                      Films of Whit Stillman

Favorite Quotes From the Films of Whit Stillman

Do you know that Shakespearean admonition ‘To thine own self be true’? It’s premised on the idea that ‘thine own self’ is pretty good, being true to which is commendable. What if ‘thine own self’ is not so good? What if it’s pretty bad? Would it better, in that case. not to be true to ‘thine own self’? See? That’s my situation.
— Des McGrath, Last Days of Disco
You are far weirder than someone merely into S&M. At least they have a tradition. We have some idea what S&M is about. There’s movies and books about it. But so far as I know, there is nothing to explain the way you are.
— Fred Boynton, Barcelona
Positive thinking is fine in theory. But whenever I try it on a systematic basis... I end up really depressed.
— Ted Boynton, Barcelona
Fred: Maybe you can clarify something for me. Since I’ve been, you know, waiting for the fleet to show up, I’ve read a lot, and...
Ted: Really?
Fred: And one of the things that keeps popping up is about “subtext.” Plays, novels, songs - they all have a “subtext,” which I take to mean a hidden message or import of some kind. So subtext we know. But what do you call the message or meaning that’s right there on the surface, completely open and obvious? They never talk about that. What do you call what’s above the subtext?
Ted: The text.
Fred: OK, that’s right, but they never talk about that.
— Conversation between Fred and Ted Boynton, Barcelona
Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.
— Nick Smith, Metropolitan
I haven’t been giving you the silent treatment. I just haven’t been talking to you.
— Tom Townsend, Metropolitan
We hear a lot about the great social mobility in America, with the focus usually on the comparative ease of moving upwards. What’s less discussed is how easy it is to go down. I think that’s the direction that we’re all heading in. And I think that the downward fall is going to be very fast—not just for us as individuals—but for the entire Preppie Class.
— Charlie Black, Metropolitan
Charlie Black: Fourierism was tried in the late nineteenth century... and it failed. Wasn’t Brook Farm Fourierist? It failed.
Tom Townsend: That’s debatable.
Charlie Black: Whether Brook Farm failed?
Tom Townsend: That it ceased to exist, I’ll grant you, but whether or not it failed cannot be definitively said.
Charlie Black: Well, for me, ceasing to exist is — is failure. I mean, that’s pretty definitive.
Tom Townsend: Well, everyone ceases to exist. Doesn’t mean everyone’s a failure.
— Conversation between Tom Townsend and Charlie Black, Metropolitan
Nick Smith: The titled aristocracy are the scum of the earth.
Sally Fowler: You always say “titled” aristocrats. What about “untitled” aristocrats?
Nick Smith: Well, I could hardly despise them, could I? That would be self-hatred.
— Conversation between Nick Smith and Sally Fowler, Metropolitan
 
 
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