Damsels in Distress (15)
4 May - 10 May 2012
Whit Stillman is back! Between 1989 and 1998 he made a trio of films, Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, all of which were exceptionally clever, witty and charming. But then he disappeared from filmmaking. Fortunately, his new film shows he hasnít lost his touch.
Damsels in Distress tells the story of three girls (played by Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Carrie MacLemore) who set up a Suicide Prevention Centre at their college. When not working there they try to start a new dance craze, whilst combating the old-fashioned and chauvinistic atmosphere of the college. And, as always in college (and life), one of the main causes of despair and heartaches is love: either the lack of it or the excess of it, or the fact that the boys are often untruthful or behave like cavemen. In short, the girls have their hands full. Despite this, at the start of the new semester they take on a newcomer (Analeigh Tipton) and try to educate her in the ways of the world.
Damsels in Distress is not just a comedy, nor is it just a film about college life; it has higher aspirations than that, including being a musical and a comment on society. That it succeeds in harmoniously being all of these things is quite an achievement. Stillman has made a film that is sometimes sad, often funny and always enchanting.