Stillman Poster

The Academy Award nominated filmmaker will offer thematic and cultural commentary in Houston on October 1st. (To register for this event, please click here.)

“Whatever Whit Stillman’s politics may be, the very form of his artistic sensibility illuminates what an imaginative conservative cultural intervention in our time might entail… In each of [his] films a note of wistful nostalgia may be detected with which conservatives are well acquainted. Such a feeling arises from a powerful intuition of the human good which is revealed in its passing away. Knowledge of that passing good should stir us to affection–and away from cynicism– for to know the human good is to know an essence that can never finally pass away. Such a comic sensibility leads us beyond mere nostalgia and pain of loss and contains the germ of action…

American conservatives have indulged too long in a preference for tragic art. Perversely, they are given to admiring those voices which tell them that the fate of all they hold dear is hopeless. But if conservatives are right about what they profess concerning human nature, if they are right about the grace of God, then comedy is their rightful genre. Not the ridicule-ridden ancient comedy of that fearful conservative, Aristophanes, but the gentle and ironic comedy of a Christian humanist.” – Mark Henrie, Intercollegiate Review

The gentle and ironic comedy of Whit Stillman is well worth exploring. Mr. Stillman has created four carefully crafted films over the past two decades showcasing the analytical, aristocratic, and sometimes vapid lifestyle of the “Urban Haute Bourgeoisie” (abbreviated UHB). His nuanced portrayal of clever and conflicted Ivy Leaguers, overeducated and underdeveloped, has earned him a devoted following and many fans among conservatives.

The Academy Award nominated filmmaker will offer thematic and cultural commentary in Houston on October 1st. To register for this event, please click here. (Doomed Bourgeois In Love, a fine collection of essays on the work of Whit Stillman, is well worth reading.)

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility.

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