features/whit-stillman- reflects-on-the-20th- anniversary-of-the-last-days- of-disco/
I think they’re similar kind of scenes, but I think they’re separate in their content and their implications. Lady and the Tramp is pretty specific to the sort of myth in literature, theater and film of opposites attracting.
So opposites attract I have a lot of problems with because it seems cool but actually, generally, it’s not a good idea. Generally, Tramp is going to revert to type at some point, as I’ve observed in human relations. It’s rare. Usually, change is a kind of come to Jesus thing. It’s a little bit like an alcoholic giving up alcohol or a licentious person becoming religious. They really have to transform themselves if they’re going to get away from being Tramp. It’s a big, big thing. It’s not just falling in love with Lady and getting along with her owners. And so I think that’s one message. And “to thine own self be true” is a different thing. You’re right that they’re very parallel as far as taking something we know about and applying it to the lives of the characters in the film.
I saw The Last Days of Disco a couple of years back and thought it was funny. Now I know some people say it's impossible for over-earnest ambitious 20-somethings to talk the way Whit Stillman characters talk but when the debate about Lady and the Tramp happened in the film I couldn't help laughing. That such a serious debate with a subtext of character as destiny with respect to sexual and relational fidelity could be sparked off by watching an animated Disney film that's kind of my wheelhouse anyway. I did, after all, write tens of thousands of words about Batman cartoons. :)
But the other reason I found it funny was that I was vividly reminded of Midrash debates on the members-only version of Midrash from my days at Mars Hill, particularly the 2002-2006 period when courtship became such an idiotic fad and a host of guys who I didn't think were all that serious about courtship were pretending to themselves and anyone who might be watching that they took it seriously because a couple of high profile members of the church and Driscoll were selling the idea of courtship. Were it not for a beautiful six-foot blonde who I won't name because almost anyone who went to Mars Hill in the 2002-2006 period probably recognized her, the courtship fad wouldn't have been what it was.
I've seen comments to the effect that if ever there were a movie made about Mars Hill it should be directed by someone like Tarantino. No. Whit Stillman makes more sense because anyone who can have characters deliver jokes about Cathar beliefs or about the different enumerations of the Decalogue across Catholic and Protestant interpretation is better suited to make a film about Mars Hill.
And since Sterling Archer is two thirds of the way to a Mark Driscoll person, "if" someone were going to play Mark Driscoll it should be someone like H. Jon Benjamin.
But, of course, he's got vastly better things to do with his time.
But those guys in Disco, they reminded me of a number of Midrash debates on the Covenant forum ... .
If I were to write a book about Mars Hill I'd probably have to write about the ridiculous courtship fad.
The blonde and her husband have said that if I do that I can write about them. Still not sure if I would manage to write a book as it is but ... anyway.