(WASHINGTON TIMES) — Whit Stillman doesn’t want to talk about politics. Ask the famed indie film director for his thoughts about the current Republican primary race, and he politely — but flatly — declines.

“No, I have nothing,” he says.

Lightly pressed further, he changes the subject, turning the tables to ask questions of his own.

The exchange — part of a half-hour discussion about Mr. Stillman’s work, his new movie “Damsels in Distress” and his deep empathy for his fictional characters — plays like a scene from a classic drama-class exercise. One character — in this case, me — tries to get information out of the other, whose job is to decline, evade and avoid the subject however possible. In the process, the player reveals his character.

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