What’s the least original place you can go for a semester abroad? Florence? Sydney? Beijing? Did you answer Barcelona? If you didn’t, you should have. While it seems there’s always a revolving hot spot for overseas study — in the ’90s it was Prague, for instance — come second semester junior year, students at the University of Michigan gravitate toward Spain’s east coast.

Since I will be a second semester junior one day — God willing — I decided to bone up on the city by watching Whit Stillman’s 1994 film “Barcelona.” Why not check a Frommer’s Guide, you might ask? To be honest, investing that much effort into determining a location for studying abroad makes it a bit too real. Why take a serious look at an important life decision when you can watch a movie instead?

“Barcelona” follows two Americans, Ted and Fred, living in Spain at the end of the Cold War, and documents the sustained enmity the Spanish felt for Americans at the time. It’s also an example of Stillman’s ability to depict the petty bickering among America’s educated elite.

After watching “Barcelona,” I took the opportunity to distract myself from the daunting task of picking a city and looked into the rest of Stillman’s filmography.

Starting in 1990, Stillman made his mark with “Metropolitan,” a film about a group of Princeton students at the end of New York’s debutante ball circuit. With sharp wits, the hyper-literate cast of characters focuses on downward social mobility, the existence of God and the fleeting nature of their friendship.

“Metropolitan,” which Stillman wrote, directed and produced, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1991 for Best Original Screenplay. In 1994, “Barcelona” was released to warm critical response and made a modest profit at the box office. In 1998, Stillman returned to New York with “The Last Days of Disco,” a film about upper-class 20-somethings and their journeys through nightclubs and transitory affairs. All three films focus on the meanderings of highly educated snobs. And yet, all of them are fascinating.

Stillman has written and directed three films, which have influenced the likes of Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. A regular Stillman player, Chris Eigeman, found his first role in “Metropolitan” as the cynically sharp-tongued Nick Smith. He then went on to star in two Baumbach films. Stillman has defined yuppie society through pitch-perfect filmic depiction, yet he’s been all but forgotten.

There’s no question that filmmakers come and go with the summer wind. Stillman, however, is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and a critically lauded voice in contemporary cinema. So where in the world is he?

Over the past few years there’s been a swirl of discussion linking Stillman to a slew of projects in various stages of production. None of it has panned out. Not “Little Green Men,” the adaptation of the Christopher Buckley novel; nor “Dancing Mood,” the script about the influence of reggae music in Jamaica; not even “Red Azalea,” the story of a filmmaker during the Cultural Revolution in China. The only work Stillman has put out in this decade is an extended novelization of “The Last Days of Disco.”

While Stillman is taking his time picking his next project and continuing to recede from the forefront of the film world, his mark remains. He’s no household name, but moviegoers everywhere have seen the product of his influence without necessarily knowing it — though maybe some do: “Metropolitan” is distributed for home viewing by the Criterion Collection, a staple of any cinephile’s movie collection. On the other hand, “The Last Days of Disco” is just about impossible to find on DVD. (An Amazon.com search shows it can be purchased new for $154.99.)

The question remains: We see his impact on film today through highfalutin banter and lofty social ponderings, but will we see it again? Refocusing my thoughts on studying abroad, I considered the prospect of studying in Spain. With Stillman off the scene for so long, who knows how Barcelona has changed? I think it’s probably better to wait and rent Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” before I make any final decisions. I find it’s always best to consult a second opinion.

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