Indelible Partners: James Ivory and Ismail Merchant part 2

8 12 2010

Photo courtesy of Doc Strange and the Dallas Film Society.

In the 47 years that Merchant Ivory Productions has been making pictures they’ve been nominated and taken home numerous major awards.   They’ve showcased the pinnacle of making epic period pieces as well as adapted some amazing books for the screen.   So having Sir James Ivory at two screenings and also teaching a master class at SMU was a true treat for the city of Dallas.  Here is the second part of PSD’s experience with James Ivory and Merchant Ivory Productions.

Photo courtesy of Doc Strange and the Dallas Film Society.

We’ll start with something James wants to clarify about the British people he showcases in his film.

James talked about working with his actors.

I then asked Sir James how Merchant Ivory Productions (James, Ismail and Ruth Jhabvala ) picks which projects to tackle.  And I specifically brought up the 3 E.M. Forster stories they’ve adapted into award winning films:  A ROOM WITH A VIEW, MAURICE, and HOWARDS END.  Here is James wonderful response.

Photo courtesy of Doc Strange and the Dallas Film Society.

James explained that other projects were thoroughly plotted out, like those Forster films.

He went on to explain the ironies about Forster not wanting films to be made of his work, but that disdain wasn’t felt for the other mediums.

Possibly the best moment of the Q & A was when Sir James asked to know what films were being shown at the festival.

Photo courtesy of Doc Strange and the Dallas Film Society.

PSD’s buddy Phil Renya politely handed over the schedule and Sir James seemed interested in one particular film selection.

That’s right the next night James did in fact turn up.  He also expanded on the amazing fact that his film Surviving Picasso doesn’t actually have any Picasso pieces in the movie.  In yesterday’s part 1 post,  I hinted at a secret that James told me.  Well after the screening when Sir James and his family were heading out I briefly said hi.  I asked if he would get Sir Anthony to be in any of the projects he hinted at in the Q & A.  O you don’t remember that part.  Well here it is…these are what you can expect from Sir James in the near future.

Well James is hoping to have Sir Anthony play John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster in Shakespeare’s Richard II.  Can’t Wait!



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