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Famed Director James Ivory Coming to SMU/DMA This Week


by Jerome Weeks 29 Nov 2010

SMU is bringing in James Ivory — of the renowned Merchant-Ivory movies (‘Heat and Dust,’ ‘A Room with a View’) — for a weekend series of screenings at the DMA, plus Q&A and a master class.

CTA TBD

SMU — in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Film Society and Blackland Prairie Landscape Design — is bringing in James Ivory for a weekend series of screenings of five of his films at the DMA, Dec. 2-4.

Ivory — of the renowned Merchant-Ivory films, including Remains of the Day, The Golden Bowl and Surviving Picasso — will attend Thursday’s opening night and participate in a Q&A with the audience. On Friday, he’ll teach a master class at SMU on “Directing the Screen Actor.”

The full release follows:

SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY’S DIVISION OF CINEMA-TELEVISION BRINGS ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR JAMES IVORY TO DALLAS

Director of “A Room with a View” will teach SMU master class and introduce public film series at Dallas Museum of Art, Dec. 2-4

DALLAS (SMU) — Southern Methodist University’s Division of Cinema-Television, in partnership with the DALLAS Film Society, Dallas Museum of Art, and Blackland Prairie Landscape Design, is sponsoring a visit to Dallas by renowned film director James Ivory and a weekend film series showcasing works by Ivory and his long-time collaborator, Ismail Merchant. Titled “Indelible Partners: A Tribute to Ismail Merchant and James Ivory,” the series will celebrate Ivory’s 40-year partnership with Merchant with a three-night showing of several of their films at the Dallas Museum of Art, December 2-4.

Merchant and Ivory became known across the globe for collaborating on carefully crafted, beautifully produced and directed films that reveal the diverse strengths and frailties of humankind. Their films won six Academy Awards as well as numerous other film festival honors worldwide. Among their best known works are A Room with a View, Howards End, Remains of the Day and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. Merchant died in 2005, and Ivory continues to direct films, including The City of Your Final Destination, which played in Dallas earlier this year.

The collaborative project was managed by Sean Griffin, professor and chair of the Division of Cinema-Television at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn from one of the finest film directors of our time, a man who has directed actors such as Joanne Woodward, Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins to Oscar nominations,” said Griffin. “It is also a pleasure to welcome Ivory to Dallas to celebrate his partnership with Ismail Merchant, and the films they crafted together.”

While in Dallas, Ivory will attend the opening night of the film festival on Thursday, Dec. 2 and participate in a question and answer session with the audience. On Friday morning, he will teach a cinema-television master class at SMU titled “Directing the Screen Actor.”

The weekend will include the following public events:

Thursday, Dec. 2

7:30 p.m. – Screening of Heat and Dust (1983) followed by Q&A with James Ivory

Horchow Auditorium/Dallas Museum of Art/1717 North Harwood/Dallas/75201

Ivory chose Heat and Dust to open the festival because it exemplifies the creative merger of his ideas with Merchant’s. Blending east with west, and moving effortlessly between the vibrant world of modern-day India and the splendors of the Raj, Heat and Dust concerns Anne, a young woman drawn to India by her desire to unravel the scandal surrounding her great-aunt’s seduction in the 1920s by a handsome Indian prince. Included in general admission to the Museum; DMA members, students and DALLAS Film Society members FREE. Reservations are recommended; space is limited. For more information or to reserve a ticket, call 214.922.1818 or visit www.tickets.dallasmuseumofart.org.

Friday, Dec. 3

6:30 p.m. – Screening of Surviving Picasso (1996), directed by James Ivory

8:45 p.m. – Screening of The Proprietor (1996), directed by Ismail Merchant

Horchow Auditorium/Dallas Museum of Art/1717 North Harwood/Dallas/75201

Surviving Picasso, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role, examines the famous painter’s personal life. In The Proprietor, an expatriated French novelist (Jeanne Moreau) returns to Paris when she learns that her childhood home is being placed on the auction block, and finds she must confront issues from her past. FREE. Reservations are recommended; space is limited. For more information or to reserve a ticket, call 214.922.1818 or visit www.tickets.dallasmuseumofart.org.

Saturday, Dec. 4

3:00 p.m. –  Remains of the Day (1993), directed by James Ivory

5:30 p.m. –  In Custody (1994), directed by Ismail Merchant

Horchow Auditorium/Dallas Museum of Art/1717 North Harwood/Dallas/75201

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years after World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty has been in Remains of the Day, a film that won some 15 cinematic awards. In Custody, Ismail Merchant’s feature directorial debut, addressed a subject close to his heart: the expressive Urdu language of Northern India, in danger of extinction as political trends and modernization obscure its contributions to Indian culture. Merchant’s treatment is wry and good humored, as his characters – an aging Urdu poet and a worshipful young college lecturer – clash despite their shared passion for the beauty of words. FREE. Reservations are recommended; space is limited. For more information or to reserve a ticket, call 214.922.1818 or visit www.tickets.dallasmuseumofart.org.

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