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Cohen Media Group Picks Up 30 Merchant Ivory Productions for Restoration and Re-issue

Cohen Media Group Picks Up 30 Merchant Ivory Productions for Restoration and Re-issue
The deal involves buying the Merchant Ivory brand, reports Variety, along with global distribution rights to 21 features and 9 documentaries and shorts. James Ivory will continue to supervise the brand as creative director of the collection. He will consult with Charles S. Cohen on the restoration, re-release and marketing of each film. The deal does not include studio films “A Room With a View,” “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” “Jefferson in Paris” and “Remains of the Day.” The filmmaking team of producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory partnered in Merchant Ivory for a series of English-language films in India starting with 1963’s “The Householder,” starring Shashi Kapoor, followed by 1965’s “Shakespeare Wallah.” Moving to the United States and England, Merchant Ivory collaborated with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala on such films as “Howards End,” based on the E.M. Forster novel, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Howards End,’ Merchant Ivory Library Bought by Cohen Media Group

‘Howards End,’ Merchant Ivory Library Bought by Cohen Media Group
Charles S. Cohen’s Cohen Media Group has acquired 30 films produced by Merchant Ivory Productions for restoration and re-release — including “Howards End,” “Maurice” and “Heat and Dust.”

The overall deal includes the acquisition of the Merchant Ivory brand and the worldwide distribution rights to 21 features, along with nine documentaries and shorts. James Ivory will collaborate with Cohen and serve as creative director, consulting on restoration, re-release and promotion of each of the 30 films.

The deal does not include several high-profile studio-backed films, including “A Room With a View,” “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” “Jefferson in Paris” and “Remains of the Day.”

Merchant Ivory was formed by producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory in the early 1960s with the initial aim of making English-language films in India for international audiences. Its first release was 1963’s “The Householder,” starring Shashi Kapoor, followed by 1965’s “Shakespeare Wallah.”

The company then began shooting in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview: Wamg Talks To Effie Gray Producer Donald Rosenfeld

Coming to theater on April 3rd is the film Effie Gray.

The film explores the fascinating, true story of the relationship between Victorian England’s greatest mind, John Ruskin, and his teenage bride, Euphemia “Effie” Gray, who leaves him for the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

Effie Gray is the first original screenplay written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Emma Thompson. In this impeccably crafted period drama, Thompson delicately and incisively probes the marital politics of the Victorian Era, and beyond.

Dakota Fanning stars as Effie Gray Ruskin. The cast includes Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Tom Sturridge, David Suchet, Greg Wise, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Sir Derek Jacobi and Robbie Coltrane.

The film is produced by Andreas Roald (Terrence Malick’s Voyage Of Time) and Donald Rosenfeld (Malick’s Tree Of Life and Voyage Of Time).

Producer Donald Rosenfeld spent 1987 to 1998 as President of Merchant Ivory Productions, in charge of the financing
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Cicely Tyson Takes The Tony

Cicely Tyson Takes The Tony
New York — Cicely Tyson, who returned to Broadway this season for the first time in 30 years, has taken home the Tony Award for best leading actress in a play.

In Horton Foote's "The Trip to Bountiful," Tyson plays a widow in 1953 whose only desire is to revisit her old home in Bountiful and recapture purpose she lost when she left for Houston.

Tyson, 88, beat out Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Kristine Nielsen and Holland Taylor.

Tyson was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Sounder" in 1972. Other film credits include "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Bustin' Loose" and "Jefferson in Paris."

She won Emmys for "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All." She was also nominated for her role in the miniseries "Roots."
See full article at Huffington Post »

‘Room With a View’ Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dies at 85

‘Room With a View’ Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dies at 85
Screenwriter and novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who collaborated for five decades with James Ivory and Ismail Merchant and won Oscars for “A Room With a View” and “Howards End,” died of a pulmonary disorder Wednesday in New York. She was 85.

Born in Germany, she moved to Britain with her family during the Nazi regime. After marrying an Indian architect in 1951 and moving to New Delhi, she began to write about her life there. She drew on her experiences for the novel “Heat and Dust” about a young woman living in India in the 1920s, which won the Booker Prize and was adapted for the 1983 Ivory film.

Prawer Jhabvala collaborated with Merchant and Ivory on films that were often literary adaptations, including “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” “The Remains of the Day,” “Quartet,” “The Golden Bowl” and “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries.”

Merchant first called her in 1961 to ask the novelist,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Richard Robbins obituary

Composer who scored nearly every Merchant Ivory film from The Europeans onwards and was an integral part of the brand

The Guinness Book of Records notes that the 44-year collaboration between the Indian producer Ismail Merchant and the American director James Ivory was the longest in the history of cinema. They might equally have added the screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who joined the duo from the start. And a member of Merchant Ivory Productions for almost as long was the composer Richard Robbins, who has died after suffering from Parkinson's disease, aged 71.

The Ivory-Robbins working partnership, which lasted over three decades, outdid in longevity such celebrated director-composer unions as Federico Fellini-Nino Rota, Michelangelo Antonioni-Giovanni Fusco and Alfred Hitchcock-Bernard Herrmann. Robbins scored nearly every Merchant Ivory production from The Europeans (1979) onwards, and was an integral part of the film company's brand.

The reason for the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter slays competition at UK box office

Historical action film about early Us president drives a stake through the heart of the Men in Black

Fresh blood

A cursory glance reveals that king of the heap is Timur Bekmambetov's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, with £1.12m. However, in reality, the high-concept historical actioner landed in fifth place for the weekend, with £744,000. The discrepancy between those two figures is accounted for by preview takings on Wednesday and Thursday, enough to send the film leapfrogging over its rivals. Bekmambetov's film was always going to be a tricky sell at the UK box office: films about early Us presidents have tended not to flourish here (anyone recall Jefferson in Paris, from 1995?). As for star Benjamin Walker, he's hardly a marquee name in the Us either, but at least he enjoys some profile there for stage hit musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, about another early Us president.

Among the new entrants,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Newton Slams Tinseltown Casting Couch

  • WENN
Newton Slams Tinseltown Casting Couch
Actress Thandie Newton has hit out at Hollywood's casting couch culture, revealing she was targeted by "gross" directors trying to "exploit" her naivety.

The English actress broke into the mainstream with her role in 1994 movie Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles and went on to find international fame the following year with her role in Jefferson In Paris.

Now she's revealed she was twice targeted by sleazy producers in the early days of her career, claiming one director made footage "literally shooting up my skirt" and a photographer forced her to pose for snaps while bending over a desk and wearing a leather miniskirt.

And when she accidentally met the same snapper earlier this year she was tempted to confront him over the incident - but decided to leave it unsaid because he was with his family.

Newton tells Stella magazine, "I had this real eruption of emotion. I didn't because his kids were there, but I wanted to say, 'Shame on you'... It's a minority of people who want to exploit you in the creative world, but if you want to be opportunistic in that way, it's brilliant."

Blythe Danner: Gwyneth Paltrow 'Has Been Singing Since She Was A Baby'

Blythe Danner: Gwyneth Paltrow 'Has Been Singing Since She Was A Baby'
As it turns out, Gwyneth Paltrow's recently revealed hidden talent has been music to her mother's ears since she was a little girl.

Paltrow has expanded her repertoire considerably over the past year, adding singing to her on-camera skills -- and in a big way. From crooning her way through "Country Strong" and performing at the Oscars to singing in guest spots in "Glee," the actress has turned herself into an emerging musical star.

Blythe Danner, speaking at the press conference for her upcoming sci-fi comedy "Paul," discussed Paltrow's foray into music, and just how excited she is about it.

"I love it. She's been singing since she was a baby and we used to make up songs in bed at night time from the time she was born practically and she'd be singing and I'd be singing the harmony above a third, and then she'd go off and
See full article at Huffington Post »

Their Best Role: Nick Nolte in 'Affliction'

Filed under: Features, Cinematical

Nick Nolte has played many memorable characters, but one in particular -- Wade Whitehouse in 1998's 'Affliction' -- edges out the others by a hair for its intensity and sheer guts. Nolte's an actor whose scrappy physicality and distinctive, gravelly voice are just the proverbial icing on the cake of his power on-screen. Whether playing heavies in gritty dramas ('Q&A,' 'Mulholland Falls'), romantic leads ('The Prince of Tides') or comedic characters ('Down and Out in Beverly Hills,' 'Tropic Thunder'), Nolte is always compelling. Even his less successful roles ('Jefferson in Paris') are at least interesting.

Nolte turns 70 this week, a good time to voice our appreciation for the man who -- even through some tough personal travails, notably a battle with alcoholism -- has puts enormous amount of heart and soul into his movies,
See full article at Moviefone »

Their Best Role: Nick Nolte in 'Affliction'

Their Best Role: Nick Nolte in 'Affliction'
Filed under: Features, Cinematical

Nick Nolte has played many memorable characters, but one in particular -- Wade Whitehouse in 1998's 'Affliction' -- edges out the others by a hair for its intensity and sheer guts. Nolte's an actor whose scrappy physicality and distinctive, gravelly voice are just the proverbial icing on the cake of his power on-screen. Whether playing heavies in gritty dramas ('Q&A,' 'Mulholland Falls'), romantic leads ('The Prince of Tides') or comedic characters ('Down and Out in Beverly Hills,' 'Tropic Thunder'), Nolte is always compelling. Even his less successful roles ('Jefferson in Paris') are at least interesting.

Nolte turns 70 this week, a good time to voice our appreciation for the man who -- even through some tough personal travails, notably a battle with alcoholism -- has puts enormous amount of heart and soul into his movies,
See full article at Cinematical »

Entertainment Briefs: Gwyneth Paltrow gets star on Walk of Fame

Los Angeles - Actress Gwyneth Paltrow was honoured Monday with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The Oscar-winner, 38, was awarded the star ahead of her appearance as a country music star in the movie Country Strong. Paltrow's other films include Shakespeare in Love, for which she won a best actress Oscar in 1998, Iron Man, The Good Night, Proof, Sylvia, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Royal Tenenbaums, Emma and Jefferson in Paris. 'I feel so honoured to be getting this star on the Walk of Fame,' Paltrow said. 'The idea that my grandchildren can one day come and see my name on the sidewalk is very overwhelming.' *** ********* Rapper Ja Rule pleads guilty to gun charge
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Interview: Thandie Newton on the Passion of ‘For Colored Girls’

Chicago – The expansive and intuitive prose poetry of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” comes to life in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation “For Colored Girls.” Thandie Newton portrays Tangie (color Orange) and saturates the character with a precise truth.

Newton is familiar to audiences as a performer in many notable films. After making a memorable debut in the Australian film “Flirting” (1992), she has been featured in “Jefferson in Paris” (1995), “Beloved” (1998), “Mission Impossible II” (2000), the TV show “ER,” “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) and as Condoleeza Rice in “W.” (2008). She might be best remembered for her role as Christine in the Oscar winning Best Picture of 2005, “Crash.”

Confronting Themselves: Thandie Newton as Tangie and Whoopi Goldberg as Alice in ‘For Colored Girls

Photo Credit: Quantell Colbert for © Lionsgate

Thandie Newton was in Chicago recently to promote For Colored Girls. HollywoodChicago got the
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Newton: 'I shunned Cannes for university'

Newton: 'I shunned Cannes for university'
Thandie Newton has revealed that she refused to toast the success of her first film because she was busy revising for exams. The actress, who starred in 1995 movie Jefferson in Paris, studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. The Daily Mail quotes Newton as saying: "I was studying for my finals at Cambridge during the Cannes Film Festival. I went to a party on the beach for the film I (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Newton Shunned Cannes For Cambridge

  • WENN
Newton Shunned Cannes For Cambridge
Thandie Newton refused to join in boozy celebrations to toast the success of her 1995 movie Jefferson In Paris - because she was busy revising for her university exams.

The actress studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the U.K.'s prestigious Cambridge University when one of her early films debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Newton shunned the bar with her castmates at the annual movie event - choosing instead to revise for her degree.

She says, "I was studying for my finals at Cambridge during the Cannes Film Festival. I went to a party on the beach for the film I was in, Jefferson In Paris, but I didn't get drunk because I knew I had to revise.

"I wasn't going to the college bar and having fun, so I probably ended up working more than most people. I carried on making films while I was at Cambridge. I don't regret it because if I hadn't, maybe I wouldn't be an actress."

Newton intimidated by "cool" Paltrow

Thandie Newton has revealed that she felt intimidated by Gwyneth Paltrow when they first met. The Crash star said she had found Paltrow "effortlessly cool" when they co-starred in 1995 movie Jefferson In Paris. She told The Guardian: "I think I went through my mid-life crisis when I was in my early 20s. I think a lot of women spend their 20s thinking, 'I don't know what I am doing, do I like myself?' And I had that to an extreme. "I remember (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Producer Ismail Merchant Dies at 68

Producer Ismail Merchant Dies at 68
Producer Ismail Merchant, who, along with James Ivory, brought such acclaimed literary adaptations as A Room with a View and Howards End to the screen, died Wednesday in London; he was 68. Reports on Merchant's death cited that he had been ill for some time and had undergone surgery for abdominal ulcers, and passed away at a London hospital surrounded by family and friends. Born in Bombay and educated both there and in New York, Merchant studied film at USC and early in his career produced and directed a number of acclaimed shorts. His film work brought him to the attention of New York's Asia Society, which commissioned him to make a documentary about Delhi. In India, he met American director James Ivory, and in 1961 the two embarked on a career together (both personally and professionally) that would result in more than 40 films; the first was The Householder (1963), based on the novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who, as their longtime screenwriter, was effectively the third "partner" in Merchant-Ivory Films. Initially, Merchant-Ivory was formed with the charter of making English-language films in India for international release, and their films reflected the conflicts between Indian and British culture. In the early '70s, they tentatively explored new territory . specifically 1920s Hollywood . with The Wild Party, but wouldn't find success outside of India-based films until 1979's The Europeans, based on the Henry James novel, which marked their first major literary adaptation. Small but acclaimed films followed, including Jane Austen in Manhattan and Heat and Dust, but Merchant-Ivory made a name for itself in the mid-'80s with two Oscar-nominated films: 1984's The Bostonians, featuring an Academy Award-nominated performance by Vanessa Redgrave, and their breakout hit, 1985's A Room With a View, the sublime adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel. The film made a star of a young ingénue named Helena Bonham Carter, established Merchant-Ivory as the highbrow literary filmmakers, and received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (it won three). Taking on Forster again, Merchant-Ivory made the groundbreaking gay-themed drama Maurice in 1987 before unsuccessfully trying on modern-day Manhattan in Slaves of New York. After that film, Merchant-Ivory returned to classic literary adaptations including Mr. and Mrs. Bridge and two back-to-back Best Picture nominees, Howards End (eight Oscar nominations and three wins, including Best Actress for Emma Thompson) and The Remains of the Day (also eight nominations). Merchant's remaining films, from Jefferson in Paris (1995) to Le Divorce (2003) were relatively well-received, but never achieved the heights of his previous films. No further details regarding Merchant's death were forthcoming, and a statement was expected to be released later in the day. --Prepared by IMDb staff

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