Thanks to the Coolidge and the Brattle, I had the opportunity to see two acclaimed film directors speak this past week. The Coolidge presented Jonathan Demme with its annual honorary award. And the Brattle is hosting a weekend visit with James Ivory.
A number of colleagues showered Jonathan Demme with accolades at the award ceremony. Actors, screenwriters, authors…people who he has mentored. And HIS mentor, producer Roger Corman, was there also. Jonathan Demme has directed such a wide variety of films…he’s my kind of guy. Everything from a Talking Heads performance film, to Philadelphia, to Silence of the Lambs. It was a fun, celebratory evening.
Last night, my friend Lisa and I saw Ivory’s film Remains of the Day. It is such a different experience seeing films on the big screen vs. a television screen. It just adds so much. After the film, James Ivory came on stage with Ned and Ivy, who run the Brattle. They asked him questions, and then opened the discussion to the audience. It is always fascinating to hear the stories behind films, and filmmaking. I am always amazed at the numbers of people involved in making a film. It’s a wonder they ever get completed!! It was really great to hear more about his partnership with producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Jhabvala. You just don’t hear about many decades-long creative partnerships and friendships like that.
James Ivory is 81, and still actively directing films. I hope that I still have the passion and energy that he has, when I am that age. He is an inspiration.