The Institute is pleased to host an evening with director James Ivory whose iconic movie A Room with a View won three Oscars in 1997, thirty years ago. With the participation of the authors and professors André Aciman and Antonio Monda.
Most recently, James Ivory wrote the screenplay for Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming adaptation of André Aciman’s novel "Call Me by Your Name".
James Francis Ivory (born June 7, 1928) is an American film director. For many years he worked extensively with Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, his domestic as well as professional partner, and with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. All three were principals in Merchant Ivory Productions whose films won six Academy Awards.
Ivory met producer Ismail Merchant, at a screening, in New York City, of his documentary The Sword and the Flute in 1959. In May 1961, Merchant and Ivory formed the film production company Merchant Ivory Productions.
Their partnership has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest partnership in independent cinema history. Until Merchant's death in 2005, they produced nearly 40 films, including a number of award winners. Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was the screenwriter for most of their productions.
In 1985 A Room with a View, based on the E. M. Forster novel, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Jhabvala's adaptation of Forster's novel as well as for Best Costume and Best Production Design. A Room With a View was also voted Best Film of the year by the Critic's Circle Film Section of Great Britain, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the National Board of Review in the United States and in Italy, where the film won the Donatello Prize for Best Foreign Language Picture and Best Director.
In 1987 Ivory directed Maurice, followed by in 1990 Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. In 1992 Ivory directed another Forster-adapted film, Howards End. The film was nominated for nine Academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three: Best Actress (Emma Thompson), Best Screenplay – Adaptation (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala), and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Luciana Arrighi/Ian Whittaker).
Howards End was immediately followed by The Remains of the Day, which in turn was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
He attended the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, from which he received a degree in fine arts in 1951. He then attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he directed the short film Four in the Morning, (1953). He wrote, photographed, and produced Venice: Theme and Variations, a half-hour documentary submitted as his thesis film for his master's degree in cinema. The film was named by The New York Times in 1957 as one of the ten best non-theatrical films of the year. He graduated from USC in 1957.
André Aciman is currently distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York teaching the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust. His memoir, Out of Egypt (1995), won a Whiting Award. He previously taught creative writing at New York University and French literature at Princeton University. In 2009 Aciman was Visiting Distinguished Writer at Wesleyan University. His influences include Marcel Proust and James Joyce.
Aciman was born in Egypt in a French-speaking home where family members also spoke Italian, Greek, Ladino, and Arabic. At the age of fifteen e he moved with his family to Italy and then to New York when he was nineteen.
He holds a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Lehman College and an A.M. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.
Antonio Monda is an Italian writer, film director, essayist, and professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He is the The Artistic Director of the Rome Film Fest and Artistic Director of the literary festival Le Conversazioni and the co-founder and curator of Open Roads/New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center.A columnist for Vogue and RAI, a regular contributor for the Criterion Collection and the cultural pages of La Repubblica, he is the author of La Magnifica Illusione (winner of the Efebo d'Oro as the best cinema book of 2003), The Hidden God, Do you Believe?, Hanno preferito le tenebre, Lontano dai sogni, Il Paradiso dei lettori innamorati, the collection of photos and short stories Nella Città Nuda and the novels Assoluzione, L’America non esiste and La casa sulla roccia. His work has been translated into eleven languages. Antonio Monda is also the director of several documentaries as well as the feature film Dicembre, which was presented at the Venice Film Festival, and has curated exhibitions for MoMA, Lincoln Center and the Guggenheim Museum. He graduated in Law at the University La Sapienza, Rome.