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[RIP] Memories of Ismail Merchant

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  • chiayuan25
    Memories of Merchant Thursday May 26 1:32 PM ET Gregarious producer Ismael Merchant combined a crafty sense of Bollywood economics with highbrow artistic flair
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2005
      Memories of Merchant
      Thursday May 26 1:32 PM ET

      Gregarious producer Ismael Merchant combined a crafty sense of
      Bollywood economics with highbrow artistic flair over the course of a
      lengthy and illustrious career.

      By Todd Gilchrist, FilmStew.com

      Filmmaker Ismail Merchant passed away Wednesday in London at the age
      of 68. The producer and director, who collaborated with partner James
      Ivory on such films as Howard's End and The Remains of the Day, was
      previously ill and recently underwent surgery for abdominal ulcers.

      Merchant was born in Mumbai, India and began his film career in 1960
      with The Creation of Woman, forming the next year what turned out to
      be a career-long partnership with Ivory. With Merchant producing and
      Ivory directing scripts by German-born screenwriter Ruth Prawer
      Jhabvala, the pair went on to collaborate on more than 30 films
      altogether, netting six Oscars and establishing a distinctive,
      sumptuous style for their collective output. The charming and ever-
      smiling Merchant was known for his cost-effective approach to
      production, as well as a fiercly dedicated attention to the way his
      films were marketed.

      Room With a View, Howard's End and The Remains of the Day rank among
      Merchant's most famous and celebrated efforts, but more recent
      projects found the Merchant-Ivory style falling out of fashion.
      Jefferson In Paris, Surviving Picasso and Le Divorce, an attempt at
      contemporary if sophisticated comedy, all performed poorly at the box
      office, and earned less acclaim than previous efforts. Meanwhile,
      although 2000's The Golden Bowl was considered by critics to be a
      return to form and earned a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival,
      it also foundered at the box office.

      In addition to the Merchant-Ivory titles, the producer's legacy will
      be tied to a precedent-setting role in filmmaking. Merchant was one
      of the first internationally prominent Indian producers, and
      transcended his background to become one of contemporary era's most
      well-reputed international producers. Merchant also occasionally
      directed projects himself, including 1999's Cotton Mary, and had
      plans to direct a musical titled The Goddess, featuring none other
      than Tina Turner as the Hindu mother goddess Shakti.

      His final producing effort, The White Countess, will see distribution
      in November courtesy Sony Classics.

      http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/fs/20050526/111713956500.html
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