Merchant Ivory

USA | 2023 | 110 min. | Stephen Soucy

Over their 44-film partnership, Ismail Merchant and James Ivory brought decades of high-quality dramas to Seattle filmgoers. Now, join Ivory—still kicking at 95 years old—and a litany of the company’s greatest collaborators as they look back on the indelible mark they made on queer and arthouse cinema.

Director/Producer/Writer Stephen Soucy scheduled to attend.

“Anyone with a fondness for these movies and for tales of what might be described as a gentlemen guerrilla filmmaking operation will find immense pleasure here.”—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Throughout the 1980s & ’90s, Merchant Ivory Productions became synonymous with a certain type of prestige arthouse cinema distinguished by exquisite cinematography, lush settings, gorgeous costumes, charming music, complex characters, worldly sensibilities, and intelligent scripts, often adapted from literary sources. The two principals, director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, first met at the Indian Consulate in New York City. Though from starkly different backgrounds, the couple soon became inseparable and embarked upon a fruitful professional and personal partnership, though the latter was “...understood, but never talked about.” With the key additions of novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and composer Richard Robbins, the core creative consortium achieved critical mass. Yet even after their films’ achieved wide popularity, Merchant Ivory Productions often relied on shoestring financial arrangements, leading one prominent performer to lead an on-set industrial action. Filmmaker Stephen Soucy delves beneath the company’s classy mystique, uncovering the many tribulations encountered on-set during filming through forthright, funny anecdotes recounted by cast and crew. Featuring interviews with Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, and many others, Merchant Ivory provides a vital and compelling perspective upon a unique partnership that produced 43 groundbreaking films over four decades.

Dan Doody

  • Director: Stephen Soucy
  • Principal Cast: James Ivory, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Tama Janowitz, Peter Cameron, John Pym, Anna Kytherotis, Vanessa Redgrave
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 110 min.
  • Producer: Stephen Soucy, Jon Hart
  • Screenplay: Jon Hart, Stephen Soucy
  • Cinematographers: E. Matthew Cady, Sefa Karatekin, Adam Lewis, Jean-Marc Selva
  • Editors: Jon Hart
  • Music: Ryan Homsey
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • US Distributor: Cohen Media Group