Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Avon Theatre proudly presents

Special screening of
Followed by a Q&A with Mr. Ivory

Tuesday, May 6 – 7:30pm
Carte Blanche Members – FREE / Members $15 / Nonmembers - $25
Tickets go on sale for members only on April 1,
and for nonmembers on April 8.
Tickets can be purchased at the Avon box office during showtimes
(203-967-3660, x3), or call our administrative offices
(203-661-0321) during daytime hours.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward give "the performances of their careers" (Judith Crist) in Merchant Ivory's adaptation of Evan S. Connell's two novels Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, artfully combined into one screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Walter and India Bridge (Newman and Woodward) are a Midwestern American couple struggling to keep up with the changing world around them in 1930s America. Mr. Bridge, a stout-hearted, staunch paterfamilias, quietly lords over his children -- Ruth (Kyra Sedgwick), Carolyn (Margaret Welsh), and Douglas (Robert Sean Leonard) -- and his wife, who is warm and kind but lacks the independence to forge an identity apart from her husband. As the music, the mores, and the politics of Kansas City are transformed in front of them, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge attempt to keep up with the drama of a changing society within their own family: Ruth wants to go to New York and become an actress; Carolyn is determined to marry a man whom her father deems unsuitable; Douglas is embarrassed by his mother's attentions and rebukes her attempts at intimacy. Shot on location in Kansas City and in Paris (in this film, Merchant Ivory add the Louvre to their peerless list of shooting sites), the film was powerfully received at the box office and was greeted with rave reviews. The New York Times wrote that Newman and Woodward's roles were "the most adventurous and stringent of their careers." Woodward received an Oscar nod and the New York Society of Film Critics Award for her performance: her Mrs. Bridge is like an American Mrs. Dalloway, all warm smiles on her daily errands but seeped with a depth of feeling that her husband forever fails to understand. The filmmakers were similarly lauded for a breakthrough in their first film with a Midwestern American theme: "With the quiet assurance of a perfect work of art," one critic wrote, "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge sweeps all other contenders off the screen to become the best movie of the year."

ABOUT JAMES IVORY: One of the legendary directors of contemporary American cinema, James Ivory was born in Berkeley, California and educated at the University of Oregon, where he majored in Architecture and Fine Arts. His first film, which he wrote, photographed and produced, was Venice: Theme and Variations, a half-hour documentary made as a thesis film for a degree in cinema from the University of Southern California. Ivory's evocation of the city was named by The New York Times in 1957 as one of the ten best non-theatrical films of the year. In 1961, Ivory teamed up with Ismail Merchant to form Merchant Ivory Productions. Their first theatrical feature was The Householder, based on an early novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who also wrote the script. The seventeen theatrical films that Ivory has made for Merchant Ivory Productions include the classic Shakespeare Wallah, and more recent films such as the two Henry James productions, The Europeans, and The Bostonians, Heat And Dust, A Room With A View, Maurice, Slaves of New York, Howard’s End, Remains Of The Day, Jefferson In Paris, Surviving Picasso and The White Countess.

See you at the Avon!

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