James Ivory listens to screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in New Dehli (above)/James Blue listens to director Roberto Rossellini in Houston (below)
On Oct. 10 at 7:00 PM, three time Oscar nominee James Ivory comes to Portland to introduce MAURICE (1987), starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves. Handpicked by Ivory for the Hollywood event, MAURICE is on the short list of films for which he served as both screenwriter (with Kit Hesketh-Harvey) and director.
James Ivory grew up in Klamath Falls and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1951. Famously well traveled, he lives in New York and London, and does not often visit Portland. He’s coming this time to see an extremely rare film, and to help celebrate the life and career of its director, James Blue, who was Oregon’s first Oscar nominated director, and Ivory’s UO classmate.
On Oct. 11 at 1:00 PM, Richard Blue, the brother of James Blue, will introduce James Blue’s THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, winner of the Critics Prize at Cannes in 1962.
James Blue grew up in Portland and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1953. James Ivory remembers working with him building sets for a college drama production. Did they have any idea they would become Oregon’s first Oscar nominated directors?
And that they both would launch careers from outside this country?
I learned about James Blue directly from James Ivory in 2009. Since that time, it has become easier for Oregonians to learn about this forgotten Oregon artist. Thanks to the James and Richard Blue Foundation, James Blue’s papers have joined James Ivory’s as part of the University of Oregon’s Special Collections in the Knight Library.
But who was James Blue?
On Oct. 11 at 2:30 PM, following the screening of THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, there will be a panel discussion titled James Blue, a life in conversation.
Using archival photos from the Blue Collection to structure the narrative, three panelists will retrace his life from Tulsa to Portland to Eugene to Paris, then on to his professional breakthrough in Algiers, where he made THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, his subsequent embrace of documentary, and his dual identity as filmmaker and educator.
The panelists are:
Richard Blue, the brother of James Blue
James Dormeyer, Blue’s classmate at L’Institut des hautes études cinématographiques in Paris and a close friend
Gill Dennis, the screenwriter of Blue’s 1969 Oscar nominated doc, A FEW NOTES ON OUR FOOD PROBLEM, and a close friend.
Earlier on Oct. 11, at 11:00 AM at the Hollywood, we will screen James Ivory’s AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PRINCESS (1977), starring Madhur Jaffrey and James Mason. Ivory chose AUTOBIOGRAPHY specifically to complement THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, which shares its theme of post colonial identity crisis.
Tickets can be purchased online at hollywoodtheatre.org.
The Mid Century Oregon Genius screening of THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE is co-sponsored by The James and Richard Blue Foundation.
Here’s more information about the Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series.
Fiscally sponsored by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, the Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series is funded by grants from Kinsman Foundation and Miller Foundation.
More information about the parallel career tracks of these two Oscar nominated directors can be found here.