The proprietor: the screenplay and story behind the film
Unique among film books, Ismail Merchant's The Proprietor not only includes the screenplay, it also shows the creative and practical process in close-up. In finding material for his European-American directorial debut, Merchant wanted "extraordinary, unbelievable things to happen" through the seemingly random events of everyday life such as: a meeting with the great French film actress Jeanne Moreau; a magnificent apartment in Paris, which was to become Merchant's own home; and the intricacies of the traditional French property auction. As the script developed with writers Jean-Marie Besset and George Trow, the story grew to become one about a seminal writer of the '60s who realizes that she no longer recognizes the world she helped invent. With the incomparable Moreau, the international cast also stars Sean Young, Sam Waterston, Nell Carter, Austin Pendleton, Marc Tissot, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Pierre Vaneck, and Charlotte de Turckheim. Included here are hilarious details from the production such as how Merchant impersonated the Maharaja of Jodhpur to gain access to a hotel and how, unable to find a suitable Parisian apartment, an entire scene was suddenly shifted onto a barge in the middle of the Seine. With a foreword by Moreau, lavish illustrations, screenplay, synopsis, and a special section on the making of the film, The Proprietor reveals some of the secrets of the acclaimed Merchant Ivory working method. It also shows how, despite the rigors of making an important artistic statement today, the final result can live happily ever after.
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ACHILLE AYMERIC actors ADRIENNE looks Adrienne Mark ADRIENNE'S APARTMENT Adrienne's mother asked Assistant auction Barbara Hendricks Besset BOBBY buyers Call Me French camera candle Cannes cast Charlotte de Turckheim chateau Christopher Cazenove crew director dress ELLIOTT Eurimages FAN FAN festival film film-makers France FRANCINE Franz Legendre garden GHOST OF FAN HARRY BANCROFT Hollywood Humbert Balsan Ismail Merchant Jeanne Moreau Jefferson Jefferson in Paris Josh Hamilton JUDITH Lola Maharaja Marc Tissot Merchant Ivory Merchant Ivory Productions Michel Castaing MILLY NADINE night Nino Cerruti Paris party PATRICE and VIRGINIA PATRICE's Picasso portrait producer Proprietor RAYMOND remake restaurant rue de Verneuil scene screen screenplay script Sean Young shooting shot smiles Surviving Picasso taxi television tell things told TOWN HOUSE Virginia Kelly walks watching William O'Hara Willy Kunst WOMAN York YOUNG ADRIENNE