JPT News

Le Divorce Director Returns to Pickens Theater

Le Divorce,’ Director Returns to Pickens Theater
By Loren King

Director and Oscar-winning screenwriter James Ivory sure loves Newport and the Jane Pickens Theater.

The legendary director of such screen classics as “A Room with a View” (1985), “Maurice” (1987) and “Howards End” (1992) has visited the JPT several times over the last few years to screen his films and chat with the audience. Ivory’s most recent visit on March 11 came just one week after he won the Oscar for his adapted screenplay for “Call Me by Your Name,” a summer romance set in Italy starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer. The honor distinguished the 89-year-old Ivory as the oldest competitive Oscar winner in Academy history.

During that visit, Ivory screened one of his masterpieces, “The Remains of the Day” (1993). Afterward, during a Q&A hosted by Chuck Hinman of Rhode Island National Public Radio, Ivory asked the crowd, “Are you O.K. with me coming back? [“The Remains of the Day”] was a big hit. The next one may be a flop. But I’m bringing it because I like it.”

Ivory makes good on that promise Dec. 2 when he’ll appear at the JPT with his 2003 comedy “Le Divorce.” Adapted by Ivory and his frequent collaborator, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, from Diane Johnson’s popular 1997 novel, the film received largely mixed reviews when it was released. The screening is at 1 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. conversation with Ivory again hosted by Hinman.

Although many of Ivory’s films are rich with wry observational humor, “Le Divorce” is a more traditional culture-clash comedy. Kate Hudson is in winning form as Isabel Walker, a young woman who arrives in Paris from Santa Barbara to visit her half-sister, Roxie (Naomi Watts). Pregnant with her second child, Roxie is coping with a rocky marriage to a French artist (Melvil Poupaud) from an insufferable bourgeois family with Leslie Caron as the matriarch.

Caron is just one of an ensemble of delectable supporting players. “Le Divorce” also boasts Stockard Channing and Sam Waterston as Roxie and Isabel’s American parents, and Glenn Close as an expatriate American writer with a past.

With Roxie overwhelmed by domestic travails, Isabel escapes to explore Paris on her own, engaging in a series of social and romantic adventures that allow her to reinvent herself. The comedy of manners is also a love letter to romance-infused Paris, where the movie was shot.

Ivory’s films often examine the idea of finding oneself abroad, most notably in “A Room with a View,” about a young British woman and her aunt (Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith) who vacation in Italy.

Before “Le Divorce,” Ivory directed two other notable films set in France. “Quartet” (1981) starred Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani and Alan Bates and took place in 1927 Paris, and “Jefferson in Paris” (1995) followed Nick Nolte as Thomas Jefferson when he was the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI against the backdrop of the French Revolution.

Ivory won his first Oscar earlier this year, but he was nominated three times for directing, for “A Room with a View,” “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day,” all made in collaboration with producer Ismail Merchant. Their professional and personal partnership lasted 44 years, from 1961 until Merchant’s death in 2005. During that time, Merchant Ivory Productions made more than 40 films, with many regarded as masterpieces.

They were often joined by Jhabvala, the third member of their celebrated trio, who scripted 23 Merchant Ivory films, winning Oscars for her screenplays for “A Room with a View” and “Howards End.” She died in 2013. In his Oscar acceptance speech, Ivory paid poignant tribute to his two longtime friends and creative collaborators.

FlipKey picks The JPT as One of 30 New England Tourist Attractions That Deserve More Hype

Proud to announce that The JPT was chosen by FlipKey as One of 30 New England Tourist Attractions That Deserve More Hype.  We always thought that was true but happy to be acknowledged.....

Most travelers can recite the top New England tourist attractions pretty easily – walk the Freedom Trail in Boston, drive through Vermont during fall foliage season, go hiking in Maine, etc. But you’d be surprised at how many five-star New England tourist attractions are just off the beaten path. We’ve mentioned our favorite hidden gems below to create the ultimate list of New England attractions that deserve more hype.

Check it out:

Fashion Forward

Kathy Staab bought the Jane Pickens Theatre in Newport, Rhode Island in 2004, initially simply as an investment while still active in her long and successful career in fashion and retail. Over the years she had held various merchandising executive positions at Brookstone (Gardeners Eden), Talbots, Jordan Marsh and Macy’s where she developed a clear sense of current trends and customer demands. When exactly the theatre became not simply an investment but her passion is unclear but today she’s using all the skills she learned in retail to revitalize and remake one of the oldest theatres in North America.

Staab said the challenge is to “not just show films but create experiences for our clientele. The goal is to make our events memorable and unique in their presentation, approach and/or mix of media. And we try to never take ourselves too seriously as we build events that inspire, challenge or make the experience just plain fun. Our objective is also to utilize this historic building as a tool for fundraising for a variety of non-profit causes within our community.”

SOURCE: Digital Cinema Report

Daffodillion Bulb Giveaway at The JPT This Week

Daffodil bulbs at The JPT?
Daffodillion, fast approaching its goal of having 1 million daffodils blooming throughout Newport, is once again distributing free daffodil bulbs to Newport residents and businesses. Free Daffodil bulbs will be distributed at The JPT Monday October 17th to Thursday October 20th from 4:00 to 7:00.
The complimentary packets of 2 dozen bulbs have a retail value of nearly $20.

Art House Theater Day

Art House Theater Day is our industry's very own celebration of the physical venues where film lovers can share in their mutual love of cinema. A very special all day event!

Art House Theater Day will celebrate the cultural role that The JPT plays in our community. We also plan to educate the public on a national scale about what it means to be an art house theater: fostering film appreciation, supporting emerging artists, and exhibiting independent and original filmmaking. Art House Theater Day (AHTD) is modeled after Record Store Day, a wildly successful consumer holiday that is a driving force behind the recent vinyl resurgence. With parties, live performances, and limited-edition items incentivizing massive attendance, Record Store Day reminds patrons of the vitality of their local record stores, and of the value of having a local, brick-and-mortar space to connect with music and their community. The Art House Convergence, an international consortium of independent, community-based, mission-driven movie theaters, is pleased to announce the first Art House Theater Day, taking place on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Over 160 theaters will participate in this nationwide celebration of the cultural and community growth that art house theaters promote.

Art House Theater Day
Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Kudos from the Newport Stylephile!

The Bevvies: The Pickens is the only theater town serving up craft cocktails, so while you can opt for a trusty Mojito or Dark n' Stormy, consider one of their specials like the Pom Fresco (vodka, cucumber, pomegranate, Prosecco and fresh lemon), Jane Pickens (gin, Pimm's, lavender and fresh lime), Gotham City (barrel aged Manhattan), Selma (tequila, habanero, cilantro, grapefruit and fresh lime) or the Sailor's Cider (Newport's own Thomas Tew Rum with cider). Me? I chose a simple split of Prosecco. Cheers!

SOURCE: Newport Stylephile

COMING SOON View our full calendar of events

Friends of the Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center.