Ismail Merchant, 1938-2005

From the New York Times, Ismail Merchant has died.

“[Ismail] Merchant and [James] Ivory, an American, made some 40 films together and won six Oscars since forming their famous partnership in 1961 with German-born screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Their hits — especially E.M. Forster adaptations like ‘A Room With a View’ (1985) and ‘Howards End’ (1992) that won three Oscars apiece — helped revive the public’s taste for well-made, emotional period drama.

In an interview with The Associated Press last year, Merchant said Merchant-Ivory films worked because they captured great stories.

‘It should be a good story — speak about a time and place that is permanent,’ he said. ‘It should capture something wonderful with some great characters whether it’s set in the past or in the future.'”