“Did you ever dream you had a friend, Alec? Someone to last your whole life and you his.”
In the 50th year since the publication of E.M. Forster’s influential novel ‘Maurice,’ award-winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed talks to Oscar and BAFTA-winning film director, producer and screenwriter James Ivory who reflects on the significance of Forster’s writing in his own work. Ivory looks back on his experience of adapting ‘Maurice’ for the screen and shares previously unseen telegrams which he exchanged with Forster in the 1960s when they attempted to meet in person.
Although not published until 1970, ‘Maurice’ was written in 1914 during a time when love between men was not only stigmatised but illegal. ‘Maurice’ is an astonishingly frank, brave and passionate account of a man’s sexual and political awakening. It is a founding work of modern gay literature, and today it continues to offer a stark and powerful reminder of oppressive societal attitudes towards gay people.
James Ivory is a multiple Academy Award-nominated filmmaker—a prolific director, writer, and producer. He started his career as a documentary filmmaker before beginning his nearly six-decade journey in narrative filmmaking with ‘The Householder’ (1963). Among his films are ‘Shakespeare Wallah’ (1965); ‘Quartet’ (1981); ‘Mr. & Mrs. Bridge’ (1990); ‘Jefferson in Paris’ (1995); ‘The Golden Bowl’ (2000); ‘The White Countess’ (2005); ‘The City of Your Final Destination’ (2009); ‘Heat and Dust’ (1983); ‘Surviving Picasso’ (1996); ‘Maurice’ (1987), winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival; and three films for which Ivory received Best Director Oscar nominations, ‘A Room with a View’ (1985), ‘Howards End’ (1992), and ‘The Remains of the Day’ (1993). Most recently, he wrote the screenplay for ‘Call Me by Your Name’ for which he was awarded the 2018 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and for which he won the BAFTA and the Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Award winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed presents ‘Front Row’ on Radio 4, ‘Newswatch’ on BBC1 and the podcast ‘How I Found My Voice’ for Intelligence Squared. She won the British Broadcasting Press Guild award for Audio presenter of the Year 2020. Her TV documentaries include ‘Art of Persia’ for BBC4, the first major Western documentary series to be filmed in Iran for 40 years. She was previously a correspondent and news anchor on Channel 4 News, a reporter on ‘Newsnight’, the ‘Today’ programme and the BBC’s Los Angeles Correspondent.
We’ve partnered up with City Books in Brighton so you can buy a copy of ‘Maurice’ by E.M. Forster.
Please note, that you will need to buy your event ticket separately to buying the book. By clicking the affiliated links below you will be taken to bookshop.org and will be supporting both a local independent bookshop and Charleston.
You will be emailed a ticket with a viewing link and password immediately after purchasing your ticket.
The event premieres on Sunday 11 April at 7pm, and is available on demand until midnight on Sunday 16 May.
The Charleston Festival Edit is an online festival celebrating creativity and ideas. Join us for the last weekend of lockdown for three special events also including The Waves: 90th Anniversary Performance and Doing the Numbers: A Feminist Economics. If you would like to attend all three events, you can book an All Events ticket and save £5.
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Artwork by Molly Russon