RINO FILMS
PRESENTS


AN ENOS/ROSE PRODUCTION

An Artistic License Films/Zenpix Inc. Release



ivans xtc.





 

 




Contact: Peter Kindlon
Keith Sherman & Associates
1500 Broadway ~ Suite 505
New York, NY 10036
212-764-7900 tel
212-764-0355 fax
peterk@keithshermanassociates.com









Director’s Comments

Walking through the Art Institute of Chicago I was struck by something, the gallery, which concentrates on European paintings, is arranged in chronological order. The flat two dimensional early Religious works give way to the Renaissance experiments with depth and perspective, which in turn gives way to the overblown work of Nineteenth century genre paintings, ugly, gaudy canvasses with observation and subject matter taken entirely from convention.

And then comes the Impressionists. The breath of fresh air is palpable. No more sylphs dancing in fake ancient settings. Now we get Manet's girl friends - dressed and undressed as they are, not some paying patron or king. We see Van Gogh's bare room - the place in which he actually lived. The lily pond in Monet's back yard. The light fairly shines from these canvasses - the real light, as it might fall on a haystack at different times of the day.

This is the heart of the digital revolution. Most people are not constantly backlit in real life. At night the 'moonlight' does not come from a high crane with powerful arc lights that cast a blue glare as bright as any baseball stadium. Women do not wake up in bed with flawless hair and make-up. Industrial Cinema is a legitimate form - but it is stuck in rigid conventions. Hamstrung by money, like traditional oil painting, industrial cinema has entered its decadent phase.

In digital cinema your girlfriend is the star. Your backyard is the set. Your life is the script.

-BERNARD ROSE







IVANS XTC. SYNOPSIS


Los Angeles, California. Ivan Beckman (DANNY HUSTON), the hottest young talent agent in Hollywood has been found dead. His fellow agents at Media Talent Agency scramble to cover up the ugly story. Was it drugs? Something worse? Clients must be placated, especially Don West (PETER WELLER) a gun-toting homophobic star. Ivan's funeral is disrupted as a fight breaks out between angry young director, Danny McTeague (JAMES MERENDINO), and Barry Oaks (ADAM KRENTZMAN), his agent. Danny’s contract has been terminated to prevent Don West from leaving the agency. As Ivan's coffin slides into the mausoleum wall the movie winds back in time. The audience meets Ivan and discovers how charismatic, attractive, charming and admired he was by all. Ivan woos Danny McTeague to be his client, flatters his way into Don West's limousine and cooks up a big movie deal at a party. Ivan achieves all this without ever having read the script, as Charlotte (LISA ENOS) his ambitious girlfriend complains. The deal is about to unravel the next day, but Ivan successfully puts it together without skipping a beat. Signing superstar Don West, ranks Ivan king of the agency. In the flurry of congratulatory callers comes a telephone call of a different nature. The call is from the nurse (ALISON TAYLOR), with whom Ivan flirted and teased the previous day at his insurance medical. The Nurse asks, if Ivan can come in and see the doctor at once? She advises him to bring a friend. The news is disclosed that Ivan has a tumor in his lung and it is going to kill him. Ivan spins into a vicious cycle of drugs, girls and drugs which quickly climaxes at a chilling 'party' in a penthouse suite, presided over by Don West in full Roman Patrician purple. Ivan is celebrated as the Prince of Hollywood but is unable to confide in anyone but his therapist the truth about his fatal condition. A fight with his sister (JOANNE DUCKMAN) and father (ROBERT GRAHAM) over Charlotte, further alienates him. Ultimately, the only people that Ivan can tell are two whores who share his drug addiction. Ivan observes the sympathy on their faces and warns them not to pity him. He threatens one day it will happen to them, their time will come. Ivan wakes screaming on his living room floor. He screams and cannot stop. Police break in and restrain him. Ivan is rushed to the hospital. He cannot breath upon and is given an emergency tracheotomy. When Ivan awakes in the recovery ward, he is breathing with a ventilator. In a delirious series of half understood visions, a parade of doctors, hospital administrators, clergy members and the continual glow of the TV screen, Ivan’s only comfort is the warm gestures made by a sensitive nurse (CAROLEEN FEENEY). The movie climaxes as Ivan reaches the moment we all fear, facing death.







PRODUCTION STORY of "IVANSXTC"

By Bernard Rose (from his personal journal)

March 1995
I attend the John Huston Artist's Rights Foundation dinner as the guest of a big star. All the great and good of Hollywood are there.

Jay Moloney, my agent, sits at the top table flanked by Lew Wasserman, Steven Spielberg and Michael Ovitz. During one of the many lulls in a dull evening, Jay approaches our table. Jay is beaming as he delivers some major news; Ovitz is leaving Creative Artists Agency to take over Universal Studios and Jay, barely thirty is going to step into Ovitz's shoes and head the most powerful talent agency in the world.

No one doubts him for a moment.

November 1995
I am in Paris to meet with actresses for Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." The trains and airport baggage handlers are all on strike. I am supposed to go to London but I am stuck in my hotel. I read Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" to pass the time. Afterwards I wander around Paris aimlessly for hours. Eventually I call the producers of "Anna Karenina" and tell them that "Ivan Ilyich" will make a better movie, as it is a far more compact and harrowing story. The next day the strike ends, the sun comes out and I go off to Russia to make "Anna Karenina."

December 1996
I am in London looping the actors and finishing the sound work on "Anna Karenina." Meanwhile the producers have hired a new editor to re-cut the film. When I discover this I fly back to the states, but I am barred from the cutting room. A three hour long movie is eventually released at an incomprehensible hour and forty-five.

Jay Moloney has been fired from CAA. The reason given is cocaine addiction.

October 1998
The movie I have been writing at Universal ,"The Thief of Always," is stalled in development hell. They are demanding a re-write by the fashionable young writer of the day despite his total lack of interest or suitability for the task. I am trying to get them to hire Matthew Jacobs ("Paperhouse"), who I believe will solve their 'problems'. I bend to their demands, not wanting to be fired again or appear 'difficult'.

With time on my hands, I remember "The Death of Ivan Ilyich". After the failure of "Anna Karenina," I cannot imagine who will want to finance another Tolstoy adaptation. I think of ways to update the story, make it more contemporary. The image of Jay Moloney comes to mind. I try to find out where he is now, what happened to him. Nobody knows. He has been so successfully banished by CAA that it is hard to imagine how important he once was in that town. This strikes me as extremely powerful and chilling stuff, the speed with which he fell from grace.

I tell this idea to Adam Krentzman - my other agent at CAA, and he likes it a lot. Adam lets me hang out in his office for research while he rolls calls. I realize that no one in the conventional movie business will ever finance this film.

January 1999
Lisa Enos shows me a documentary she produced for A&E network called "The Angel of Bergen Belsen. It is the story of Luba Traczynska, a Polish Jew, who hid fifty-four children for four and a half months from the guards at an extermination camp. It was shot in five different countries and cost $189,000. It was shot digitally. I am very impressed by the picture quality and want to know more.

The re-write for "Thief of Always" arrives. It is utterly unusable. The studio agrees to let Matthew Jacobs do the job.

March 1999
Lisa Henson arranges for Lisa Enos and myself to go to the Sony High Definition Center for a demonstration of the new High Definition Digital cameras. With us are some Directors of Photography. They are very cynical about what they see, pooh-poohing the new system as vastly inferior to film. Indeed, the tests are unimpressive visually. Then something happens. There is a direct comparison test; the same shot filmed with 35mm and then captured digitally. I notice one of the DPs is mistaken about which is which, he recovers quickly claiming not to have said what he meant, but he could not tell the difference.

Lisa Enos and I go to a rental house to see the actual camera. It is a revelation. It seems to capture pristine crystal clear images in near darkness. It is as simple to use as a consumer video recorder. Lisa and I immediately see our opportunity. We can make a feature film for the same price as a documentary using this new camera. "The Death of Ivan Ilyich " done in modern Hollywood is the ideal subject.

May 1999
I finish the screenplay. The Hollywood stuff is all pretty much taken from my direct experiences and works well. When Ivan becomes ill and the story deals with his tumor and all his dealings with the medical profession, I am at a loss. Lisa's mother Joan had died of cancer a year previously. The whole experience is still fresh in Lisa's mind and she contributes to this aspect of the screenplay, making it harrowing.

Lisa calls Steven Nemeth at Rhino films. She tells him we want to make a digital film for a tiny budget but we will not even show him the script. Steve comes over right away and we pitch him the idea. Miraculously he says yes on the spot. Lisa then raises the rest of the money from a consortium of equity investors.

June 1999
Danny Huston is our first and only choice to play the part of Ivan. Danny, the son of John Huston, has been a personal friend of mine ever since I first came to Los Angeles and made "Candyman" with his then wife, Virginia Madsen. Danny, like Jay Moloney, has those rare unfakable qualities - charm, charisma and an unbridled joi de vivre. He is an absolutely magnetic personality and a talented director. I have always tried to convince Danny to take up acting seriously. I finally succeeded in getting him a good role in "Anna Karenina", but when the butcher's knives came out to destroy that film they cut every moment of charm and humanity out of it. Out went Danny's performance as Stiva - Anna's brother. Danny read "ivans xtc." and immediately understood it.

Next was Don West - megalomaniac movie star. Who would dare play him? Adam Krentzman suggested his client Peter Weller. I assumed he would be a nightmare to approach, all promises and holding out, but Peter was a delight, committed immediately and we were up and running.

The idea was to cast people in roles that were as close to the reality of their lives as possible. We recruited Adam Krentzman to play a CAA agent, Hal Lieberman to play a producer, Angela Featherstone, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Valeria Golino to play movie stars, doctors to play doctors, and cops to play cops.

When it came to the part of Ivan's girlfriend, Charlotte, Lisa Enos seemed ideal for the role. She was a little nervous, taking such an important role and producing the movie. Lisa made me promise her that if she sucked I would tell her, so she could fire herself and we could begin again.

July 1999
Shooting begins. The speed and ease of the HD Cam is astounding. The sound department is always running to catch up with Ron Forsythe and myself who are the sole members of the camera team. We never need to supplement natural light levels. Shooting is so fast that the light always matches and the actors never get bored. The cast and crew total nine people so we all can fit into two SUVs and race around town unnoticed.

Peter Weller kicks the film into high gear with a hysterical turn as Don West on his way to a premiere. We get amazingly beautiful shots inside a limousine at night with no extra lighting and no cumbersome camera rig or cutaway car. Peter comes out with amazing, uncensored improvisations that challenge everybody to live up to his level of energy. The script is left behind as a pale memory. We can shoot and shoot, getting some life into the thing. All the dead practices of waiting around in trailers and waiting for trucks to be unloaded and waiting for everybody's energy to be sucked out of their soul just do not apply here. It is incredibly liberating. This is when we realize we are on to something.

We shoot the post-premiere party at "Le Deux Café" off of Hollywood Boulevard. Because we do not light the restaurant, people forget that we are filming. The management continues to serve its patrons while we shoot the scene (they sign releases on their way in to dinner). An internet journalist, Jeffrey Wells who at the time runs a column called "Mr. Showbiz" writes about the shoot and appears as himself in the scene. He is amazed by the quality of the images that are literally lit by candlelight. We shoot a ten-page scene with eleven speaking parts in four hours.

Adam Krentzman begins his part as Barry Oaks in a scene at Ivan's funeral where Danny McTeague (played by director James Merendino), the angry young director confronts his agent for selling him down the river for a more important client. Adam takes me aside to tell me that Universal is firing me from "Thief of Always". I am shocked as they profess to love the script. Adam tells me they now love it so much they want to hire a more important director. I have worked on this screenplay for three years.

The shoot progresses well. Lisa does not suck as Charlotte, she is funny and brittle. Lisa somehow manages to keep this incredibly complex (over fifty speaking parts) shoot running on practically no money.

August 1999
Lisa and I cut the movie on an Avid in our house. Danny's performance emerges from the material as a rock at the center of the picture. We cut away everything that does not follow his state of mind.

November 1999
We screen the first cut of "ivans xtc.." at Guaranteed Media, where we will mix the sound. Adam calls me the morning of the screening and says, "Jay Moloney hung himself today."

I am shocked and saddened by the news, and our small audience watches the movie in stunned silence.

"ivans xtc.." has subsequently been shown at festivals in Toronto, Berlin, Santa Barbara, Jerusalem, Pusan and London.







CAST AND CREW BIOGRAPHIES

Danny Huston
Danny Huston, son of legendary director John Huston, was conceived during his father's production of "Freud" and born during "Night of the Iguana". Huston attended the London International Film School and shortly after made his directorial debut with MR. CORBETT'S GHOST starring Paul Scofield. Huston then directed MR. NORTH starring Anthony Edwards, BECOMING COLETTE starring Klaus Maria Brandauer and THE MADDENING starring Burt Reynolds. Huston's acting credits include: LEAVING LAS VEGAS (Mike Figgis), ANNA KARENINA (Bernard Rose), SPANISH FLY (Daphna Kastner), TIMECODE (Mike Figgis) and NIGHTVISION (Mike Figgis).


Peter Weller
Peter's film starring credits include: Richard Lester's BUTCH AND SUNDANCE: THE EARLY YEARS, Sidney Lumet's JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, Alan Parker's SHOOT THE MOON with Diane Keaton and Albert Finney, George Cosmatos' OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN (for which Peter won the Best Actor award from the International Film Festival of Paris), the title role in the now classic ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI, Michael Apted's FIRSTBORN, Abel Ferrara's film of Elmore Leonard's CAT CHASER, SHAKEDOWN with Sam Elliot, 50/50 with Robert Hayes and directed by Charles Martin Smith, and created the amazing metal man in the original film, ROBOCOP.

Peter was nominated for the Canadian Oscar for his performance as William Lee in David Cronenberg's film of the William Burroughs' literary classic NAKED LUNCH, also starring Judy Davis. He also starred in the Addis/Wechsler production of Michael Tolkin's THE NEW AGE, again opposite Judy Davis, and executive produced by Oliver Stone. Peter has starred in DECOY, SCREAMERS, Woody Allen's MIGHTY APHRODITE, PAR-DELA LES NUAGES directed by Michaelangelo Antonioni and TOP OF THE WORLD with Dennis Hopper. Weller starred with Balthezar Getty in SHADOW HOURS and FALLING THROUGH with Roy Scheider.

Peter has a BA from the University of North Texas, attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts on a scholarship, studied for three years professionally in New York with Uta Hagen at H.B. Studios, and was inducted into the Actors Studio by Lee Strassberg and Elia Kazan. He spends his free time traveling, studying French and Italian, and playing a very blase jazz trumpet.


Bernard Rose
Bernard Rose was born in London in 1960. He was a prodigious filmmaker from a very early age, winning the BBC young filmmakers' contest at the age of fifteen. From 1980 to 1983 Rose attended the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England. While still a film school student Rose became one of the pioneering music video directors at the early days of MTV. Rose's videos include: RED RED WINE - UB40 (1983), RELAX - Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1983), SMALLTOWN BOY - Bronski Beat (1984). Rose then directed two full-length television films for the BBC, SMART MONEY (1985) and BODY CONTACT (1986).

Rose made his feature film debut with PAPERHOUSE (1988) which won the Grand Prix at the Avoriaz Film Festival. Rose subsequently made the WWII drama, CHICAGO JOE AND THE SHOWGIRL (1989), starring Keifer Sutherland. Rose then moved to the United States to make CANDYMAN (1992) starring Virginia Madsen from a screenplay by Rose based on a short story by Clive Barker. CANDYMAN, recently named one of the "10 scariest films of all time" by the London Times, has spawned several sequels.

IMMORTAL BELOVED (1994) starred Gary Oldman and Isabella Rosselini and was Rose's Beethoven biopic. Rose's adaptation of ANNA KARENINA (1996) starring Sophie Marceau, became the first major western movie to shoot in Russia. Rose, with his partner Lisa Enos, produced, wrote and directed ivansxtc (2000) which has been shown at the Toronto and Berlin film festivals.


Lisa Enos
Lisa Enos began her career in the cutting room at Wieden & Kennedy Advertising, editing promos for such prestigious clients as Nike & Coca-Cola. She quickly advanced to a producorial position and then left advertising to become a documentary filmmaker. Her first documentary, YOU'RE HURTING ME, TOO (1996) a child's point of view on the subject of domestic violence led to Enos writing and directing the award winning MORE LIFE LESSONS (1996), a series of four narrative films for classroom distribution. Enos wrote and produced the documentary, THE ANGEL OF BERGEN-BELSEN (1997), a harrowing tale of children saved from death at the concentration camp. The film aired on A& E Network/The History Channel. Enos directed COPYCAT CRIMES (1998 A&E) an anti-censorship essay on the subject of violence in cinema and its effect on America's youth. In 1999, Lisa Enos co-authored (with Bernard Rose) a screenplay based on "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy about an agent who dies of lung cancer. Enos also produced and co-starred in the picture ivans xtc. (2000).







"ivansxtc" Cast
(In order of appearance)

Rosemary Kramer………………………………….. Caroleen Feeney
Naomi………………………………………………. Sarah Goldberg
Lucy Lawrence……………………………………... Morgan Vukovic'
Phil…………………………………………………. Jay Lavender
Judy Tarzana................................................……….. Carol Rose
Melvin .........................................................………...Steve Dickman
Missy..............................................................………Wendy Rhoads
Barry Oaks....................................................………. Adam Krentzman
Avery.. .........................................................……….. Kate Connor
Ken.............................................................…… ……Ken Stephens
Joe………...............................................................…Jay Itzkowitz
Mary.............................................................………..Julia Verdin
Brad East......................................................……….. Alex Butler
Vicky West..................................................…………Ruby Rose
Don West………….....................................................Peter Weller
Danny McTeague........................................…………James Merendino
Rabbi #1………..............................................………Boris Gorbis
Joanne Duckman..........................................……….. Marcia Beckman
Robert Graham.............................................…………Sid Beckman
Charlotte White ...........................................…………Lisa Enos
Francesca Knight..........................................………..Heidi Jo Markel
Ivan Beckman ..............................................………..Danny Huston
Nurse Jackie..................................................………. Alison Taylor
Marie Stein....................................................………. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen
Reporter.........................................................………. Pierre Tisserand
Ted Zimblest…................................................…….. Dan Ireland
Margaret Mead...............................................……… Lisa Henson
Lloyd Hall......................................................……….Hal Lieberman
Bonnie Shane.................................................……… Marilyn Heston
Mr. Dog..........................................................……….Jake the Dog
Constanza Vero..............................................……….Valeria Golino
Amanda Hill...................................................……… Angela Featherstone
Derek..............................................................……… Bobby Bell
Dr. Gold.........................................................……….Vladimir Tuchinsky
Melanie........................................................……….. Victoria Silvstedt
Bad Bobby..................................................... ………Ken Enos
Jessie.............................................................. ………Crystal Atkins
Anita............................................................... ………Sofia Eng
Kimmi .........................................................………...Courtney Kling
AAA Man....................................................…………Sam Lingenfelter
Ira Reuther...................................................………...Mike Gold
Cashier.........................................................……….. Megan Carson
Mrs. Mrinalini .............................................……. Pria Chattergee
Cop #1….........................................................……... Tommy Harris
Cop #2..........................................................…………Jerry Kaona
Paramedic....................................................……….. Todd Williams
Slim.............................................................…………Sharon Hall
Dr. Meyer....................................................…………Dino DeConcini, MD
Hilda............................................................…………Camille Alick
Rabbi #2.......................................................…………Ira Newborn







The "Hollywood Types" Who Appear As Actors in "ivansxtc"

Jay Itskowitz
Head of Newscorp (Fox) Legal Department (Europe)
Lisa Henson
Producer of "The People vs. Larry Flynt" & former head of Columbia Pictures
Stephan Nemeth
Head of Rhino Films, a division of Warner Bros.
Producer of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Why do Fools Fall in Love?"
Hal Lieberman
Producer & Former Head of Universal Studios
James Merendino
Director of "Livers Ain't Cheap," "SLC-Punk" and "Magicians"
Adam Krentzman
Agent- Creative Artists Agency
Dan Ireland
Director of "Passionata," "Velocity of Gary" and "Whole Wide World"
Jeffery Wells
"Mr. Showbiz" columnist







"ivansxtc" Production Credits

RHINO FILMS PRESENTS

AN ENOS/ROSE PRODUCTION

IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS OF MICHIGAN

DIRECTOR: BERNARD ROSE

PRODUCER: LISA ENOS

SCREENPLAY: BERNARD ROSE & LISA ENOS

BASED ON "THE DEATH OF IVAN ILLYICH" BY LEO TOLSTOY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
STEVEN NEMETH
KENNETH ENOS
CAT VILLIERS
LISA HENSON

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
BERNARD ROSE
RON FORSYTHE

SOUND DESIGN:
GUARANTEED MEDIA
ELMO WEBBER

CO-PRODUCER:
HEIDI JO MARKEL
GALINA TUCHINSKY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
TORSTEN LESCHLY
MARK HARRIS