Cassavetes Contender: ‘Ivansxtc’

The idea to update Leo Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” came to helmer Bernard Rose long before the death of CAA agent Jay Moloney, but when “Ivansxtc” bowed industryites couldn’t help but draw comparisons.

Rose had been a client of Moloney’s and the pic follows the demise of a talent agent who indulged in similar vices.

But as unrelated as “Ivansxtc” might be to Moloney’s tragedy, much of the $300,000 digi pic’s elements were inspired by reality.

As Rose likes to say: “In digital cinema your girlfriend is the star. Your backyard is the set. Your life is the script.”

That’s close to what happend on this film. Rose’s partner Lisa Enos made her acting debut in “Ivansxtc” and also co-wrote and produced the pic, which is nommed for four Spirit awards.

Despite critical success, “Ivansxtc’s” close-to-the-bone depictions of Hollywood caused such a stink around town, say the filmmakers, that it’s harmed the film’s distribution.

Not settling for lemons, though, Rose and Enos are making lemonade by selling the pic’s DVD at

“We didn’t set out to do that but we were forced into it,” says Rose, adding that the DVD sales are so brisk he almost doesn’t want to make a video deal.

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