- Actors: Danny Huston, Peter Weller, James Merendino, Adam Krentzman, Lisa Enos
- Directors: Bernard Rose
- Format: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Tartan Video
- DVD Release Date: 30 Jun. 2003
- Run Time: 91 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00009PBX1
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,105 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The death of Hollywood talent agent Ivan Beckman (Danny Huston) causes a minor shake-up in the industry, leading to a subtle power-play between various friends and colleagues. But how did Ivan die? Everyone assumes it to be the result of a drug overdose, yet a flashback reveals that Ivan has been diagnosed with cancer, and over the rest of the film we follow him during his final days, attempting to tell his friends and family about his condition, putting together a final movie deal, and also stepping up his party-hard lifestyle.
From the Back Cover
Outstanding and daring, Bernard Roses exploration of Hollywoods seamier side tells the story of a man who has everything, yet finds that this can never be enough. Ivan Beckman has the Midas touch. Hes secured the deal of his career, and life in Hollywoods fast lane has just got one hell of a lot faster. But when fate delivers a cruel and unexpected blow, Ivan is sent spiralling out of control. Soon he starts living his life of hedonistic pleasure parties, women and drugs to the extreme. And while others re more than willing to join in the fun, only Ivan knows the occasion.
A modern day interpretation of Tolstoys classic short story The Death of Ivan Ilyich, this brilliant expose of Hollywoods cut-throat world of deal making and breaking features a truly inspired performance from Danny Huston.
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The truly tragic nature of this story is Ivan's realisation that he fights for success and the accompanying status through a simple need to be loved, but that he has been looking for love in all the wrong places. The frightening speed with which his colleagues and 'friends' dismiss his death serves as testement to the fact that success and status may prompt popularity and interest from others, but that it is no more than the success and position itself that is loved. Through his pursuit of success, Ivan has distanced himself from his family, surrounded himself with fickle friends who simply use him to further themselves (and who are so bound up with his status that he simply cannot tell them of his illness) and rendered himself utterly alone. At the time of his death the only thing that truly loves Ivan (and that Ivan truly loves) is his pet dog. An extraordinarily heartbreaking film.
It doesn't leave you with anything but a sad, reflective glimpse into the life, and death, of one man who must respresent many in our modern isolated culture. It's a touching gem of modern US cinema.
If you haven't seen this film yet, buy it.
It's a double edged sword, both a portrayl of the sprawling consumerist Hell that is Hollywood and how it can corrupt the soul, and a show of how life really actually means very little when you look at the bare bones (scuse the pun) of it.
Ivan is a hotshot Hollywood hitter; he has a nice car, loads of cocaine, the girls... what more could you ask for? Well, something to get up for in the morning one suspects.
Danny Huston as Ivan is fantastic, giving the right amount of oompf to his party boy persona as well as managing to plumb the depths of a man with nothing inside without going into eye rolling, breast beating histronics.
The film rolls from the top (big film offers, lots of feet on desk, 80s style back slapping from men with too much gel in their hair) to rock bottom. Which is dying in hospital with barely anyone knowing or caring.
It's a rollercoaster trip and will leave you feeling like you're very, very hollow. It will disturb most. Shot like bi-polar disorder (lots of dizzying, colourful imagry when Ivan's on form, and murky, slow tracking at the end) it can be a little too hyperactive, but make it through and you will be rewarded with a performance that should have made more waves with filmgoers than it did. But then again, no one really wants to see cold harsh truth as entertainment, and this is as cold and harsh as it gets.
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