Ivansxtc review

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Bernard Rose is a bitter man. In his `Director's Statement' for Ivansxtc (pronounced ""Ivan's Ecstasy""), the British helmer of slick horrors Paperhouse and Candyman announces that ""film is dead"", ranting that ""the 35mm camera is chained by money to corporations.""

But why all the vitriol? Well, his 1997 adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was recut by another director, so a frustrated Rose decided to go DIY and make this shot-on-digital sideswipe at the shallow harshness of Tinseltown life, loosely based on another Tolstoy tale, The Death Of Ivan Ilych. Surprisingly, the resulting story of an agent's diagnosis with a terminal tumour and his final, drug-fuelled blow-out, manages to avoid the pit of self-indulgence. This is thanks to both a painfully powerful central turn from Danny "Son of John" Huston, and Peter Weller's hilarious portrayal of a sleazy A-list star.

Okay, so this gritty DV curio is hardly going to lead a revolution in movie-making. But, taken as a sly one-finger at the big suits, it's worth a look.

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