Comparison between the theatrical version (included on the British Blu-ray as "Director's Cut" in 24fps and as "Producer's Cut" in 60i/30fps) and the Extended Producer's Cut.
Background information on Ivansxtc
Director Bernard Rose is probably best known for his 1992 production Candyman. A few years later, he dedicated himself to material by Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina with Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean. The present Ivansxtc from 2000 is also based on a story by Tolstoy, the short story The Death of Ivan Ilyich. In the last moments before his untimely death, the protagonist comes to the realization that he did not spend his life in a meaningful way.
This theme was brought to life as a Hollywood agent, played by the busy Danny Huston. Peter RoboCop Weller is in a prominent supporting role and producer Lisa Enos plays Huston's (i.e. Ivan's) love interest. Enos was a documentary filmmaker at the time and in the course of her relationship with director Rose, the two of them made the plan to develop Ivansxtc as an indie project. What was special about it was that they created their first feature film, completely shot with then new Full-HD digital cameras, BEFORE Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
On September 28, 2020, the first worldwide Blu-ray was released by the collector's label Arrow Video in Great Britain. The theatrical version is included here in a version by the director and one by the producer, which we will briefly discuss at the beginning of the report. In any case, the third version is more exciting from our point of view, because with the "Extended Producer's Cut", an approximately 18-minute longer film version is on board.
The new Extended Cut of Ivansxtc
Producer Lisa Enos makes it clear in the audio commentary that this is really only a bonus version, which is more or less due to Covid-19. In the course of preparing for the Blu-ray premiere, she would have had a little more time to dig through the archive material due to the pandemic. In this context, one can note that a few transitions around the new material seem a bit rough. But all in all it's already a fully-fledged film version, which can be quite interesting for fans.
Enos' own character, Ivan's girlfriend Charlotte, now gets more attention in several scenes. This sometimes deepens the relationship problems in a meaningful way, but admittedly it's not always really necessary. Especially an additional fight in the middle of the movie stands out and the previous scene at the pool is almost completely alternative. The entanglement with the influential Don West, portrayed by Peter Weller, whom Ivan is jealous of for a while, becomes clearer.
Nudity and drug use are already present in the theatrical version, but with the addition of Charlotte you get to see a bit more of that. Anyway, there were no censorship problems with this film, which is more for an art-house audience and thus also outside of the age rating system suitable for the masses in America, for example.
It is noticeable that almost all scenes are accompanied by alternative material, i.e. they are often different takes or replace shorter shots of the theatrical version. The exact duration of the new scenes is therefore even longer than the pure runtime difference would suggest. The bonus material also includes particularly detailed raw material of the core scene from the middle of the film, in which Ivan confronts Don West.
Runtimes are ordered as follows: Producer's Cut on the British Blu-ray / Extended Producer's Cut on the British Blu-ray
A few words about the third version on the disc, the "Director's Cut". In principle, this is the same version as the "Producer's Cut" and BOTH can also be called the theatrical version. As noted at the end of the booklet, the film ran in cinemas as a master in 24fps (frames per second) and so did director Bernard Rose also provide it for the Arrow Blu-ray.
The film was shot in 60i and producer Lisa Enos provided the original master in 30fps. Her "Producer's Cut" runs a few seconds longer than the "Director's Cut", which is partly due to the fact that you have 5 seconds more black screen at the beginning. In minute 55, the black screen is again a bit longer in the DC as Ivan goes to sleep. During the credits, the PC is again a bit longer. Apart from the different framerate, there are no other differences in content.
But the difference in the picture is still very obvious. The Director's Cut has a yellow tinge, but looks more detailed than the Producer's Cut.
12:21-12:27 / 12:21-17:28
After the discussion in the office, the theatrical version shows an additional shot of the street.
In the extended cut, there is instead a longer additional scene with Barry. He goes to producer Lloyd Hall and has a longer conversation with him about the next steps. Lloyd hasn't been aware of Ivan's death at all and after a short faltering period it becomes clear that both of them are only interested in how the business will go on. Barry promises to talk to Danny and coordinate it with Don West. Afterwards, Barry flirts with a woman driving next to him while he is driving and thus repeatedly postpones the promised conversation with Danny.
In the audio commentary, Lisa Enos notes that this was removed for timing reasons, so to speak, because both the Charlotte she portrays and Ivan himself (after his initial death) appear later in the film for the first time. This additional storyline at the beginning would have distracted even more from the actual plot.
Extended Producer's Cut 300.5 sec (= 5:01 min) longer
28:20-28:38 / 33:21-33:56
The Extended Cut has an alternative entry point at the party: the conversation between Tiffany and Ivan is different. Only in the extended cut is she annoyed by the fact that many scenes with her would probably only have been cut from the film if she hadn't given Don West a blow job. Ivan talks to her about the editing of all kinds of films.
When Ivan leaves, the theatrical version runs through in one take, while the EC switches to the take there.
Extended Producer's Cut 17,2 sec longer
31:35-32:01 / 36:53-36:54
In extended cut, there's only a short shot of Don West.
The theatrical version lets Danny here react a little to provocations from Don West. Finally, however, he leaves him alone and signals that Danny may sit down. Ivan leads him aside earlier.
theatrical version 24,7 sec longer
32:12-33:18 / 37:05-43:35
In the theatrical version, you only see Charlotte a little longer and Don West asks if there is a problem. This leads to a soft transition to the following scene in the pool. Here you can see the short first minute with alternative shots compared to the extended - more about this in the next section.
The extended cut instead offers lots of entertainment at the table, Don West and Danny discuss extensively. Danny mentions earlier works by West and how he imagines it to be similar. Charlotte is bored and Ivan walks away.
In the next room, he talks to Francesca, who introduces Ivan to Jessy and Melanie. Also sitting at the table is Avi Lerner, who according to the audio commentary was probably the reason why the scene was missing from the theatrical version. He would probably not have released the footage at the time, but in retrospect he would have given his OK. Anyway, the conversation splashes around a bit, Ivan flatters Avi a bit and wants to secure international distribution rights for the film.
The pool scene afterwards is different. Before Charlotte reads the script, Ivan brings her a drink, massages her a bit and generally gives her a little more attention. In addition, Charlotte is probing a bit more to see if Ivan would have read her last script at all. Ivan probably hasn't done that and is talking a bit nonsense.
Extended Producer's Cut 324.2 sec (= 5:24 min) longer
33:21-33:34 / 43:38-43:55
Short alternative course of events before Charlotte jumps into the pool. At the beginning, the long shot of Charlotte is a bit longer in the theatrical version, then he bumpyly interprets the content of Danny's script. In the Extended, Charlotte instead brings out more about her own writing and wonders again whether Ivan would have read it at all.
Extended Producer's Cut 3,9 sec longer
33:39 / 44:00
Charlotte swims a little longer in the theatrical version. But in the EC the follow-up shot is a few frames earlier.
theatrical version 0,5 sec longer
33:46-34:28 / 44:07-45:38
Alternative takes in the pool until the moment when Charlotte gets out. Only in the Extended does Charlotte refer to the previous additional scene with Francesca. She says that she noticed how Ivan looked at the girls (with whom he spends his last night towards the end of the movie). Again Charlotte asks if Ivan knows what her last script was about and Ivan talks himself out of it with nice words. Since she also says that Don West would take her seriously and would be interested in her last book, it becomes clearer where Ivan's jealousy in the hotel scene with Don West actually comes from.
Extended Producer's Cut 50,5 sec longer
34:39-35:49 / 45:49-48:12
The end of the conversation is also completely alternative and more detailed in the Extended. At first, it takes a long time until Ivan follows Charlotte inside at all. There, she is a bit more sensitive and explains to Ivan that she has a lot of work at the moment and wants to be sure that she can give Don the right, final notes the next morning. Ivan sits there thinking a little bit longer.
Extended Producer's Cut 72 sec (= 1:12 min) longer