Posts Tagged ‘Leonid

10
Mar
08

Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!

Quint dances along with Steve Coogan’s Sexy Jesus in HAMLET 2 at Sundance!

March 5th, 2008 From Ain’t it Cool News

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here finally catching up on my Sundance coverage. In the last month I’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 films theatrically and another half dozen screeners to add onto that pile.

Of all those movies only about a fifth were damn good and of those only a handful that are what I’d call fuckin’ good or better.

HAMLET 2 made the cut.

Steve Coogan. If that name puts a smile on your face, then get in line now. This is Coogan at his finest. If his name got a “Huh?” response, then that’s okay, too. You’ll be a new fan of his once Hamlet 2 hits and then, I’m sure, you’ll dive into the hilarious world of Alan Partridge.

While Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost broke over here Mr. Coogan was biding his time.

In HAMLET 2, Coogan plays an Arizona drama teacher. In his mind he’s a great actor and in the opening moments of the movie we’re treated to his highlight reel, which consists of bit parts on infomercials and speaking roles in STD treatment commercials.

He gets paid next to nothing, his wife (played by Catherine Keener) is always bitchy to him (she married him and waited for his bit acting career that never came), he’s got a live-in hanger-on (played almost silently by David Arquette) and he’s struggling in a school system that doesn’t value the arts. His classroom has been moved into the cafeteria where his lectures have to compete with the lunch ladies noisily cooking.

In short, his life’s a mess, but he still has a hopeful smile on his face, an almost childlike optimism.

In his new year of teaching he is given a class of delinquents. The irony is not lost on him or the movie as he studies films like DANGEROUS MINDS in order to learn how to make the transition from his pure white-bread theater snob class to a multi-cultural class just trying to get an easy A.

This same year, he finds out that the school has finally cancelled theater and that situation brings the class together to achieve Coogan’s game plan: He’s going to put on a play that is so popular, so good, that the school board will be forced to reinstate the class.

In the past, Coogan’s plays all consisted of stage remakes of popular movies. We’re treated to a glimpse at one of his previous works, a stage version of ERIN BROKOVICH. He has a heated conversation with his biggest critic, the high school newspaper’s entertainment reviewer (a child no older than 12). He asks this kid why he always gets a negative review. The kid simply states that his shows suck. Of course, Coogan breaks down and the kid has to console him and gives him a piece of advice. Do your own thing, don’t just copy everybody else.

With that in mind, Coogan is inspired to create his masterpiece… HAMLET 2. But… everybody dies at the end of Hamlet, right? Aha! Well, that’s where the time machine comes in.

Seriously, the final version that ends up onstage is something they should tour with. You have time travel, historical figures coming in to change the events of the first HAMLET and a dance number involving Christ called SEXY JESUS.

And yes, his main inspiration to sequelize HAMLET is that he thought Shakespeare’s original was too much of a bummer and he wanted a chance to make it happier. He takes the tragedy out of HAMLET, essentially.

I can’t write this up without mentioning a particular actress. One of the secondary stories is the difficulty Keener and Coogan are having conceiving a child. So they go to a sperm bank and while they’re waiting, Coogan bumps into a cute nurse, played by Elisabeth Shue. His mouth hangs open and he says, “Excuse… but you look exactly like my favorite actress Elisabeth Shue.” She smiles and says, “I am Elisabeth Shue.”

And so it goes. She quit acting and became a sperm bank nurse in Arizona… and she’s not a throwaway joke. She is a real character in the movie, playing herself, and boy does she still have it. I’ve had a crush on her since my childhood viewings of ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and KARATE KID. She’s looking great and is as charming as she’s ever been.

The script was whip-smart, as should be expected from Pam Brady. She works with Trey Parker and Matt Stone a lot on South Park, the South Park movie as well as TEAM AMERICA. She doesn’t disappoint here.

The flick just finished filming in November, so the cut we saw in January I’m sure is still rough. There was a little drag in the middle, but I’m sure they’ll tighten the film a bit before release. Even if they don’t, it’s already hilarious.

It was the biggest pick-up at Sundance, with Focus Features dishing a reported $10 million for it, so you know you’ll see a big release. This’ll be one Sundance movie I”m sure will be at a theater near you no matter where near you is.

Anyway, that’s it for HAMLET 2. Still more Sundance/Santa Barbara flicks to go through before I’m done. Keep an eye peeled, squirts!

Leonid Rozhetskin via Wikipedia 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Rozhetskin 

Leonid Rozhetskin`s Homepage 

http://leonidrozhetskin.net/ 

Continue reading ‘Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!’

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23
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskins Trivia on IMdB.com

Date of Birth

4 August 1966, St. Petersburg, USSR

Birth Name

Leonid B. Rozhetskin

Trivia

In 2007, he co-founded a movie production company, L+E Productions, with Eric Eisner. Eisner is the son of Michael Eisner, the former Chief Executive Office of The Walt Disney Company. L+E Production’s mission is to finance and develop feature-length films.

He is also a board member and founding shareholder of City A.M., London’s first free daily business newspaper which covers news on the markets, global and local business as well as contemporary lifestyle features. City A.M. is read by over 100,000 professionals throughout London.

From October 2001 until January 2005, served as Executive Vice Chairman of Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company and the world’s largest miner of nickel and palladium metals. He led the company’s efforts on transparency, corporate governance and external investment, including the acquisition of a controlling interest in Stillwater Mining Company, a U.S. miner of platinum and palladium metals. He also pioneered an investment of $1.2 billion to acquire a 20 percent interest in Gold Fields of South Africa. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Norilsk Nickel.

In 1998, he left Renaissance Capital to co-found the independent venture capital firm, LV Finance. The advisory clients of LV Finance included international financier George Soros and founder of CNN Ted Turner. The company invested in a number of highly successful start-up ventures in the media and telecommunications industry, most notably, MegaFon, the third largest mobile phone operator in Russia. He sold his interest in LV Finance in 2003.

In 1995, his focus shifted from the law to financial ventures. He was part of a group that founded Renaissance Capital, Russia’s largest and most successful domestic investment bank. While with Renaissance Capital, he led the firm’s participation in listing the first Russian company on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1992, Leonid Rozhetskin returned to Russia to open his own law firm, representing clients such as the International Finance Corporation (a division of the World Bank), Credit Suisse, Morgan Grenfell, and The Moscow Times.

From 1992 to 1994, Leonid Rozhetskin worked as an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell and White & Case, both U.S. law firms.

From 1990 to 1991, Leonid Rozhetskin was a law clerk for Judge Stephen V. Wilson, a federal judge in Los Angeles, California.

In 1990, he graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University with distinction in 1987.




																
07
Feb
08

Join Leonid Rozhetskin on Xing.com

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07
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Sundance: The Scoop on ”Hamlet 2”

 Via Entertaiment Weekly

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If you’re a fan of Steve Coogan, that King Leer of a motormouth British comedian who starred in 24 Hour Party People, came to Hollywood (remember his glorious performance as his own trumped-up self in Jim Jarmusch‘s Coffee and Cigarettes?), and saw his crossover American career do a nosedive before it had even gotten off the ground, then you won’t want to miss Hamlet 2, in which he’s like the son of Peter Sellers crossed with a more handsome version of Tiny Tim. This is the movie that Coogan cultists have been waiting for — the one that finally lets him cut his inner wildman loose, only within a structure that lends method to his madness.

He plays a godawful failed actor, despised by his wife (a scalding Catherine Keener), who has become a self-loathing high-school drama teacher, and Coogan turns this pathetic yet insistently egomaniacal creature into a loser-nerd of genius. He mugs, he glowers, he hams up his telling of jokes too corny-horrible to print, and — most mesmerizingly — he comes on like a sarcastic geek acting like a swishy queen trying to pass himself off as a ”normal” heterosexual Middle American.

Make no mistake: The gay/not gay camp-theatrical weirdness is built right into Hamlet 2, which Andrew Fleming has directed and cowritten like a broader, more looney-tunes version of Waiting for Guffman. To save his job, Coogan’s lowly drama instructor writes and stages a musical sequel to Hamlet 2, in which a time machine returns the great Dane to life, so that he can save himself and everyone else in the play. As opening night approaches, the show becomes hugely controversial, because it is blasphemous (and demented) in almost every way. Yet really, it’s a high school musical that would make John Waters proud. You may wonder what could possibly be funny about a song called ”Raped in the Face,” but when you see this and other numbers, such as ”Rock Me Sexy Jesus,” they give off such a happy blast of cluelessness that the show seems to be rediscovering — through its very offensiveness — the unhinged glory of showbiz.

Hamlet 2 doesn’t have the exquisiteness of Guffman; with Coogan as its maestro/vamp in chief, it’s more like a one-man demolition derby of bad taste. But you will laugh, and, with any luck, you will become a believer in Steve Coogan, who in this film proves as uproarious an anarchist as Sascha Baron Cohen. At Sundance 2008, that’s what independence looked like.

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29
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Miami Herald

‘Hamlet 2’ is big buy at Sundance Fest

By RYAN PEARSON, MIAMI HERALD

AP Entertainment Writer

Actress Elisabeth Shue poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Shue is at Sundance promoting the feature film

 

Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

Actress Elisabeth Shue poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Shue is at Sundance promoting the feature film “Hamlet 2” in which she has a starring role.

 

 

PARK CITY, Utah

Steve Coogan is the toast of Sundance. The British actor stars in the biggest acquisition of the film festival, “Hamlet 2,” a bawdy comedy directed by Andy Fleming that takes politically incorrect jabs at inspirational teacher flicks like “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”Focus Features bought the film for a reported $10 million in the wee hours of Tuesday after a premiere the night before at which it was greeted with loud laughter.

Catherine Keener co-stars as Coogan’s unhappy wife, and Elisabeth Shue plays herself, under the concept that she has given up on Hollywood and moved to Tucson, Ariz., to become a nurse.

“Choke,” starring Sam Rockwell, sold to Fox Searchlight with trade papers putting the deal at $5 million. Actor-director-writer Clark Gregg adapted the screenplay from “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk’s 2001 novel.

In announcing the buy, the studio described the dark comedy’s themes as “mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbelly of Colonial theme parks.”

“Henry Poole is Here,” a spiritual comedic drama starring Luke Wilson, sold for a reported $3.5 million to Overture Films. “We think we managed to find a little gem,” Overture CEO Chris McGurk said Wednesday.

Before the festival, filmmakers and sellers had hoped the halt in production due to the writers strike would put pressure on buyers. It turned out that distributors were actually more reticent than usual.

“There did seem to be more caution this year, I guess, as opposed to prior years,” McGurk said. “There were some instances of buys that were made last year that with 20/20 hindsight, that amount of money shouldn’t be paid.”

Among documentaries, HBO Documentary Films purchased “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” for U.S. distribution, while the Weinstein Co. got international rights. “The Black List” sold to HBO, and “American Teen,” a cinema verite crowd favorite tracking four high school seniors, went to Paramount Vantage for about $1 million.

The Sundance Film Festival runs through Sunday.

Continue reading ‘Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Miami Herald’

29
Jan
08

Interview with the Cast of Leonid Rozhetskins co-produced Hamlet2

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Via Entertaiment Weekly

 

Sundance Q&A: The Cast of ”Hamlet 2

Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and David Arquette talk about their high-school-set comedy, likely to remain the fest’s biggest acquisition

 

 

 

STEVE COOGAN (left, with Catherine Keener) on Hamlet 2: ”Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can”

By the eighth day of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, director Andrew Fleming’s comedy Hamlet 2 remained the biggest acquisition, selling to Focus Features for $10 million. The comedy revolves around a high-school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who stages a sequel to Shakespeare’s play in order to save his department from budget cuts.

On the afternoon before the film’s premiere, EW.com chatted with Coogan and his fellow cast members David Arquette and Elisabeth Shue at EW’s photo studio. (Sadly, Hamlet 2 costar Catherine Keener did not make the trip to Sundance this year.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you excited for tonight’s premiere?
DAVID ARQUETTE: I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m nervous. It seems like people have been enjoying it, though.

And you play…?
ARQUETTE: I play Gary. I’m the guy who lives at [Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener’s] house. They only let me live there because I have a car. They don’t have a car. I drive them everywhere. I think I’m supposed to be a trainer in it. I’m very fitness-oriented, but I don’t have any actual clients. I have a small part. I only have about 10 lines in it. And I think one of my scenes got cut, too. I was sad. I play a dumb guy in it. Which I tend to do well.

Well, you’re playing against type.
ARQUETTE: I hope so. [Laughs] Or maybe I’m just dumb.

[Arquette gets called to get his picture taken. Elisabeth Shue steps up.]

Hello. Are you enjoying Sundance?
ELISABETH SHUE: It’s really fun to be back. The most moving time I’ve had at Sundance was two years ago because Davis [Guggenheim, Shue’s husband] premiered An Inconvenient Truth [which he directed] here. That will go down as the most meaningful trip to Sundance. I remember the first screening of An Inconvenient Truth, they gave it a standing ovation. I was crying so much. It still makes me cry thinking of it.

It’ll be hard to measure up to that ever again.
SHUE: I know, it’ll never measure up to that, but it doesn’t have to. I love this movie, actually. It’s really funny. Unique and different. And I just think Steve is a brilliant comedian. I want to do another comedy — and with him. [She points to Coogan, who’s been sitting nearby, ostensibly minding his own business.] I want him to write me a movie where we can be lovers. [Laughs]

[To Coogan] Would you like to join our conversation?
SHUE: Don’t you think he’s hot?

He’s not bad.
STEVE COOGAN: I’m not too pale for a Brit.
SHUE: With his new haircut! He’s got really funny hair in the movie.
COOGAN: It’s kind of ’80s: long, wavy. I had this long, fair hair. It was dyed and bleached and straightened. And then it got so brittle I just had to get rid of it all.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: [To Shue] How did you like working with the great Steve Coogan?
ELISABETH SHUE: Ah…. It was really incredible. It’s so easy.
STEVE COOGAN: We had great chemistry.
SHUE: We did.
COOGAN: We still have great chemistry.
SHUE: I want him.
COOGAN: I want her.

Well, don’t let me stand in the way. [To Coogan] So, what about working with the wonderful Elisabeth Shue?
COOGAN: It was tremendous and stupendous and chemically…
SHUE: Destabilizing.
COOGAN: Destabilizing!
SHUE: He plays this has-been actor whose most important role was being in the background of a herpes commercial.
COOGAN: I was in the foreground of a herpes commercial! The herpes commercial was all about me. And I’ve had a cold sore in real life. Carry on.
SHUE: And then, I play myself, Elisabeth Shue. I’ve quit the business and I’ve gone to Tucson, Ariz., to become a nurse. He comes into the fertility clinic where I work and he’s so excited to see me, because he’s a great lover of film and he thinks I’m just so wonderful.
COOGAN: I’m obsessed with Elisabeth Shue. I metaphorically and literally kiss her ass. And I invite her to my school to give a talk. It’s very exciting. She says some very explicit things. I won’t tell you what they are. But they’re shocking for fans of Elisabeth Shue.

You play yourself — or a version of yourself?
SHUE: It was definitely a version of myself. The first day, I was really self-conscious and nervous because I didn’t know anybody. There were no rehearsals so I just showed up and started shooting. But Steve made me feel comfortable because he was so excited to see me in the scene that it just made me laugh every single time. [She laughs just talking about it] I felt like I understood the version I was supposed to play once he started to react to me.

[To Coogan] And your character — was he fun to play?
COOGAN: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I play kind of a heroic fool whose heart’s in the right place, but he’s a bit of a jackass and he tries to save the drama department at his school by writing a sequel to Hamlet.
SHUE: It’s a musical!
COOGAN: It’s a happy version. He figures that the original HamletHamlet 1 — it’s a bit depressing when everyone dies at the end. So he wants he want to do a more uplifting, positive, Hollywood version.
SHUE: Jesus is in it. He comes in a time machine.
COOGAN: Jesus Christ. And Albert Einstein. He travels through time and meets a bunch of people.

Wow, so it’s like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?
COOGAN: It is like that, except that…it doesn’t star Keanu Reeves.

How does it feel to be at Sundance with a comedy?
COOGAN: Great. [At film festivals, there tends to be a lot of] interesting, quirky, odd, individualistic, kind of esoteric films that make you sad. Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can. It’s a kind of optional-thinking movie. You don’t have to think too much.
SHUE: Not at all.
COOGAN: Not at all, actually

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25
Jan
08

The Media Critic on Hamlet2, coproduced by Leonid Rozhetskin

Focus Features Acquires Hamlet 2

Written by on January 22, 2008 – 2:35 pm

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Andrew Fleming’s comedy Hamlet 2, a world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Focus Features CEO James Schamus and president Andrew Karpen made the announcement today.
Directed by Andrew Fleming (Dick, Threesome) from an original screenplay he wrote with Pam Brady (”South Park,” Team America: World Police), Hamlet 2 is produced by L+E Pictures’ Eric Eisner & Leonid Rozhetskin and Aaron Ryder (Memento, The Prestige). The movie was executive-produced by Bona Fide partners Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa (Election).

In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan of Night at the Museum) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The film also stars David Arquette (the “Scream” movies), Melonie Diaz (soon to be seen in Be Kind Rewind), two-time Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler (”Saturday Night Live”), and Elisabeth Shue as herself.

Schamus and Karpen commented, “Andrew Fleming and an extraordinary filmmaking team have brought everyone at Focus an amazing New Year’s present. We can’t wait to share this riotously inventive movie with the whole world.”

Eisner said, “We’re extremely excited to work with the talented Focus group on ‘Hamlet 2,’ and we look forward to a bright future for the movie after what was an exceptional response at Sundance.”

Rozhetskin added, “‘Hamlet 2? is the most auspicious imaginable launch for L+E Pictures.”

L+E Pictures was formed in 2007 by Eisner and Rozhetskin with a mission to finance and develop feature-length films. L+E Pictures provides equity financing for films with budgets in the range of $5 to $30 million dollars.

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