Abel Ferrara - C/D

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I'd put this on I Love Film but that place seems dead usually... anyway, Bad Lt. is silly, but watching the Funeral right now for the umpteenth time and man, what a near perfect picture. Cast alone is amazing - this was my intro to Vincent Gallo, great supporting turns by Anabella Sciorra and Isabella Rosellini, Christopher Walken doing his gangster thing, a skinny assholish Benicio Del Toro, and possibly Chris Penn's (RIP) finest moment...? why does this guy work so little? His body of work seems surprisingly slight...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:10 (fifteen years ago) link

also contains one of my favorite Walken monologues (towards the end)

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:11 (fifteen years ago) link

produced by Russell Simmons!

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Um he works so little cuz he's made a ton of bad movies.

I remember finding The Funeral deadly boring. His version of the Body Snatchers is a snooze too. Dangerous Game is nearly unwatchable and New Rose Hotel IS unwatchable. Fear City is eh sub-Miami Vice level thriller and China Girl is only a little better. Bad Lieutenant is over the top, but great performance by Keitel none-the-less and it sorta works. Ms. 45 on the other hand was great and King of New York is even better.

Not seen Driller Killer (but I've heard goodish things) the Kelly McGillis one and he's got a couple of things on IMDB I'd never even heard of but that don't look promising. Anyway the guy is definitely prolific enough. That's certainly not his problem.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:19 (fifteen years ago) link

for a guy you don't like you've sure seen a lot of his movies, heh. I dig King of New York - I admit I haven't seen much of his other stuff (I do remember enjoying Crime Story when it was on).

This is the only other movie I've ever seen Jerry Horne from Twin Peaks in (as the Commie speaker at the beginning)

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:22 (fifteen years ago) link

new rose hotel is a fine film, alex

ham'ron (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Rumor has it Ferrera has had drug problems which may have ahem contributed to some of the more lengthy gaps in his filmography.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:25 (fifteen years ago) link

"for a guy you don't like you've sure seen a lot of his movies, heh."

Ha I REALLY REALLY loved King of New York and kept hoping that his other stuff was going to have that same spark.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:28 (fifteen years ago) link

"This is the only other movie I've ever seen Jerry Horne from Twin Peaks in (as the Commie speaker at the beginning)"

Wait you are kidding, right? HE'S IN THE WARRIORS!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:33 (fifteen years ago) link

haha - no way! I haven't seen the Warriors in at least 15 years.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Gallo's really got an odd role in this movie, I wonder why he took it - it seems antithetical to the rest of his carefully constructed public persona/career.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah he did a couple of weird "indie film" parts before he became "VINCENT GALLO" and all that. He said some pretty nasty shit about Ferrera in interviews after the film came out though. How much of that was serious and how much was for show, eh who knows?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 03:59 (fifteen years ago) link

he was in Goodfellas?! wtf, never noticed that before.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 04:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm pro-Bad Lieutenant, think Keitel hits an amazing tone throughout and that the bash-you-over-the-head-with-it redemption trope is actually worth the brow-furrowing Ferrara's doing over it throughout

have been curious about Driller Killer for years, but I don't rent (or buy) many movies

Thomas Tallis (Tommy), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 04:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Bad Lt. is one of those movies where my wife and I look at each other 1/3 to half the way thru and just start laffing at how incredibly stupid the shit is (other examples: Leaving Las Vegas & Usual Suspects)If you've been raised Catholic, that crap in BL is just so crude/over-the -top it's so not funny that it becomes HI-larious. Ferrara is an interesting director in much the same way that Sam Fuller was, but maybe the drug theory mentioned above explains the relative weakness of his filmography.

thelma ritter, Tuesday, 14 February 2006 04:55 (fifteen years ago) link

haha - some friends and I had a lil catholic girl along to see Bad Lieutenant when it came out and she completely freaked out, esp at the nun-raped-w-crucifix scene. LAFFS. I haven't seen it in years, but I remember being into it for the most part, but yeah so over-the-top, it approaches ridiculousness often. Keitel does kickass in the role though. Obviously its his movie.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 04:58 (fifteen years ago) link

uh guys the reason he works so little is that he's a completely batshit insane maniac

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 05:17 (fifteen years ago) link

"he was in Goodfellas?! wtf, never noticed that before."

Yeah he's in the kitchen late in the movie, IIRC. It's pretty neglible part (I don't think he even has a line.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 05:20 (fifteen years ago) link

i kind of liked his vampire movie with lily taylor. i thought the climactic scene was hilarious.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 06:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh god I forgot about that one. No that's terrible too.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 06:43 (fifteen years ago) link

well it drags, and its got all that pretentious aids metaphor stuff going on. but i still liked when she invited her whole philosophy department over to be eaten.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 06:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Common decency prevents me from sharing Abel's tale---the short take is that there are very real reasons why his output is so spotty and frankly, I'm always amazed to find out he's still alive.

It's sad. KING OF NEW YORK, MS 45 and most of BAd LT are fricken great. DRILLER KILLER has an interesting cranky energy, and for NYCers it evokes a certain perverse nostalgia for the soil of yesteryear, but the rest...like Alex said. Although I really, really like his INVASION version.

Ian in Brooklyn, Tuesday, 14 February 2006 07:28 (fifteen years ago) link

i had a conversation about af a few yrs back w lili..she told me that during one scene in th addcition she was in th bathroom doin sum evil whatnot and wondered why noone was yelling Cut..she peeked around th corner and saw af completely nodded out in his ratty directors chair..shes got a million stories

dan bunnybrain (dan bunnybrain), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 01:13 (fifteen years ago) link

has anyone seen r'xmas? any good?

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 01:18 (fifteen years ago) link

"evil whatnot"?

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 02:50 (fifteen years ago) link

yea vampire junkie stuff..not reality mo

dan bunnybrain (dan bunnybrain), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 02:52 (fifteen years ago) link

haha - sorry, was wondering if my knowledge of drug lingo was dropping behind or something...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 02:56 (fifteen years ago) link

no i probably should have rephrased it considering th subject

dan bunnybrain (dan bunnybrain), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 02:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I seem to recall reading an interview with Ferrara in a mag where he was talking about having to work with Madonna in Dangerous Game and how shithouse she was. He apparently laughingly said of a scene with a gun held to her head "shouldve used real bullets!".

Trayce (trayce), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 02:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Bad Lieutenant: "Bang, bang, ricochet rabbit".

I'm not sure I've ever seen a worse film,

Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 19:23 (fifteen years ago) link

'R Xmas is really good!

gear (gear), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 19:55 (fifteen years ago) link

did anyone see mary? maybe it has only played festivals. matthew modine plays jesus, i think. it's about juliet binoche becomeing mary magdalene.

classic for ms.45, king of new york, the addiction. the funeral is pretty good too. but,yeah, spotty. driller killer is mostly good as artifact. i liked the crime story pilot. i even have a soft spot for china girl and fear city. king of new york is the jewel in the dirty crown.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 15 February 2006 20:34 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...


love this film

nakhchivan, Sunday, 28 March 2010 21:01 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

While some of them saw small or tiny or non-existent U.S. releases, try finding an Abel Ferrara film made from 2002-2009 on DVD. It’s not easy. “The only thing you need to see them is the internet,” he said. “Go find the torrents. That’s my big distributor. You got to leave it to that. They’re all on there. I just don’t want to find the one I’m working on. That’s the only thing that scares me. But just go on the internet for the rest.”

nakhchivan, Sunday, 21 August 2011 01:41 (ten years ago) link

five months pass...
one month passes...

Just watched King of New York and was disappointed. What is it that people think is so great about it? Dialogue is cliche. Acting is spotty except for a couple of scenes with Caruso. Some scenes are too long and others too short. Only saving grace is Walken but he alone does not carry the film.

calstars, Sunday, 25 March 2012 03:12 (nine years ago) link


Really liked this as a read for its novelty - a lot of flighty chops which don't make it onto film writing, but I haven't seen it.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:39 (nine years ago) link

what ppl think is so great about King of New York is that it's bad, obv

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 March 2012 14:47 (nine years ago) link

Biggie Smalls liked it well enough.

kurwa mać (Polish for "long life") (Eisbaer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:14 (nine years ago) link

yes, Generations Y & Z look to dead gangsta rappers as the vanguard of film culture.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:23 (nine years ago) link

isn't there a Larry Semon Film Festival for you to attend, or something?!?

kurwa mać (Polish for "long life") (Eisbaer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:25 (nine years ago) link

I have my quota of semen for the week

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:41 (nine years ago) link


hes got some miles on his for being 60

interesting they touch on a project w/ dafoe playing pasolini

cant imagine this 4:44 movie is good tho

johnny crunch, Sunday, 25 March 2012 17:31 (nine years ago) link

the thing about KONY (whoa, makes you think) is not that it's not good but it's got this brutal momentum w/everyone in the film casting everything aside and trying to kill each other w/o regard for anything else and the actors kinda throw themselves into it really well imo and i love the OTTness and how everyone seems to be doing their own version of how to approach the material w/o much guidance. walken owns here, caruso is pretty exceptional, snipes and fishburne are great, victor argo is really good (as probably the only "decent" person in the entire film.) all of ferrara's films have this kind of energy, but i think this distills everything down to the basics nicely.

the graveyard scene is pretty tremendous, you think the film is going to take it from there in one direction but then walken shows up as if anticipating it and just finishes it there. not quite as awesome as the shotgun to the face at the end of 'to live and die in l.a.' but pretty dope regardless.

omar little, Sunday, 25 March 2012 17:43 (nine years ago) link

I really appreciate that you caught the levels of "owning," "great," "pretty exceptional," "pretty dope," "really good" ... the kind of discernment I expect from the minds of Cahiers du ILX.

done with film threads now I think, cept for the Snob ones

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 March 2012 18:57 (nine years ago) link

jesus spoilers for TL&DILA tho

less of the same (darraghmac), Sunday, 25 March 2012 18:58 (nine years ago) link


omar little, Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:02 (nine years ago) link

morbs i really hope you don't keep that promise, you would be sorely missed.

omar little, Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:11 (nine years ago) link

by me especially

omar little, Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:11 (nine years ago) link

Go Go Tales is pretty innocuous Ferrara, it's Runyonesque.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 September 2014 19:28 (seven years ago) link

In that case, let's have a beer at a sports bar of your choosing, Dr. M.

Virginia Plain, Tuesday, 9 September 2014 20:47 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

new rose hotel is kinda awesome.

adam, Thursday, 2 October 2014 18:04 (six years ago) link

Pleasantly surprised by Pasolini... many touches of the poetic, solid portrayal of a man of ideas by Dafoe. It doesn't all work, but Ninetto Davoli is instantly recognizable as a lead character in PPP's unmade film, same elfin face and presence. Of the ten films I've seen by Ferrara, only the third I've liked a lot.

Ferrara was pretty funny and direct in the Q&A, gently mocking Amy Taubin for speechifying and getting into it with a guy who wanted a more politicized slant on the murder.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 October 2014 14:41 (six years ago) link

i thought it looked great too. and the tony joe white music cue was fantastic.

i also liked it when ferrara and another gentleman got into an aging hipster-off over who saw _salo_ first and where.

adam, Friday, 3 October 2014 15:09 (six years ago) link

yeah, yeah... the clips of Salo in this are the most I've ever seen of it. (I've only seen six Pasolinis i think)

Interesting that the screenwriter credit was the guy who wrote Gomorrah, wish someone had asked about that.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 October 2014 15:13 (six years ago) link

interview w/ Nick Pinkerton:

Well, me and Willem and the Americans—our native tongue is English, we read Pasolini in English. Willem speaks better Italian than me, but even he’s not gonna attempt to relate certain ideas—you’re talking philosophy, you’re talking poetry… And we’ve barely got it together in the language that we have. So we’re not gonna do those scenes—the Furio Colombo interview, the other interview—we’re gonna do those in English, man. But when he’s with the kid [Pino “The Frog” Pelosi, played by Damiano Tamilia], and the kid is speaking Italian, that language that that kid is speaking, you’re not gonna get that speaking English. You can’t translate that. You can’t drop that into American. What’d he be, a rapper or something? I don’t know what the fuck he’d be speaking. He’s a street kid, y’know? Thank God Willem speaks enough Italian, and can speak Italian well enough, that he can get that kid’s talking back, which to me is more important at that moment. It’s a stretch, but the audience has to stretch to the imagination of the filmmakers. I’m not gonna reduce our imagination, you gotta come up to the plate when you wanna watch a movie.

Is Welcome to New York going to see the light of day in the U.S.?

In the U.S.? Right now it’s a war with these people, these guys think they can just cavalierly take our film and do what they want with it just because they bought it. Just because you buy the Mona Lisa doesn’t mean you can put a moustache on it. It’s my job to protect that film, so we’ll see what’s gonna happen. But it’s out, it’s on the Internet, steal it, man.


son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 6 October 2014 19:49 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

from H'wood Reporter via Keyframe:

“Abel Ferrara issued a cease and desist letter last week addressed to IFC Films and its global distributor Wild Bunch against the U.S. release of his film Welcome to New York.” IFC has responded and Ferrara has shot back in a statement the Hollywood Reporter has made public today.... “Ferrara says the message of the film is ‘no means no,’ referring to the infamous hotel rape scene. In an edited version of the film, the infamous hotel rape scene is turned into a flashback, leaving the maid’s credibility open to interpretation. In Ferrara’s original film, the guilt of Gérard Depardieu‘s character is apparent, and the director shows zero sympathy toward men in power who have an abusive relationship with women. As of now, IFC will release the edited version of the film as planned, and Ferrara tells THR he will pursue legal action against both IFC and Wild Bunch for releasing a version of the film he didn’t approve.”


the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Monday, 23 March 2015 17:16 (six years ago) link

he made a movie about Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 March 2015 17:17 (six years ago) link

ah noted upthread sorry

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 March 2015 17:20 (six years ago) link

IFC version opens here Friday

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Monday, 23 March 2015 17:23 (six years ago) link

"I wouldn't even accept the concept of an R-rated film—and I live in and work in Europe, so that doesn't exist [here]. These people, IFC, put out unrated films. That's their fucking thing. And Wild Bunch as a European-fucking distributor...c'mon man. Blue is the Warmest Color, Nymphomaniac, all these films, ya dig? And they [IFC and Wild Bunch] know who I am. We've made five films together. They [IFC and Wild Bunch] grew up watching my films. They know I don't make R-rated films. And this subject matter, this story, the way I shot it, you cannot. I wouldn't have made it, I wouldn't have done it. They're tyrants. They act with impunity. It's not going to fly with me, or people who have any sense of the truth."


the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Friday, 27 March 2015 14:22 (six years ago) link

I like able more and more these days. Wish him luck with this. Fuck those guys.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 27 March 2015 14:35 (six years ago) link

Aghhhh! ABEL! I like ABEL.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 27 March 2015 14:35 (six years ago) link

eight months pass...

wasn't aware of Pasolini and have just been gifted the DVD. excited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Gry91znr8 (Noodle Vague), Monday, 14 December 2015 17:18 (five years ago) link

This is one of those threads that, when it gets bumped, I assume it's because its subject has died, so - good news!

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 14 December 2015 17:36 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

the dsk one wasnt too bad, showed a degree of restraint that i did not think ferrara capable of

also props for depardieu for twice showing his balls

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 26 January 2016 01:45 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Watched KONY tonight - clearly an anti-Goodfellas/Scorcese (or probably wouldn't make it onto a 'Martin Scorcese presents..' thing). Post-Scarface yet more subdued than that (then again anything next to Scarface is subdued, althoug its to do with its terrific use of night-time) and better than a lot of that - I mean just so much fun and outright bizarro stuff (Caruso giving Snipes first aid LOL, Larry and his gang cutting a deal while watching Nosferatu, those parties and the amount of hip-hop blasting thru, the weird theatre show with the small amount of applause at the end, the singing at the fundraiser). Loved almost all of the cast too.

Those Hong Kong action films have been on my mind a bit lately even before coming to this, and although its nowhere near as kinetic it has a similar level of the disposable to it (Walken just blasting Caruso off after the funeral as some kind of peak).

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 15 July 2017 22:18 (four years ago) link

Caruso giving Snipes first aid LOL

Haha yeah, and shot-to-shit Larry Fishburne going to town a few feet away. It has that hyper-stylised thing where ppl can be riddled with bullets in every vital organ and still kicking, but a single gut shot means death 5 mins later.

I really loved this. Some of the rain shots near the end were gorgeous.

blog haus aka the scene raver (wins), Sunday, 16 July 2017 10:00 (four years ago) link

He did a documentary called Napoli Napoli Napoli which I saw in Porto at, like, the only edition of some weird film festival. I remember little of it, except a scene where Ferrara puts on a show in a female prison and there's all these middle aged ladies from Naples looking bemused as he goes through a punk rock cover of "King Of New York".

Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 16 July 2017 10:34 (four years ago) link

A couple of his lesser-known movies, The Addiction and Body Snatchers (which I remember being pretty good, though I still prefer the 1978 Donald Kaufman version), are streaming for free on Hulu now.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 16 July 2017 13:09 (four years ago) link

For a minute read the bump and thought Ferrara had a new movie about Joseph Kony (KONY2012). Which, location aside, would be in his wheelhouse.

Eazy, Sunday, 16 July 2017 16:03 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

monthlong NYC retro in May! Uncut European versions!


a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:32 (two years ago) link

Also, Kino Lorber has picked up his latest movie, which stars Willem Dafoe as Pasolini.

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:34 (two years ago) link

Saw it at NYFF in 2014 (see above). Took almost five years...

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:37 (two years ago) link

He's finished another with Dafoe since, also 3 documentaries and a short.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:38 (two years ago) link

never seen king of new york before maybe now is the time

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:45 (two years ago) link

jeez yeah

totally outstanding cast, Walken is great of course, there's nice work from Lawrence Fishburne and Wesley Snipes, and an actually extremely good supporting performance by David Caruso of all people.

omar little, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 17:55 (two years ago) link

They should screen KONY twice - once as is, and once with the DVD commentary track running. Listen to Ferrara call his own work fascist!

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:35 (two years ago) link

KONY is fairly easy to see anytime, ie who cares

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:48 (two years ago) link

Thought for second there that Ferrera made a Joseph Kony bio pic that he now considers fascist.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 18:55 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Sat evening MoMA screening of King of NY will feature discussion w/ Ferrara and the Safdie brothers.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:02 (two years ago) link

it's amazing how ppl have talked themselves into thinking jokey sleaze like Ms. 45 is "great"

― son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Saturday, June 21, 2014 10:00 AM (four years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

lmao of course

ms. 45 one of my favorite movies of all time

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:21 (two years ago) link

fair that you were surprised by the overt camp though

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:26 (two years ago) link

Saw The Addiction for the first time in ~24 years last night, better than I remembered. Lili Taylor is really committed... and Edie Falco! Julian Schnabel also showed up to extemporize about seeing them shoot the Walken scene in his loft.

If you attend a Q&A during this, be ready for some rambling.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 May 2019 20:02 (two years ago) link

Ferrara says his longtime writer, Nicholas St John, would send him the scripts in the mail totally unaannounced. He quit the biz after Dangerous Game and now teaches special-needs kids.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 May 2019 20:11 (two years ago) link

Having interviewed the man in 2003/4, yeah, no thanks.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Thursday, 2 May 2019 20:14 (two years ago) link

His DP was remembering having a rough time being newly sober during Bad Lieutenant, and AF grinned "What, you don't like shooting up with the director?"

btw last night's aud was full of friends/sycophants who applauded every credit

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 May 2019 20:19 (two years ago) link

Fear City is a pretty entertaining bad movie. Billy Dee Williams' detective has a lot of invective vs Italians I will not quote here.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 May 2019 03:33 (two years ago) link

Nick Pinkerton on Pasolini:

The title role is played by Willem Dafoe, who at the time of filming was five years older than PPP would ever be, and who shares something of the director’s furrowed facial structure. He also embodies Pasolini’s pained intelligence, fingers pressed to his temple as though keeping something at bay. The one big hurdle here is that, while playing one of the major figures of postwar Italian culture, Dafoe is a Wisconsonian with a limited command of Italian. He and Ferrara overcome this problem by not addressing it at all, seemingly making up the linguistic rules as they go along. In the two scenes where he sits for interviews, Pasolini gives his answers in English. He only speaks at length in Italian in the film’s last half hour, during his assignation with Giuseppi “Pino the Frog” Pelosi (Damiano Tamilia), the seventeen-year-old prostitute who is to date the only person to have done time for Pasolini’s death, and who has since testified that there were other parties involved. It’s a strange but ultimately effective choice, for Pasolini aspired to be a transnational figure, and it’s only in his dealing with the boy that the cosmopolitan gives way to the provincial. Pasolini belongs to the world, but it’s Rome that killed him. (Rather more bafflingly, in the version of the film screened at the New York Film Festival, the English subtitling of Italian scenes was somewhat erratic.)

Abel Ferrara has always been more comfortable playing the role of the hood rat than the intellectual—more Pino the Frog than Pasolini—though how much of this act is a hustler’s foxiness is anyone’s guess. His line of BS is obviously effective, as he's traveled Europe with hat in hand to scrape together enough money for Pasolini, which he cowrote with Maurizio Braucci, and the result is recognizably an Abel Ferrara film. The script employs the countdown-to-judgment, death-trip structure that Ferrara has used a number of times before: Bad Lieutenant, ‘R Xmas, 4:44 Last Day on Earth. It’s tempting to attribute this to Ferrara’s Catholicism—the sense that a man is defined by the end of his life, the ritualistic counting down of the Stations of the Cross. Whatever the case, in following his own creative intuition, Ferrara has arrived at something near Pasolini’s own thinking, as per the statement from the latter’s ‘Observations on the Sequence Shot’: “It is only thanks to our death that our life serves to express ourselves.”


a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 10 May 2019 16:11 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

King of NY def has the orange-and-blue thing going on

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:43 (two years ago) link

one year passes...
one year passes...


— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) August 6, 2021

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 6 August 2021 19:58 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Best of Abel Ferrara's King of New York commentarypic.twitter.com/bgXeTBrR2F

— John Frankensteiner (@JFrankensteiner) September 11, 2021

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 13 September 2021 18:29 (five days ago) link

This is not getting the love here, why not?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 14 September 2021 10:13 (four days ago) link

"Lookit his hair. That's the star of this film."

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 14 September 2021 16:58 (four days ago) link

Not to stray from that ^^, but didn't realize he'd made another movie with Dafoe, following last year's Tommaso:


... (Eazy), Tuesday, 14 September 2021 17:14 (four days ago) link

Shit, according to Wikipedia, he's made six movies with Dafoe.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 14 September 2021 17:24 (four days ago) link

I posted the Driller Killer commentary video on the old horror thread and it's funny too

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 14 September 2021 18:12 (four days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.