Abel Ferrara

Started by MacGuffin, May 19, 2006, 01:07:13 PM

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Snipes, Ferrara reunite on 'Game'
'New York' duo reteam for action thriller
Source: Variety

Wesley Snipes and helmer Abel Ferrara are reuniting on action-thriller "Game of Death."

It's their first project together since Ferrara's 1990 cult pic "King of New York."

Snipes stars as politician's bodyguard who must fend off five of the world's top assassins. Zoe Bell and Robert Davi co-star.

"Death" was penned by James Agnew. Producers are Billy Dietrich and Rafael Primorac. Exec producers are Voltage Pictures' Nicolas Chartier and Nadine de Barros, and Roger Grad. Bridge financiers Alastair Burlingham and Steve Robbins of Perpetual Media Capital also exec produce.

Pic started shooting this week in Detroit.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has U.S. rights, brokered by American Entertainment's Joe Cohen.

Voltage is handling foreign sales and has sold most of the overseas rights, including Germany, France, U.K., Latin America and East Europe.
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks


when did he get out of jail?

it's too bad that Snipes hasn't been in anything that I've liked-- this sounds kind of cool.

edit: Well, i did like the first blade when I was a kid.
Quote from: Pas Rap on April 23, 2010, 07:29:06 AM
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.


imo this year's most glorious trash culture news is the dcp restoration of ms. 45 (from drafthouse, such a fabulous company!)

i've seen this in film, which seems perfect because it's a grainy dirty early80s nyc movie. i couldn't imagine it being any better in dcp. then i watched the new trailer, and now i'm mountains-high excited



looks great, but having never seen it I really shouldn't have watched that trailer! FUUUCCCKKK!!  :doh:

wish I had one of these for times like this:



i recommend the trailer for people who don't already think they want to see it, and i know what reelist means, the trailer will tell you surprises the movie will show you. even knowing what happens, the cool and maybe unexpected quality is how it happens. it's got impressive cinema


I saw this ages ago, knowing nothing about it, when I was about 14 or 15, by chance when I was flipping through channels and realized it just about to start. What a sick, demented, twisted, entertaining flick. And Zoë Lund was such a stunning woman. When I later found out she died really young I felt kinda sad about it.


Director Abel Ferrara on Mysterious 1975 Death of Pier Paolo Pasolini: 'I Know Who Killed Him'
via The Hollywood Reporter

Ferrara just finished shooting a biographical film titled "Pasolini" about the acclaimed Italian director, poet, journalist and intellectual.

ROME -- The death of acclaimed Italian film director, poet, journalist and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini has been shrouded in mystery for nearly 40 years, but director Abel Ferrara, who just finished shooting a bio-film about the end of the Italian director's life, says he knows who did it.

Pasolini died in 1975 after being run over several times by his own car at the seaside near Rome.

Police at first arrested a young male prostitute, but he was released for lack of evidence. Soon after, a search was launched for three men who reportedly opposed Pasolini's leftist and libertine views, but they were never found. And in 2005, police reopened the case after some evidence emerged that Pasolini may have been involved in an extortion scheme. But the case remains a mystery.

Bad Lieutenant director Ferrara just finished filming on Pasolini, and he told Italian media: "I know who killed him," without revealing a name. Local media were split on whether the remark was true insight Ferrara picked up in his research or was aimed at increasing interest in the film, which stars Wiliem Dafoe in the title role.

At least one person close to Pasolini hopes it's the former: His cousin Guido Mazzon has lobbied hard to open the case again so that new evidence can be evaluated.

"I hope that what is claimed with such certainty by the American filmmaker is true, because we cannot bear another round of unfounded speculation," he said.

Pasolini, who was 53 when he died, was a protagonist in the neorealism movement in Italian cinema as well as in poetry, theater and art.

He won top awards in Berlin in back-to-back years with jury prize winner The Decameron in 1971 and Golden Bear winner The Canterbury Tales the following year. He also had films screen in competition in Cannes and Venice.


The male prostitute that was arrested was a patsy for sure. This extortion scheme which has come to light seems to be rather interesting, does anyone have any more information on this? I am sure its in Italian so we would have to refer to google translate.

I hope Abel does a few things: (A) re-link with Nic St. John (B) If he does any sequel to a movie, it should be The Addiction, and make it black and white on film........ (C) If he does do The Last Crew, it needs to star Michael Pitt, he has to play a young Frank White! It should be 2hrs + and unrated or a very hard R. (D) Continue to make documentaries cause his brand of docs are fascinating.

I always happy to to see Abel release a new movie.


Ethan Hawke Teaming With Abel Ferrara On The New War Film, 'Zeros And Ones'
The Playlist

According to Capstone Group, who will be shopping the project around to potential distributors and studios, Ethan Hawke has teamed up with legendary filmmaker, Abel Ferrara, for a new feature, "Zeros and Ones." The film is said to be a war thriller about an American soldier under siege in Rome. Joining Hawke in the film are actors Cristina Chiriac and Phil Neilson. Both of them previously worked with Ferrara on his most recent feature, "Siberia."

Here's the synopsis for the new feature:

JJ (Ethan Hawke) is an American soldier stationed in a Rome under siege, locked down, and at war. The Vatican being blown into the night sky is only the beginning of our hero's journey to uncover and defend against an unknown enemy but threatening the lives of the entire world.

"'Zeros and Ones' is a film of lockdown and war, danger and espionage, American soldiers, Chinese middlemen, Mid Eastern holy men, provocateurs, diplomats, rogue elements of the CIA and KGB," said Ferrara. "I cannot wait to roll the cameras next week in a way that is safe because this film was written during and with an understanding of the pandemic."


just finished Napoli, Napoli, Napoli, which hosts a rather expansive perspective of Naples, Italy. a wise perspective. it is a neighborhood "built for people to live, but not to have a life." there are no job possibilities and so people orient themselves toward drugs and drug money (the mafia). no movie theater: seems crazy. just atrocious urban planning and no one at the time of this documentary had helped breathe life into it. more than a couple female prisoners are interviewed, lots of hardship and personal strength

here is Ferrara singing during the end credits and he's so legit and everything but there he is singing the n word


King of New York approaches big topics and that's when you start to see a new type of Ferrara I think, and what I mean is the Ferrara of today begins back then, but for me the truly transitional movie was Mary, that's when I had to think twice about this guy and what he does. i watched Pasolini and that's a movie that treats emotions seriously. it confronts expansive human topics and when Pasolini dies it shows his mother's reaction, which is significant. it's not a plot point when Pasolini dies it's a real thing. i want to see it in a theater because the killing and other parts of the movie take place at night and i find darkness always works best on a big screen. but i'll probably watch it at home again and i will watch it again because it is a truly human movie and i appreciate that. it's not about shock and awe it's meaningful and that's cool. part of me wants to find it funny that Dafoe is playing Pasolini but the joke is on me. he treats his role seriously and Ferrara made a serious movie


Mulberry St. is a very fun hangout with Abel's goonish pals, him also being a goon, just a great film about an insular community facing change and way better than it has any right to be.


A true independent. New York's Bad Boy -- a buddhist, now living in Rome. Finding an Abel Ferrara film at the right time iz akin to a great conversation. There's no superficiality in his work. Even the more aesthetic pieces have the texture of philosophy. And never academic, always personal. He's really there.

As of late, filmmaker Michael Bilandic interviews his former boss and mentor Abel Ferrara for Metrograph.

QuoteThey say you should never meet your heroes, but I'd say otherwise. In 2007, I quit my job at the video store to work on a documentary about the Chelsea Hotel directed by the legendary and infamous Abel Ferrara. The story goes that Abel was interviewed as a subject for the project initially, but mid-interview declared that he was the director now. Amazingly, everyone seemed on board, and that was that. He'd been living in Italy for a few years, was in town to present Go Go Tales at the New York Film Festival, and looking to extend his stay. The producers booked him a room in the Chelsea, and all of a sudden he was living here again and making a new movie. At the time, I had little-to-no experience working on feature film sets, and to say I was thrown into the eye of the tornado would be a gross understatement. I was in my twenties and he was in his fifties, yet I'd never known anyone who worked as hard, partied as hard, or had as many ideas (that were actually seen through to completion) as this guy. It was a 24/7 job, running around the hotel at all hours meeting with every type of weirdo, and I loved it.

After Chelsea on the Rocks premiered at Cannes in 2008, Abel stayed on in New York, moving downtown above an Italian restaurant in Little Italy, and I was upgraded from his assistant to producer. We had a tiny office with a Mac Pro tower that we got free from the Apple store, a La-Z-Boy, and a big screen TV that played only sports (it was the feed to the bar downstairs). From that space we worked on a slew of feature films, shorts, web series, and off-the-wall obscurities, including a documentary about the Feast of San Gennaro, Mulberry St. (2010). I learned way more in this ultra chaotic and highly productive environment than I did in the entirety of my time at NYU, and in the midst of it all somehow made my first feature (which Abel generously executive produced), 2011's Happy Life. Around 2014, he moved back to Italy, got sober, and started a new chapter in his life and career. I've been fortunate to still work with him off and on in the years since. Whenever he comes to town, whether to shoot a documentary on a local arthouse theater, as with The Projectionist (2019); to be celebrated with a complete retrospective in the elite halls of MoMA; or to throw his own endearingly ramshackle festival of his own films, his collaborators' films, and his fave cult classics, as he did in 2021, you know you're in for something personal, all-consuming, and potentially explosive. And that at some point he will likely play a Dylan-esque cover of Schoolly D's "Just Another Killer."

It goes without saying that Abel's most iconic films King of New York (1990) and Bad Lieutenant (1992) are absolute canon, and that Christopher Walken's and Harvey Keitel's respective performances in them are unrivaled. But what truly impresses, in a career with over 30 features to his credit, is the sheer volume of low-key classics Abel's amassed. He's been going full force, pedal to the metal, since the '70s, and openly mocks the concept of ever slowing down.

I had the pleasure of Zooming with him, upon his return from Venice where he'd just premiered his latest film Padre Pio (2022) starring Shia LaBeouf. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot to catch up on.

MICHAEL M. BILANDIC: Okay, what's up? We're recording.

ABEL FERRARA: What's happening? Yeah, I was just doing an interview with Béatrice Dalle. You know that chick, the French actress?

MB: Of course. She's in my favorite film of yours, The Blackout (1997).

AF: Yeah, right. Okay, that crazy chick. They're here doing a thing on Pasolini, so we did this interview.

MB: She's making a movie about Pasolini?

AF: Yeah, she's searching all over. You know, she has this little French crew. They went through the whole deal—where he was born, and where he was this.... I just talked some crazy shit to her for five minutes.

MB: Where are you right now?

AF: I'm in Rome.

MB: You in your apartment?

AF: Yeah. Yeah. [Flips camera phone around to tour apartment.] You've never been?

MB: I've never been there.

AF: It's like Tommaso (2019)! This is like Tommaso. Can you see it or is it too dark?

MB: It's a funny thing. I feel like I have been to your place, though, because you've shot it so much. I love how you've integrated your apartments and neighborhoods throughout the years into your work; from The Driller Killer (1979) to Chelsea on the Rocks (2008) to Mulberry St. (2010) to Piazza Vittorio (2017). And, of course, Tommaso. If you were to shoot a movie in your apartment today, what would it be? What's the vibe like over there right now?

AF: [Opens another mineral water bottle.] Yeah, I played it out. I mean, how many Tommaso's can we make? Hello, my life is interesting [self-mocking voice]. You know, the relationship with Cristina [Chiriac] is interesting but I don't know if we should do another movie about it.

MB: You were talking about Tommaso 2 for a period.

AF: Yeah, now we're on to 3. We're gonna skip 2.

MB: I was just walking through San Gennaro earlier while they were setting up, and having these flashbacks to Mulberry St.

AF: Well, what's the Feast like now?

MB: I saw Joey Reynolds, the radio host, in an apron selling cheesecakes. I saw the "Cannoli King," Baby John. A lot of familiar faces. The big drama this year is they're not allowed to sell anything Godfather-related.

AF: Is someone suing them for that? Well, it was only that one maniac who like co-opted the whole thing, selling tapes, remember that maniac?

MB: Yeah. They're saying it's a bad influence on the culture, I think.

AF: Is Coppola suing them or is it like an anti-mob thing?

MB: It's anti-mob. They don't want that connotation.

AF: That's really fucking crazy.

MB: But then you still have, you know, meatball-eating contests and cannoli-eating contests, so it's clear—

AF: Well, cannoli-eating contests and Godfather are two different things. I thought they didn't make no more cannolis?! Remember when they came in and busted everybody because it was like the trans fat, remember that night? They came down, cops and everybody, the news station, and they shut down all the cannoli stands because of trans fat in the cannoli!


MB: Yeah, and we shot something with him. We filmed the premiere of his movie The Dukes (2007). It starred Peter Bogdanovich and was about an aging doo-wop group who decide to rob a dentist's office for the gold fillings, or something like that.

AF: You still got that footage? That was crazy. Remember Frankie fucking rented that bus, and we all went, that was the psycho fucking opening of all time. Man, find that shit, that was awesome.

MB: Ben Gazzara was there. Sylvia Miles...

AF: It was every fucking wacko like that, and they're all dressed up as if they were at the fucking Cannes Film Festival. Meanwhile it was just some dopey fucking thing.

MB: Speaking of film festivals, you just got back from Venice. How was that?

AF: Yeah. We were like the fucking losers circle, you know? Nobody wanted the film in any of the competition sides. Not Cannes, or anyone. So we're in this thing, it's called Authors' Nights [Giornate degli Autori; in English, Venice Days]. It's like getting into Venice through the back end, you know?

MB: It got a lot of attention.

AF: Yeah, Shia is like, you know, he's a movie star, man. He was cool, he came. The film was divided. The English-speaking people and the American critics, they trashed this fucking film. I mean, we got some fucked up... [Laughs]. Well you got to see it.

MB: When First Reformed (2017) came out, Schrader was talking about how he went on a tour of all these churches across the country with it. It's incredible how there's a whole world of Christian film production and exhibition out there, it's like a whole other ecosystem.

AF: You know, the funny thing is I'm a Buddhist, but this fucking film is as Catholic as can be. There's nothing even close to it. The monks are fucking besides themselves, they love it, you know? The first time we showed it to these guys, I thought we're going to show it to two or three of the main Capuchin monks from where Padre Pio came from. We get in the theatre—this was like, it wasn't the final cut; I just wanted to show it to these guys and get a vibe, right? Clearing the theatre, I turn around and there's like 20 of them. I'm with the writer [Maurizio] Braucci, and I'm thinking, "Man, we could get burnt at the stake here, these guys might..." [Laughs.] You know, you don't know. No one had seen the film. I'm thinking, fuck. These dudes, it's like a gang of them in the thing. They fucking loved it, man. I mean, really, really heavy, heavy players. So even that interview, that long interview Shia does on YouTube—did you see that? And that dude [Bishop Barron] has like a fucking audience of 35 million people, you know? So anyway, we're trying to get it to the Pope. Because it's like, there's the monks, and then there's the real Vatican with the priests.

MB: That's wilder than any film festival, getting into the Vatican.

AF: Yeah, yeah, get it to that crew because this film has a whole different audience.

MB: Do you know about this whole Trad Cath thing in New York? In the last couple years it's become a very fashionable to be an orthodox Catholic again. I met a girl the other day, and she said, "I'm Catholic, but I don't like to talk about it because I don't want people to think that I'm being trendy."

AF: Oh, wow. That's crazy. Well Shia is right there, bro, because he's out front.

MB: I gotta ask you about this. So I texted Sean [Price Williams] a couple of weeks ago. I was like, "What are you up to? You want to grab a beer?" And he's like, "Oh sorry, I'm in Ukraine with Abel right now." I almost spat my drink out. I knew you guys were talking about it, but—

AF: We just went. We couldn't talk about it. What happens is you talk about this shit, and then... You know, I met [Sergei] Losnitza, and then somebody else. It turns out the guys running that country are all film producers, you know? Zelensky and his guys, they're all film people. And they all knew me. So when I call, I says, "What do you think?" They're like "Oh, man, you gotta come," and the next minute they got us tickets on this crazy—I mean, it wasn't so simple but they got us to Kyiv and it was cool. You know, it was like a 20-hour train trip from Warsaw. It was an adventure. But it was crazy, man. It was like Mulberry St. We just walked around and just fucking filmed whoever we bumped into. It wasn't like a big...

MB: Right, you don't overthink it, you just go in.

AF: Yeah, we just went there. You know what I mean? I was scared, but when you got there, you know, the war isn't in Kyiv—there is a war though. When you go places where the Russians were... it's a nightmare, man, because these guys got weapons, they just blow the whole fucking block up. They was saying, "Do you want to have a bulletproof vest and a helmet?" You look at a building and the whole building's dropped. Like, you're going to wear a fucking bulletproof vest? It's a nightmare, it's a real world war. It's like a real fucking catastrophe.

MB: So bleak.

AF: Anyway, so we started shooting. But it's going to be a long haul.

MB: On a brighter note, I thought of you the other day. The Jets game on Sunday...

AF: The Sunday game, man. I'm watching, because I get the Europass, right? And I'm watching and they're terrible, but in a heartbreaking, nightmarish way, right? And I just shut the computer down. They're down 13 points with two minutes to go. Their chances of winning, they have this statistic, was .001 percent. Then in the middle of the night I look at the news, and it goes "Jets win," and I thought it was like a gag, you know? If it was normal television in the old days, where there's no replay, I would have missed the greatest comeback almost in the history of football. It was an insane game.

MB: When Fassbinder was making Querelle (1982), the whole shoot was structured around Dallas, the soap opera. Production had to stop so that he could watch it. I kept thinking about that when we were working, with these Jets games. It felt like the whole week revolved around that and set the tone on set.

AF: Back then, they almost won. They were like a game from the Super Bowl. But that was like 10 years ago. Mulberry St. was, what, 10 years ago? More? That's a good movie.

But now, I'm writing a book. My autobiography. Did I tell you this? I got a fucking deal from the Italian publisher who published Oliver Stone's book and Tarantino's, right? This chick's like this punked-out cool chick, but she's got a real '70s sensibility. She's a big fan.