Abel Ferrara

Abel Ferrara – Crime Story (1986)


Chicago, 1963. As head of the police department’s Major Crime Unit, Lieutenant Michael Torello must deal with the city’s most dangerous criminals. And possibly the most dangerous of all is Ray Luca, a young ambitious street hood who’s out to gain wealth and power by whatever means – including theft, threats, extortion and murder. As Luca begins his ruthless climb up the ladder of organized crime, leaving a growing number of victims in his wake, Torello becomes more and more determined to bring him down. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Nicky’s Film (1971)


“IMDb” wrote:

A young woman is lying asleep on a bed. Her boyfriend, Nicky, gets up, looks out a window, and sees two men in black clothing standing outside by a car… waiting. Disturbed by this, Nicky makes a phone call and explains his predicament to someone on the other line.

Nicky meets with a bearded man sitting at a desk outside in a snow-covered junkyard about his situation. Nicky looks around at the desolate snowy landscape.

At Nicky’s house, Nicky sits at his kitchen table when a large man, accompanied by a woman who treats him deferentially, and another man. After an inaudible conversation, apparently about Nicky’s situation, the two men and woman leave. But the second man in the background says something to Nicky before leaving. Nicky looks out his window and again sees the two men waiting by a car. Nicky grabs a kitchen knife and places it under his belt. Nicky runs outside where he is apparently shot by the waiting men, and falls to the ground… dead. The final image shows Nicky’s girlfriend, still lying in bed asleep. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Fear City (1984)

Brass-balled, Bronx-born auteur Abel Ferrara is one of those two-fisted screen bards that always follows through on each sucker punch, his heart beating with Sam Fuller’s blood. His scorching morality plays and tainted-psyche humanizations are raw nerves exposed and chewed through, like a naked tornado called Hyde to Scorsese’s more calculated risk-taker Jekyll. However, what makes an Abel Ferrara film for me isn’t plot or casts of meaty, dilemma-torn characters. It’s in the gritty city itself, a filmmaking toybox for tones, textures, sounds, music and aesthetic. When Ferrara looks at New York City, he knows its tourist-trap beauty is bullshit and the lurid truth is in the blackened gum on the bottom of the postcard rack. He’s the director who would probably kick my pasty ass all the way to Chinatown if he heard this flowery praise. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy (1976)

Nine closely related episodes featuring the erotic escapades of a young New York heiress and the people associated with her.
Wealthy heiress Pauline (Pauline LaMonde) is bored with the “cold detachment” her Husband shows during sex and spends her time in various sexual encounters with other men, and women.
Pauline writes about her experiences to a woman named Gypsy, mysterious opium smoking, Tarot Card dealing ex lover of Pauline’s (who talks directly to the viewer about Pauline and their times together).
As Gypsy reads the letters we see Pauline’s encounters and learn about her history….. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – The Blackout (1997)


“Dave Kehr” wrote:

Abel Ferrara’s ”Blackout,” a film featuring sex, drugs and Claudia Schiffer, caused a stampede when it was shown at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. That it is only now receiving a New York theatrical premiere says a lot about what the film promises, and what the film delivers. (It will be shown at the Anthology Film Archives in the East Village for the next two weeks, as the climax of a series of Mr. Ferrara’s films.)

Mr. Ferrara is a Bronx-born filmmaker whose fascination with urban excess and questions of Roman Catholic faith sometimes makes him seem like Martin Scorsese’s self-destructive, insistently undisciplined younger brother. These are qualities that make Mr. Ferrara’s work enormously respected in Europe, where he is taken to be one of the primary interpreters of the contemporary American scene, and virtually unknown in the United States, where it can seem arty, self-indulgent and wholly unreal. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Mulberry St. (2010)



In this film, Bronx-born director Abel Ferrara energetically documents Manhattan’s Little Italy during the famed San Gennaro feast. As Ferrara explains, the feast “brings all the characters out.” He introduces viewers to Butchie the Hat, Cha Cha, Baby John, and others, who reminisce about the pre-Giuliani feast as prepare for the annual “invasion” of tourists. Actors and musicians including Danny Aiello and Matthew Modine make appearances. Read More »