Abel Ferrara

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Cutting on the Bias: Abel Ferrara Collaborator Frank DeCurtis

With a storied, diverse career, Frank DeCurtis has been a journeyman in the arts for over four decades. His background in performance, casting, fashion, props, set decoration and production design led him to collaborate with Abel Ferrara as a producing and creative partner for a dozen projects spanning more than 18 years. While much has been made of their sojourn abroad in the wake of 9/11, DeCurtis’s perspective has rarely been articulated in print. Filmmaker spoke to DeCurtis in downtown Manhattan about his trajectory, how an artist can effect an impact in many fields, and the inherent challenges to creating […]

Cannes 2019 Dispatch 5: Fire Will Come, Tommaso

We all know that Cannes appraises itself as the supreme purveyor of a given year’s most handsome industrially-produced arthouse motion pictures (that is, those that happen to have completed their post-production by late April of said year)—a launchpad for quote-unquote major achievements by the world’s most recognizable and uncompromising narrative filmmakers. Its unwillingness to accommodate the more outre or difficult projects from directors who fit that description hasn’t been too contentious thanks, mostly, to the Directors’ Fortnight’s relatively eclectic and much less constricted programming philosophy—carried over from one artistic director to the next for more than half a century now, […]

“Filmmaking is Like Combat — 90% Boredom, 5% Panic and 5% Terror”: Ken Kelsch on Four Decades as a Cinematographer

Born in Brooklyn, Ken Kelsch enlisted to fight in Vietnam when he was still a teenager. He became a decorated officer in the Army Special Forces, and with over four decades as a cinematographer, has amassed more than 50 credits in film and television. His work alongside Abel Ferrara, with whom he has collaborated over 15 times, includes Bad Lieutenant, Dangerous Game, The Addiction, The Funeral, and recent Tribeca Film Festival entry, The Projectionist. From his home in New Jersey, Ken spoke to Filmmaker about his background, combat experiences, sobriety and framing methodologies. Our conversation has been edited for clarity. […]

“Talking About It is One Thing, Making a Movie About It is Something Else”: Abel Ferrara and Nicola Nicolaou Share Old-School NYC Movie Memories

Arriving back in New York, a city with which he is synonymous, Abel Ferrara has been popping up everywhere the past few weeks: from the Tribeca Film Festival, where his documentary The Projectionist had its world premiere, to the Museum of Modern Art, where a near-complete retrospective unspools a half-century of unruly cinema through May 30. The victory lap comes as the Bronx-born expatriate, who now lives contentedly in Rome, ushers a cluster of new work onto screens, including the long-delayed domestic release of Pasolini, starring Willem Dafoe as the radical Italian filmmaker and kindred spirit, as well as the […]

Put It In Writing: Living Through the Films of Abel Ferrara, Part Five

Evan Louison last wrote about Abel Ferrara for Filmmaker‘s 25th anniversary issue in his report, “Letter from Rome.” Given the assignment to interview Ferrara in conjunction with his month-long MoMA retrospective, Louison responded with a five-part personal memoir that tracks the impact of the director and his work on his own life. Check back each day this week for the next in the series, and read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four. A Glorious Exile, a Spirit Returning to Form The soul answered and said, What binds me has been slain, and what turns me about has […]

Put It In Writing: Living Through the Films of Abel Ferrara, Part Four

Evan Louison last wrote about Abel Ferrara for Filmmaker‘s 25th anniversary issue in his report, “Letter from Rome.” Given the assignment to interview Ferrara in conjunction with his month-long MoMA retrospective, Louison responded with a five-part personal memoir that tracks the impact of the director and his work on his own life. Check back each day this week for the next in the series, and read Part One, Part Two and Part Three. On the Run and Playing a Dangerous Game “Hell is here and now, and so is the opportunity to know heaven. I you take the journey, you’ll […]

Put It In Writing: Living Through the Films of Abel Ferrara, Part Three

Evan Louison last wrote about Abel Ferrara for Filmmaker‘s 25th anniversary issue in his report, “Letter from Rome.” Given the assignment to interview Ferrara in conjunction with his month-long MoMA retrospective, Louison responded with a five-part personal memoir that tracks the impact of the director and his work on his own life. Check back each day this week for the next in the series, and read Part One and Part Two. III. Alive and WELL “The nature of evil is that it’s seductive. If evil presented itself to us as it really is… no one would be lured. No one […]