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Abel Ferrara Unrated

May 01, 2019 – May 31, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

The nearly 50-year career of Bronx-born filmmaker Abel Ferrara took root during the dark, fertile 1970s era of fiscal crisis, amid the Downtown club scene of New York City, on scarred streets populated by impoverished immigrants, artists, musicians, and students. This urban environment, rife with threat and intoxicants, has shaped Ferrara’s sensibility, his eye for landscape, and his choice of subjects across genres and mediums. Beginning with bankable exploitation and genre films (The Driller Killer, Fear City), he moved on to studio films (Body Snatchers) and television (Crime Story) before achieving cult status with King of New York and Bad Lieutenant, and eventually taking on arthouse projects (Mary) and personal documentaries (Mulberry Street). While Ferrara’s most commonly recognized theme is addiction, this interest in the struggle between body and mind is wedded to a taste for elegiac “end of time” subjects, and grounded in more significant concerns about the inevitable failure of people and groups to make meaningful connections.

This retrospective includes the early features that established the director’s reputation (The Driller Killer, Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant, King of New York); his work in genre films (Cat Chaser, Body Snatchers, The Addiction); television projects (Crime Story, Subway Stories); and documentaries (Mulberry Street, Piazza Vittorio, Chelsea on the Rocks); along with his recent feature The Projectionist. In an effort to address issues that have complicated the release of certain films in the US, we will screen European prints and director’s cut versions when available.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Department of Film

 

Support for the exhibition is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation and Steven Tisch, with major contributions from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), Yuval Brisker Charitable Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.

Images

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4:44 Last Day on Earth. 2011. USA/Switzerland/France. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy IFC Films

The Addiction. 1995. USA/Argentina. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy American Genre Film Archive

Alive in France. 2017. France. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Bathysphere Productions

Bad Lieutenant. 1992. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Aries Films/Photofest

The Blackout. 1997. USA/France. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Trimark/Photofest

Body Snatchers. 1993. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Warner Bros/Photofest

Cat Chaser. 1989. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Vestron Pictures/Photofest

Chelsea on the Rocks. 2008. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Aliquot Films/Photofest

China Girl. 1987. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Vestron Pictures/Photofest

Crime Story (Pilot). 1986. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy NBC/Photofest

Dangerous Game. 1993. Italy/USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy MGM/Photofest

The Driller Killer. 1979. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy American Genre Film Archive

Fear City. 1984. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy MoMA Film Stills Archive

Go Go Tales. 2007. Italy/USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Capricci Films/Photofest

King of New York. 1990. Italy. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Seven Arts/Photofest

Mary. 2005. Italy/France/USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Pan Europeene Distribution/Photofest

Ms. 45. 1981. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy American Genre Film Archive

Mulberry St. 2010. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Arrow Films

Napoli Napoli Napoli. 2009. Italy. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Minerva Pictures

New Rose Hotel. 1998. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy New Films International/Photofest

Pasolini. 2014. France, Belgium, Italy. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Capricci Films

Piazza Vittorio. 2017. Italy. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Minerva Pictures

The Projectionist. 2019. Greece/USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy Faliro House

The Funeral. 1996. USA. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy October Films/Photofest

Welcome to New York. 2014. USA/France. Directed by Abel Ferrara. Courtesy IFC Films/Photofest