Friday, March 23, 2012

The Ferrara/ Carpenter Movie Club

An Abel Ferrara film getting a U.S. theatrical release is not par for the course these days, but 4:44:Last Day on Earth is marginally more deserving than the drab 'R Xmas, Chelsea on the Rocks, Napoli, Napoli, Napoli, or the excruciatingly dull Mary.

The film is about the world ending shot from the point of view of two lovers in an apartment.  Willem Dafoe, who is always interesting to watch, is a vital centerpiece here, but Ferrara has trouble sticking to his premise.

Yes, Ferrara still gets to make films because he has some residual goodwill from people who remember that he once gave a shit with films like Ms.45, China Girl, Body Snatchers, The King of New York, and Bad Lieutenant. But, if he were a filmmaker starting out today with stuff like this, he'd be crucified and eaten by dogs.

 My favorite Ferrara film with the stunning (and, unfortunately, dead)  Zoe Tamerlis.

He joins the club of cinematic indifference that John Carpenter has been a member of for some time. George Romero shows up for a beer now and then, too. It's a place where directors who once cared get together to polish turds, pick up paychecks, and tell a few lies about their enthusiasm for said turds.

I'm heartened that David Cronenberg, who's of the same generation, was recently denied entry to this club .

Clearly the work of a director who still cares.


  1. jervaise brooke hamsterMarch 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Phantom, i have to veh-girl-tley disagree with you about John Carpenter and George A. Romero's more recent movies. "The Ward", "Ghosts of Mars", "Land of the Dead", and "Survival of the Dead" have all become cult favorites for me in the last few years.

  2. Ham-meister -- fair enough. Can you explain to me why they have become cult favorites? I'm dying to know.

  3. jervaise brooke hamsterMarch 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I know that Cronrnberg's last 3 films (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method) have all been acclaimed as masterworks but they are all essentially drama's. He celebrates his 70th birthday just under a year from now so he might only make another 4 or 5 films over the next 10 or 15 years (unless he decides to retire from film-making relatively early), i just hope that one or two of them might be throwbacks to the good old days of what i refer to as "imaginitive special effects oriented Cronenberg" ("The Brood"..oh Cindy..sweet Cindy, "Scanners", Videodrome, etc, etc), rather than his more recent output of what i refer as "relatively unimaginitive non-special effects oriented and therefore slightly boring and tedious Cronenberg".

  4. jervaise brooke hamsterMarch 23, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Simply because i`ve always prefered science-fiction and horror movies over every other genre. Strickly speaking theres no such thing as a bad science-fiction or horror movie simply because movies in those genres are never disapointing specifically because THEY ARE science-fiction or horror, add to that the fact that Carpenter and Romero are two of the all-time greatest cinematic exponents of those genres. Thats quite a few reasons why i think those four movies are all-time cult-classics.

  5. jervaise brooke hamsterMarch 23, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    In my opinion Abel Ferrara has only made one good film: "Body Snatchers" (1993).

  6. Ham-son: Glad you reminded me of that. I should have included that and now will. It's a really good movie.