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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:33 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:27 am
I've been exploring Abel Ferrara's filmography over the past year and my interest and respect for his work continues to rise. Unfortunately, his work doesn't seem as appreciated on DVD as it should be and I've had to start resorting to VHS in order to see his most well known features with collaborators like screenwriter Nick St. John and DP Karl Kerschl.

China Girl ('87), Dangerous Game ('93), The Addiction ('95) and The Funeral ('96) are not out, while Ms. 45 ('81) and Cat Chaser ('90) are edited. Luckily, I can track down these titles for rent on VHS, but I would really like to get some nice DVD copies to own. Does anyone know if there has been news or rumors about releasing more of his films, or does it look like a lot of these will sit and continue to collect dust?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:01 am 
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Dangerous Game was released by MGM in April. It includes anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen on a flipper, both are director's unrated cut.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:33 am 

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Thanks for the tip, I ordered it through Amazon immediately. For some reason, they don't list it when you seach for Abel Ferrara nor do they have any copies sold from their site. I had to buy it from their third party shop. Any idea what's going on? Did it get pulled?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:58 am 
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Holy cow, I had no idea Dangerous Game was out. This one sounds like a complete mess, but potentially brilliant, or at least quite interesting.

I just got around to seeing New Rose Hotel the other day and it was as brilliant as it was often frustrating. I'm not entirely sold on the flashbacks at the end, but I'm also not convinced it's merely Ferrara running out of a budget and/or ideas. It needs another look but I found it pretty enjoyable the first time through.

I noticed there's a 2-disc set of The Funeral and The Addiction in region 2, but it seems both are pan-and-scan, a shame. Can anyone confirm? Is there a good copy of The Funeral released anywhere?

I also need to watch his Body Snatchers remake. The film journal Rouge has an excerpt from a longer study of Ferrara's work, recently translated into English and due to be published sometime this year: http://www.rouge.com.au/rougerouge/sleep.html . The screen captures seem quite promising.

Bad Lieutenant will probably always be my favorite, but I intend to see everything he's done eventually. It's a shame that Vincent Gallo dropped out of his new film (which seems to have necessitated a late rewrite, recentering the film around Juliette Binoche as an actress playing Mary, as opposed to Gallo as an actor playing Jesus). Hell, I even need to catch up with 'R Xmas...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:05 am 
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It has only a limited release. From all the on-line stores, only buy.com and sendit.com have it for sale.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:09 am 

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Ashirg wrote:
It has only a limited release. From all the on-line stores, only buy.com and sendit.com have it for sale.


More MGM "exclusives"? You don't say. Gotta love business monopolies.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:38 am 

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Oedipax wrote:
Holy cow, I had no idea Dangerous Game was out. This one sounds like a complete mess, but potentially brilliant, or at least quite interesting.


I just saw it tonight and my opinion is that it is utterly brilliant. I think people looking for a standard, straightforward plot structure are going to be out of luck (sorry, Madonna fans). This is by far one of his most contemplative films, at least that I've seen, and probably one of the most intensely personal.

I really wonder how much of St. John's script was right out of his or Ferrara's lives. Though Keitel and the cast are going by different names, he is clearly a take on Ferarra himself. At one point, the movie-within-the-movie, "Mother of Mirrors", is slated with a marker with Ferrara's (and Kerschel's) name on it instead of Eddie's.

There was so much going on in this movie that I simply can't make many clear statements about what I think it was trying to do or say yet. So many layers and truths, parallels that existed in the movie being made, the film we're watching and from Ferrara's perspective as storyteller. It was a real treat and surprise, seeing as how I had heard little before viewing it.

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I just got around to seeing New Rose Hotel the other day and it was as brilliant as it was often frustrating. I'm not entirely sold on the flashbacks at the end, but I'm also not convinced it's merely Ferrara running out of a budget and/or ideas. It needs another look but I found it pretty enjoyable the first time through.


I felt much the same way about the ending, but I didn't find the movie very enjoyable. I ended up doing some reading about the project and found that Asia Argento's character was originally supposed to be much younger and that her arc was supposed to be far more a surprise *because* of her age. From his statements and interest in what the story was originally supposed to be about, it sounded like they hurt themselves by making concessions in the casting process.

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I noticed there's a 2-disc set of The Funeral and The Addiction in region 2, but it seems both are pan-and-scan, a shame. Can anyone confirm? Is there a good copy of The Funeral released anywhere?


There is a widescreen version of The Funeral that I keep seeing coming out of Brazil, but I'm not going to buy it until I know more about the transfer. The U.S. DVD release went out of print some time ago, maybe having something to do with October Films drying up. I don't know.

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I also need to watch his Body Snatchers remake.


Really, don't bother. It's such a poor mishmash of ideas clearly due to a weak producer pushing the script through too many strong director's hands (and that of their writers'). Everytime a different auteur was involved (Larry Cohen, Stuart Gordon, Abel Ferrara), they put in different elements and made alternative choices for lead characters.

Cohen's stuff with the kid and military is scattered about like fragments or tossed away, the parents are non-entities, the teens are cypher cliches, Ferrara's Forest Whitaker character barely has anything to do and the Gordon-like effects are creepy but minimal. It's just a pot so full of stuff that there is absolutely no direction and the last half-hour is just laughably awful.

Also, avoid Fear City if you can. It's indescribably bad.

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The film journal Rouge has an excerpt from a longer study of Ferrara's work


There's a really cool book that FAB Press recently released. You should check that out, it's pretty thorough.

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It's a shame that Vincent Gallo dropped out of his new film (which seems to have necessitated a late rewrite, recentering the film around Juliette Binoche as an actress playing Mary, as opposed to Gallo as an actor playing Jesus).


I don't know if it was recentered. Do you still have the plotline from that incarnation? The current one sounds a lot like the one covered in the FAB Press book when he had Monica Belluci tapped to play the titular character. He made it sound like he always intended for it to center on the actress playing Mary Magdalene, due to his fascination with Barbara Hershey's comments about her part in Last Temptation of Christ. Hmm, I guess I should look up more about this movie.

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Hell, I even need to catch up with 'R Xmas...


That's one of the films next on my list to see. Let me know what you think.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:19 am 
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I really had no idea any version of Ms. 45 was out. I may have to pick it up, reservations notwithstanding.

That's a film I waited a long time to see and wasn't disappointed in, at all. I caught a fairly grainy print in the late 90's on The Movie Channel, then a much better print the same place a few months later.

Best body parts disposal scenes until Tell Me Something :twisted:

Has anytbody seen Zoe Tamerlis/Lund's film Special Effects from '84, with Eric Bogosian? It was written and directed by the sporadically effective B-movie auteur Larry Cohen.

Any comments on it, either the film itself or the available disc?

Also...no love for King of New York?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:00 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:27 am
Polybius wrote:
I really had no idea any version of Ms. 45 was out. I may have to pick it up, reservations notwithstanding.


I did, and it was completely worth it. The editing chops up some of the rape sequences and probably violence, but the most important aspects of the film appear to be intact. I agree that it's one of his best. The image disc has no special features and I think it even starts as soon as you pop it in. I would love to see a better edition (uncut), but this will do for now.

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Has anytbody seen Zoe Tamerlis/Lund's film Special Effects from '84, with Eric Bogosian? It was written and directed by the sporadically effective B-movie auteur Larry Cohen.


Not yet, but I plan to buy it (and Cohen's Perfect Strangers) as soon as I finish his two Fred Williamson features and the It's Alive sequels. According to a piece on Senses of Cinema, it's an admirable but flawed attempt to do a Hitchcockian type piece. Still, I would love to see what Bogosian and Lund brought to the parts.

The MGM disc is widescreen, as is all their other Cohen DVD releases. Still waiting for a Full Moon High disc, though.

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no love for King of New York?


I thought that went without saying. Like The Funeral, it's a stunning turn on the traditional gangster film. Though, I think Frank White is a far more sympathetic character than anyone you'll find in the other Ferrara/Walken collaborations. Everytime I see that movie, now that I know the entire story, that hospital dedication ceremony really brings me down.

As the current special edition disc is wonderful, I didn't feel the need to bring it up with my whining. Anyone who is interested should definitely take advantage of Lions Gate's new 2 disc set. It's a great transfer and the special features are fantastic: Ferrara commentary, documentary/interviews with Ferrara's collaborators (St. John, Kerschl, etc.) and trailer(s).

Don't know what they're waiting for, but they need to do the same treatment for their lackluster release of Bad Lieutenant.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:53 pm 
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I just wanted to be sure.

I agree, it's a fabulous film, one I saw out of the blue with little fanfare. Walken, Fishburne, Snipes and Caruso, actors I like in almost anything, are all top notch here. Fishburne is especially raw. "Howdy Doody and The Chocolate Wonder", indeed :P

If you haven't seen it, I think you will really like Black Caesar. It's one of my 3-4 favorite Blaxploitation movies. Utterly fabulous James Brown soundtrack, and a nice turn by The Hammer.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:25 am 
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DrewReiber wrote:
As the current special edition disc is wonderful, I didn't feel the need to bring it up with my whining. Anyone who is interested should definitely take advantage of Lions Gate's new 2 disc set. It's a great transfer and the special features are fantastic: Ferrara commentary,


I love how Ferrara cops to doing the commentary for the money. Now, that's honesty! :lol:

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Don't know what they're waiting for, but they need to do the same treatment for their lackluster release of Bad Lieutenant.


I agree. I unfortunately got rid of my old VHS copy that had Schooly D's "Signifiying Rapper" on it, which has been subsequently removed from future versions of the movie because he sampled Led Zepplin without permission. D'oh!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:07 pm 
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I love their music, but the spectacle of Led fucking Zeppelin, a band who climbed to success by putting it's collective foot on the face of every dead and/or penniless bluesman who ever picked up a guitar or opened their mouth, harping on something like that...is beyond revolting.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:18 pm 
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Great thing about Schoolly D burning Zeppelin on that track is he follows it with 'No More Rock N' Roll' on the, dare I say, essential Smoke Some Kill album.

Wasn't even the VHS of Bad Lieutenant different than the theatrical release? I seem to recall some changes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:13 am 
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ben d banana wrote:
Great thing about Schoolly D burning Zeppelin on that track is he follows it with 'No More Rock N' Roll' on the, dare I say, essential Smoke Some Kill album.

Wasn't even the VHS of Bad Lieutenant different than the theatrical release? I seem to recall some changes.


If memory serves, initial copies of the VHS tape had the Schooly D song on it but I bet that more recent ones have it removed. I know that when it is shown on IFC the song is gone.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:24 pm 
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Not just the song, it seemed to be a slightly different edit, just a few little things changed. I could be wrong, but I know this was the case for Pulp Fiction and I watched both of them on VHS around the same time and recall noticing both were a tad off from their theatrical presentations.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:18 pm 

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The BAD LIEUTENANT DVD is the biggest piece of cr@p ever made! The friggin top and bottom of the frame SHAKE the ENTIRE TIME.

ANy chance they'll possibly re-issue this thing? I mean the transfer isn't really that bad, it just keeps shaking. (I've tried 4 different copies from various sources on like 3 different dvd players and they all do the same damn thing.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:51 pm 

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stroszeck wrote:
The BAD LIEUTENANT DVD is the biggest piece of cr@p ever made!


Artisan was notorious for terrible transfers. My copy of Waxwork gate jumps so much throughout the entire film that it's completely unwatchable for me without nasuea. Lion's Gate is slowly re-releasing most of their cult films which is supposed to include stuff like Dario Argento's Sleepless. Seeing as how their 2 disc for King of New York was fantastic, I figure a special edition of Bad Lieutenant is just a matter of time.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:16 pm 
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Whoa. I was just in Wal-Mart today (I know, I know) and happened to notice they have a DVD of The Funeral now, only it's - wait for it - full screen, pan-and-scan! :x

When did that happen, though? I don't see it listed on Amazon, aside from the older OOP copy from Pioneer. I don't remember offhand what the name of the distributor on this new DVD was. The cover art was pretty terrible. Three close-ups of the leads and a big blood splatter at the bottom. The back cover description describes Ferrara as an "acclaimed director" but not so much that they won't fuck up his movie, I guess. Sigh.

The cover has a "FULL SCREEN" banner across the top, which gave me momentary hope I might find a widescreen copy as well, but either it doesn't exist or they didn't have any in stock. Does anyone know anything more about this? Seems to have totally slipped under the radar.

Edit: Here's a URL I found with the cover art:

http://www.moviesunlimited.com/musite/p ... u=D21762++


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:13 am 

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I'm pretty sure it's a bootleg that slipped past distributors. I've seen Platinum dump tons of TV movies onto DVD that I wouldn't be surprised if they never held any rights to. I was intrigued as you were when I saw the disc, but you quickly notice the bad photoshop cover cobbled together from associated press photos and guess what the disc must amount to.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 4:04 pm 
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I'm not sure how long this has been out, but I just learned about it... Ferrara's Mary is on DVD in Italy! It is apparently a 16x9 enhanced transfer with both English and Italian audio options. Annoyingly, when listening to the English audio track, Italian subtitles are forced. But that can be fixed with various computer programs.

http://www.xploitedcinema.com/dvds/dvds.asp?title=7679


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:12 am 
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Wild Side will relaesed Mary on DVD in France on October 3rd. English 5.1 & DTS, with a short Doc and interviews with Abel ferrara, Forest Whitaker, Fernando Sulichin.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:30 pm 
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IFC has picked up Mary for theatrical (and presumably DVD) release in North America.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:11 am 
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Don't forget Abel Ferrara's early masterpiece '9 Lives of a Wet Pussy'.
Now available on dvd courtesy of VCX.

http://www.beardyfreak.com/rv9.php
http://imdb.com/title/tt0076459/
http://www.adultfilmdatabase.com/index. ... _Pussycat/


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:38 am 
Is there a decent DVD of "The Addiction" anywhere on the worldwide market?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:23 pm 
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Not really. The best available version is still probably the US VHS, because it's letterboxed. For some bizarre reason none of the DVDs appear to be widescreen.


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