Even though I am not a huge fan of his strange, but often-interesting films, and his teeth in the pictures below kind of scare the hell out of me, I gotta say that for the first time in years, controversial writer/director Abel Ferrara and I see eye to eye on something…
But before we get to that, a little background on the freaky-deaky indie icon himself. The quintessential New Yorker, Ferrara, like so many offbeat American directors, is kind of worshiped by the French. Not only has he been a regular fixture at Cannes over the years, but several of Ferrara’s recent films — which have never even had a theatrical release in the U.S. — premiered in France.
So it was no surprise to see him soaking up the French love on the red carpet for the world premiere of his latest cinematic opus, the star-studded documentary “Chelsea on the Rocks”. Detailing the gloriously seedy past and uncertain future of this landmark NYC hotel, the doc is said to contain some of Ferrara’s best work to date…so, rock on, Abel!
But the biggest shocker to come out of Mr. Ferrara’s multiple press conferences at Cannes was the news that someone is inexplicably remaking his twisted masterpiece “Bad Lieutenant”. Yep, you heard me…remaking! Insane, non?
Even more surprising is the talent attached. The new version of Ferrara’s 1992 classic is going to be directed by German “madman with a camera” Werner Herzog with…hold onto your tainted badges, folks…Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage starring as the titular police man. Yep, Jerry Bruckheimer’s hambone royale himself is gonna be tackling what is arguably one of Harvey Keitel’s finest cinematic performances.
My question is…why, God, why? I mean, love it or hate it — we did both, sometimes at the very same time — the infamous “Bad Lieutenant” is one of the most well-regarded independent films of the 1990’s, so, if you ask me, remaking it is kind of a sacrilege.
And with Nicolas Cage no less!? Yikes…here’s hoping Herzog does the world a favor and cuts that whole full-frontal nude scene…
And though I’m not quite as passionate as Mr. Ferrara is on the subject — he told the French press on Friday that the people involved should “die in hell” and vowed to “strangle every one of them” if he ever sees them again — I understand the dude’s outrage. I mean, really, any way you look at it, this lame, totally unnecessary remake is gonna suck some serious ass. I say…long live the original flawed masterpiece that is Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant”.
And while I wait to check out his cool-sounding “Chelsea on the Rocks” documentary for myself…here’s to you, crazy old Abel Ferrara, late night genre movies would be a very boring place without you!