Cover

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Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright, Quotes

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I warmly thank Bernard Benoliel, Emmanuel Bonin, Charles-Antoine Bosson, Stéphane Delorme, Philippe Delvosalle, Ivora Cusak, Fergus Daly, Agathe Dreyfus, Pierre Hecker, Alexander Horwath, Kent Jones, Bernd Kiefer, Maria Klonaris, Solange Marcin, Gabriela Trujillo, and Gaëlle Vidalie for their help with this book. ...

A Cinema of Negation

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Some Ethical Stakes in Ferrara’s Cinema

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pp. 1-22

Abel Ferrara is to cinema what Joe Strummer is to music: a poet who justifies the existence of popular forms. Without them, the genre film or the pop song would be no more than objects of cultural consumption. In this material world run on injustice and terror, where “popular” is confused with “industrial,” any cultural expression that does not hurl an angry cry or wail a song of mad love ...

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What Is Passion? Central Figures of Hypermorality

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pp. 22-68

In coming to grips with the questions of evil and guilt, Rossellini found it necessary to renew fiction in order to restore our relation to belief and reason. Ferrara works on the same problem, but at the level of the body. His films invent powerful modes of somatization, or the translation of psychic, political, and economic phenomena into corporeal terms. ...

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“Going to the End of Being”

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pp. 68-110

Death constitutes the principal material of Ferrara’s cinema. Giving it, taking it, giving it to oneself, giving it again to someone who is already dead (the hoods in King of New York fire on corpses, and Chez shoots a coffin)—this is the essential activity of his characters. Is it a morbid predilection? On the contrary, it can be argued that Ferrara’s films attempt to give meaning to the irreparable nature of death. ...

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Self-Consciousness: The Visionaries

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pp. 110-150

Can Ferrara’s approach be called “American” in the sense that the individual—precarious and problematic as that category is—nonetheless remains the classical depositary of consciousness? Or is his approach an inevitable displacement in relation to the 1960s and 1970s in the sense that our current historical horizon no longer offers any possibility of collective hope? ...

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Cinema and Symbolic Reparation

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pp. 150-164

Take a war, such as the first Iraq war of 1991. What does a narrative filmmaker do with it? Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, who in that period were staging Sophocles’s Antigone at the Berlin Schaubühne, decided to dedicate their final performance of the play “to the thousands of Iraqis buried without graves (no name or even number) by the American bulldozers.”102 ...

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An Interview with Abel Ferrara

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pp. 165-172

The following is the transcription of a question-and-answer session following a screening of ’R Xmas at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris on 9 April 2003. Ferrara appeared with his producer and frequent collaborator, Frank DeCurtis. Jean-François Rauger is the director of the Programation Department. ...

Filmography

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pp. 173-192

Bibliography

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pp. 193-198

Index

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pp. 199-210

Back Cover

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