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C O N T E M P O R A R Y F I L M D I R E C T O R S Abel Ferrara Nicole Brenez Abel Ferrara Nicole Brenez Translated from the French by Adrian Martin “A truly remarkable achievement. Brenez does the best job to date in defending an underappreciated American director not only in terms of aesthetics, but also for his ethical reflections on the crimes and abuses of the past century.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum “One of the most exciting film books I have read in years. This essay is not only a brilliant study on Abel Ferrara’s work, but a deep plunge into the stormy waters of film theory. In short, a masterpiece of modern literature about more than cinema.” —Carlos Losilla, film critic and professor of film theory, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) “Where critical work on Ferrara is concerned, Brenez has set a daunting new standard.” —Brad Stevens, author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision In this concise study, Nicole Brenez argues for Abel Ferrara’s place in a line of grand inventors who have blurred distinctions between industry and avantgarde film, including Orson Welles, Monte Hellman, and Nicholas Ray. Rather than merely reworking genre film, Brenez understands Ferrara’s oeuvre as formulating new archetypes that depict the evil of the modern world. Focusing as much on the human figure as on elements of storytelling, she argues that films such as Bad Lieutenant express this evil through visionary characters struggling against the inadmissible (inadmissible behavior, morality, images, and narratives). Nicole Brenez, prominent film critic and curator for the experimental cinema programs at the Cinémathèque française in Paris, teaches cinema studies at Universite Paris I/Pantheon-Sorbonne. She is the author of Shadows de John Cassavetes and de John Cassavetes and de John Cassavetes other books. Adrian Martin is coeditor of the internet magazine Rouge and the author Rouge and the author Rouge of Once Upon a Time in America and America and America The Mad Max Movies. A volume in the series Contemporary Film Directors, edited by James Naremore Cover illustration: Terry Kinney and the shadows of the three soldiers in Body Snatchers. Photo courtesy Zone Frontiére. Cover design: Paula Newcomb University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago FILM / MEDIA STUDIES isbn-10: 0-252-07411-4 isbn-13: 978-0-252-07411-0 ,!7IA2F2-ahebba!:t;K;k;K;k Brenez ILLINOIS Abel Ferrara ...


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