Abel Ferrara

Director, Screenwriter, Songwriter
A prolific independent filmmaker with a penchant for graphic sex and violence, director Abel Ferrara developed a strong following for his highly atmospheric, stylized portraits of an ultra-violent and crime-ridden New ... Read more »
Born: 07/19/1951 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (25)

Welcome to New York 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Pasolini 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

4:44 Last Day on Earth 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Go Go Tales 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Chelsea on the Rocks 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Mary 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

'R Xmas 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

New Rose Hotel 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

The Blackout 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

The Funeral 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

The Addiction 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Body Snatchers 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Dangerous Game 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Bad Lieutenant 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Cat Chaser 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

King of New York 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Crime Story 1986 - 1988 (Tv Show)

Director

The Loner 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

China Girl 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Gladiator 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Director

Fear City 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Ms. 45 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Driller Killer 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

The Gladiator (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (12)

Welcome to New York 2015 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Pasolini 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

4:44 Last Day on Earth 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Go Go Tales 2011 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans 2009 (Movie)

(from screenplay: Bad Lieutenant) (Source Material)

Chelsea on the Rocks 2009 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mary 2008 (Movie)

(Story By)

'R Xmas 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

New Rose Hotel 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Blackout 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dangerous Game 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bad Lieutenant 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (6)

Odyssey in Rome 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Daddy Longlegs 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

Words In Progress 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

At Sundance 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Ms. 45 1981 (Movie)

1st Rapist (Actor)

The Driller Killer 1979 (Movie)

Reno Miller (Actor)
Music (4)

The Blackout 1997 (Movie)

musician(credited as Jimmy Laine) (Music)

The Blackout 1997 (Movie)

songs("2 to Tango" "One Fateful Day" "Breathless" "What Was Gonna Be Your Name") (Song)

China Girl 1987 (Movie)

songs("Hot and Bothered" "Chinatown Tonight") (Song)

The Driller Killer 1979 (Movie)

("Grand Street Stomp") (Song)
Producer (3)

Happy Life 2011 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Uncle Bob 2009 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Bandaged 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)
Editor (1)

The Driller Killer 1979 (Movie)

(Editor)

Biography

A prolific independent filmmaker with a penchant for graphic sex and violence, director Abel Ferrara developed a strong following for his highly atmospheric, stylized portraits of an ultra-violent and crime-ridden New York City with gritty movies like "King of New York" (1990) and "Bad Lieutenant" (1992). Often working in collaboration with out-of-bounds actors like Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe, Ferrara rose above the seedy sex and violence to metaphorical and often allegorical levels by exploring good and evil, often through the use of religious iconography. Aided by screenwriting partner and childhood friend Nicholas St. John, he rose to prominence in the indie world with exploitation movies "Driller Killer" (1979) and "Ms. 45" (1980), and even had a brief brush with the mainstream by directing episodes of "Miami Vice" (NBC, 1984-89) and "Crime Story" (NBC, 1986). But it was "King of New York" and "Bad Lieutenant" that earned him a great deal of respect despite their sordid subject matter, the latter of which many considered to be Ferrara's masterpiece. After running into trouble with Madonna on "Dangerous Game" (1993) and the exquisite period gangster piece "The Funeral" (1996), he often struggled to find financing. In his later years, Ferrara continued making tough films that often depicted an essentially evil world that nonetheless contained hope for salvation.

Relationships

Endira Ferrara

Daughter

Nancy Ferrara Actor

Wife
He directed her in "Dangerous Game" (1993) and "The Blackout" (1997)

Lucy Ferrara

Daughter

Marla Hanson Screenplay

Companion
Worked together on "The Addiction" (1995) and "The Blackout" (1997)

EDUCATION

went to the same high school in Peekskill, New York as future screenwriting partner Nicholas St John, with whom he explored Super-8 during this time

State University of New York, Purchase

Purchase , New York
briefly studied film

Rockland Community College

Suffern , New York
enrolled to avoid the Vietnam War

Milestones

2010

Directed documentary about his old neighborhood "Mulberry St."

2009

Credited as co-writer in Werner Herzog directed "The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans," starring Nicolas Cage

2008

Made documentary feature debut with "Chelsea on the Rocks"

2006

First acting role in 25 years, "Exes"

2001

Helmed crime drama "'R Xmas"

1998

Directed "The New Rose Hotel"; co-scripted with Zoe Lund (who co-wrote "Bad Lieutenant")

1997

Drama feature "The Blackout," starring Mathew Modine debuted at Cannes Film Festival

1997

Contributed 10-minute segment featuring Rosie Perez ("Love on the A Train") to Jonathan Demme produced HBO anthology "Subway Stories"

1996

Directed period gangster piece "The Funeral"

1995

Returned to low-budget, visceral nature of early work with "The Addiction"; filmed in black and white

1994

Helmed "Body Snatchers", a slick remake of the 1954 classic horror flick

1993

Directed erotic drama "Dangerous Game," starring Madonna and Keitel

1993

Honored with career retrospective during 22nd annual Rotterdam Film Festival

1992

Directed and co-wrote crime drama "Bad Lieutenant"; repelled by its blasphemous imagery, devout Catholic Nicholas St. John refused to work on film with long-time partner; first collaboration with Harvey Keitel

1990

Crime thriller "King of New York" featured at various international festivals (including New York) and caught attention of mainstream critics; first collaboration with Christopher Walken

1986

Helmed two-hour pilot for Michael Mann produced cop series "Crime Story" (NBC)

1985

Directed two episodes of Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" (NBC) during its debut season

1981

Second directorial effort, revenge drama "Ms. 45"; also played first rapist, again credited as Jimmy Laine

1979

Inspired by success of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1975), decided to make "The Driller Killer"; film marked his feature directorial debut and screen writing debut of longtime collaborator Nicholas St. John; also starred, edited, and wrote songs under p

Moved from Fordham section of the Bronx to Peekskill, NY at age 13

Bonus Trivia

.

Ferrara neither confirms nor denies the reports that he once directed porno movies before embarking on his feature career.

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