It takes a village

Abel Ferrara on Willem Dafoe, Siberia and Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Abel Ferrara on his selections for Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village: “Desperate Living by John Waters, one of my favorite directors. Then we got a couple of films by the guys that I worked with. My editor and my DP Sean Williams, Stephen Gurewitz, Michael Bilandic.
Abel Ferrara on his selections for Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village: “Desperate Living by John Waters, one of my favorite directors. Then we got a couple of films by the guys that I worked with. My editor and my DP Sean Williams, Stephen Gurewitz, Michael Bilandic. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village starts on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30pm with a free screening of The Projectionist on Nicolas Nicolaou (owner of Cinema Village, Bay Ridge’s Alpine Cinemas and Forest Hills’ Cinemart), followed by a Q&A with Abel. Tommaso (Willem Dafoe, Cristina Chiriac, Anna Ferrara); Pasolini (Dafoe as Pier Paolo Pasolini with Riccardo Scamarcio, Ninetto Davoli); Siberia (Dafoe); Ms. 45 (Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys); 4:44 Last Day On Earth (Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh), and Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day) will have $5 screenings.

John Waters’ Desperate Living; Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist; Stephen Gurewitz’s Honky Kong (Sean Price Williams, Hannah Gross, Alex Ross Perry); Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo, and Jim Sharman’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show are among the films selected by Ferrara to be screening during his celebration of the reopening of Cinema Village.

Abel Ferrara with Anne-Katrin Titze on Cinema Village: “We are celebrating the reopening of the theater after it’s been closed for a year through the pandemic. Also coupled with our new movie, Siberia, that’s coming out this week.”
Abel Ferrara with Anne-Katrin Titze on Cinema Village: “We are celebrating the reopening of the theater after it’s been closed for a year through the pandemic. Also coupled with our new movie, Siberia, that’s coming out this week.”

From New York, Abel Ferrara joined me on Zoom for an in-depth conversation on Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village, Willem Dafoe, Siberia, and so much more.

Anne-Katrin Titze: Hi!

Abel Ferrara: Hey! Recording in progress. Maybe I should get dressed properly. How do I look?

AKT: Lovely!

AF: Alright fine. You look lovely yourself, if I’m allowed to say that. So where are you calling from? Where are you at?

AKT: I’m in New York.

AF: Oh great, okay. We should have met for coffee.

AKT: What’s going to happen this week at Cinema Village?

AF: Did you get all the stuff?

AKT: I saw, yes. I just would like you to tell me.

AF: I will tell you exactly what it is. Nick, the projectionist, he owns the theatre. He’s an independent spirit, we did a film about him, a documentary called The Projectionist. So we are celebrating the reopening of the theatre after it’s been closed for a year through the pandemic. Also coupled with our new movie, Siberia, that’s coming out this week. We’re going to play some of the movies that I played at Cinema Village, like Ms. 45 and Driller Killer back in the day, right? We’re going to play some of the movies I used to go see at Cinema Village.

AKT: Yes, I saw. The Conformist by Bertolucci, one of my favourites.

AF: I know, it took a while. We got the good DCP but it’s not going to come till next week. It’s going to play kind of at the end of the festival. I wish it was playing all along, but, you know, we’re doing the best we can. El Topo …

AKT: … and John Waters …

AF: Yeah, Desperate Living by John Waters, one of my favourite directors. Then we got a couple of films by the guys that I worked with. My editor and my DP Sean Williams, Stephen Gurewitz, Michael Bilandic [director of Happy Life].

Willem Dafoe in Abel Ferrara’s Siberia - opens at Cinema Village on June 30
Willem Dafoe in Abel Ferrara’s Siberia - opens at Cinema Village on June 30

AKT: What is Honky Kong? I hadn’t heard of that.

AF: Stephen Gurewitz, the great Stephen Gurewitz. You know who Sean Price Williams is?

AKT: Of course.

AF: He is the star of the movie. If you can imagine that. He looks like if Jim Morrison lasted another couple of years, that’s what he looks like. Put a special star around that! And then he’s got his movie coming, that’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday [July 6 - 8]. Then Sean is in a movie, he shot The Projectionist, I think he shot Mike’s movie. He’s acting, starring, and DP-ing. He’s the star of the festival, obviously. He and Bertolucci.

AKT: And you are also going to perform with your band?

AF: Well, I’ll play with Joe, my composer, Joe Delia. Joe’s going to play, so we’ll get up there and play with him. Inside and outside the theatre. We’re going to play at a park. You know, we’re going to make it like a street festival. We’re charging only $5 a seat, because Nick is that kind of guy. You can stay all day if there’s room for you. You can see your movie and if there’s room in another movie, you can watch anything you want all day. Tuesday night is the kick-off and that’s for free.

AKT: Great!

AF: Try to be! You’re going to come?

AKT: I’m going to try. I don’t know yet.

AF: Alright. Tuesday night!

Abel Ferrara’s Cinema Village kicks off on June 29 and runs through Thursday, July 8.

Coming up - Abel Ferrara on Siberia, Willem Dafoe and so much more.

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