10 Essential Abel Ferrara Films You Need To Watch

6. Dangerous Game (1993)

Dangerous Game (1993)

This one deserves to be on this list for one good essential reason. And that reason is, Abel Ferrara was able to get a solid performance from Madonna. For those who have bothered to look into her filmography as an actress, the overall consensus would be that this is one of the few best films she has been in.

Despite the behind the scenes rumours that she wasn’t happy with the end result because of the way her character evolved in the final editing process and felt betrayed by Ferrara because he ended up using more of the rehearsal footage than the actual professional footage, one cannot argue that this is most likely one of Madonna’s best and most dynamic performance as an actress. What he was able to get from her was a more pure and raw expression in her acting that we’ve never really seen from her before.

With the usage of documentary style shooting in certain parts, the film’s intricate story of reality and fantasy becomes blurred for us and particularly for the characters. It’s basically a film within’ a film. James Russo and Harvey Keitel both have a complex role to fulfill in this film and they are able to do so convincingly. To consider this one to be a more dramatic-sexual noir of Ferrara would not be too far off the mark.


7. The Addiction (1995)

addiction movie

Abel Ferrara has reinvented the vampire genre with this film. At first, the title may give off a more drug related vibe but ultimately experiencing the film, you will know it flows more within’ the lines of a vampire tale. Shot in black and white, the movie has more of a grainy and desolate feel. The overall vibe to the film is one of being stripped down.

There are no crazy effects here and no high gloss vampiric scenery. This is more cerebral if anything. Highly recommended to those who love to explore a different kind of vampire flick in the vein of Only Lovers Left Alive. Lili Taylor has had some great achievements in her film career as an actress but in this one, it reveals one of her best underrated performances.


8. The Funeral (1996)

The Funeral (1996)

The Funeral is what would be considered a great but simple mafia film set in the 1930’s. It’s the simplicity of the scenes that works well within the film and gives more emphasis on the performances of the actors. Christopher Walken gives a riveting performance in the scene where he shoots the killer of his brother. He’s able to project the hurt and anger simultaneously without missing a beat. The ill-fated brother is played brilliantly by Vincent Gallo. Benicio Del Toro and Chris Penn both shine in their roles as well.

There’s a question of morals in this one and it’s a hard question only because of the lives that they are forced to live and live them in consequence for better or for worse. It’s an ongoing battle that the characters argue incessantly with each other till the final climax in the film. The ending may seem a little off but overall it‘s crucial to the film, giving it a sense of closure that it so desperately needs.


9. The Blackout (1997)


Films are made sometimes to challenge you. The Blackout is definitely one that will do just that! One can appreciate the debauchery the Dennis Hopper character portrays as it is quite entertaining. Perversion is an element that seems to be almost always present in Ferrara’s films. It’s actually even expected!

Then there’s Matthew Modine in one of his most interesting film roles. He embodies the persona of an alcoholic well on the screen and makes you believe all the blurriness the character is suffering from. It can be a confusing but yet fascinating film. A marred gem? Perhaps! But worth checking out if one is willing to go deeper into Ferrara’s film work.


10. New Rose Hotel (1998)

New Rose Hotel (1998)

The take on the corporate world is that there’s plenty of corruption to go around for everyone. In this case the two lead characters played by Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe want a bite of it. They use a briber played by Asia Argento to get what they want from their competitors.

Asia Argento exudes the right attitude and look for this type of role-someone who isn’t afraid to deceive even the ones who gave her that initial chance. Perhaps not one of his overall best but worth it just to see Asia Argento in all her edgy glamour.

Author Bio: Martin Del Carpio is a music artist from New York. With the vital help of various music producers, he has been able to record over 5 albums. He is also a huge fan of cinema with the silent era being his all-time favorite.