Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome to New York, one of our top 50 films of the half-decade thus far, will finally be arriving to the United States this month, but unfortunately not in the best of shape. The loose retelling of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair clocked in at 125 minutes when we reviewed it at Cannes Film Festival, but now 17 minutes of it has been excised and retooled to get to a version that’s 108 minutes. We’ve now got the U.S. trailer for the film, but first, a word from our director.
Saying he’s “totally disgusted with” IFC Films, Ferrara said back in the fall, that “they knew from day one when they bought this film that they had the final version and that it wasn’t going to be changed. I’ve f—ing had it with this corporate assault on the artists and the freedom of the artist, period. It’s like a war against movies. Because 90 percent of the marketplace is owned by five guys masquerading as corporations. They’re vultures and they’re vampires, and they’re trying to suck the blood out of the life of the filmmaking community.”
As for our take on the original version, we said, “A younger, unchecked Abel Ferrara might have made something louder and more aggressive out of this tawdry material, but this study of a monster is disciplined and startlingly de-sensationalized. Ferrara’s formal approach — dim lighting, long takes — prioritizes depiction over commentary; while there’s no questioning the deplorability of Devereaux’s (Gérard Depardieu) cravings, Ferrara doesn’t waste time moralizing. The reason for this is wise and ingeniously simple: after enough time in Devereaux’s company, the man will simply render himself pathetic. The project couldn’t have clicked without a committed central performance, and the one Depardieu turns in is heroically vulnerable. The excruciating, near-real-time sequence in which the actor is detained, processed, questioned, and stripped in a police department is process-oriented filmmaking at its most revealing.”
Check out the trailer below for the film also starring Jacqueline Bisset and Paul Calderon:
A sex-addicted French financier, a fateful hotel room encounter, and a scandal that would rock the world: the mighty Gérard Depardieu gives a fearless performance in this ripped-from-the-headlines saga of sin and sleaze from boundary-pushing director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, Ms. 45). Inspired by one of the most high-profile public implosions in recent memory, Welcome to New York follows a prominent international banker (Depardieu) as he spirals out of control during a drug and sex-fueled trip to America—culminating in a shocking incident involving a hotel maid and his subsequent arrest. Jacqueline Bisset co-stars in this provocative portrait of a man whose fall from grace sent shockwaves throughout the world.
Welcome to New York hits theaters and VOD on March 27th.