Born Jul 19, 1951. From The Bronx, New York.
American independent filmmaker Abel Ferrara is a chronicler of New York at its grittiest. Born in the Bronx of Italian and Irish descent, he often uses a dangerous but fertile Lower East Side as a setting for his films. Ferrara first drew a cult audience with exploitation movies such as The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms. 45 (1981). Later King of New York (NYFF 1990) and Bad Lieutenant (1992) won him wider critical acclaim. His films frequently feature visionary antiheroes struggling on the margins of metropolitan society, and often show influences of his Catholic upbringing. After the September 11 attacks Ferrara moved to Rome for a few years while continuing making films about his hometown, but his films have gone largely unseen in the U.S. for more than a decade. Dennis Lim says of him in The New York Times, “With an eye for scuzzy local color and a taste for sin and salvation, he was the unofficial poet laureate of pre-Giuliani New York.”