I’ve been looking to re-experience Rafi Pitts’ 2003 documentary since seeing it at the Locarno Film Festival, the attendants of which were sweltering in the midst of a legendary heat wave. Ferrara doesn’t like the film but it’s definitely worth watching. From Leslie Felperin‘s Variety review: “[Pic] gets so close and personal with one of U.S. cinema’s most erratic talents that the focus, metaphorically and almost literally, gets slightly fuzzy. Fascinating and frustrating in near equal measures, pic benefits from the extra-large personality of its subject, seen here prowling the streets of New York, explaining how he shot key scenes from some of his movies, shooting a pop vid, but most of all shooting the breeze with his posse of friends and collaborators.
“Enjoying near unlimited access to Ferrara over five days, docu builds an impressionistic collage of the maverick helmer’s chaotic lifestyle. Leaving out voiceover, explanatory subtitles or even any of the questions director Pitts must have asked off-camera, pic lets the subject speak for himself — seemingly about whatever floats into his head. Nevertheless, Ferrara comes across as witty, engaging and far more lucid than one would expect given his reputation for hard living in the past (alluded to frankly by friends).”