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By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Abel Ferrara, one of the world’s most iconic and controversial filmmakers, will be in Rio at the Centro Cultura Banco do Brasil (CCBB) in Centro on April 21st. The 60-year-old New Yorker, responsible for creating some of movie history´s greatest indie classics, will be closing an exhibition of his work titled “Religion and Intensity” and taking questions from the audience.

Notorious film director and screen writer Abel Ferrara, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Notorious film director and screen writer Abel Ferrara, photo by Giuseppe Nicoloro/Flick Creative Commons License.

The exhibition at the CCBB, downtown Rio´s most historic landmark, opened on April 10th and continues on until April 22nd with specialized daily screenings of Ferrara´s movies.

CCBB´s communications director, Liliam Hargreaves is pleased with the already impressive turnout for the event that will continue on to Brasília and São Paulo. She states, “Since we started doing the promotions for the exhibition there has been a huge amount of interest, especially with the news that Abel Ferrara himself would be present for a discussion. We can´t wait!”

Best known for his films “Bad Lieutenant” (1992) and “King of New York”, what seems to differentiate Ferrara from other film directors is his ability to create the “anti-hero”.

His movies, often violent in nature, depict corrupt police, victims executing their revenge, petty criminals, gangsters, drug addicts and alcoholics, all of which ensure that he remains at the cutting edge with modern day audiences in a career that now spans over three decades and amounts to over twenty films.

His talent lies in the minor details that he never fails to miss. Constructing a gritty atmosphere such as a deserted New York street depicted in dark colors with distant back alley sounds in the background in order to set the tone of the film.

Undeniably gifted Ferrara has, nevertheless, been overlooked in terms of status, failing to have reached the same critical acclaim as the likes of New Yorkers Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese or Spike Lee.

Ferrara´s most renowned film Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil News
Ferrara´s most renowned film Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel, image recreation.

This is perhaps due to the content of his films that shock some audiences yet at the same time, only serve to strengthen his accreditation as an alternative independent filmmaker for which he will remain memorable.

In an interview with Movie publication “Movie line” Ferrara spoke of the scandalous content of his film Bad Lieutenant explaining “It had to be rated X. It couldn’t be rated R. We had to be what Hollywood couldn’t be. It was reverse censorship.”

For the duration of the week, Ferrara´s films will be showing at the CCBB culminating in a debate session at 6PM on Saturday, April 21st with the director accompanied by Shanyn Leigh, his long term companion and star of his film “4.44 last day on earth” together with Ruy Garnier, a Brazilian film critic.

Ticket prices for the movie showings are R$6 or R$3 for concessionaires. Visit the CCBB website for further details about the exhibition.

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