Welcome to New York
Directed by Abel Ferrara
Fiction inspired from the story of the rise and the fall of french politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
See more films
★★★★½ review by Jake Cole on Letterboxd
WELCOME TO NEW YORK encapsulates Ferrara's career in a linear arc, moving from softcore erotica to bullish crime procedural before dumping out in screw-tightening psychological chamber drama that wrings out unexpectedly human empathy without ever offering absolution for its subject. Many things to pore over, from Depardieu's animalistic performance to Ferrara's deceptively stately direction, which slips so casually into Devereaux's POV that it's hard to realize you're in it until you pick up on the fact that people start to resemble commodities who exist to serve him. Above all I was fascinated how it manages to emphasize the extent to which people of color are marginalized both by a legal system and by filmmaking writ large, especially films that purport to capture New York but only ever hang out with white people. (In that sense, Devereaux's status as a lapsed leftist whose behavior is indistinguishable from the most reactionary monsters seems to double (or triple or quadruple, given how many layers Ferrara is operating on) as a critique of so-called liberal directors who regularly erase the already disenfranchised.)
★★★★★ review by Neil Bahadur on Letterboxd
FIrst thoughts: This together with 4:44 feels like the beginning of a new phase for Ferrara, a "late master" period perhaps. Ferrara leaves behind previous concepts of Marxist deconstruction for a new interest in myth and classicalism; archetypal deconstruction is now the road taken. For example, there is no "left" or "right," there is only power. Even compositionally, Ferrara prior would bring to mind Fassbinder, Godard or Bertolucci, but now brings to mind the Straubs and late Ford. The extraordinary cross-fades of previous films, are yes, sadly gone for the most part, but it's replaced with an interplay of line, color, movement and geometry. Like the the later Fords and the films of the Straubs, these compositions find the abstractions within prototypical forms both through aesthetic and content, which Ferrara rightly refuses to make any distinction between. There's a hell of a lot more....someone could probably write a hell of an essay on the depictions of all the non-whites in contrast to Devereaux. I've got to see it again...but yeah, one hell of a masterpiece. Also, about 40% of the movie is in French, and they're perhaps the most important. Ferrara is king.
★★★★ review by Arsaib Gilbert on Letterboxd
While discussing a scene from Bad Lieutenant (1992) in his piece on Abel Ferrara, Kent Jones stated that "instead of reordering reality to suit his concept, he works with what's there." This certainly applies to one of the finest sequences in Ferrara’s fierce and striking new film, Welcome to New York. After being denied bail, the film’s protagonist, Gérard Depardieu's Devereaux, a thinly veiled analogue of former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is taken to jail and processed. This is likely as far as it went on paper. But it is something altogether remarkable on screen: a nearly 10-minute, almost real-time recreation of this "process." If it was not shot at an actual jail, then the setting must have been a similar correctional facility. From the peeling paint on the doors and pamphlet-laden walls to the bland institutional colors and lighting to the buzz of electronic prison door release, everything feels just right. And the same applies to the casual, indifferent mannerisms of the police officers—if they were not actors, then their work is even more impressive. I have witnessed hundreds of such moments in films and documentaries, but few are as vivid and detailed as what Ferrara has accomplished here.
★★★★ review by Arthur Tuoto on Letterboxd
Ferrara, diferente de um Scorsese, não vibra com o excesso. Recusa a empatia. Assume as consequências brutas de um comportamento desenfreado não como a última das celebrações hedonistas, mas como uma desgraça inevitável, uma natureza maldita. E a sina do seu Deveraux é justamente abraçar essa natureza sem qualquer culpa, assumindo-se um selvagem. A escolha por registros longos e frontais dos abusos do personagem no começo do filme ajuda na construção dessa figura animalesca, sem falar no corpo grotesco do próprio Depardieu, seus grunhidos e toda uma boçalidade gestual. No entre atos do filme existe um contraste entre essa figura bestial em forma de homem branco e o meio a sua volta, explorando tanto certos rituais prisionais que evidenciam ainda mais aquele corpo, como a imagem de uma minoria negra ao seu redor, sempre marginalizada. Quando o filme de fato assume uma representação mais rígida (em especial nas cenas da casa-prisão), é como se Ferrara tentasse compreender a intimidade desse escândalo, seus meandros relacionais. O advogado diz, em certo momento, referindo-se ao caso: "Não é a realidade, é uma peça". O filme não é a peça, é a tentativa de compreender seus bastidores, o esqueleto trágico e complexo por trás de um mito desgraçado. Uma figura arquetipal da individualização do homem contemporâneo que apesar de toda e qualquer formação educacional ou política, acaba sucumbindo aos mais primitivos instintos. E não vê problemas nisso, está além de uma consciência social do seu papel no coletivo. Pior ainda, não deseja ser salvo da própria desgraça; pelo contrário, assume-a nos olhando nos olhos.
★★★★ review by M_Penalosa on Letterboxd
The great Abel Ferrara trolls the fuck out of the French:
- See all reviews