Updated version of Romeo and Juliet transferring the Shakespearian conflict to New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy. The young Chinese Tyan and Italian-American Tony start a relationship blessed neither by Tsu-Shin, the girl’s cousin and member of the Dau-Pyan mafia clan, nor by Tony’s brother, irritated by the growing number of Chinese businesses in the area around the Italian sector. –San Sebastián Film Festival
Independent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest parts of the Big Apple and the darkest reaches of the human soul, with films such as China Girl (1987), his unique version of Romeo and Juliet, generating a devoted following. Ferrara was born in the Bronx, but spent most of his childhood in Peekskill, NY, where he met the two young men who would eventually become his primary screenwriter (Nicholas St. John) and occasional consultant (John McIntyre). As boys, they would play around with 8 mm cameras. In the mid-‘70s, the three reunited and founded Navaron Films, where they produced an adult film. In 1979, they released their most notorious film, Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs under the pseudonym Jimmie Laine. In this movie, a young man goes berserk and begins killing vagrants with a portable power drill. Ferrara continued making low-budget shockers until the late… read more
Eighties, man. Playing the same ethnic template as West Side Story in revamping the immortal play, this time between the gangs of Little Italy and Chinatown, and trading in the suede shoes for switchblades, steel pipes - more in the vein of Mean Streets. You’ve gotta appreciate the zeitgeist it captures, and captures well, what with inspired flashes of directorial energy, while giving the piece new depth, fleshing it out with initiative. David Caruso’s ginger top blazes; rivals the neon.
Upon the release of 4:44 Last Day on Earth.