Born in the Bronx and raised in upstate New York, Abel Ferrara started his professional film career on Mulberry Street in 1975. For the past year he’s been living on the block, and the feast of San Gennaro is the subject of his documentary.
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With a whole roster of memorable characters you couldn't put in a fictional movie, for fear of being accused of stereotyping, this wander around the titular street is quite enjoyable, although it could just as easily feel like being stuck in the company of drunken braggarts.
A (couple/few) Day(s) in the Life...of a bunch of old Italian guys on Mulberry St., one in particular Abel Ferrara....yeah there's some racist stuff and some homophobic stuff too...get over yourself. It is what it is and not liking this because of that...makes no sense. A slice of life in an old NYC Italian neighborhood filled with goombas and wise guys and entertainers and hustlers and just plain old Joes. Enjoy.
Ok, so Matthew Modine on a segway is a highlight, as is the appearance of Danny Aiello. As for the rest of this ... thing, be prepared for casual and overt racism, Ferrara endlessly (and drunkenly) defending some poor career choices, more racism, and for this to have absolutely no point. That said, it's hard not to watch once it's going. We continually asked, "Why is this in the film? HE'S the director?!"
Not a well-made documentary by ANY stretch of the imagination. The main subject, director Abel Ferrara is such a sleazebag from his casual use of racial slurs to his misogynistic stories, and he's so scuzzy that he seems to fit the stereotype of a sleazy '70s director in every way. And because of this, he is very easy to dismiss as anyone we care about and thus we can focus on the true star, the city itself.
I'd give this a 2.5. It's a snapshot of a place and time, a record of a cast of predominantly male characters mainly known to the director. Which means plenty of bonhomie. back-slapping and rambling anecdotes (some off-colour, but no more than would be expected). Somewhat indulgent. I can't imagine a woman getting the green light to make or distribute such a film. Social history then. A visit to another world.