Perhaps the most powerful, difficult and gut-wrenching film in Ferrara's entire career. St. John's brilliant screenplay along with Madonna and Russo's commited performances bring it to roaring life. Ultimately a study of vulnerability not towards life's excesses but as a desperate search for meaning in one's life. An absolute Masterpiece.
"I need these things, I need these things..." Nicholas St John was/is one of the more committed, imaginative, intense, and literary screenwriters. Along with Paul Schrader, it seems he believed in the screenplay as a very worthwhile and still wide-open aim of a writer's efforts. St. John and Ferrara were swinging hard for a couple of films and, for the most part, connecting.
I don't really understand the complaints against the story or characters. Yeah, the actors and the director and the analyzers are all assholes. Still compelling (Madonna was a smile) and deeply thought out. Oh, if you want to understand the game you should probably find the rules, because losers shouldn't be criticizers. The line about realizing Sarah could do anything was to her fault as much as it was her victory.
Ferrara abandona ese mal llamado "realismo" de películas más conocidas (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York) y se decanta por un juego con la narrativa que nos engaña, nunca sabemos si lo que vemos es real o no, hablando obviamente del contexto de la película misma, hasta el punto de llegar a ser desesperante pero de una buena manera. Al final la película trata entre otras cosas de eso: desesperación.
Does anyone else find it peculiar that Ferrara uses a scene of Werner Herzog describing his hellish experience directing Fitzcarrado in Les Blank's Burden of Dreams documentary, only to become furious with him over using the title of "Bad Lieutenant" years later for his own film?
A director pushes his actors beyond their limit - and their sanity. A film within a film. Not for the faint at heart. Madonna is stunning (perhaps the only role where she went that far as an actress) and was hailed by (French) critics, among them, Les Cahiers du Cinema. The film may be too nihilistic to many, but it does leave a strong impression. Russo and Keitel are abominably excellent.