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ABEL FERRARA: The Sex & Guts Interview
Part One
By Gene Gregorits with Lainie Speiser

Part One: Abel Ferrara's apartment. Greenwich Village, NYC

GENE GREGORITS: Wow, it's truly an honor to meet you. I love your movies.

ABEL FERRARA: Come on in. You want something to eat?

GG: Yeah.


GG: Hello! Hey, you were great in Dangerous Game.

NF: (laughs) Thank you.

AB: Yeah, these are all the same kind of blue collar towns.

GG: Blue-collar towns... if you've done your time in one, you have an edge on a lot of people. What kind of jobs did you have, before you went to film school, and made your first film?

AF: I worked for my father, worked for my uncles. Driving garbage trucks.

GG: Mafia-related?

AF: I'm basically in denial about that whole concept. But... the garbage business was the garbage business, you know what I'm saying? There was no competition. But it's not like there's a lotta people lookin to pick up fuckin garbage.

GG: I'd do it! That's more money than I've ever made!

AF: Oh yeah, there was a lot of money. These guys owned a business, it wasn't like... I don't know, typical shit. Worked in a factory. My uncles and my father owned scrap metal yards. That was their business. Driving trucks. Washing dishes in a fuckin old age home, anything I could get.

GG: I washed dishes in an old age home once.

AF: Yeah?

GG: Yeah!

AF: That was a good job. At the time. It's like you said, you were working when you were young, so any job at that age is good. And... then there was the driving range, picking up golf balls.

GG: Just like James Ellroy?

AF: Huh?

GG: What do you think of James Ellroy? Because he was also a caddy.

AF: What was he?

GG: James Ellroy was a caddy.

AF: Yeah, but bein a caddy and pickin up golf balls are two different things.

GG: HEH HEH HEH! Yeah, I guess so. Let me check this.

GG: What a beautiful cat. I love your cat. What kind of cat is that?

AF: Yeah, you can write about the cat. It's just a cat in the family. We had a grandfather and a grandmother, you know?

GG: Yeah.

AF: She was the only white cat in the whole litter. But she's had three or four litters herself. She's about four years old.

GG: Yeah, but she looks like a kitten. She's tiny. So carryin the clubs is called a caddy. What's pickin up golf balls called?

AF: I could never be a caddy. Carryin somebody's golf bags? Forget it. We used to play golf, we didn't caddy.

GG: How do your remember yourself as a kid in grade school and junior high?

AF: (long pause) It was so different from grade to grade. Some grades you were like the man, and you were in control, and you were like, in a good place in terms of where you were at. Different school, it would be a different situation. I guess it was tough, I don't know. We were like... evil bored. You know what I mean? This was a town that my writer Nicky [St. John] came from, and Mel Gibson came from. Tommy Boyle, the writer. You know the fuckin guy.

GG: Sorry.

AF: He just wrote a film. He did that movie about that health spa in the forties. You know the fuckin guy. He just had a book out about a commune in California that moved to Alaska. You should look this guy up. He wrote great American novels. He's like the great American writer. T. Courigessant Boyle. Imagine, coming from the same town as the great American writer.

GG: What were your aspirations, and what were you interested in as a teenager? Movies you liked, stuff like that. Who was Abel Ferrara at the age of 14.

AF: Well, I come from the Bronx. My mother was very into instant breakfast, the latest this and the latest that. TV dinners. Being in a modern suburban world. But my father was from an old Italian family in the Bronx. Steeped in tradition. Very much an outsider in a white world, you know what I'm sayin.

NF: He wants to know if number two is okay?

AF: Yeah, tell him... tell him I'm doin this thing. One or two is perfect.

AF: Yeah, it was an age when... you know, we were playin music. We were into rock'n'roll. In the sixties... .look, Spielberg made a 2-hour feature when he was thirteen years old. It played at this local theatre. He's basically my age. Guys from that generation... even though it's a shame we didn't have the video, and the digital fuckin trip goin, but we had home movie cameras. Actually makin a film, and cutting pieces of film together, was at the time very much as obvious or accessible as playin a guitar. So... when you find your fuckin calling, you got it, you know what I'm saying?

GG: When you flash forward in your career, and look at the fact that many of your films end in either suicide or mass murder (laughs)... I mean, these films are about extremely self-destructive people. Does that tie into anything you experienced as a kid? Where do you think you acquired such a dark sensibility? There has to be a reason why you tell those stories as opposed to other stories.

AF: Well...

GG: Because they're not the most commercially viable films, yet you insist on making them, in the way you're going, always going into the dark human stuff.

AF: If you weren't conning yourself into approaching filmmaking as a commercial deal...

GG: Trying to tell real stories...

AF: Yeah. If you're doing that... we were watching a lot of films. We saw Hour of the Wolf. We saw Teorama, you know?

GG: Bergman, Fellini.

AF: Pasolini. Yeah. back then, those were some hardcore films. Fat City. There's a certain time when you're really into watching movies. Now, I am not big on movies. But then... you saw everything for a certain period. '71, '72, '73... that was the golden age of movies, for me. The Devils. The Servant. Nicholas Rey. Alphaville. Performance. And Mean Streets.

GG: Did The Wild Bunch influence you?

AF: To me, Straw Dogs was a bigger influence. The Wild Bunch always seemed like a classical film. I didn't see it in the theatres. I saw Straw Dogs in the theatre.

GG: So the meanness of those films almost became your main frame of reference. But as a kid...

AF: It was the sixties, before that stuff. Drinkin and druggin. Sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll, whether you could get 'em or not. That basically dominated your entire existence.

GG: When you had your first idea to do a film... coming from your background, what you'd lived and seen... what was your idea of a movie that you would make?

AF: We were makin movies based on the equipment we had. We were making four and five minute silent movies... that were much more metaphorical and pseudo-intellectual. We couldn't use, and couldn't getsync sound. We couldn't get dialogue, which really bummed us out. But in fact, it helped us in that it taught us how to work without sound.

GG: Your first feature, Driller Killer...

AF: We were makin films for ten years before we made Driller Killer. Our first films were 2 or 3 minutes.

GG: I know Nico from Cult Epics, and he was telling me about certain short films you'd made... what can you tell me about the short films? One of them has the word "love" in the title.

AF: Could This Be Love? That was 1973. But we made a porno film before Driller Killer.

GG: Nine Lives of a Wet Pussycat.

AF: Yeah, right. Could This Be Love?, I guess we should have made that into a feature film. That was a romantic comedy.

GG: Were you the director on Nine Lives?

AF: I've never done anything but direct.

GG: That's a hard film to see. I haven't seen it. From what I've heard, there is some violence in it, stabbings and knifings and things like that.

AF: They're not in it! I've gotten tapes made from prints from the old days, and back in those days, when a print went around, the projectionist would keep his favorite scenes. After a few trips around the country, the only thing left was the bad scenes.

GG: (laughing)

AF: And look man, I've got kids, so I'm not about to broadcast the fact that we were doin hardcore films, but it's also the fact that they weren't that good to begin with. We were still learning to make movies. The few good things we did manage to finish don't exist anymore.

GG: What about Driller Killer? I'm very interested in the origins of the script, where the idea came from. How you developed it.

AF: We went to Stan Brakhage and guys like that, as much as we did other films. Short 16mm films, spaced out stuff at the time. We were trying to do that and goin nowhere.

GG: Is this at NYU?

AF: No, we never went to NYU. We were out of school at this time. We were like 26, 27. Totally out there, without a net. Nothing happening. Nothin looked like it was gonna happen.

GG: How would you describe what New York was to you at that time?

AF: Violent and broke. It was fear city. Taxi Driver gets it. That's what it was about.

GG: It seems as if Taxi Driver played a vital role in the inception of Driller Killer. What did that film mean to you?

AF: Well, that was The Movie! That's what we were workin off of!

GG: That is, to me, the best movie of that decade. Or of that maverick period. I like that film more than Bonnie and Clyde, more than The Wild Bunch. It's intensely personal and real and tragic. In fact, I think it's one of the top five greatest movies ever made.

AF: Yeah. Mean Streets was great.

GG: Yeah but Taxi Driver was so much more personal. I like personal films.

AF: Well, that was Paul Schrader. With Taxi Driver, you see much more of that dynamic between screenwriter, actor, and director.

GG: There are a lot of parallels between you and Paul Schrader. Schrader, like you, tells dramatically negative stories about people who are on their way out, a lot of the time. He's made a career out of that. He makes the occasional film which covers other territory, and so do you. But he made Cat People. You made Cat Chaser. Ha ha ha. But he is very interested in people that are dying.

AF: Well, Nicky St. John wrote these films of mine. So I would say that that connects more to him. It's an intellectual...

GG: - existentialism, really! Nicky is a guy who is very obsessed with Catholicism and Catholic imagery in general.

AF: He's not obsessed with it, he's just a believer in the words of Christ, do you know what I'm sayin?

GG: That defines much of your career. I could be wrong, but I think that the majority of your films were written by him, and -

AF: - we stopped working in 1997.

GG: Why did you stop working together?

AF: He had just reached a point in his life where the whole thing of the business just wasn't satisfying him anymore. He just wasn't into it.

GG: There's this new movie about Rockets Redglare which is incredibly powerful. Did you know Rockets Redglare?

AF: Yeah. I remember. I knew that he was friends with the girl who was in Driller Killer. The blonde haired chick.

GG: Seems like Rockets was friends with everybody, at one point or another. (laughs)

AF: There was a guy named Neon Leon.

GG: He was involved in the Sid Vicious murder case.

AF: And Dee Dee Ramone. That was New York. 1978. The music started getting a lot better. We were making films.

GG: That was when you did Driller Killer. The punk scene was exploding at that time.

AF: Rock'n'roll really helped the whole film situation.

GG: Were you aware, at the time, that you were making a film that would be marketed as an exploitation film?

AF: We raised the money that way! We went around with Texas Chainsaw, saying basically, "I think we could do this." We've been makin films for ten years, right? That's one of my favorite films too, for some reason.

GG: Again, I think Texas Chainsaw is one of the greatest films of all time!

AF: Ah ha ha ha ha ha!

GG: It's cheap, but it's amazing.

AF: We have very clichéd tastes. We like the same kinds of films.

GG: If those clichés were more popular, I would have a much greater readership.

AF: Yeah, and we'd have more films to look at!

GG: People would be inspired to make more of those types of films.

AF: Yeah. Texas Chainsaw was a long time ago.

GG: You were saying, about Chainsaw.

AF: Oh yeah. They made a lot of money with Texas Chainsaw. So, we used that to try and sell Driller Killer.

GG: Another household, industrial instrument used as a murder weapon.

AF: Exactly. It worked! Driller Killer did really well. It's actually one of our best releases.

GG: What kind of attention did it get? What were the reviews like?

AF: The reviews were horrible, but we had never been reviewed before. So we thought it was great, just to see our names in the paper. We didn't give a fuck what they said.

GG: What were your ambitions? Where did you want to go from there?

AF: Our only ambition, with Driller Killer, was to make a movie for a hundred grand. We swore we'd do it, and we did.

GG: What kinds of movies did you want to make after that?

AF: The kind of movies we were makin! You never know what kind of movie you're gonna make. We worked from original material, so... you don't... you don't question your muse. Whatever you come up with, that's what you gotta use.

GG: About the muse... and your muse is a pretty dark one. Again, these are stories about people who are fucked! Doomed people.

AF: I don't know about that. Which ones in particular?

GG: Well, especially Bad Lieutenant. That sums you up as an artist better than any of your other films.

AF: I don't know man. He solved the case, what do ya want? He got the reward money, you know? He was actually on the road to recovery. (sarcastic laugher)

GG: (laughing) What is the impulse that drives you, though?

AF: What?

GG: You know, to make disturbing films.

AF: Well, who? Which ones?

GG: King of New York.

AF: King of New York was a dream.

GG: Ms. 45.

AF: Ms. 45... she was too young to overcome the tragedy of being attacked twice in the same day. That was a tough girl. That was a tough life.

GG: Why tell that particularly story? I haven't seen Ms. 45 in a while, but I remember it well enough. It's a very nasty movie.

AF: Well, because! These are interesting stories! What else are you gonna talk about? Films are bigger than life, and are meant to be... well, take Hitchcock's quote. He said, "my films are not a slice of life. They're a slice of cake."

GG: But your films are slices of life!

AF: Yeah, sure they are. How many people you know get raped twice in the same day, then use the murder weapon to go off on a man-killing rampage.

GG: All I'm saying is that most directors wouldn't even consider doing a film about rape in the first place. And with Ms. 45, I don't think that it's really that unrealistic is it?

AF: Look, women are brought up in a male dominated society. You're being raped every day, one way or another. That is the metaphor of the film. It would be more violent if we did documentaries on gun running or some bullshit like that. We're basically still telling stories using Hollywood actors.

GG: There is no fake Hollywood moralizing in your films. It's up to the audience to decide what's right and what's wrong.

AF: Who cares about the audience. Those people up there on the screen, they're making their own judgments. If you're waiting for the answer to come from someone else, listen, that just ain't the world that I'm coming from. I'm not saying there's not a time in your life to be a follower. There's a lot to learn by being a member of some group, or subscribing to some ideal, or philosophy. There's a time to be taught. But then there's a time to be.

GG: That's a much more streetwise sentiment than you usually deal with in the average Hollywood film. This is not the thought or the attitude of the middle class.

AF: The Addiction.

GG: Yeah?

AF: That character, Lili Taylor, she was an upper class intellectual in that film. Graduate of philosophy. NYU. That's an upper class character.

GG: I think she's one of the least believable characters, of all your films.

AF: Well, she's a vampire!

GG: (laughs)

AF: What? You don't believe in vampires?

GG: I believe in psychic vampires and emotional vampires. This city is full of them.

AF: But you don't believe in real vampires.

GG: I don't not believe in them.


GG: I don't know.

AF: That's how I feel, actually. I don't not believe in them. But how can you explain that in every culture, in every civilization, since the dawn of man, that character has been either scratched on a cave wall, or told through a song... or passed down somehow. Everywhere, in the entire globe. All that wacky shit, the blood. Eternal life, sleeping in the dirt. You know? All that fuckin vampire bullshit... it doesn't come from Nosferatu. That was there, you know what I'm sayin? And -

GG: That whole concept of human morality, and human guilt... being betrayed by selfish, parasitic people. Those are the real vampires! Maybe they used to drink your blood, and now -

AF: - hey, just listen a minute. I need to -

GG: - and now they just drink your confidence.

AF: Hey man, I'm with ya. The metaphor. But I'm talkin about the reality of it. I'm talking about the reality, just for a second. We can talk about that too. But I am interested in the reality of the vampire. That thing, it comes from Aborigines, down under. Or it comes from Eskimos, up north. From 5,000 B.C., every culture talks about that monster.

GG: Nearly all species of mankind have practiced or resorted to cannibalism at one point or another. That's human nature. Survival. Vampires, even "real ones", isn't that just bottom rung existence? I don't see much of a difference between the junkies of Bad Lieutenant -

AF: And in The Addiction.

GG: The Addiction is the most explicit handling of that theme, of all your films, but at the same time I wouldn't call it the most successful.

AF: You didn't like it?

GG: Yeah I liked it but... actually, no, I didn't like it at all.

AF: Hey man, that's alright.

GG: Yeah, but it's probably the only film of yours that I don't like. I prefer Bad Lieutenant, because it goes about the whole existential crisis thing in a much more profound way. Here's this guy that's been pushed to the brink, in this horrible job. He has to hang out at murder scenes. Being a cop is hard. Who wants to see someone's brains splattered all over a windshield every day? And this guy, you know, you almost can't blame him for having some of the problems that he does. He becomes a vampire. Stealing coke from a crime scene, shit like that.

AF: It's metaphorical vampirism, absolutely.

GG: Back in the days when the horror movie kind of vampirism existed, there was no such thing as metaphor. I don't see the difference. Back in the 1500s and -

AF: The 1500s? I'm talkin about 500 years B.C. That character -

GG: - is just a cannibal. What's the difference?

AF: Vampires are cannibals that don't die. That's a scary thought.

GG: Bad Lieutenant is your most extreme film. Did you realize at the time how far you were going?

AF: No. Chris Walken was gonna play that part, originally. It was a different role. We did rehearsals, we rehearsed that for two or three weeks. What made it so extreme was the point that Harvey was at in his life. He was at that point as a performer, you know?

GG: What made Harvey so inclined to do that part at that point in his life?

AF: He'd just broken up with his old lady.

GG: Lorraine Bracco?

AF: Yeah. I had just met him at that time.

GG: You'd never met him before?

AF: Yeah, but not really. Just "hi, howya doin", like that.

GG: No man, I wanna keep talking to you. This is really important!

AF: Hey man, it ain't like it's your last chance or nothing. Gimme a call around midnight, somethin like that. It'll be alright.

GG: Yeah, because I'm only in town for a little while.

AF: No man, what are ya talkin about?

GG: C'mon man!

AF: What are ya talkin about?

GG: I don't know.

AF: Call me at midnight.

GG: I'll be too drunk then.

AF: No man, don't get drunk. What do you drink, vodka?

GG: I'll stick to beer then I guess.

AF: Yeah man, just drink beer. Alcohol is for faggots.

GG: Ha ha ha. Okay, I'll call you.

Diner, Greenwich Village. 3 A.M.

GG: I wanna talk about your reputation. You have a reputation for being difficult on the set, with actors and what not?

AF: What do you mean? We use the same actors over and over again. "Difficult." That's a strange word. It's almost a theatrical world. Only in film do they use the word "difficult" like that.

GG: It is a film-type word. I was just trying to be polite.

AF: (laughs)

GG: Okay, how about "outrageous"?

AF: How would you know that? Someone that worked with me said that, or... a specific person said that? It's such a general statement.

GG: Well, I saw a French documentary featuring behind the scenes footage from The Blackout, and in the footage you were shouting at this actress. She got upset. You intimidated her.

AF: I didn't intimidate her. I was talkin to this chick, and I was givin her this whole speech about what to do, how to do, blah blah blah, which I don't even like to do. I turned around and I said, "did you hear what I said?" She said, "no". So I just went through this whole fuckin bit, telling her what to do every second of the take, and she was standing next to me. She didn't hear a fuckin word I said.

GG: What is your working relationship with Abel?

FRANK DECURTIS: I design the films, and we go produce them together.

GG: What was the first film you did with Abel?

FD: The Funeral.

GG: The Funeral got good reviews. Then, Abel did The Blackout and New Rose Hotel. Those were not very well-received.

FD: I didn't do The Blackout. Anyway, it depends which critics you read.

GG: What do you like about working with Abel?

FD: He's got nerve. It takes nerve. That goes for any film. You can make a whole different film, if you have nerve. If you don't, then you wind up making a film much like any other film. If you have nerve, then you'll come up with something different. It might look Ferrarian, it might not.

GG: Critical response to movies like Abel's is oftentimes negative. They're angry films and generally don't make a lot of money.

FD: We don't test the films. If you don't like the ending, too bad. We don't take a vote, then go back and do a different ending. The ending is the ending, because it's the ending. Who cares how it goes over.

GG: What is it about you that connects with Abel's sensibilities? Abel's movies usually end with the suicide of the protagonist.

FD: By the time you're done with the film, it's really tempting to wanna kill every fuckin actor.

GG: Ha ha ha.

FD: So I like the films we do. And I like that, at the end of the film, you kill all the actors. New Rose Hotel was like that. By the end of the film, everyone was dead, except Asia.

GG: She's very beautiful.

FD: She disappeared. She went off to Saddam-ville.

[Abel returns to the table.]

GG: We were talking about Asia. What do you like about working with Asia?

AF: I don't know.

GG: She's back in town, you guys are working together again.

AF: I just bumped into Harvey Weinstein.

GG: From Miramax.

AF: He's in love with her. He's madly in love with her.

GG: Well, who isn't? (laughs)

AF: Hahaha. Yeah right. Let's let people know, you're very manipulative. Anyway, Harvey said to me, "I hear our girl's in town." So... she showed up. I loved her in New Rose Hotel. I thought she was tremendous.

GG: That was your first film with her. How did you get involved with her in the first place?

AF: We were lookin for girls that age. Twenty or so. A girl young enough to play the Mata-Hari role without giving it away. Because in a story like that, it's basically a cliché that the chick is a double-crosser. We were looking for someone young enough. We looked at Jovovovich. A couple chicks. I've told this story three hundred times. She just got on a plane. Everybody else is worried about their per diem, and if their mother can come. Asia just hopped on a plane and showed up. She moved in with me. That's a cardinal sin. The cardinal sin is living with your actress.

GG: She seems like a very complicated person.

AF: Yeah, too complicated. She was just playin with me. She had me and [Willem] Dafoe goin. But it was a film about that. We basically all played out our roles, to make the film better. Did you like New Rose Hotel?

GG: That's the only movie of yours that I have not seen.

AF: You're kidding.

FD: Didn't even SEE IT!

AF: Unbelievable. (pause) You'll enjoy it, you'll dig it! You like Asia, right?

GG: Yeah, very much. [I begin salting my French fries heavily]

AF: Why dontcha just take the top off that thing?

GG: (laughs)

AF: That was a really good interview with her, in your book.

GG: I didn't do that one, but thanks.

AF: Yeah, you shouldn't let anyone do your interviews.

GG: I try not to.

AF: So the magazine is 100% yours now?

GG: Yeah, it always was!

AF: You're the enabler. Enable Ferrara.

GG: (laughing)

AF: Enableferraraer. How is the magazine?

GG: It's floundering.

AF: Are you his publicist, hon?

LAINIE SPEISER: I do things here and there. I set up a radio interview for him tomorrow.

GG: She's hooking me up.

AF: Are you a one-man show out there in Harrisburg?

GG: Yeah, I'm workin solo now.

AF: I heard you have a villa in Acapulco.

GG: Ha ha ha. Yeah, I try to make it down there about once every twenty years.

AF: Wait, why am I interviewing you?

GG: So what about you being a crazy film director?

AF: That's a stupid question. How could I respond to that? People aren't even on the sets! The sets are closed. And in the film business, it's really bad protocol to talk about what goes on. That's like the locker room in football.

GG: Yeah but you must know about being regarded as a tempestuous artist.

AF: Yeah because people basically need that icon. The mad director. Whether it exists or not. Sam Peckinpah or Pasolini. Oliver Stone. People just need that. They don't wanna hear about Brian De Palma, someone who is a hard working, calm guy. They wanna know about me. I hear, "hey man, you moved in with Asia Argento." I mean, Asia wouldn't have moved in with me... well, maybe if I fixed her car, I mighta got something.

GG: (laughs)

AF: But you know what I'm sayin. Everybody wants that reputation. They need it. They need to know there's somebody getting away with somethin.

GG: What about you as a person, and the rumors, being fused with and interpreted as part of the subject matter of your own films.

AF: (laughs)

GG: But you're not the Bad Lieutenant, and you're not Frank White from King of New York.

AF: I'm not even the energy of that. Everybody brings their energy to the plate. I was just with this agent, Fred Girsh. He was hired in to... you like Ed Burns?

GG: I like She's the One. You see that?

LS: I think he's very overrated, actually. Sidewalks of New York was such a pale Woody Allen rip-off.

AF: So you think he's got no talent at all?

LS: I just -

AF: That's alright, don't worry.

LS: I liked The Brothers McMullen a lot. And I have seen him as an actor in other people's work, like that one with Robert DeNiro.

GG: I don't watch movies with Robert DeNiro anymore. After he sold his soul -

AF: But Taxi Driver is your favorite movie. One of 'em.

GG: Yeah.

AF: At one point do you think DeNiro fell off, do you think?

GG: Some time after Goodfellas I guess. I don't like him in comedies. What do you think of Martin Scorsese? There's a guy who makes violent films... but you do that on a much more personal level than Scorsese.

AF: We love his work. But I went past the period of watching movies. We already talked about that. I think that the early 70s was the golden age of movies.

GG: Another one of my favorite movies is Fat City.

AF: Now, were you even born when that came out?

GG: No.

AF: So how would you even know those films? Taxi Driver.

GG: Because most movies coming out now, and in recent years, disgust me. I like older movies, from the seventies. I have had to go out and find things on my own.

AF: But Taxi Driver was a mainstream film at the time.

GG: I think that movie is greatly misunderstood by a lot of people. Everyone seems to regard that character as a psychotic. I thought he was a sweetheart.

AF: What do you think of Goodfellas? How many times have you seen Goodfellas? That's an addictive film.

GG: Five or six times. But I've seen Taxi Driver thirty times, at least. I'm really not that interested in mafia culture.

FD: You ever grow a mohawk?

GG: Yes I did! As an homage to Taxi Driver. When I was a kid.

AF: How old were you?

GG: Sixteen.

AF: What did your parents think of that?

GG: I don't know. I did it in New York. I came here for the first time with this girl, but I got mugged and she hated me so I decided to kill her and commit suicide.

AF: Why didn't you go after the guys?

GG: I didn't have any weapons at the time. But I didn't go through with it, I just got a Travis Bickle mohawk instead. You know, to freak her out.

AF: I get the point. At that period, in '75, I was going to the movies. Scorsese existed for me, with Mean Streets and Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

GG: But he doesn't exist to you after that?

AF: I like Goodfellas. I know people who are, like, addicted to watching it.

GG: That's a film that you can watch over and over again.

AF: I got some sick friends. They're living in this world of sit-downs and wiseguy-ology. I think it's a pretty funny film, knowing these guys. What's the name of that fuckin guy we met in LA?

FD: Hmmm...

GG: What about Joe Pantoliano? That prick who -

AF: Who?

GG: JOEY PANTS! I like The Sopranos.

LS: I like Oz.

AF: What do you like about it?

LS: I love the prison movies, and shows.

AF: Because of the guys?

LS: Well, that too! But because I think that is one of the worst fears anyone could have, to end up in prison -

GG: You should do a prison movie.

LS: To be totally powerless and helpless, you can't trust anybody.

GG: Prison rape is a very compelling topic. What about Attica! Could you imagine being out there in the yard, bloody bodies hung everywhere, and the marksmen blowing everybody away? That's intense!

AF: Is there a prison in Harrisburg?

GG: Yeah, I used to work at one.

AF: Doin what?

GG: Night watchman. It wasn't really a prison, it was a flophouse. It felt like a prison.

LS: (laughs)

GG: These guys were in prison, they were stuck in their room. So what were we on about?

AF: You keep askin me the same questions.

GG: Let's talk about Nicholas St. John. Now this guy -

AF: Nah, skip that. We'll come back to him.

GG: What about Zoe?

AF: Zoe. We just did this show last Sunday. They advertised it in the papers. It was like "An Evening With Abel." We were out of town, we were in Paris. Frank and I went to do this retrospective. So we just came back, and on Sunday, they had this show at Arlene Grocery. There was an ad in the paper. Make a long story short, ten times more people showed up, for us onstage bullshittin, than when R'Xmas opened. And really, that's gotta piss you off, at a certain level. But there's people that expect something¸ not to just show movies. We brought some friends of ours, they were reading pieces. It turned out to be a good evening. Now, Zoe's husband -

GG: Robert Lund.

AF: He's exiled. And they can keep'em exiled. He's sittin there, and I'm looking at him. There he is, right in front of me. And he's scary enough lookin, with that hole in his head. Zoe, the chick he loved so desperately, who left him for another guy, a year before her death. He didn't even know she was dead. She sets him up to get cracked in the skull, because she ripped somebody off. And he's still like, "that's my girl". I mean, Zoe? Zoe is Zoe. She was Ms. 45, she ripped us off, and I don't want to go through this again. Just because I've already told all these Zoe stories. I'll give you the tape, these are very long and involved stories. But yeah, she basically ripped us off, after Ms. 45. So we didn't work with her for long time.

GG: You can't talk about that?

AF: Ms. 45 was sold to Warner Brothers. She sold the contract, we couldn't make the deal once she had the contract. Eleven people worked to make that movie. But she didn't want everybody getting a tenth of the money, she wanted six tenths of the money. Because she could give a fuck about those people, how hard they worked or who they were.

GG: Well, she died very young, of a heart attack in Paris four years ago or so.

AF: She wasn't very young, she was forty-two years old. And yeah, I guess it was a heart attack.

GG: She wrote a lot. She did a lot of writing in her lifetime.

AF: Yeah, she was good. After Ms. 45, she weaseled her way back in. It was very hard for her to say "I'm sorry". Then, we did Bad Lieutenant together, which she wrote, and acted in. That was her flick.

GG: There's a scene with Zoe and Harvey Keitel in her kitchen, and she's fixing some drugs up for him. That shit looked like... real shit.

AF: When they were smoking, or shooting?

GG: When they were smoking it, in the kitchen.

AF: Well to even answer that yes or no, that's such a -

GG: Okay, forget I mentioned it.

AF: Well, that's not even -

FD: Look man, you either believe it or you don't. You can believe whatever you want.

AF: Thing is, a magician is not going to tell you how he got the rabbit. David Blaine ain't gonna tell you how he's levitatin.

GG: I'm just asking if they were real drugs, that's all.

AF: You're saying they have to be, right? So why should I ruin that for you?

GG: (laughs) I know they were!

AF: Good! You know they were. But they weren't, so... but that's alright. Because Harvey's got you like a three card monty player.

LS: (laughs)

AF: And Harvey's playin that like the audience is a bunch of fuckin suckers anyway. Because he doesn't even watch movies. Wouldn't waste his time.

GG: To get Harvey to do the things you got him to do in that film -

AF: Hey, I didn't get him to do anything.

GG: That nude scene, and the one where he masturbates... it's tough to imagine an actor being that intimate, working with a director for the very first time.

AF: We had no idea what he was gonna do. I didn't do it. This was his performance. Zoe didn't write that.

LS: Was it improvised?

AF: No, it wasn't improvised. It was just part of the process of making that film. That scene was worked on. We worked with Madonna on Dangerous Game. Now... Madonna thought she had a week of rehearsals. That we were gonna keep doing it over and over again. No. In actor's studies, that's like a joke. You never say a line you're gonna say, ever, until the moment comes. But, there's no improvisation, either... in the rehearsals. In a situation like that, yeah, we became close quick. He's working as director-proof. It's every man for himself, and that is a direct quote from him.

GG: What was the atmosphere like on the set of that film?

AF: It was a disaster. I was so far beyond whatever you might have heard, the reputation, what this guy said, this, that, the other thing. Baby, I made the bad lieutenant look like a fuckin Pinocchio. I remember the life I was living at the time. It's a wonder we even survived.

GG: What motivated you to do that particular film? What role did you have to play in the script, with Zoe?

AF: It was my idea. Nicky didn't want to do it. So Zoe came in, and she wrote it.

GG: Why didn't Nicky want to do it?

AF: Because he thought it was ridiculous. He thought it was too -

GG: - too dark?

AF: No, not too dark. See, he's a believer. The film was about a search for Jesus.

GG: He's almost an existential writer, Nicky is.

AF: He's not existentialist, he's a Christian, which are two very different things.

GG: He's a kind of conflicted Christian.

AF: He's not that conflicted. No. He's a believer. Bad Lieutenant is the work of a conflicted person. So Zoe, myself, and Harvey maybe, but... Nicky don't have those questions. He believes in the word of Christ, he does not question the word of Christ.

GG: What attracted him to working with you? You could even be accused of making nihilistic films, and -

AF: Even back to Driller Killer... those were all his ideas. The Addiction was his idea. They're dark, but they're him, as much as me. Just because he's a Christian... I'm not sayin he's some goody-two shoes. You're watching his work from the time he was 25. Now, he's 46.

GG: Bad Lieutenant was very controversial when it came out.

AF: Bad Lieutenant was not made to be very controversial. Publicity created that. But hey, I grew up with Salo and Performance, and hardcore pornography. So Bad Lieutenant never seemed that dark. Harvey was in a very disturbed and upset place in his life. He was in a lot of agony. "I wish we could talk, waiting for her to say something. So I could kill her, choke her. Even better. She didn't say anything. I waited, an hour. 'My feelings for you have changed.'" (laughing) He was just waitin for her to say one word, so he could kill her. Choke her, even better. (laughter)

GG: (wild laughter)

FD: He's dead serious.

AF: You ever see Dangerous Game?

GG: That's one of my favorite films of yours. That's an amazing fucking movie. Wow.

AF: Did you really like Nancy's work in that, or were you just bullshitting?

GG: No, everybody in that movie is great. I've seen it several times. I like how you used your own name on the clapboard in that one scene. Completely audacious.

AF: (to Lainie) Nancy played Harvey Keitel's wife in that one. Heh heh heh. Can you imagine that? Pimpin out my own wife.

GG: Ha ha ha. Had she acted before that?

AF: Yeah, she was a big actress. Before she met me.

GG: (laughing)

AF: She started out working in theatre, in New York. She worked downtown, in this theatre group. She did A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee Williams came, he was blown away by her. When I met her, when we were together, she saw the bastardization of acting, in the movies. She was pretty creeped out. She did the sets, cleaned the theatre, printed up the tickets, you know what I'm sayin.

GG: Back to Bad Lieutenant, you said you became close with Harvey Keitel after that.

AF: Yeah, we have a really good working relationship. We did those two films.

GG: Is he playing you, in a sense, in Dangerous Game?

AF: No. He plays Scorsese, right? No, he wouldn't play anybody. His ego... he's not playing anybody.

GG: He's a character actor.

AF: He's not a character actor. Not at all. No way. What character did he ever play?

GG: He plays himself.

AF: Right, that's not a character actor.

GG: Oh yeah, I got my terms mixed up.

LS: What about Madonna, do you think she's a good actor?

AF: Well, she played an actress who was so bad that the director committed suicide.

GG: (laughing)

AF: So yeah, I thought she was a perfect choice. No. C'mon. She can't act her way out of a paper bag.

GG: (laughing) Was she upset, as an actress, being put into -

AF: She hated the film.

GG: I know, she must have hated the film, because you put her in situations that were pretty ugly.

AF: What do you mean, bad situations? She was treated like a fuckin queen. Made four million dollars, we made her four million dollars on that film.

GG: She was upset, she was upset with you about the film.

AF: She expected to be on equal ground with Harvey and Jimmy [Russo]. You know, you're not on equal ground. Harvey is on a different plane. She coulda learned a lot, but... she didn't. She was just in the wrong place. She accused us of sucking Harvey's dick, of being afraid of him, or intimidated. But we just learned from him, and respected him, in a certain way.

LS: Do you think she has any potential?

AF: Absolutely not. Not one molecule.

LS: What if she had tried to learn from, do you think -

AF: Well, I think in the film she was good. In spite of herself. I don't know. Acting is about confidence. At this point, she has been so trashed and so destroyed... nobody gets reviewed like that.

LS: But she keeps making movies.

AF: You gotta be so fuckin masochistic. To be on the front cover of a magazine, with people saying things that are so vile... how could she fuckin keep going on, no matter what? And then once they say that... you can't help but doubt yourself. Fuckin KUBLA KAHN would have doubts! Napoleon would have doubts. There's no ego big enough to overcome being trashed like that! And you can see it!

GG: In a way, Dangerous Game almost becomes a film about Dangerous Game.

AF: We don't make films that have two characters. Harvey does, okay? Even in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the neighbors show up at some point. And you never think, at any time, that that might approach boredom. Harvey was just goin at it. But he was genuinely disappointed in the performances. He was tryin to get something, but he lost direction. And Madonna didn't know we were filming her. We were filming during rehearsals, a month before we started shooting. She had no idea we were gonna use it in the film.

GG: Weren't you worried about being sued?

AF: By the person we paid four million dollars? No. She was being paid to act in a movie!

GG: Aren't their certain legalities, if she didn't know she was being filmed?

AF: No. When you get paid four million dollars, you give it all up. Everything she did was mine. She felt betrayed, yeah... and she used that as an excuse. What the fuck does she care?

GG: Let's backtrack a minute...

AF: Hey man, don't be shy!

AF: The thing is, man... these questions are boring me. I've answered these a million times already.

GG: Yeah, but -

AF: No, no, listen to me. You wouldn't know that. And that Zoe stuff, I'd rather give you the tape, you know what I'm sayin? But I can say, this will be a marathon, and we don't have to do it all now. Look, my donut is here. Yeah, so ask a few more questions. How long you gonna be in New York?

GG: I haven't read many interviews with you. Do you do them often?

AF: And you keep asking me about Bad Lieutenant. Obviously, something keeps bringing you back to Bad Lieutenant. I know you're a big fan, but you haven't even asked me about China Girl!

GG: China Girl's a great film!

AF: Yeah but -

GG: I'm just interested in your relationship with the bad lieutenant.

AF: No, it's YOUR relationship with the bad lieutenant! Which is fine! Anyway, he was stealing drugs and selling them... he gave the kids a box of money. He solved the case.

GG: That won't save him. The redemption -

AF: What redemption?

GG: EXACTLY! What redemption? Now, what about the idea of redemption in your films? Nicky is very attracted to that obviously, and so are you.

AF: That's so general. Listen, redemption is a 24/7 thing. At that moment, when he has the nervous breakdown in the church, yeah, there was some kind of attempt to say he was sorry to somebody.

GG: And he's on the verge of falling apart.

AF: But he has a hundred thousand dollars! Every cop in New York was trying to solve that case, and he did it! He had that box of money -

GG: He owed more than a hundred grand to the bookies.

AF: So? He gave the money to the kids.

FD: He was very surprised when they shot him, yeah? He wasn't ready to die!

GG: Frank thinks I'm wasting too much time on Bad Lieutenant.

FD: Man, we're workin on the next film, know what I mean?

GG: Okay, fine. Let's talk about the new film.

AF: No. Let's talk about Bad Lieutenant. Let's just do the whole nine yards.

GG: I wanna do a great portrait of you, not some kinda half ass fuckin -

AF: You gotta just have confidence that we're gonna do it. Let's do a fuckin comprehensive thing! So ask all your questions, don't worry about it.

GG: What was the atmosphere like on the set?

AF: I already told ya, it was whacked. But it was nice. Yeah, I was rockin and rollin. I had just come off two high paying jobs. Dangerous Game was made for 12 million, and Body Snatchers was made for 20 million. I was a millionaire at the time. That's why I was so over the top.

GG: Because you knew you could get away with it?

AF: No, not because I could get away with it! Look, when you have money, you don't care. When you don't have money, you gotta worry.

GG: Would you have attempted such an outrageous project if you hadn't just had those successes? It pissed a lot of people off.

AF: It's not about that. I do not pass judgment on the films. When we come up with somethin, that's what we got. It's not like we got twenty fuckin ideas, and we're gonna decide which one will make me look best.

GG: You just work with what you have at the time, is what you're saying.

AF: Yeah! That's the idea! We had it, and we worked it! We had a few others, but that's the one that got financed. At least it got financed. There's a lot of ideas we have that don't. Right now, we have three pictures. The one we get the money for, that's the one we do. Take the new one, Go Go Tales. We don't sit around waiting to decide if that's the right thing to do. I mean, we've been trying to raise the money for six years! We haven't made a film in two years. At least! Look at that chick over there, she's -

AF: They got any bands in Harrisburg?

GG: No. But you used to work for a company that my roommate worked for, when I was living in New York. My roommate Mary worked for... what the fuck was it... some record company. A band called the Phoids. You did their video.

AF: The Phoids, yeah, that's the band! That's the kid who financed The Funeral, the drummer of the Phoids.

AF: Make sure you don't print that. He owns that record company. How do you know the Phoids, again?

GG: My roommate Mary was a receptionist at the office of that record company.


GG: NG records, yeah.

AF: Anyway, this guy, he financed The Funeral, and that film Kids.

GG: That's right! So what filmmakers working today do you respect? There aren't too many filmmakers out there doing the types of movies you do.

AF: Do you watch enough movies to make that statement?

GG: Probably not. Ah, well... .YEAH! Yeah, because I watch a lot of movies. I watch everything that comes out!

AF: You watch everything that comes out. (laughs)

GG: Okay, I don't. I can't catch every movie from every country because I... got work to do. I like Larry Clark.

FD: What about Oliver Stone?

GG: Who?

FD: Did you see Black Cat/White Cat?

GG: No.

AF: Emil Kusterica. What about Oliver Stone? Isn't he like us?

GG: He's a little politically grandiose. Your films are not political films, Abel.

FD: What about Almodovar?

GG: Salvador! By Oliver Stone! That's great.

AF: Any single attempt at rising above...

FD: How about Hal Hartley?


AF: Hey Gene, when do you go back to that fuckin hole you crawled out of?

LS: (laughing)

GG: Wednesday morning.

AF: Watch New Rose Hotel, and we'll finish this up tomorrow.

GG: Can I ask you one more question?

AF: I hope you ask me fifty more. There's a couple of shitty books out, you may wanna do some research.

GG: I know about that book King of New York that was written about you and your films. That book was an ass kiss, that wasn't an honest book.

AF: That book was a piece of fuckin shit. And this asshole friend of ours goes out to buy twenty copies... and gives them to people.

GG: I couldn't even make it past the second chapter.

AF: Somebody was doing something major on me. The guy was in a really good place with it. He had six or seven hundred pages. And then he went nuts. Instead of putting the book out, he spent the next two years going over the top. He's in a very sick place. Yeah man, why are there no books about us?

GG: I don't know.

AF: Because we killed the last four or five people that tried.

GG: (laughs)

FD: No, that was documentaries.

AF: You met Bob Guccione yet?

GG: Lainie works for him. I don't know him.

AF: So you makin some money with this magazine of yours?

GG: I wish! I don't make a dime.

AF: COME ON! How could you lose money? Guccione... the first magazine he put out, do you know how much money it made? The first issue of Penthouse? A lot.

FD: You must not get any publicity, if you don't make a dime off your magazines.

AF: You gotta make money on that magazine.

GG: No I don't!

AF: Alright then, so how do you fuckin survive?

GG: I don't know anything about marketing -

AF: I said, how do you -

GG: - so there's never any exposure, and I just do the magazines in small increments, a hundred at a time.

AF: How do you survive?

GG: I'm not doing this for me! I'm doing it because I wanna promote people.

AF: How do you survive?

GG: Something has to be done, when art is in the fucking suckpit that it is.

AF: How do you survive?

GG: Charity! And I sell Titticutt Follies on the street in Harrisburg, for ten dollars a piece.

AF: Be careful. Mr. Titticut will come after you.

GG: I make enough to pay my rent and buy my beer. That's all the money I have.

AF: Dontcha take her out?

GG: What?

AF: The girl. Dontcha take her out?

GG: Yeah, when I have some extra sheckles.

LS: He takes me out!

AF: You're very generous. I told this kid, I'll do the interview for a hundred dollars. He says, "no, fifty is the most I can pay." And he said he'd buy us beers.

GG: Heh, heh, heh.

LS: He told me he was going to pay you fifty dollars!

AF: I see. Like I'm gonna take fifty dollars after hearin this act.

[everyone laughs]

AF: I mean, even I have some -

LS: A heart!

AF: Yeah.

GG: Why did you make a Christmas movie?

AF: That movie had nothin to do with Christmas.

GG: Yes it did.

AF: It had to do with the reality of dealin drugs. I wanted to do a digital -

GG: R'Xmas was shot in digital?

AF: No.

GG: I didn't think so.

FD: We shot it in 70 millimeter, and made it look like digital in post.

AF: Yeaaaah. (laughing)

GG: Ha ha ha ha.

AF: Yeah, we shot it in 70 millimeter, and transferred it to fuckin -

GG: - VHS.

AF: Yeah, VHS.

GG: (laughing)

AF: Yeah, that's how we fixed it. We fuckin fixed it! Canal Plus, they wanna rent fuckin apartments in Trump Towers? We'll show these guys!

GG: Okay, it wasn't a Christmas film, it was a drug film. It had a political element, about the mayor, Koch and it's a very sweet film about drugs that -

AF: Koch?

GG: Koch? I don't know, and it has a very sweet feeling about it, in the end.

AF: You'd show that fuckin film to your children?

GG: Yeah! It's a family film.

FD: It's got a father, a mother, and a daughter.

GG: It has a happy ending. it's the only film of yours that has a happy ending.

F: It has no ending, it was -

AF: To be cunt...

[Everyone laughs]

AF: It says right there, "TO BE CUNT". C-U-N-T. [pointing to Frank] That's his idea of a joke.


GG: To be cunt. I like that.

AF: To be or not to be... cunt.


FD: What do you mean a happy ending? That wasn't the end.

LS: That's true.

AF: It's obvious, that it's just the beginning, but I'm not going to kid anybody and say that -

GG: You're not going to turn this into a Sopranos type fuckin thing.

AF: Yeah, right.

FD: The legacy will continue. We have no intention of -

GG: You were documenting a piece of New York history. It was set in -

AF: 1992.

GG: Yeah. So who else will pick up the story if you don't?

FD: Who cares? It's the story of a people, the story of a city.

GG: Of a drug.

FD: Yeah. But you continue it.

GG: I am not the producer or the writer or any of those things.

FD: It's not the type of thing that needs to get picked up in that way.

GG: Yes it does.

FD: You don't even know what we mean, when we say "to be continued".

AF: Did you feel ripped off by that, at the end? "To be continued"?

GG: No.

AF: Yeah you'll buy any crap I put together.

GG: Fuck you!

AF: Oh yeah, I forgot. You didn't like The Addiction.

GG: I even liked The Blackout.

FD: It sounds like you're making excuses.

AF: I had a tough time with that one myself.

AF: All "to be continued" means is, "what are they going to do now?" If they keep dealing, they'll be killed. And they have to go back to a life that... neither one of them can confront. Alright? You'll need another hour and a half for that one.

GG: Have you ever read Buddy Giovinazzo? He did that film No Way Home with James Russo.

AF: Oh yeah, I did read a book. He writes those really hardcore books about the lower east side.

GG: Yeah. Life is Hot in Cracktown.

FD: I'm into this other chick nowadays -

AF: Who?

FD: That chick we were with the other night. She's a writer.

AF: Have you ever met this guy?

GG: Buddy?

AF: Yeah.

GG: Yeah. I read with him in Berlin.

AF: Sickest motherfuckin book I ever read in my life. And then he says to me, "you inspired this book."

GG: He loves your films!

AF: He sends me this book, and says I inspired this fuckin VILE, nasty fuckin thing, that I wish I had never fuckin read. That you can't get out of your fuckin mind. I mean... somethin like that'll make ya stop makin movies.

GG: You didn't like it?

AF: It's not that I liked it or didn't like it. I'm just sayin... let me put it this way. I wish I wasn't the sole inspiration.

GG: It's hardcore negativity.

AF: I wouldn't call it negative.

GG: Your films have a lot of heart in them.

AF: How does Life is Hot In Cracktown compare to Bad Lieutenant?

GG: They ain't that much different. But Bad Lieutenant is the story of one guy. Buddy's book tells the stories of a lot of people. Cracktown has like 12 or 15 main characters. It's all about crack, people in Brooklyn dying and going crazy from crack.

AF: 14 to 17 year old kids who just torture each other, and other people. Who cut people up, and kill people, and rape people. Fuck people up. They do this 24 hours a day. Behind crack. Which is fine, the guy is a great writer, obviously. And I got no problem with the book, I just wish I didn't inspire things like that.

GG: Your movies do inspire people, because they exist almost as dark testaments to honest expression, as opposed to the saccharine stuff.

AF: You perceive them as dark, because -

GG: No, they ARE dark!

AF: I don't think Pasolini would say they were dark.

GG: I don't know. He had a different sensibility. He was a faggot, you know.

AF: Hey, they didn't call him Pier Penis Pasolini for nothing.

GG: C'mon. He was a very warped Italian guy! You're a New Yorker, and -

AF: Zoe was gonna play Pasolini. In Pasolini's life story. We were gonna do Pasolini's life story.

GG: What about Zoe's writing? She was a brilliant writer, I've heard.

AF: Brilliant. Yeah.

FD: You ever see one of Zoe's scripts?

GG: No.

FD: Okay, well if you ever saw one you'd know. They looked like phone books.

AF: Legal paper. There was so many words per page, the fuckin xerox place would call up and start bitchin.

GG: Why?

AF: Cuz of how much ink they used. But so what? You can't fill a 250 page war wall on legal paper.

GG: Who was Jewish?

AF: Hey, hit that button.

GG: Stricken!

AF: What, ya got somethin against Jews now?

GG: Hey man, it's all one race to me. I don't give a shit. Those people, these people, who cares. It's a joke that -

AF: It's not a joke. You're a little anti-Semitic, I think.

GG: I'm just saying why should I care about someone's ancestry?

LS: He is anti-Semitic, I think.

AF: An anti-Semite. And he seemed like he was rollin with the program. Yeah, ooookay.

GG: Look it doesn't matter! But the girl's dead, I was just curious!

AF: Would you have loved her less because she's Jewish?

GG: What kind of question is that?

AF: It's funny, that you would think she was Jewish.

LS: But people ask, though! If people think you might be Jewish, they're like "oh are you?" (laughing)

GG: French, Israeli, fuckin Amish, who gives a shit!

LS: People never say, "oh, are you PROTESTANT?" "Oh really, are you Catholic?"

GG: There's a lot character in being Jewish. Jews are very charismatic people.

AF: Hey honey, anyone that can't see that you're Jewish is fuckin blind, deaf, and dumb.

LS: [stunned, long long laughter]

AF: I deal with it, too.


AF: No, really. People think I am because of my name. ABE.

LS: Yeah, unless you're a Safartic Jew. I'm a Safartic Jew. Moroccan Jew.

GG: Ferrara is a purebread, classic, fuckin white Italian name. Right?

AF: So what do ya got against Italians now?

GG: I don't know.

AF: I don't know, he says.

GG: Whaaat? You are Italian.

AF: You got problems with Italians now, too?

GG: Forget it.

AF: There are no white Italians. Didn't you know that? Didn't you see that movie with Dennis Hopper? And Walken? You know the one, where they talk about Italians?

LS: True Romance.

GG: That's a great film. So you're part Irish, too.

AF: Yeah. You know what they used to say?

GG: What?

AF: That they're like Italians and niggers turned inside out. (laughing)

GG: I wasn't familiar with that sentiment. But it's true. The Irish are the niggers of Europe.

AF: You know? That you're like, so pure, that you're like the inside of someone.

LS: That's... that's just ridiculous. (laughing)

AF: That really says a lot about the Irish.

GG: The Irish are like natural born victims. They constantly like... see, in history -

AF: Ah, they kill each other.

GG: They got fucked with and picked on by a lot of people over the years.

AF: Where'd you read that?

GG: I don't know my history.

AF: Then how could you -

GG: I'm just sayin, it's a fact.

[everyone laughs]

AF: Okay, we're gonna head off. You gotta watch New Rose Hotel. Please.


Original posted at
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Page last modified: 06/02/03