~ PRESS HIGHLIGHTS ~
"Zoë Lund's screenplay for Bad Lieutenant ambitiously takes on taboo issues in looking at a degraded subculture in an era of faithlessness and despair. Not since Ingmar Bergman's The Silence has a film tackled the subject of God's absence from people's lives in such a sexually explicit and morbid context. Lund not only is scripter but an impressive natural actress. Her sequence [with Keitel] is intense and riveting... A Clockwork Orange... Last Tango in Paris... Uncompromising... Harrowing... Adventurous... Keitel's uninhibited and extraordinary performance pushes the envelope... Ferrara is standard-bearer for Pasolini's poetic realism on-screen."
"Near the end of a Cannes Film Festival filled with the ordinary and predictable, it is with enormous relief that I've finally seen two films made with passion: "Best Intentions" (Winner of the Palme D'Or) and Bad Lieutenant. There have been other good films here this year, but [only these two] go for greatness."
"Harvey Keitel starred in my own choice as the best discovery of the Cannes Festival, BAD LIEUTENANT. He gives one of the best performances of his career."
"Zoë Lund is a slender beauty in a big black hat. She scripted Bad Lieutenant, and co-stars with a fiery Harvey Keitel in the controversial film. Lund views Bad Lieutenant as 'A profoundly religious, moral film.' Many critics have found it to be one of the boldest, most original films of the year."
Phantom of the Movies
"Bad Lieutenant has an undeniable morality. Few American films have so tellingly detailed the painful withdrawal of a reformed sinner. Bad Lieutenant is impassioned. Visionary. Movie dynamite. Harvey Keitel gives a powerhouse performance in a film of jabbing intensity and wit. Zoë Lund (the screenwriter) contributes a vivid cameo as a drug connection. (She and director Ferrara) have crafted an almost biblical tale of redemption."
"Zoë Lund: 'One of the things that the Lieutenant is raging about is that Christ has already taken this ultimate act of responsibility. Some people wait for the opportunity to do that, but you can't wait. You have to seize the moment. And that is what the Lieutenant finally does. He finds a need to do it, and that is the terror but also the duty of existence. He's saying, 'It's wrong, I know it's wrong, therefore I must right it.' It can all be summed up this way: Your conscience has to be equal to your consciousness.'"
"Harvey Keitel stars in Bad Lieutenant, a harrowing eschatological melodrama about a "bad" New York City cop. Its style is sui generis: Liturgical realism. The film's structure, literal and spiritual, is bracingly sophisticated. Keitel gives the kind of performance by which a generation is defined."
"Bad Lieutenant stands the urban crime genre on its head. 'It uses a harsh, very controversial, very shocking to some people vocabulary [to tell the story.] But it's like a morality play,' says scriptor and co-star Lund. 'A medieval morality play with the same stark moral questions that were crystallized in the time of Christ.'"
"Bad Lieutenant is skillful and unforgettable. A morality play about a junkie cop looking for redemption on the streets of New York. Harvey Keitel does some amazing work.
"Bobby Rivers: Cardinal O'Connor probably doesn't like Bad Lieutenant. But if he really knew what it was about --
Harvey Keitel is outstanding (in Bad Lieutenant). The screenwriter, Zoë Lund, plays a drug diva.
"In Bad Lieutenant, Keitel is on-screen in virtually every frame. "I wanted to play this part, because I have a deep desire to know God, and knowing God isn't just a matter of going to confession and praying," Keitel says. "We also find God by confronting evil, and this character gave me the opportunity to descend into the most painful part of myself and learn about that dark place. Call it what you will -- the abyss, the holy void, the place where heaven and hell merge into the same experience -- this is the place where man learns. I'm proud of Bad Lieutenant."
"Bad Lieutenant is a shocking, utterly uncompromising work of art. Harvey Keitel gives the bravest, most powerful performance of his wild career."
"Abel Ferrara is prepping two film projects written by his leading lady Zoë Lund, who toplined in his "MS.45" in 1980. She recently completed an adaptation of Erskine Caldwell's 1969-set novel "THE LAST NIGHT OF SUMMER," to be directed by Ferrara for Rome producer Roberto Cipinelli. Lund is also writing a biopic of the late porn star JOHN HOLMES for Ferrara to direct. Christopher Walken wants to play the title role, Ferrara reports, noting his picture will not focus on the murder case involving Holmes, but will look at Hollywood filming, adult division."
"Exquisite Corpseshas such flashes of cinematic brilliance that anyone serious about the form should see it. As an evocation of Downtown, it is superb. A remarkable film."
"Exquisite Corpses is a clever murder mystery musical comedy. What 'Mondo New York' should have been."
"'Belinda,' the femme fatale, is played with sultry exoticism by Zoë Lund. Ms. Lund is mysterious and devilish as the shadowy 'Belinda.' Mr. Lopez, director of Exquisite Corpses, should be watched."
The New York Times
"Exquisite Corpses has a cult hook in casting of Zoë Lund, who first scored in Abel Ferrara's thriller MS.45. She portrays 'Belinda,' a mysterious femme fatale who ultimately spells curtains for the hapless hero. Lund is suitably exotic and has a very strange musical production number to boot."
"When Exquisite Corpses goes totally over the top, as in Zoë Lund's festively sinister production number, it can dazzle with daffiness."
The Village Voice
"Exquisite Corpses is a kind of gay Pygmalion. Zoë Lund as 'Belinda,' is a slinky Bianca Jagger-like smoldering vamp."
"Enter 'Belinda,' a chanteuse provocatively portrayed by Zoë Lund, who looks like a cross between Bianca Jagger and a young Lauren Bacall. The two Weillian production numbers have a satisfying sizzle."
The New York Post
"Special Effects is an entertaining, cleverly scripted and engrossing film. Thesping all around is excellent and Zoë Tamerlis' handling of two roles is uncannily convincing."
"Special Effects is a clever send-up. The dialogue is priceless. Zoë Tamerlis plays a dual role. [She's] a Lauren Bacall type. See Special Effects and join the cult!"
The New York Post
"Zoë Tamerlis, star of the film MS.45, is a breathtakingly beautiful and gifted young actress. With her dark, full-lipped natural beauty rivaling that of Nastassja Kinski, she grabs the viewer by the throat. MS.45 is inexplicably profound."
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
"Zoë Tamerlis, in MS.45, makes a stunning debut in the title role, playing the traumatized Thana with subtlety and conviction. A strikingly beautiful brunette who resembles Nastassja Kinski, Ms. Tamerlis rarely falters though she's on the screen for the entire film. It's really Ms. Tamerlis' show!"
The Bergen Record
"MS.45 is one of the 'Year's Ten Best'."
Film Comment Magazine
"Zoë Tamerlis is the star of MS.45, a genuine sleeper that garnered near-unanimous critical enthusiasm. The dark-haired beauty was center screen virtually throughout the intense pic and she freely admits that 'Such a role relies very heavily on the person who inhabits it.'"
"At 8:00 this morning I turned the T.V. on and there's Zoë Tamerlis (in MS.45). She struck me as being absolutely ideal."
"Ferrara, the director of MS.45, credits Tamerlis, who has an otherworldly resemblance to Nastassja Kinski, Simone Simone, and Bianca Jagger, for 'giving the character more complexity than there was in the script. Zoë herself is complex.' And a fine actress. Thana never speaks but Tamerlis gives her remarkable presence. As we can see, she has astounding sex appeal."
"Cult Movies: Part II"
"Zoë is beautiful. She is what makes MS.45 so riveting. Her voice is youthful, precise, refined. Zoë talks without hesitation, her words come fully thought out, perfectly chosen. She is practiced. Often her monologues were punctuated with 'As I said in Venice.' She is an orator. Zoë has youth and beauty. Had she turned to God she could have been an evangelist, converting more sinners than Aimee Semple McPherson, Billy Graham, and Marjoe Gortner combined. I found myself drifting irresistibly into her mouth, watching her full lips move as she talked. I was hopelessly gone. I was hers."
Soho Weekly News:
"Zoë Tamerlis is beautiful and menacing."
"MS.45 is 'Essential Viewing.' Tamerlis comes on like a rampaging Lillian Gish and she is able to carry the immense burden of expressive range the film asks her to. A fabulous action film.
"Tamerlis sees MS.45 as a montage of complex perspectives -- a person undergoing psychological metamorphosis, and a profound existential realization. There is not a single facet of the character's personality that Zoë has not considered endlessly."
"Don't miss MS.45."
Soho Weekly News
"Zoë Tamerlis is the closest American equivalent to the other-worldly beauty of Nastassja Kinski...Her transition from terrified innocent to heavily made-up woman of violence is impressive."
"MS.45 was highly praised at both Cannes and Milan for its cinematography and especially for the performance of Zoë Tamerlis. Her portrayal is bloodcurdlingly real."
"Zoë Tamerlis has been given the honorary title 'Ambassadrix of American Cinema to Italy' at the Screen-Beauty Contest in Milan."
La Notte, Milan, Italy
"MS.45 ranked second largest grosser in New York City during its Opening Week."
Variety: Picture Grosses
"Following a spirited discussion of the provocative film, MS.45, Zoë Tamerlis was mobbed in the lobby by autograph hounds and magazine photographers."
Los Angeles Times:
"Zoë Tamerlis, the lead in MS.45, is beautiful, electric, sensitive."
"The star of MS.45 attended the film's screening and led a discussion with audience members afterwards...It is rare to see an actress take such serious interest in the social implications of her work. So eloquent and considered was Ms. Tamerlis' defense of the film, that it would now seem arguable that graphic violence on the screen can have a moral as well as a sensational purpose."
"Zoë Tamerlis won unanimous raves for her hypnotizing performance as the mute heroine of MS.45."