I’ve always been a fan of Abel Ferrara’s work. Or rather ive always been a fan of the fact that Abel Ferrara keeps making films and the thought of a new one from him entering my ears and eyes always excites me. Thats not to say that I have loved all of his films (there are still a few that I haven’t yet seen) but I really do think the filmmaking world is a far better placing for having Abel Ferrara in it than not. It keeps things super interesting. Thinking back, I think the first time I saw an Abel Ferrara film was 1987’s China Girl, a sort of reimagining of Romeo and Juliet but told in modern day New York City. Highly recommended checking that out if you havent seen it. Then a few years later I saw what I still feel is my very favourite Ferrara film. King Of New York which sits on my list of all time favourite gangster films and one of my favourite films starring Christopher Walken. From then on anytime Abel made a new film and I was able to see it. I did. Sometimes I loved it m.s 45, Bad Lieutenant, Bodysnatchers, Welcome to New York) and sometimes I didnt quite ‘get it’ ( Pasolini, The Addiction, Dangerous Game) but I always enjoyed and still do enjoy watching a new Abel Ferrara film.
Abels latest film ‘Zeros and Ones’ which tells the story of JJ, a soldier who’s been given the mission of preventing an imminent terrorist threat to the Vatican. Now that all sounds like a pretty cool action thriller when you read that on paper (or on this screen) but given the stylistic choices that Abel makes in this film, I will say the film is a lot harder to follow than most other films with that plotline. Its still a very interesting film though but most definitely not one for the casual film fan, its definitely made for the fans of Ferrara’s (like me), and for those familiar with some of the style choices that he and his team have made over the years. Filmed during the pandemic, its filled with artistic camera shots, lots of very low light (where it does mean that you don’t really know whats going on a fair bit of the time) and Zeros and Ones is a very dreamlike film in a lot of ways. Not easy to follow but I do think that its one of those films where you watch it once and you aren’t really sure what you’ve watched, but if you watch it a couple of times, then you’ll suddenly click into place, the plot, the scenes and it’ll end up giving you a better experience because of it. Many Abel Ferrara films can be like this where you aren’t sure what you’ve just watched, but on a rewatch experience, you realise that you’ve watched something very special and it becomes a film you love. I would recommend it to those familiar with Abel’s work, but as I mentioned earlier. If you think ‘ Oh an Ethan Hawke starring action thriller’ then you may be in bit a bit of a shock and possible letdown. Needless to say Im very excited that I have now seen a new Abel Ferrara film and I cant wait to see the next one.
Signature Entertainment presents Zeros and Ones on Digital Platforms 7th March & DVD 4th April