Skip to main content


USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Abel Ferrara

Bronx hard man Abel Ferrara has obsessively chronicled New York's criminal underbelly. Strip club low-lifes, corrupt cops and murderous mobsters - these are the central figures in Ferrara's neon-lit testaments to the power of the gun and the knife. The Funeral is the eccentric director's first historical work, set during the 30s depression, and through a series of flashbacks recounts the events leading to the needless assassination of Johnny Tempio, the youngest of three ruthless gangland brothers.

Ferrara favourite Christopher Walken stars alongside Chris Penn, Isabella Rossellini, Annabella Sciorra and Vincent Gallo in this unrelenting saga of revenge and redemption, faith and false hope, insanity, extreme violence and codes of honour. The viewer is assaulted with salvos of rapid fire dialogue - typically threatening and histrionic - and morbidly attracted to scenes of graphic sex and coldly executed violence.

The Funeral adheres to the conventions of the gangster genre that have made it so popular while advancing a number of fresh interpretations of classic elements. Authentic, gut-wrenching performances, verbal exchanges sharper than a Wise Guy's shiv and Abel Ferrara's amped-up directorial style - get in the car, you're going for a ride!

See also...


With the likes of Bad Lieutenant and The Funeral (MIFF 1997) to his credit, the name Abel Ferrara doesn't exactly lend itself to notions of Yuletide cheer So it isn't really surprising that, while ... More »


“Its own double bill - a response to The Passion of the Christ… a fantastic amalgam of Mel Gibson and Ferrara himself.” - Village Voice Tackling issues of faith and redemption in these ... More »


Terry, is a buttoned-down and uptight loner who has been feeling suicidal since the sup­posed death of his wife. His lonely past-times involve binoculars and his neighbours' open win­dows ... More »


One of the more accomplished of the recent crop of low budget, independent US films. This deadpan comedy features two feckless losers, Jerry and Christy, as its main characters. Their lives suddenly ... More »


Steve Buscemi has made an indelible mark on the world of independent film as an actor, bringing to life such unforgettable characters as 'Mr Pink' in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and the ... More »


A white man is mugged and beaten in Harlem and wakes up with amnesia in a Kafkaesque nightmare of a room. His only hope is a black man, Rumor, who promises to help him get out but decides to keep him ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director