It All Happens Here: Abel Ferrara & the Making of Bad Lieutenant (2009)
**** (out of 4)
This three part, 35-minute documentary takes a look at the making of the Abel Ferrara film, which was certainly controversial when released but everyone involved in the production were eventually rewarded with very strong reviews. Ferrara is joined by producer Randy Sabusawa, retired NYC detective Bo Dietl, editor Anthony Redman, production designer Charles Lagola, script supervisor Karen Kelsall and film critic Emanuel Levy.
We start off hearing about the real NYC case that inspired the rape sequence in the film and then the focus turns to trying to find someone to play the lead. We learn that Christopher Walken was originally picked but he realizes that he couldn't bring the type of performance the director was looking for. We hear about Harvey Keitel coming on board and what exactly he brought to the picture. We learn about the script being very short and open to whatever the actors wanted to bring and some of the more memorable moments are discussed including the heroin scenes as well as the sexual assault on the two girls.
Everyone interviewed here tells some wonderful stories and they certainly give the viewer a great idea of what it was like working on a small budget and knowing that they were trying to push the limits. It's mentioned that everyone knew they were going for a NC-17 rating and it's clear that everyone, except for perhaps Ferrara, were disgusted at what was in front of the camera but they all knew why it was there. Fans of the film or the maverick director will certainly want to check this out. The only downside is that Keitel wasn't involved in the interviews.
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