Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome to New York premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and will finally be hitting theaters and On Demand on March 27, though not without its share of controversy.
IFC picked the film up for domestic distribution, reportedly with a contract from Wild Bunch that ensured it would be rated R upon release. Well, Ferrara wasn’t too happy with that, quoted by The Hollywood Reporter saying, “Welcome to New York is not being distributed in the U.S. because of this company, IFC, which I’m totally disgusted wit… They knew from day one when they bought this film that they had the final version and that it wasn’t going to beâ€¯changed.”
Well, I can tell you now the film is rated R “for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, a rape and language” and runs 108 minutes, 17 minutes fewer than listed at IMDb and with phrases such as “soft-core porn” being included in some reviews, it seems to make sense, though 17 minutes is quite a bit to cut.
Unfortunately for Ferrara, Wild Bunch head honcho Vincent Maraval set the director straight, “This is not between Abel and IFC, it’s between Abel and us. We’ve worked with Abel since ‘R Xmas. IFC has always supported him, even when the U.S. market said he was too difficult to work with. It’s very unfair that he’s blaming them. They are people that respect cinema very much, and especially his cinema.”
Maraval also confirmed the R-rated cut was contractual adding, “In the contract we did with Abel, he agreed to do an R-rated version. It was something he accepted originally in order to have the film financed.”
As for the film, here’s the synopsis:
Either way, check out the trailer below and be on the lookout as I’m sure Ferrara isn’t done commenting on this one. After all, also included in that THR piece he includes, “F– them and f– IFC and the Center. Any filmmaker that’s worth anything should go and burn that theater down.” When it came to Maraval’s comments, Ferrara refuses to watch the edited version saying, “Anyone who touches my film is in trouble legally, karmically and spiritually. And anyone who bothers seeing such bullshit is more guilty than they are.”