Vengeance is hers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - TARA BRADY

MS 45 Light House Cin­ema, Dublin Fri 8.45pm light­house­cin­ema.ie Few di­rec­tors oc­cupy such an equiv­o­cal space in the crit­i­cal sphere as the ex­tra­or­di­nary, puz­zling Abel Fer­rara. Thirty years ago his Driller Killer was a key ex­hibit in the UK’s video nasty tri­als. Just last week,

Wel­come to New York, his thinly veiled study of the Do­minique Strauss-Kahn scan­dal, played nearby (but cru­cially not “in”) the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val. For full im­mer­sion in the Fer­rara aes­thetic, seek out tonight’s screen­ing of 1981’s con­tro­ver­sial (what else?) Ms 45.

As you might ex­pect, the film is full of vul­gar ex­ploita­tion: an abused mute woman (dressed, at one stage, in a nun’s habit) takes to shoot­ing up the male cit­i­zens of New York City. But the film throbs with the same sort of caskstrength fem­i­nist rage that pow­ered the con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous texts of An­drea Dworkin.

The vi­o­lence is bril­liantly chore­ographed, the at­mos­phere prop­erly seedy. And, in an aside, Ms 45 of­fers a vi­brant por­trait of New York City’s Gar­ment District long be­fore it be­came one big Star­bucks.

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