Vengeance is hers
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.