Abel Ferrara began shooting Siberia, the latest film in his incredible multi-decade career, well before the pandemic took over the globe. But in many ways, Siberia feels like an examination of what can happen to all of us when we're forced to reckon with ourselves and our fickle subconscious in the pure isolation of solitude (i.e. stuck inside in a pandemic).
The experimental, truly buck-wild film stars Willem Dafoe (one of Ferrara's most prolific muses) as a man who has chosen to live his life isolated from most, tending bar in a remote outpost of Siberia. But as he's compelled on a journey into a literal cave, he travels through many metaphorical caves of dreams, desires, fears, and out-and-out madness. If you combined the cerebral thrills of David Cronenberg with the out-of-their-mind sprints of Darren Aronofsky, you might get something close to the hallucinatory Siberia.
I was lucky enough to speak with the legendary Ferrara over Zoom, and well, I was just delighted by our chat together, not just to dive into this film and his career, but to witness his casual use of words like "bro" and "you dig?" We delved into making Siberia's metaphysical themes literally physical, how his Dafoe partnership benefits both individuals, how personal the film is to both men despite its surrealness, and the procedure of making a documentary, Sportin' Life, about attending a film festival during the beginnings of a pandemic. We also spoke about Ferrara's career overall, including his one-and-only leading role in The Driller Killer, his previous Dafoe film Pasolini, the pureness of China Girl's Shakespearean inspirations, and his upcoming Ethan Hawke thriller Zeros and Ones.
Check out the full interview above. Siberia is available on digital and Blu-ray June 18, 2021.
KEEP READING: Director Abel Ferrara Talks PASOLINI, Shooting the Late Italian Filmmaker's Unfinished Scripts, BODY SNATCHERS, and the Chances for DRILLER KILLER 2
And without the risk of cutting off your hand!
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