Sportin’ Life: Abel Ferrara’s Sharp Documentary

Conversations between Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara is the only good part of the documentary. It’s safe to say Abel Ferrara has not been in the swing of things. His films seldom reach a wider audience these days, and most of them limit themselves to film festivals. Even the films that star his old collaborator, colleague, and friend Willem Dafoe face the same fate.

Ferrara has always been like this for a while. He may have even stopped caring what you think of his films. If you like “Sportin’ Life,” then good. If you don’t like it, don’t expect Ferrara to give a toss about it.

It has been quite a while since he had made a film that is even close to the quality of “Bad Lieutenant” and “King of New York.” But the film “Sportin’ Life” is not boring. Fun-filled conversation between Dafoe and Ferrara makes the film worth a watch.

The documentary was shot by Ferrara while promoting his film “Siberia” in the month of February of this year at the Berlin Film Festival. “Sportin Life” is a peek into Ferrara’s life where he explains what he has been up to this year, and the thoughts that have captured his mind.

Ferrara is an unusual yet energetic filmmaker who perhaps thinks of himself as a street-smart artist cum cinema enthusiast. He makes films purely out of love for the films. The fact that he doesn’t care about your opinion makes him a filmmaker who is completely free from any societal bondage and expectations, and on some days, this same reason might even convince him to give his films a try. You know what you expect from Ferrara, a carefree, creative product and some unfiltered thoughts.

The best part of the film is the funny, light-hearted conversations between him and Dafoe, where he jokingly says that he doesn’t care about a deeper meaning. He just wants to get some shots off his workload.

Dafoe also adds his insights into the conversation by talking about the pleasure he gets from acting. He talks about how he stands wherever the “lighting is best” rather engrossing too much himself into his character.

Apart from these funny, articulate conversation, Ferrara also adds some footages from his previous films, footage of the live performance of his band bluesy rock ‘n’ roll band ( which did feature in the 2017 documentary “Alive in France”), his family videos where he is seen spending some time with his wife and actress Cristina Chiriac and his young daughter at their home in Rome.

The documentary also showcased life before the lockdown, and controversially shows Donald Trump’s comments that the “invisible enemy” would disappear like a “miracle.”

In the simplest of terms, the documentary could be considered as a scrapbook or a film’s extra shots. In this funny, rambling film, you can find a lot to hate about, but once you are able to watch with an open heart, you might see Abel Ferrara’s love and zeal for living a life, and there is a chance you might even give a thought about his films before going to sleep.

Natalie is a Blog expert and has been working in the technology industry since 2003. As a technical expert, Mila has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as

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