Funeral

The Funeral

Director: Abel Ferrara

Cast: Abel Ferrara, Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Vincent Gallo

     
 

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Cult figure Abel Ferrara directed this dark, emotional tale of life among the criminal underworld, set in the late 1930s. The Tempio Brothers -- Ray (Christopher Walken), Chez (Chris Penn), and Johnny (Vincent Gallo) -- work with the mob; Ray is the cool and methodical type, Chez is an angry man who tends to fly off the handle, and Johnny is the odd man out, whose

Overview

Cult figure Abel Ferrara directed this dark, emotional tale of life among the criminal underworld, set in the late 1930s. The Tempio Brothers -- Ray (Christopher Walken), Chez (Chris Penn), and Johnny (Vincent Gallo) -- work with the mob; Ray is the cool and methodical type, Chez is an angry man who tends to fly off the handle, and Johnny is the odd man out, whose work with labor unions has given him a strong interest in socialism. When Johnny is murdered by rival mobster Gaspare (Benicio del Toro), it has a profound effect on his brothers. Ray is determined to seek revenge, even though his wife Jeanette (Anabella Sciorra), realizing a reprisal will only lead to more violence, begs him to reconsider, while Chez begins losing his tenuous grip on reality, causing no small discomfort for his wife Clara (Isabella Rossellini). In time, both brothers are forced to deal with the ugly repercussions of their family's long-standing criminal lifestyle. Chris Penn's performance as Chez earned him the "Best Actor" trophy at the 1996 Venice Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
All the expressionistic fervor we've come to expect from director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York) and his longtime collaborator, screenwriter Nicholas St. John, distinguishes this darker than dark gangster film set in a beautifully realized 1930s. The thirst for revenge and the price of mercy are major themes in this story centerted around the funeral of murder victim Johnny Tempio (Vincent Gallo), the youngest of three Italian-American brothers. The surviving brothers, Ray and Chez (Christopher Walken and Chris Penn) mourn their loss and vow retribution as flashbacks recount the family's lifelong intimacy with violence and death. Annabella Sciorra and Isabella Rossellini are welcome additions to the strong cast, but their performances are restrained next to the fury unleashed by the three 1996 Venice Film Festival for his over-the-top portrayal). Extensive use of Catholic iconography, a communist subplot, and Ferrara's signature scenes of violence, debauchery, and self-destructive mania make The Funeral a mesmerizing foray into a world of dysfunctional mafiosi.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The Funeral feels like The Godfather directed by Ingmar Bergman. Christopher Walken's haunted eyes serve him well in the role of Ray, a Michael Corleone-like gangster who is in turmoil when he begins to realize that he is compelled to act in ways that undermine his own life. Chris Penn is frightening as the boorish, but charming Sonny Corleone-ish brother who slowly succumbs to violent psychosis. These two characters let Ferrara work out his philosophical musings as they grieve over the slain body of their younger brother Johnny, a Fredo-like figure who was not cut out for gangster life. Ferrara had balanced physical and emotional violence with philosophical angst before in Bad Lieutenant, Dangerous Game, and The Addiction, but this film is the most cerebral of the bunch. A truly sad movie, The Funeral will leave the viewer emotionally devastated.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/09/2005
UPC:
0096009397395
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Echo Bridge
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:39:00

Special Features

Digitally mastered; Interactive menus; Chapter selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Walken Ray
Chris Penn Chez
Vincent Gallo Johnny
Isabella Rossellini Clara
Annabella Sciorra Jeannette
Benicio Del Toro Gaspare
Paul Hipp Ghouly
Gretchen Mol Helen
John Ventimiglia Sali
John Hoyt Actor

Technical Credits
Abel Ferrara Director
Jay Cannold Associate Producer
Beth Curtis Art Director
Joe Delia Score Composer,Songwriter
Mindy Eshelman Costumes/Costume Designer
Ann Goulder Casting
Billy Hopkins Casting
Rosa Howell-Thornhill Sound/Sound Designer
Noga Isackson Asst. Director
Mary Kane Producer
Ken Kelsch Cinematographer
Charles Lagola Production Designer
Diane Lederman Set Decoration/Design
Mayin Lo Editor
Michael Chambers Executive Producer
Bill Pankow Editor
Patrick Panzarella Executive Producer
Randy Sabusawa Co-producer
Randall Sabusawa Co-producer
Annabella Sciorra Associate Producer
Russell Simmons Associate Producer
Nicholas St. John Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Funeral
1. Final Resting Place [4:41]
2. Delivering Flowers [3:25]
3. Preserving the Family [1:38]
4. Goodbye Uncle Johnny [3:59]
5. Last Rights [3:34]
6. Doing the Right Thing [3:49]
7. Respect for Life [5:06]
8. No Monkey Business [1:14]
9. Financial Crunch [4:26]
10. Filthy Pig [2:18]
11. Quick Feet, Big Mouth [4:20]
12. Uncontrollable Rage [6:00]
13. Sleepless Night [2:33]
14. Bullet Holes [2:38]
15. Hot Night at the Movies [2:06]
16. You Sold Your Soul! [2:35]
17. Desire for Peace [3:15]
18. Think of the Risks [3:36]
19. Criminals at Heart [6:13]
20. Truth About the Past [3:57]
21. You'll Be Sorry [3:50]
22. Don't Go Crazy [3:17]
23. Guilty Conscience [4:47]
24. Nothing to Lose [15:33]

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