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In the 30's, in New York, the coffin of the leftist gangster Johnny Tempio is brought to the house of his older brother Ray for the wake of family and friends. Ray is a cold gangster that likes to read and is married to Jean. His brother Chez is a hot head that runs a bar and is married to Clara . Ray decides to revenge the murder of his younger brother and believes the gangster Gaspare is the one who killed Johnny. Meanwhile Chez has a breakdown with tragic consequences for the Tempio brothers.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When it comes to cult film-maker Abel Ferrara, people seem to either love his work or hate it. I think some of his films are great but some are just rubbish. Fortunately "The Funeral" is far from being rubbish, but then it's not great either.
Set in New York in the 1930s, the film centres on an organised crime family, headed by brothers Ray (Christopher Walken) and Chezz (Chris Penn) who are set to bury their younger brother Johnny (Vincent Gallo). As Johnny's wake progresses the two remaining brothers reflect on his life and try to track down his killer.
The film is pretty well made, and benefits from strong performances all round. It's main defect is that the film tends to lose focus and go off at tangents (scenes where Johnny attends a Communist rally were pretty pointless). Also, as in many Ferrara films, there is a very blatant religious subtext which sometimes gets in the way of the drama. Also, be warned that there is a lot of pretty brutal violence in this film.
If you like gangster films (and obviously if you're a Ferrara fan) give this a go. It's worth trying anyway just for the quality of the performances.
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