Abel Ferrara, whose gritty New York exploitation films of the 1980s and 1990s delved into the soulless evils of drug addiction, corruption and sexual violence, pays homage to one of Italy’s best-known and most revered saints in his newest film, “Padre Pio.”
That the film, which stars Shia LaBeouf and premieres at the Venice Film Festival next week, confirms a change of pace for the cult director is an understatement, one that Ferrara, 71, chalks up to a decade of sobriety and a new life in Italy.
“Once we kicked the drugs and the alcohol, we started to see a different way of life, of living in a different life,” the “Bad Lieutenant” director said in an interview in his new hometown of Rome. “I think it’s more just trying to get our game right.”
The film chronicles a particular moment in the 20th century history of Italy and Padre Pio, the mystic Capuchin monk best known for having displayed the “stigmata” wounds of Christ: He bled from his hands, feet and sides. Padre Pio died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002 by St. John Paul II, going on to become one of the most popular saints in Italy, the U.S. and beyond.
Ferrara’s treatment is no biopic, and frankly ignores some of the juiciest bits of the Padre Pio saga, which involved a dozen Vatican investigations into purported dalliances with women, alleged financial improprieties and doubts about the stigmatas. In their place, Ferrara weaves a parallel tale about the beginnings of fascism in Italy that is, unexpectedly, utterly relevant today.
The film takes as its starting point Padre Pio’s arrival at a Capuchin monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo, a poverty-wracked town in southern Italy, at the time its soldiers were returning home from World War I. The town was almost feudal-like, with the Catholic Church and wealthy large landowners trying to hold onto power amid the first inklings of Italy’s post-war socialist movement that saw factory unrest and peasant strikes.
“Given the list of films I’d made you’d be wondering,” Ferrara admits. But he said church officials and the Capuchin friars who advised on set were entirely supportive of the project and its star, LaBeouf, who has admitted to alcoholism and has been accused by a former girlfriend of abuse. LaBeouf spent four months in a California monastery preparing for the role, Ferrara said, and has said the chance to play “Padre Pio” was a miracle for him personally.
“It’s just that these cats have got that optimistic take,” Ferrara said admiringly of the church. “Don’t judge someone on their worst moment.”
Full story at ncronline.com.
Off subject- I had just read a quote on social media by Jean de la Bruyere. “Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.” I googled who Jean de la Bruyere was. I got ready to leave my computer as I gave a big sigh. Something moved very fast near my keyboard. I jumped. I gave a little gasp and a little scream. I relaxed when I realized it was not a bug. It was just a little fuzz from something.
Good one, Guardian Angel.
I have a coffee mug that my ex gave me before he divorced me for a young hot thing. It says, “Coffee warms the body but you warm my heart.” On top of everything her family owns a billion-dollar tech company. I started drinking alcohol heavily when he broke the news to me. My mind got fuzzy because of it but I snapped out of it and am trying to get over him. So life is a tragedy. I feel it deeply. But it’s not a comedy. I don’t see anything funny about it at all and I hate him intensely. And her.
Because you are feeling (hate) it is a tragedy.
In a few years, and I am sorry but they will be trying years, you will say “Hell, you can have him.”
“Don’t get mad. Get everything.”-Ivana Trump
Why do you still have the mug?
Congratulations on your sobriety.
There is a book called The Gift of Betrayal.
It is not Christian so you have to filter it through the Gospel.
I do not know if you need this validation but…he is not a good man. He was not a good husband.
He is a person who does not keep his word.
I am looking forward to seeing this film.I have heard so many good things surrounding people involved with its production.Jesus saves, and He changes the lives of those who turn to Him in humility.
Ferrara’s treatment is no biopic, and frankly ignores some of the juiciest bits of the Padre Pio saga, which involved a dozen Vatican investigations into purported dalliances with women, alleged financial improprieties and doubts about the stigmatas. In their place,
I knew there was a Vatican investigation of him and that for a while he was restricted but it was always presented as a test of his humility.
I did not know it the Pope John XXIII himself who was suspicious of him. Well, he is a saint now..
I just signed a parents’ petition, protesting a new Disney TV sitcom cartoon series for children. It’s called “Little Demon,” and it’s about a mom who was raped and impregnated 13 years ago by Satan, and her Anti-Christ daughter, trying to lead an ordinary life. Sounds like the evil, 1960s horror movie, “Rosemary’s Baby.” Such horrific, evil garbage should never be shown to children– nor to anyone! Poor ol’ Walt Disney– what a horrific disgrace to his good name! Hope this evil generation of the Disney Studios goes broke!
It is reported that there are many nude scenes in “Little Demon,” as well as filthy language. In the first show, the mother is depicted nude, with no pixillation, and she performs a ritual. I think our government had better get ahold of the media, and pass some strong laws, especially for the safety and well -being of children. These Disney children’s cartoon creators all belong in jail. They are all corrupt, deviant, demented, filthy criminals.
It is not made by Disney and it is adult entertainment not a children’s cartoon.
Sorry, I got it mixed up. The cartoon was not created at Disney Studios, and is an “adult”-oriented cartoon– but it is being shown on Disney-owned channels– FX, Hulu, and soon, Disney+. It is being produced by FX Productions. Parents are furious! Christian groups are boycotting Disney, and putting pressure on Disney to adopt good family values, in all that they present to the public
But Disney IS involved in its distribution…see wikipedia on ‘little demons’
I watched the trailer and really felt the presence of demons. Did a lot of praying afterwards.
demons: wow! Thanks for sharing that.
Dear Coffee Mug:
I’m not kidding: your suffering is irrelevant
to just about everybody EXCEPT Jesus.
You are SO close to Him – unfortunately – on the Cross.
He’s the only one whose opinion counts.
The Technocrats and the Autocrats and the Bureaucrats can all
(and probably will) go to Hell.
There are some who are Last, who will be First.
Not my words – you know Who said it.
Please pray for me.
Dear Coffee Mug:
forgot to mention:
YOU warm the heart of Jesus – crucified, like you are.
The bazillion dollar tech company can burn.