Finished with my jury responsibilities, I managed to check out some features. A favorite of mine was Chelsea on the Rocks, by Abel Ferrara (director of Bad Lieutenant and a terrific little mob flick called The Funeral). It's a documentary about the infamous Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, but it's far from traditional. There are lots of odd transitions and edits, the interviews are beyond casual (Ferrara says something along the lines of "No shit!" every ten seconds while listening to the stories of those living in the building), and there are some utterly ridiculous and unnecessary re-enactments of notorious events in the hotel's past (actors play Sid and Nancy, Janis Joplin, and assorted hangers-on). Truth be told, the whole thing was kind of a mess. But watching it felt a lot like spending a night in the hotel, and it's a ride I'm glad I took. I didn't learn a thing, but it brought me inside a place full of fascinating characters, a place I walked past countless times in Manhattan without a second thought.
categories Movies, Cinematical