In the nearly 15 years since Bad Lieutenant, Abel Ferrara has struggled for both critical endorsement (not that he cares) and distribution. Though 1996's The Funeral impressed some, both New Rose Hotel and 'R Xmas were tepidly received in their limited American exposure, and The Blackout didn't get a US release until four years after its 1997 Cannes premiere. His most recent effort, Mary, was booed at a Venice press screening last year (though it also won a jury prize there, so what the hell do critics know), and understandably has languished without US distribution for nearly a year. Finally, however, IFC took the plunge, and just acquired the film for North American release.

Though there's no word yet on when the movie will hit theaters, based on reviews it sounds worth watching, if only for curiosity's sake. In brief, Mary explores Ferrara's obsession with faith and redemption in his own distinctive way, focusing on a Passion of the Christ-esque film (directed by Matthew Modine, apparently channeling Ferrara) and "a weeklong, primetime nightly network TV special examining the historical truth about Jesus." As an added bonus, the host of the show is played by the great Forest Whitaker who is reportedly fantastic, even when the movie takes a turn for the worse.
categories Movies, Cinematical