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Review: Chelsea on the Rocks

Abel Ferrara paints an affectionate portrait
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  October 14, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel has been the roost of artists, writers, musicians, actors — and a lot of wanna-bes. Bad Lieutenant director Abel Ferrara’s affectionate documentary about his sometime home — which has now been transformed into a boutique residence — is a visually poetic, if erratically edited, portrait illustrating how “the energy of this hotel is bigger than the people in it.”

The brief dramatizations Ferrara stages (actors play Sid and Nancy, and Janis Joplin) are less interesting than the Chelsea-ites whose rooms he visits — like the woman who shrugs when recounting how people occasionally throw themselves off the balconies: “I would just hear thuds, and I never would look.” Too bad he doesn’t identify any of them.

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  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Janis Joplin,  More more >
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