SELF 06: Sportin’ Life

Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara wax lyrical about the art of filmmaking in this exclusive trailer for a new documentary produced by Saint Laurent

Some of the greatest films ever released were the product of long term professional relationships between a visionary director and a gifted actor. For Saint Laurent’s sixth installment of SELF—a multidisciplinary arts project launched by creative director Anthony Vaccarello—the luxury fashion house will release Sportin’ Life; an off-the-cuff documentary made by director Abel Ferrara about his art and career-defining friendship with legendary actor Willem Dafoe.

Born in the Bronx, Ferrara gained cult status for his raw and decadent depictions of New York City, as seen in Ms .45 (1981), King of New York (1990) and Bad Lieutenant (1992). Dafoe, who is one of the most versatile and distinguished character actors in a generation, has made numerous appearances in Ferrara’s projects over the past twenty years. Together, they have pushed the boundaries of narrative cinema by creating works that reflect the Saint Laurent attitude of confidence, individuality and self-expression.

Sportin’ Life will be the seventh collaboration between Ferrara and Dafoe, a journey that started in 1998 when the actor played a slick-suited extraction specialist in cyberpunk drama New Rose Hotel. The duo has since continued to make multi-layered projects exploring human behavior in films that blur fiction with autobiography and love with life.

“The subject of my new documentary is the relationship I have to my work, to Willem Dafoe, and my music and art,” says the director who credits the talent of his collaborators as the inspiration behind his practice. “These relationships were the starting point for the film.”

The documentary also features musician Joe Delia, actors Cristina Chiriac and Paul Hipp, Ferrara’s wife and daughter, with appearances from actors Christopher Walken and Forest Whitaker.

Sportin’ Life will have its global premiere at the 77th Venice International Film Festival this fallYesterday, September 3, 2020

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