Chelsea on the Rocks + Jonas Mekas shorts (15*)

7pm / UK Premiere

12 February 2013
Cinema 1

Standard - 10.50 online /
11.50 on the door

Barbican Members - 8.40 online /
9.20 on the door

Concessions - 9.50 online /
10.50 on the door

50p online booking fee, 60p telephone booking fee per transaction - click here for more information on booking fees

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In this UK Premiere, Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York) turns his lens on a different kind of urban violence from his usual - in this end-of-an-era portrait of the legendary Hotel Chelsea at the moment of its brutal shift from bohemian sanctuary to boutique hotel.

The Chelsea immortalised in song by Nico and Leonard Cohen has (in)famously housed more countercultural icons per square foot than anywhere on earth. It's the place where Arthur Miller went to run away from Marilyn Monroe; where Jack Keroac wrote On the Road; where Warhol's Superstars, William Burroughs and Patti Smith would all find refuge in a den of vice and creativity. If walls could talk, the Chelsea's would be hard to quiet.

A building 'where passing the threshold is like being re-born,' the film sees the growling Ferrara go through the keyhole to give voice to the building's tenants, both known (Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Milos Foreman all make cameos) and not, against the backdrop of the politics of its pending gentrification.

Dramatic re-stagings of the ghosts of Chelsea-past punctuate the film a heavily disguised Grace Jones plays a resident demanding Janis Joplin turn down her music; NYC bad-girl Bijou Phillips plays Nancy Spungen in her death throws with Sid Vicious as the film reflects upon the Chelsea's past, present and uncertain future.

In 2007 the Chelsea gained new management. In 2011 it was sold to real estate developers. Its residents continue to be evicted amongst ongoing renovation, its art-works-come-rental-payments stripped day by day from its walls. Ferrara's film offers final testament to The Chelsea's mythology, and NYC's changing urban identity.

US 2008 Dir Abel Ferrara 88 min

+ Chelsea Hotel Footage
The screening will also include intimate footage of the Hotel Chelsea recorded by celebrated artist, filmmaker, and former resident, Jonas Mekas.
US 1967/2009 Dir Jonas Mekas 4 min

This event is part of:
Architecture on Film

* Local classification

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

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