Chelsea on the Rocks

Rated R 88 minutes 2009

New York’s Chelsea Hotel, a grandiose Victorian red-brick pile on West 23rd Street, is legendary for sheltering artists, would-be artists, misfits, drug addicts, and other marginal, “colorful” types in its residential rooms. But at the time filmmaker Abel Ferrara (Go Go Tales, Bad Lieutenant) made this entertaining documentary, the Chelsea’s new owners were intent on evicting the old tenants and boutique-ifying the property. So we get the nostalgic grand tour, and the notorious names and faces keep on coming: William Burroughs, Andy Warhol and entourage, Sid Vicious, Dennis Hopper, Grace Jones, Milos Forman, Ethan Hawke, Quentin Crisp, and so forth, mostly in file footage. You’ll feel like you’ve lived there for a month before it’s over (88 min.).

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Abel Ferrara

Writer: Abel Ferrara and David Linter

Producer: Jen Gatien and David D. Wasserman

Cast: Ethan Hawk, Dennis Hopper, Milos Forman, Grace Jones, Bijou Phillips, William S. Burroughs, Ira Cohen, Sherry Cosovic, Quentin Crisp and Walter Cronkite

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