“(Rachel Amodeo’s) ‘What About Me’ is a hidden masterwork that brings grace and cosmic humor to the grimy streets of eighties New York.” -The New Yorker
Some people die with their dreams still in them. Rachel Amodeo worked her whole life, no matter what the cost-to follow hers. Today, the world is noticing, as the genius of a visionary female director finally gets the recognition she so rightfully deserves.
Born in Terravecchia, Italy, Rachel Amodeo was just three years old when her mother left her to create a life for the family in the U.S. Soon after, her father also left for the States, leaving the children behind. A year later, at just four years of age, Rachel herself finally boarded the plane with her siblings for the nearly twelve-hour journey. After being away a whole year, Rachel had forgotten what her own mother looked like, and cried terribly when her mother once again took her in her arms. With the Amodeo family reunited at last, Rachel was now ready to start a new life in America.
After graduating from high school in Des Moines, Iowa, Rachel moved to Santa Barbara, California, where she attended Santa Barbara City College. Always possessing a beautiful way of looking at the world, she majored in Photography.
Inspired by the new wave of rock music and punk bands tearing through the American cities, Rachel felt the rhythm in her soul deeper than most anything she had ever felt before. She bought her first drum kit and soon became loved by many in the underground punk scene. Performing at numerous clubs with some of the best young bands around her, she was now a pro.
In 1982, Rachel took a gamble with no turning back. She moved to New York City to further pursue her career as a rock drummer, this time, joining the art punk band Vacuum Bag, born out of the protests during the Tompkins Park riots, which prepared her for what was yet to come. She next joined the all-female punk band Das Furlines. Again, on drums, Rachel and the band soon earned celebrity status, featured in People magazine, appearing with rock legend Frank Zappa, and appearing on TV shows including Entertainment Tonight, and MTV’s Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes among more.
In 1988 Rachel met fellow artist M. Henry Jones, a pivotal moment in her life and career. Becoming her animator, cinematographer, and life partner, M. Henry Jones and Rachel co-produced and created eleven animated television commercials.
From 1989 to 1992, Rachel immersed herself in a feature film that would come to define her career. With Jones again serving as director of photography along with Mark Brady, Rachel wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the seminal arthouse film, What About Me.
Playing the starring role of Lisa, who winds up homeless and drifting around the Village in New York City, the film traveled the festival circuit and was featured at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. The film was later acquired by MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art in New York), as well as through Netflix’s rental division. What About Me is also distributed by and found on the global premium classic and arthouse streamer Criterion.
The films powerful ensemble reads like a who’s who of the East Village counterculture and punk scene in the late 80’s, with underground stars including Rockets Redglare, Nick Zedd, Johnny Thunders, and Dee Dee Ramone among others. it’s status as a cult classic hit is unsurprising.
“Rachel Amodeo’s ‘What About Me’ is
In 1998 Rachel again wrote, produced, and directed her second film, a period piece short titled Rest in Peace. Set in the 1800s, the film is a tribute to the silent film era, creatively utilizing double exposure special effects. Rachel again played the lead role as “Mable Dibble,” a ghost who haunts her sister, played by underground art legend Dame Darcy. Rachel then traveled back to her hometown of Terravecchia, Italy, where she wrote, produced, and directed the film short titled Pierre Paolo, starring in the lead role, Philimina.
After becoming a mother in 1998, she chose to devote the next 15 years to being there 100% for her son, Atticus.
In 2015, Rachel began developing the idea of a new film, based on her phenomenal and legendary experiences in New York, from dealing with hardships and deaths of her rock star friends, to working at the iconic punk rock club CBGB’s for owner Hilly Kristal. This work culminated in Rachel writing an exiting new feature length screenplay titled Rock ‘N’ Roll Gangster The thriller is now complete and in pre-production.
Listen to the exclusive interview with Rachel Amodeo at www.subnormalmagazine.com
Visit the official website of Rachel Amodeo at: https://rachelamodeofilms.com/