Aside from the original Bad Lieutenant and possibly the Christopher Walken-starring The Funeral, director Abel Ferrara has been able to make his independent dramas despite little recognition from audiences. His latest is another in a wave of films dealing with the end-of-the-world theme (see Melancholia and the upcoming Seeking a Friend, as well doom-filled dramas like Take Shelter).
Titled 4:44 Last Day on Earth, I’ve actually heard nothing but bad things about this one on the festival circuit for the film that stars Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh as a couple in NYC who are preparing for the apocalypse. Dafoe is at least always interesting to watch, but I’ve never liked Ferrara’s style so I’ll likely skip this one. Check out the trailer below via IMDb for the film also starring Paz de la Huerta.
How would we spend our final hours on Earth? And what does how we choose to die say about how we have chosen to live? In the hands of the inimitable Abel Ferrara, this thought experiment takes on a visceral immediacy. With the planet on the verge of extinction, a New York couple (Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh) cycle through moments of anxiety, ecstacy, and torpor. As they sink into the havens of sex and art, and Skype last goodbyes in a Lower East Side apartment filled with screens bearing tidings of doom and salvation, the film becomes one of Ferrara’s most potent and intimate expressions of spiritual crisis. An apocalyptic trance film, 4:44 is also a mournful valentine to Ferrara’s beloved New York: the director’s first fiction feature to be filmed entirely in the city in over a decade, and coming 10 years after the September 11 attacks, a haunting vision of doom in the lower Manhattan skyline.
4:44 Last Day on Earth arrives on March 23th.
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