NYFF2011: Day 4 – Abel Ferrara’s ‘4:44 Last Day on Earth’

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4:44 Last Day on Earth

Directed by Abel Ferrara

Written by Abel Ferrara

2011, USA

Following the trend of doomsday as with Melancholia, Abel Ferrara brings his own take on the genre with 4:44 Last Day on Earth. Willem Dafoe stars as Cisco, a New York City actor who lives with his younger lover Skye (Shanyn Leigh) as they live out  their last day on Earth. By 4:44am the next morning, Earth as anyone knows it will experience a total meltdown and survivors will be nonexistent. As they go through their day together, they find themselves partaking in their last intimate moments and simple pleasures along with resisting the temptations to slip into bad habits and figuring out what to make of everything. By no means a big film, 4:44 is a slice into the life of an everyday city couple struggling to figure out what to do with the time they have left. Raw, emotional, and always truthful explains the film to the tee. Leaving great feedback from viewers at the Lincoln Center, 4:44 Last Day on Earth will be screening at the New York Film Festival October 5th and 8th.  Check out the full synopsis below for more details, or visit the film’s page at filmlinc.com.

“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 (Go Go Tales, NYFF ’07), 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.”

Chris Clemente

Visit the official website for the New York Film Festival

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