Sneak Preview: 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH (Abel Ferrara, 2011)
Event Date: March 20, 2012 - 7:30pm
Location: The James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall 1409, UCLA
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, ecstasy, 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 ten years after the September 11 attacks, a haunting vision of doom in the lower Manhattan skyline.
Official Selection, Venice International Film Festival
Official Selection, New York Film Festival
“Hidden within Ferrara's distinctly disordered approach, 4:44 achieves an unexpected, powerful simplicity.” –Pasquale Cicchetti, Reverse Shot
“The film acquires a mesmerizing quality as we are taken into the neurotic and messed-up world of the two protagonists (brilliantly played by Shanyn Leigh and Willem Dafoe).” –Guido Bonsaver, Sight & Sound
“[Ferrara's] most personal work, it's also ironically the most life-affirming in a career defined by anger and grime… This is the quintessential New York filmmaker's belated post-9/11 movie, committed to coming to terms with chaos.” –Eric Kohn, indieWIRE
Writer/Director: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Natasha Lyonne, Paul Hipp, Dierdra McDowell, Triana Jackson, Trung Nguyen, Anita Pallenberg, Jose Solano, Judith Salazar, Jimmy Valentino, Paz de la Huerta
35mm, 85 min.