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March 20, 2012

4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH

COLE SMITHEY

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Four_forty_four_last_day_on_earthFilmmaking legend Abel Ferrara adds his own installment to the cinema of apocalypse with a stagey reverie occuring, like Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia,” of the last day of human existence. At “4:44” am, global warming is set to come calling once and for all.

Aside from a few suicides, Manhattan appears to take the doomsday alert in stride. Although the linear storyline is made up mainly of uncomfortable Skype conversations, lovemaking sessions between Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh, and a signature Abel Ferrara drug interlude, the movie holds a weird theatrical charm.

4:44 Last Day on Earth,' With Willem Dafoe - The New York Times

Usually, cameos detract from a picture, but brief appearances by Natasha Lyonne and Paz de la Huerta work wonders. Defoe plays Cisco, an East Village ex-junkie bohemian living in a penthouse loft apartment with his young painter girlfriend Skye (Leigh).

Screen Shot 2022-12-26 at 5.18.08 PM

“Where are the experts?” Cisco’s burning question leads him to an energetic burst of anger as he shouts at people across the street from his rooftop vantage point. Inside the apartment Skye meditates without breaking concentration. Evidently, she’s used to such dramatic outbursts from her mate.

Screen Shot 2022-12-26 at 5.15.37 PM

Abel Ferrara peaked a long time ago, but his unique cinematic take on Manhattan is always a welcome distraction. “4:44 Last Day on Earth” is enjoyable for those New York-informed or inspired audiences that can appreciate the drama for what it is, a work of cinematic art from a director whose taste we appreciate. The film won’t appeal to a broad commercial audience, but for those of us who love Abel Ferrara’s work for his own particular sense of filmic madness, it’s a welcome movie.

4:44 Last Day on Earth (2012) - Movie | Moviefone

Not Rated. 85 mins.

3 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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