Abel Ferrara made his new film “4:44 Last Day on Earth” to serve as a wake-up call to humanity over impending ecological disasters.The movie, by the director of 1992′s “Bad Lieutenant,” focuses largely on one couple — played by Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh — passing their final hours on Earth as they Skype their goodbyes to loved ones from a New York City high-rise.
“The bottom line is this film is about man’s destruction of the Earth,” Ferrara told reporters Wednesday in Venice, where the film is being shown in hopes of snaring the top Golden Lion prize later this week.
“This isn’t about a meteorite, this isn’t … some horror show. This is about humanity not coming to terms with its carbon footprint,” the director said. “It’s on us. It’s our responsibility.”
The time in the title is the exact hour before dawn when humanity ceases to exist. The exact calamity which befalls Earth’s citizens isn’t ever spelled out, although there is an “ozone-hole” theme. At one point, viewers see, as a backdrop, an image of environmental advocate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore projected on large screen TV giving an interview. “We reached out to Al, we reached out to Gore, definitely,” Ferrara said.
Of course he did.
Full disclosure: I enjoy ‘end of the world’ movies. Even 2012. I’ll be off to see this one…