Tuesday, 5 June 2012

4:44 Last Day On Earth, dir/wr. Abel Ferrara, st. Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh

Ferrara's dreary film has Dafoe's Cisco and Leigh's Skye, a bohemian artsy couple spending their last days on Earth in their apartment before the apocalypse. The clock is ticking - at 4:44am the following morning, the world will end, apparently due to the ozone layer being finally stripped away. She spends her remaining hours painting vast floor canvases pausing only to select a new dress to change into every 20 minutes, he watches Al Gore on telly (the man was right) and noodles away on a variety of Apple products, before Skyping the mother of his child and yelling at passers-by from his balcony. The stock footage of riots and global gathering's make this a predictable and wearisome watch, and so earnest is it in the feeling it's portraying the end of days in this new, low-key, lo-fi way, that compared with, say Melancholia, this really does end up delivering a whimper to Von Trier's bang. The location work is pretty decent actually, the under-lit flat lending a very real claustrophobia to proceedings, but its script is so limp it's practically gaseous and the whole thing feels like a rather dismal advert for a telecoms company.