Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Exclusive: First Look At Willem Dafoe In Abel Ferrara's Latest "4:44 Last Day On Earth"

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 15, 2011 at 4:35AM

The idea of the end of the world is an endless mine for filmmakers. Principally, of course, they're big-budget action fests, whether showing the disaster in progress, like the many, many examples in Roland Emmerich's career, or showing the aftermath, like "Mad Max" and his plentiful rip-offs. But sometimes, you get lower-key takes on the same subject matter, which are inevitably infinitely more insightful about an idea that, let's be honest, hangs around the back of most of our minds. From Don McKellar's "Last Night" to the upcoming Steve Carell/Keira Knightley drama "Seeking A Friend At The End of the World," it's surprisingly easy to make the apocalypse happen on a low-budget, and the latest director to turn his eye to this genre is maverick veteran Abel Ferrara.
4

The idea of the end of the world is an endless mine for filmmakers. Principally, of course, they're big-budget action fests, whether showing the disaster in progress, like the many, many examples in Roland Emmerich's career, or showing the aftermath, like "Mad Max" and his plentiful rip-offs. But sometimes, you get lower-key takes on the same subject matter, which are inevitably infinitely more insightful about an idea that, let's be honest, hangs around the back of most of our minds. From Don McKellar's "Last Night" to the upcoming Steve Carell/Keira Knightley drama "Seeking A Friend At The End of the World," it's surprisingly easy to make the apocalypse happen on a low-budget, and the latest director to turn his eye to this genre is maverick veteran Abel Ferrara.

The director's made a string of classics over the year, from grindhouse horror "Driller Killer" to the original "Bad Lieutenant" and excellent 1990s flicks "The Addiction" and "The Funeral," but he hasn't had the easiest last few years, with none of his pictures in the last decade-and-a-half, mostly documentaries like "Chelsea on the Rocks" and "Mulberry St," gaining much attention. But Ferrara's just wrapped filming on a new feature, and it looks like it has the making of a return to form for the auteur.

Principal photography for "4.44 Last Day On Earth," has just wrapped, and thanks to the film's co-producers and sales agents Funny Balloon, we've got an exclusive first look at the film, which stars Willem Dafoe, as well as some details on the project's plot. Dafoe stars alongside "Public Enemies" actress (and the director's longtime partner) Shanyn Leigh, with troubled actress Natasha Lyonne and Ferrara veteran Paul Hipp ("The Funeral") and you can read the synopsis below.

In a large apartment high above the city lives our couple. They're in love. She's a painter, he's a successful actor. Just a normal afternoon - except that this isn't a normal afternoon, for them or anyone else. Because tomorrow, at 4:44 am, give or take a few seconds, the world will come to an end far more rapidly than even the worst doomsayer could have imagined. The final meltdown will come, not without warnings, but with no means of escape. There will be no survivors. As always, there are those who, as their final cigarette is being lit and the blindfold tightened, will still hope against hope for some kind of reprieve. For a miracle. Not our two lovers. They - like the majority of the Earth's population – have accepted their fate; the world is going to end.

The potential for powerful stuff, to be sure, and probably a good fit for Ferrara, and we're certainly exited to see Dafoe working with the director again. The film also has the director teaming up with a number of his previous collaborators, including DoP Ken Kelsch and editor Anthony Redman. Funny Balloons are backing it alongside Chile's Fabula and Wild Bunch, and it's currently being shopped around at Cannes, so we'll likely see it on the festival circuit by the start of next year -- Sundance, perhaps?

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Abel Ferrara, Willem Dafoe, 4:44 Last Day On Earth


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates