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.
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Besides retrace the histories that have paved the lineaments of your face, what to do the last few hours before the world ends? Get high? Call Mom? Make masterpieces? Eat a steak with your dog? This is the most civil of apocalypse film. Sure there are quarrels, a suicide, a calling-out-the-landlord for the rent hikes. Might as well fuck and order Chinese! A moving night on Delancey, an idealized peace to the end all.
It's a pointless take on what happens once people have accepted that the world is going to end in a few hours. Most movies about this theme like to show the "big revelation" happening, the chaos, the desperation. In here there's no hope left and nothing else to do. So everyone decides to turn on their macbooks, go to skype and act like crazies. Very poor and dry movie, I was expecting more.
I found the film oddly highly uplifting. The amount of information the protagonists take in from screens large and small is testament to the amount of info available to us in this day and age but the attempts at logic never amount to anything. Skye's art and the implication of a higher power in Cisco evading his drug habits are what Ferrara identifies with human progress even in humanities final hours. Masterwork.
No pop psychology nor moral miasmas. Merely a well-observed, finely acted view of how people (and more than just Dafoe/Leigh) react to their doom. Ferrara imbues the loft where most of the "action" takes place, like the club in Go Go Tales, with space and breadth, not claustrophobic isolation. The point is not to crush characters but explore them.
Abel Ferrara takes us to the end of the world in this surprisingly mundane drama that follows the last hours of a couple in a Manhattan apartment as they face an impending cataclysm that will wipe out all life on the face of the Earth. Creates an palpable atmosphere of impending doom at the beginning, but loses it along the way. A missed opportunity.
He has got part of the old crew back---Kelsch and Redman--which is obviously a good thing.
Problem with recent Ferrara for me is too much formalism, not enough content. and the form isn't so impressive to ignore the shortcomings in other areas.