An Abel Ferrara film getting a U.S. theatrical release is not par for the course these days, but 4:44:Last Day on Earth is marginally more deserving than the drab 'R Xmas, Chelsea on the Rocks, Napoli, Napoli, Napoli, or the excruciatingly dull Mary.
The film is about the world ending shot from the point of view of two lovers in an apartment. Willem Dafoe, who is always interesting to watch, is a vital centerpiece here, but Ferrara has trouble sticking to his premise.
Yes, Ferrara still gets to make films because he has some residual goodwill from people who remember that he once gave a shit with films like Ms.45, China Girl, Body Snatchers, The King of New York, and Bad Lieutenant. But, if he were a filmmaker starting out today with stuff like this, he'd be crucified and eaten by dogs.
My favorite Ferrara film with the stunning (and, unfortunately, dead) Zoe Tamerlis.
He joins the club of cinematic indifference that John Carpenter has been a member of for some time. George Romero shows up for a beer now and then, too. It's a place where directors who once cared get together to polish turds, pick up paychecks, and tell a few lies about their enthusiasm for said turds.
I'm heartened that David Cronenberg, who's of the same generation, was recently denied entry to this club .
Clearly the work of a director who still cares.