4:44: LAST DAY ON EARTH: Abel Ferrara’s on Final Day on Earth, Starring Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh

How would we spend our final hours on Earth? And what does how we choose to die vis-a-vis say about how we have chosen to live?

For quintessentially indie director Abel Ferrara, 4:44: LAST DAY ON EARTH is a thoughtful (and provocative) experiment, which takes on visceral immediacy.

With the planet on the verge of extinction, a New York couple (Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh) cycle through moments of anxiety, ecstasy, and torpor. They sink into the havens of sex and art, and Skype last goodbyes in a Lower East Side apartment filled with screens bearing tidings of doom and salvation.

The film becomes one of Ferrara’s most potent expressions of spiritual crisis. An apocalyptic trance film, 4:44 is also a mournful valentine to Ferrara’s beloved New York. It’s the director’s first feature to be shot entirely in the city in over a decade.

Made 10 years after the September 11 attacks, the movie represents a haunting vision of doom in the lower Manhattan skyline.

Abel Ferrara

Running time: 82 minutes