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A review of Abel Ferrara's eschatological study 4:44 Last Day On Earth, for MSN Movies. Using the above song, in either the featured Galaxie 500 version or the Young Marble Giants' original, might have spruced the picture up. But no.
Posted at 07:00 AM in Movies, Music | Permalink
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Nothing sells like the Apocalypse, which must explain why this Ferrara 21st c. narrative feature, and not e.g. GO-GO TALES or MARY, gets something like a release to theaters. To me, it's amusing that this is a "LAST DAY" that seems to resemble, right down to the exact time o' the telos, Don McKellar's underappreciated, eponymously darker quirkfest LAST NIGHT, a film whose rewards include one of the my favorite closing shots in all of cinema. Personally, I find AF the survivor a far more interesting filmmaker than AF the libertine, as much as he went there indelibly in his infamous oeuvre.
And along the lines of walking that walk...living in the lower Hudson Valley as I do, I had occasion to meet in a local establishment one of AF's crew members who dates back to the Peekskill-born Ferrara's earliest days. I remarked en passant about Vincent Gallo's miserably onanistic, self-penned profile for Grand Royal in the 90's, where he suggested it took remarkable willpower for AF to pull himself away from his crack tail and his "filthy trailer" in order to direct VG and other lesser personalities in THE FUNERAL. This crew member smiled with great satisfaction and replied somewhat brilliantly: "Abel didn't have a trailer on THE FUNERAL". Aha. So there.
James Keepnews |
March 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM
LAST NIGHT POWER.
I would elaborate on this further, but I already shot my wad on Wells' site when he posted a trailer for that Steve Carell apocalypse movie.
March 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Glad to see some appreciation for the little-seen LAST NIGHT. David Cronenberg's final scene was especially chilling and memorable.
March 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Anyone for MIRACLE MILE?
March 22, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I love LAST NIGHT. The last shot makes the film.
March 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Me for MIRACLE MILE, featuring two of my favorite neglected (sic) actresses, Mare Winningham (à la all-too-rare Miou-Miou mode) and Denise Crosby -- something tells me not to sit on a hot stove waiting for Hollywood to come up with a comparable gag like the latter reading the Cliff Notes for GRAVITY'S RAINBOW. Also, the great John Agar representing for MM's vulgar, fast-beating B-movie heart.
James Keepnews |
March 22, 2012 at 04:58 PM
What was the last good movie Ferrara did? THE FUNERAL? I dunno. I haven't seen MARY, GO GO TALES, or the Chelsea Hotel Doc. I 'd like to.
March 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I think I'll just wait for the Werner Herzog remake.
March 23, 2012 at 07:55 AM
Petey: Herzog's already been there, with La Soufière.
Graig: I've been dying to see recent Ferrara as well, and have heard only praise for Go Go Tales (partly a function of whom I don't bother to read, no question). But I thought 'R Xmas was pretty fine, even if it ramped up the moralizing while reducing the narrative to a series of frayed, deliberately anticlimactic gestures. Check it out if you haven't.
Bruce Reid |
March 23, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Ferrara's long time writing partner Nicholas St. John worked with him on a lot (maybe all, except for 'Bad Lieutenant' where St. John is not credited) of Ferrara's best films from 'Driller Killer' through 'The Funeral.' St. John and Ferrara haven't worked together since 'The Funeral,' which has surely had an impact on the quality of Ferrara's output. I don't know why they stopped working together.
Carsten Hyatt |
March 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I'll rep for 'R Xmas, The Blackout and New Rose Hotel. None of 'em touch Bad Lieutenant or King of New York (or even The Addiction, another one I think is worth seeing, just for the way Christopher Walken says the line "Have you read William Burroughs?"), but each has individual scenes that make the whole thing worthwhile. Hell, The Blackout makes me wish Ferrara had been hired to direct The Hangover.
Phil Freeman |
March 23, 2012 at 01:18 PM
"St. John and Ferrara haven't worked together since 'The Funeral,' which has surely had an impact on the quality of Ferrara's output."
This is also my reading of the situation.
FWIW, I thought Herzog did a nice homage to Christopher Walken's wonderful dancing in King of New York with Nic Cage in his Ferrara remake. I would've thought that alone should have moderated Ferrara's reaction.
March 24, 2012 at 04:59 PM
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