March 26, 2012

4:44 Last Day on Earth , now opening in New York and LA, Abel Ferrara's new film, explores what people would do if they knew it was the their last chance to do anything at all. Would you do the same stuff you always do? Or blow it all ahead of time? Here's the trailer.
  • Well, I would not spend my last day on earth hanging out with Willem Defoe. (ba-DUM-bum) Semi-related would be God Bless America, a very dark comedy by Bobcat Goldthwait (but thankfully not starring him) about a guy who responds to a diagnostic death sentence by starting a crusade to "kill people who deserve to die", and I have no problems with his choices of targets, myself. But if everybody is going to die, why bother? This may be the beginning of a trend of films about people who know they're dying... there really are a wide range of options that would make 'interesting' if not really entertaining movies. For me, I'd just sit outside and watch the weather go away, while keeping up with the news on my laptop and letting its battery drain...
  • So is that US time? I'll probably sleep through and wake up, wondering where everyone went. I do have Melancholia queued, so must watch that to see what everyone else did.
  • I had forgotten about Melancholia (not having anyplace to queue it), so, yes, I'd say this is a trend. But only among independent films; Hollywood won't touch anything where a sequel isn't possible.
  • ...anything where a sequel isn't possible. (movie trailer voice guy) "Now! In a world gone crazy! One man! One Plan! A post apocalyptic tale of survivors! You must see... THE DAY AFTER THE LAST DAY ON EARTH". (/movie trailer voice guy) Last day for me? "Hookers and blow, bay-bee!".
  • Ha. Good luck finding a hooker. Most, like everyone, won't want to spend their last day working-- and the few that are will be selecting their own clients and setting their own rates. You might have better luck with the blow, though. I was a Cold War kid in Washington DC, and in school we regularly contemplated the question of what we'd do if we knew the Big One was on its way. Later on I, like many, would ask this question of people I was trying, with varying degrees of no success whatsoever, to seduce. Then I realised what a bullshit, clich├ęd line that was and stopped it. That was the end of my worries about the atomic bomb.
  • ^I think Ted Kennedy said that. Oh well, that's right: already too late. ... The rim-job mentioned by Foop (ba-DUM-bum) tells it all. So who would be the lucky one?
  • My comment was half in jest, ("extreme hedonism" might have been what I meant), but you are right, P.A., people are not going to want to work for money that they will not be able to spend tomorrow - because there will be no tomorrow. I would need someone incented by a very short term objective... what I'd need would be a hooker hooked on blow! (And some more blow to pay her with). But now I am worried about my (thought experiment) morals. I can justify the coke for me... the damage to my body, addiction and withdrawl would all be longer term effects that would never arrive. But is the reason I don't use prostitutes just because of the long term repercussions for me alone? Would knowing I had 24 hours to live suddenly change my sense of empathy for others? I certainly hope not. And because we all have limited lifespans - mine might be 24 more years rather than 24 hours - really the difference is only short versus long term objectives. Economists could use this whole scenario as a thought experiment too. Wouldn't inflation skyrocket as the guy flipping burgers decided not to bother doing that today? What would I have to pay to eat a cheeseburger on my last day alive? The price of items useful in the longer term would drop to zero - no one wants to buy health insurance or tulip bulbs. I wonder if the populations short term vs long term outlook already does drive the markets?
  • A fine hedonistic blow-out certainly crossed my mind too. But then the last day would be driven the same way as every day... On the other hand, a final day of forgiveness would be special. What a weight to lift off everyone's shoulders! (Even for that creepy webmaster that wrecked my lifelong business domain name with cloaked paths to deliver his own porn, even that vicious guy ought to get his Day of Atonement - then if ever.)
  • As the man said, Eat, Drink, and be Merry...
  • Greg Bear wrote it, in The Forge of God. Singularly depressing, and persistent for weeks after I'd finished it. And there was a sequel.