'4:44' film billed as wake-up call to humanity

By the Associated Press | September 7, 2011 | 11:10 AM EDT

Actor Willem Dafoe, centre, and director Abel Ferrara, right, share a joke as they pose for the photo call of the film 4.44 Last Day on Earth at the 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Director Abel Ferrara is billing his new film "4:44 Last Day on Earth" as a wake-up call for the world over impending ecological disaster.

Ferrara, most famous for 1992's "Bad Lieutenant," focuses largely on one couple — played by Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh — in the movie, as they pass their final hours on Earth in a New York City high-rise aware that at 4:44 a.m the end will come.

"4:44 Last Day of Earth," is showing at the Venice Film Festival in the hope of snaring the top Golden Lion prize.

Ferrara told reporters Wednesday that the film' explores "man's destruction of the Earth" due to humanity's role, not because of some external event, such as a meteorite crashing into the planet.