The new film by director, Zak Hilditch These Final Hours forces us to think about just that, and follows the journey of James (Nathan Phillips) as he lives out his last half a day on earth.
A natural disaster is headed for Australia after it has already taken out the rest of the world and James must decide how and who he spends these final hours with.
Hilditch’s previous directorial credits have included Plum Role (2007), Transmission (2012) and The Actress (2005) but These Final Hours is his first funded film.
The Perth born director has a fascination with mortality and science fiction films which led him to write the apocalyptic thriller.
“I was thinking about natural disasters and how they take people away in an instant, and I was thinking: What if you could see the thing coming at you and it wasn’t instantaneous and it gave you time to prepare?” Hilditch said.
The end of the world is an opportunity for recalcitrant, James, (Nathan Phillips – Neighbours, Wolf Creek, Snakes on a Plane) to travel along the road to redemption after meeting young Rose (Angourie Rice – Transmission, The Doctor Blake Mysteries).
James chances upon Rose on his way to (literally) the party to end all parties; forced to reassess his reckless ways, he opts to help the child to get back to her family.
Phillips, who is now based in LA where he has appeared in comedy mini-series Tiny Commando and thriller Chernobyl Diaries said he was inspired by the script.
“He put together a really eclectic cast and crew and that’s how we got to share this unique experience; it was all because of Zak.”
“It’s a great script. It asked a lot of questions and didn’t present so many answers which is always interesting as an actor to develop and create a back story for a character who has such an incredible journey,” Phillips said.
These Final Hours shows the darker side of humanity as the final hours tick down, and James is intent on getting wasted and partying until time stops.
“The brief from day one when I was writing the script was that this party would be the worst Australia Day party you could imagine; an Australia Day party on steroids. He goes into the gates of hell,” Hilditch said.
Hilditch gives the gift of realism in this film and, despite the expectation of a Hollywood ending, we are instead left wondering if we have lived with purpose, should we be faced with our final hours.
However morbid the subject matter, Nathan Phillips remains optimistic about humankind and how he has embraced the film.
“Humanity will find its way and make sense of a senseless world at times, and the film speaks to me on a very existential and philosophical platform, which allows us to talk about the big question of what it’s all about and where do we go?” Phillips said.
But Zak Hilditch knows exactly how his final hours will be spent.
“Friends, family, and we’ll raid the nearest bottle shop. We’ll listen to some fantastic music as the end approaches!” he laughed.
These Final Hours had its world premiere at the prestigious Cannes film in May, but is released nationally on 31st July.
Shot in Perth with cinematography by Adelaide’s Bonnie Elliot, the film also stars Jessica De Gouw, Sarah Snook and Snowtown’s Daniel Henshall.