Last and First Men (2020) © Films Boutique
Last and First Men (2020) © Films Boutique
Last and First Men (2020) © Films Boutique

ACMI & Nowness present

Last and First Men

Jóhann Jóhannsson | Iceland | 2020 | Unclassified (All Ages)

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ACMI Member



Sat 13 Jan - Sat 20 Jan 2024

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The all-knowing voice of Tilda Swinton guides us through an abandoned, otherworldly landscape devoid of humankind, with a plea sent back in time.

A visionary work about the final days of humankind.

Deborah Young (Hollywood Reporter)

"Listen patiently. We, who are the last men, earnestly desire to communicate with you."

In Last and First Men, narrated with an unwavering command by Tilda Swinton and based on a 1930 science-fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon, a voice from the future sends a plea back in time. Filmed entirely in black and white on 16mm film at various locations across the Baltic states, eerie monuments emerging from the natural landscape dominate the screen.

Curator's Note

Last and First Men is the only film to be directed by Jóhann Jóhannsson. Originally conceived as a live multimedia performance, the work was only performed once before the director-composer sadly passed away in 2018. Since then, the work has been completed under the guidance of sound artist Yair Elazar Glotman, as a standalone film that premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.

This remarkable work – the only fictitious feature in the Artificial Eye film program –asks its audience to imagine a world without a human eye to observe it. What future relics will we leave behind, and who will be there to see them?

With striking photography, grand visuals and a brilliant score, Last and First Men demands to be seen (and heard) on the big screen.

Format: DCP
Language: English
Source: Films Boutique
Courtesy: Films Boutique
Runtime: 70 mins

Event duration

70 mins


Unclassified (All Ages)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Screening before the feature

Geometry of Faith

Dir. Sabina Maselli, 2023, Australia, 7 mins.

Captured on 16mm film during a solar eclipse in Western Australia, a crescent of light peeking around the moon conjures a mystical and mysterious feeling.

Geometry of Faith (Short Film)

Artificial Eye: Unnatural Perspectives on the Natural World (Sat 2 Dec 2023 – Sat 24 Feb 2024)

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An aerial view of a braided river system


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3 Session Pass $33–45
6 Session Pass $66–84

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