The all-knowing voice of Tilda Swinton guides us through an abandoned, otherworldy landscape devoid of humankind, with a plea sent back in time.
A visionary work about the final days of humankind.
"Listen patiently. We, who are the last men, earnestly desire to communicate with you."
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. Their presence without context asks us to consider what future relics we are leaving behind, and similarly, what does architecture reveal without function?
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.
With striking photography, grand visuals and a brilliant score, Last and First Men demands to be seen (and heard) on the big screen.
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