Last and First Men

Two billion years ahead of us, a future race of humans is on the verge of extinction. All that is left are lone and surreal monuments, beaming their message into the wilderness.

Last and First Men
Iceland 2020
  • Czech
70 min.
  • This film is available until 11. 3. 2027 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

An experimental sci-fi fantasy set on the dying Earth two billion years in the future. The narration is based on a 1930 novel by the influential British author of science fiction Olaf Stapledon and recounts how, two billion years from now, humanity will have evolved over 18 distinct human species. There are no people in Last and First Men, but the film does feature three very special protagonists: the concrete testimonies of Yugoslavian brutalism, Tilda Swinton’s voice, and the music of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The idea for his first feature-length film came to Jóhannsson in 2010, when he saw Dutch photographer Jan Kempenaers’ images of the colossal monuments of the Tito era. Last and First Men is a hypnotic total work of art, a requiem for the universe containing echoes of Kubrick, Tarr, and the avant-garde that turns cinema into a pure synthesis of sounds and images; a place of the impossible, where the deepest past meets the most distant future.

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Director: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Based on: Olaf Stapledon
Screenplay: Jóhann Jóhannsson, José Enrique Macián
Cinematography: Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
Music: Yair Elazar Glotman, Jóhann Jóhannsson
Sound: Jana Irmert, Peter Albrechtsen
Editing: Mark Bukdahl
Producer: Thor Sigurjonsson
Co-production: Armin Hadzic
Cast: Komentář / narrator: Tilda Swinton
  • This film is available until 11. 3. 2027 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.