Archive of films Last and First Men / Last and First Men

2020, 70 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2021

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s experimental audiovisual sci-fi poem is set in the distant future, when humanity finds itself on the edge of extinction. The film offers a unique experience that defies the familiar concepts of time and space. The majestic black-and-white visuals echo with the Icelander’s characteristic resonant sound design and, together with a recitative from Tilda Swinton, make for a compelling creation.


Somewhere in the distant future the human race is heading for extinction. Surreal, solitary monuments are all that remain as beacons of its former glory, sending their urgent message out into the cosmic wilderness. Completed after his death, this hypnotic piece is the only feature-length film by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson – an original audiovisual sci-fi poem, in which real brutalist concrete ornaments are transformed into unsettling objects from the distant future. The contrastive, black-and-white 16mm shots, in combination with the majestic minimalism of Jóhannsson’s music, make for a unique experience that defies the familiar concepts of time and space. The singularity of the work is enhanced by a dreamlike recitative delivered by Tilda Swinton, who accompanies the film with a sci-fi tale from Olaf Stapledon.

Aleš Stuchlý

About the director

Jóhann Jóhannsson

Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969 - 2018). Filmography (documentaries): End of Summer (2014, short), Last and First Men (2020).


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About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Screenplay: Jóhann Jóhannsson, José Enrique Macián podle knihy /  based on the book by Olaf Stapledon
Dir. of Photography: Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
Music: Yair Elazar Glotman, Jóhann Jóhannsson
Editor: Mark Bukdahl
Producer: Thor Sigurjonsson
Production: Zik Zak Filmworks
Cast: Tilda Swinton
Sales: Films Boutique
Distributor: Artcam Films


Louise Højgaard Johansen

Associate Producer


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