BFI Releasing Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Last And First Men

BFI have announced they will be releasing Last And First Men the first and only feature-length film directed by the Oscar-nominated, late Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything, Sicario, Arrival), narrated by Tilda Swinton, will be  released on BFI Player later this month.

Based on the cult science fiction novel by British author Olaf Stapledon and sitting somewhere between fiction and documentary, it’s beautifully filmed in 16mm b&w. Jóhannsson artfully combines music, image and narration to form a powerful poetic meditation on memory and loss.

BFI have released the film’s Trailer, check it out…

Two billion years ahead of us, a future race of humans finds itself on the verge of extinction. Almost all that is left in the world are lone and surreal monuments, beaming their message into the wilderness…

Based on the cult science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men is the first and only feature-length film directed by acclaimed composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario, Arrival).

Situated halfway between fiction and documentary and beautifully filmed in 16mm black and white, Jóhannsson artfully combines music, image and narration (voiced by Tilda Swinton), to form a powerful poetic meditation on memory and loss.

The film received its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival At Home earlier this month. With it’s world premiere also this year at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival. This was a long-term passion project of Jóhann Jóhannsson m developed over many years and completed by his collaborators after his death in 2018 aged 48. combining music, image and narration artfully, and describing everything as “a film that straddles the border of fiction and documentary. It is a meditation on memory and failed Utopia, contextualized through the literary mode of science fiction.”

Jóhannsson’s mesmerising orchestral score is set to 16mm black and white footage shot by cinematographer and co-producer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (Victoria, Rams) of the extraordinary giant abstract brutalist monuments known as Spomeniks, erected during the communist era in the former Yugoslavia. Over the futuristic-looking yet decaying monumental landscape, the narration is provided by actor Tilda Swinton, based on Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future, a visionary cult sci-fi novel written in 1930 by British author Olaf Stapledon.

The Last and First Men will be released on BFI Player on 30 July.

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