Monday, November 02, 2020

First Impression of Last and First Men

 

Somehow dreamlike and ethereal but at the same time chilling and distant, Last and First Men (Jóhann Jóhannsson, 2017) is an atypical cinematic experience, one that asks its audience to relax and let the message flow through a mind open to a journey that spans the cosmos and eons of time while paradoxically remaining almost stationary. 

Nearly devoid of colour, entirely devoid of actors save the urgent but dignified offscreen message from the far, far future (voiced by Tilda Swinton), the film yet bursts with the full flower of life, or at least the implication of it, generation upon generation of an ever-changing humanity that in the hour of its doom calls back to us. 

Strange that a film capturing just a single landscape as its visual component, with no humans at all visible--merely our monuments--manages to capture the importance of human connections in such a compelling way. A worthy companion to Olaf Stapledon's epic

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