interview with Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
( interviewed by Michael Guo
edited by Michael Guo and Felix Ho Yuen Chan )
In the short interval of peace after World War II, the former Republic of Yugoslavia erected hundreds of variously shaped memorial sculptures. They were meant to embody people’s opposition to war and their commitment to tolerance and peaceful co-existence, but today the meaning of these sculptures is being forgotten, and they’ve turned into sites of sharp disputes. Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen traversed the land to make the film Last and First Men, giving the sculptures a new language composed of Jóhannsson’s sound work, Grøvlen’s moving images and Tilda Swinton’s vocal narration. Assuming the perspective of a human race on the verge of extinction two billion years in the future, the film looks back at the entire human history and sends out the message: we are living the past, but also the future.