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“Last Words”: Jonathan Nossiter films a post-apocalyptic Earth where cinema has the last word


The director of “Mondovino” adapts “My Last Words” by Santiago Amigorena with Nick Nolte, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgård.

Filmmaker activist for the environmental cause, champion of sustainable viticulture, himself an American farmer living in Italy, Jonathan Nossiter (Mondovino) fits My last words by Argentinian writer Santiago Amigorena in Last Words, which comes out Wednesday, October 21. In this film selected for the Cannes Film Festival 2020, Nick Nolte, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård and debutant Kalipha Touray, camp the last survivors on Earth after the apocalypse.

In 2085, the Earth is nothing more than a desert populated by isolated survivors. Among them, Kal discovers mysterious bands of celluloids covered with images, coming from Bologna, the meaning of which he does not understand. Arrived there, he comes across an old hermit who introduces him to the cinema. Informed of the existence of cultivable land in Athens, they find there a community to which they show films. Everyone recognizes the last traces of humanity full of life..

The postapocalyptic subject is a classic in fiction and film science fiction (The Clash of the Worlds, The World, the Flesh and the Devil, The Last Shore, I am a Legend, 2012, The Road…). Jonathan Nossiter tries this out by tinting it with an ecological and environmental discourse, while placing at the heart of his project a reflection on the nature and impact of cinema. A rapprochement which, at first glance, is not obvious, yet very relevant thanks to a humanist story with evanescent poetry.

A mineral land, oceans the color of blood, cities in ruins, isolated and hostile survivors… such is the world that Jonathan Nossiter visualizes without knowing the origin of this final chaos. This ragged humanity has forgotten what it was and what brought it to this ultimate deadline. Kal’s discovery of film reels from the Bologna Cinematheque at the start of the film, then his meeting with his guardian, and finally the screenings they organize for the last community on Earth, will reconnect them all with the world before. The reconstitution of the Lumière brothers’ first camera will even allow them to record the last images of a condemned humanity.

If Nossiter deals with the neglect of men towards their home planet – the subject at the center of his films – he states in Last Words his love of cinema. At the screening of the many films in the film, a spectator exclaims that the characters on the screen are “more alive than themselves”. Magnificent metaphor of the 7th art, which seems to echo the “bigger than life” (“bigger than life”) which often qualifies cinema today, like a slogan.

These ultimate spectators will they want to become like these phantoms of light which move in front of their amazed eyes. Thanks to the camera DIYed by Kal, they will become “more alive” in their turn. Rarely has a film imaged such an ode to cinema. Nossiter leaves all narrative realism in the locker room, while filming realistic images of his fictional world. Yes Last Words could start with the introduction to Hell of the Divine comedy by Dante, “You who enter here, give up all hope”, the filmmaker relativizes his pessimism by perceiving in the cinema a saving resilience. Magnificent.

Kind : Science-fiction / Drama
Director : Jonathan Nossiter
Actors : Nick Nolte, Kalipha Touray, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård, Alba Rohrwacher, Maryam D’Abo
Country : United States / France / Italy
Duration : 2:06
Exit : October 21, 2020
Distributor : Day2Feast

Warning: scenes, words or images may offend the spectators’ sensitivity

Synopsis : In 2085, the Earth is nothing more than an immense desert. The last survivors meet in Athens, called by an ultimate hope … What if Humanity managed to find plenitude even when everything collapsed and it is doomed? The astonishing story of the end of the world, lived in a tender and joyful way, by the last five human beings.

“Last Words”: Jonathan Nossiter films a post-apocalyptic Earth where cinema has the last word

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Filmmaker activist for the environmental cause, champion of sustainable viticulture, himself an American farmer living in Italy, Jonathan Nossiter (Mondovino) fits My last words by Santiago Amigorena in Last Words, which comes out Wednesday, October 21. Selected at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, Nick Nolte, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård and debutant Kalipha Touray, camp the last survivors on Earth after the apocalypse.

In 2085, the Earth is nothing more than a desert populated by isolated survivors. Among them, Kal discovers mysterious bands of celluloids covered with images, coming from Bologna, the meaning of which he does not understand. Arrived there, he comes across an old hermit who introduces him to the cinema. Informed of the existence of cultivable land in Athens, they find there a community to which they show films. They all recognize the last traces of a humanity full of life.

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