Deborah Stratman’s Last Things (2023) defies the conventional boundaries of documentary cinema. A philosophical exploration rooted in the theory of mineral evolution, it blends documentary with aspects of the experimental film, the essay film, and science fiction. Transcending the conventions of typical science documentaries, it offers a geohistorical exploration of life on Earth, examining evolution and extinction through the perspective of rocks: ancient formations that predate humanity and will persist long after us. Drawing inspiration from the novellas of J.-H. Rosny (the pseudonym of two Belgian brothers who are considered forerunners of the science-fiction genre), the film embraces a pluralist vision of evolution and explores the planet’s past and future. Informed by thinkers and writers like Roger Caillois, Clarice Lispector, Robert Hazen, and Donna Haraway, Last Things unfolds with remarkable images from microscopic forms to expansive landscapes, making it a captivating exploration of our planet’s profound history and speculative future.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is delighted to present this special screening of Last Things as part of its 2024 annual conference, Mediating Deep Time. Director Deborah Stratman will join moderator Alex Lilburn (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of Last Things.
This event is free but a reservation is recommended in order to guarantee a seat. Reserve tickets: https://www.carseywolf.ucsb.edu/pollock-events/cwc-docs-last-things/