Animat - Live Score To The Last Man On Earth
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ANIMAT - THE LAST MAN ON EARTHMusicians, producers and DJs Mark Daly and Michael Harding have been working together as Animat since 2005. They have released albums on the Big Chill, Mareld and Disco Gecko labels, remixed tracks for acts including Pitch Black, Banco de Gaia and Deep Dive Corp, and had music used in multimedia projects at Tate Britain and New Yorks Leverhouse Gallery.Animat specialise in developing and performing new soundtracks to existing cult films, and have played live at cinemas, festivals and other venues throughout the UK including Glasgow and Leeds Film Festivals, Sensoria in Sheffield and BFI Southbank.This autumn, they are revisiting their acclaimed live soundtrack to The Last Man On Earth, one of Vincent Prices most underrated films. This 1964 post-apocalyptic horror fantasy stars Price as scientist Robert Morgan, the one man apparently immune to a virus that has killed 90% of the earths population and transformed the survivors into vampire-like creatures.During the day he tours his abandoned hometown, tracking down and destroying the vampires, always making sure to return before nightfall. Hope arrives in the form of an apparently normal young woman (Franca Bettoia), but her agenda proves to be more sinister still.The film was remade in 2007 as I Am Legend starring Will Smith.Animats soundtrack is played live with a mixture of their own original brand of dubby downtempo and an eclectic selection of tracks from their DJ archive.Animats live score for Last Man is at times so beautifully judged that, like Vincent Price in the lead, its hard to imagine the film without it. Strictly speaking its not a live score,more a DJ set, with the electronica duo putting together a new soundtrack from their own specially composed pieces, recycling or cutting up dialogue here and there or splicing in various other musical selections for particular scenes.Animats own tunes are far and away the strongest parts of the score. With the opening timelapse montages set to melancholy, drifting downtempo melodies the film comes across even more like some strange retro feature, intentionally aping the look of decades gone by yet shot and edited with very modern sensibilities.While The Last Man On Earth is definitely worth investigating on its own merits as an under-appreciated feature time has largely forgotten (for lack of pyrotechnics or crowd-pleasing star turns), seen with Animat in attendance it becomes strongly recommended for anyone who gets the chance.Matthew Lee - TwitchRun time: 85 mins
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