Thursday, March 22, 2012

Heima (Iceland: 2007)

Continuing with my sort-of-biweekly foreign movie posts for this year...
For more foreign movies, check out Caroline's World Cinema Series 2012 and Richard's monthly Foreign Film Festival round-up.

The page for this movie can be found here. The The movie site has additional information and media available.

This falls outside what I intended to include in my posts on the Foreign Festival write-ups, but hey, the whole point is to stretch and include things outside your normal focus. Or something like that. So when casting around for something to watch I ran across this movie about the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. All I could recall about them was they were on the Vanilla Sky soundtrack, and when my wife asked what to expect I shrugged and said “Maybe something along the lines of ‘Take the Skinheads Curling’?” (Yeah, the joke fell flat with her, too.)

From the Netflix description: “In 2006, Icelandic ambient rockers Sigur Rós traversed their homeland to present a series of free concerts at surprising locations across the country. This atmospheric documentary captures the beguiling—if unusual—tour.” Disc one is the documentary, disc two includes concert footage (adding to some of the footage from the first disc). Oh, and it’s directed by Dean DeBlois, known for “Lilo and Stitch” and “How to Train Your Dragon”. The deeper I dig on this the stranger things get.

The performances are set all over Iceland and range from intimate, seeming ad-hoc affairs to formal settings. Providing plenty of local color, the movie reflect the band’s love of Iceland—landscapes, people, and culture. Well-crafted in presentation, the look of simplicity and spontaneity belie the amount of planning that would have been required. The harmony between music and scenery proved perfect at times. Don’t expect much information on the band or the tour until a short diary at the end of the second disc. Think of the movie as a love letter to and from the band.

With any documentary or concert footage of a band I would think the viewer would have to have some level of attraction to the music to enjoy it. Even though I still don’t consider myself a fan of Sigur Rós, I thoroughly enjoyed Heima and ended up watching the documentary twice and the longer second disc once. Consider my focus stretched.


Caroline said...

Thanks for adding this, not only do I like them but I wanted people to include documentaries as well. The normally give you much more of a feel for countries/culture.
"New Horizons" would have been a title for our two festivals.
Indeed, I didn't get the joke.

Dwight said...

An obscure reference for you youngsters. See this link for the basis of the joke.

Richard said...

I don't know that I'd ever dig Sigur Rós all that much, but I can see this being an interesting doc nonetheless. Used to read about the band a lot in my fanzine-buying heyday but never actually heard 'em before today I don't think (that "ambient rockers" description you quoted = unintentionally hysterical). Ha, wish I could say the same about the endlessly annoying Camper van Beethoven!

Dwight said...

Yeah, I loved that line. And hey, I enjoyed CvB, but totally understand the annoying part.