Break out my Fair Isle sweater. I’m moving to Iceland. A year ago the band Sigur Rós did a brilliant and beautiful thing. A series of 15 free, unannounced concerts in their homeland over two weeks. What’s even more brilliant is that they filmed it all (the film’s title ‘Heima’ is Icelandic for “at home”). The Husband knows I’m a fan of this band and as a result, did me a total solid by unexpectedly DVRing ‘Heima’ when it aired on IFC Friday night. Sort of romantic, huh? I kinda thought so.
‘Heima’ is part intimate concert film, part documentary. I can’t describe it better than this one quote from the band’s website “‘Heima’ also serves as an alternative primer for Iceland the country, which is revealed as less stag destination-du-jour and more desolate, magical place where human beings have little right to trespass.” Words like magic and desolate only scratch the surface in describing the incredible images that pack this movie from start to finish. I mean, just have a look at the trailer…
A bright yellow dress reflected in slick midnight blue sands, a visual symphony of circles lining a decomposing factory wall, a stack of school room chairs piled high to create a geometric backdrop for a heartfelt song. Design and music have always been deeply fused for me. But ‘Heima’ takes that combination to a new level, and wraps it up in the quiet, simplicity, and the majestic strength that is Iceland and it’s people. If you’d like to see more, do yourself a favor and check out this excerpt from the film, a song entitled “Agaetis Byrjun.”
What truly amazed me most about this film, besides it’s look and aesthetic, was that these concerts attracted whole villages. I mean EVERYONE, from 80+ year old grandparents to babies. And it worked. Actually, it was so touching it made me cry. That sort of coming together is rare in the United States (and many other countries as well). Rare, and very, very beautiful.