Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Heima", Sigur Ros

"Heima" means at home, director : Dean de Blois PROD: Dean O’Connor, John Best. Iceland

My friend handed me a DVD set a couple of weeks ago that I’m just now getting around to watching for this million second times. It’s called Heima, which is not an IKEA product, but close.
It’s concert footage from 16 different Sigur Ros gigs in Iceland.

Three things:
1. Sigur Ros is amazing
2. "Heima" One Of the Most Amazing Films Ever Made
3. I'll go there someday, i swear

Sigur Ros are among the best of the world's artists. The Icelandic band make sweeping, passionate music that is nothing short of mesmerizing to listen to. They're sound is steeped in the folk music of Iceland and the shoegazer rock of Britain in the late 80s/early 90s. But what they do with these inspirations is so much more. What comes out of these four musicians is something unlike anything I've ever heard. The way they approach melodies and textures provokes thoughts of heaven, which, after viewing the rapturous "Heima", a film that shows Sigur Ros performing songs at distinct locations in Iceland, is what you may feel you have visited.

The photography, the editing, the locations and the music combine to create simply one of the most moving spectacles captured on film. Credit the band for much of this, but special notice needs to be given to director Dean DeBlois and editor Nick Fenton. Big applause to them.

"Heima" is moving, yet never reaches into sentimentality nor melodrama. It is neither a documentary, nor a typical concert film, but a living, breathing example of beauty, passion and art. The band wisely didn't want too much intrusion into the film's heart, which is quite wise and almost altruistic of them. As entertained as I am by musician's discussing their lives and their work, it's refreshing to see an utter lack of that in Sigur Ros. It says a lot about them, but even more about where they are from. It's no wonder that, after seeing the film and catching up on Iceland why it was recently ranked #1 on the Human Development Index (the measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide). In case you were wondering, the United States is ranked 12th - so much for being "#1".

People show up to the concerts entirely by word of mouth either for knowing the band's work or just out of curiosity. The band is shown with family and friends, performing for them and joining with them in celebration of being home (the band capped off a worldwide tour at home or "Heima" - also "Heim").

By the end, at a very large concert in Reykjavik, the band play a transcendent version of "Popplagio", the song's ending featuring singer Jon Por Birgisson's angelic voice going above, under and through what can only be described as the soundtrack to angels and devils fighting for the possession of humankind's souls.

Reading through this review one last time before sending it off, I feel as if I haven't done "Heima" justice. I'm not sure if it's even possible to do so. It's unlikely you'll see a music film this free of posing and preening, one lacking in the overly complicated drama that musicians tend to create for themselves. Sigur Ros aren't part of, nor are they interested in the music business as band member Orri Pall Dyrason mentions at one point. They are artists making music for themselves and for the people that choose to listen.

In describing an Icelandic singer who joins the band onstage at one point, Birgisson states that there is something about the singer that just "feels warm and right." The same can easily be said about "Heima." The band has also released "Hvarf/Heim", a double-disc set with reinterpretations of songs from their first four albums ("Agaetis Byrjun", "Von", "()" and "Takk...")

It's a must have for any fan makes it worth by having a nice jacket / tshirt design and the aforementioned great versions of their classic material, i have one of them tho ^_^

Illgresi means weeds....
"Time heals all, gives life, kindles fires, burns souls, no longer cold, alive again, my soul comes to life, paints th e world"--Illgresi, Sigur Ros

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