Iceland

The 2007 documentary Heima, about the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, has given me a big case of creative envy. For the past several nights, as winter here drags on, I’ve watched bits of it before bed. Although it comes in two parts, you could watch just Part One and not “miss” a thing. The second part is literally more of the same, meaning more music and clips from from the same scenes in Part One, but I opted to keep watching till the end.

I guess I couldn’t get enough of seeing an artist embraced by its whole country like that, not to mention a psychedelic-friendly art rock band whose vocalist sings in a made-up language, often in falsetto.

You have a lot of time to think while listening to Sigur Ros. By adding B Roll of landscapes, and showing families hauling lawn blankets to the parks in small towns, some of them depopulated, and seeing kids horse around while their parents wait for the show to start, Heima is that ambitious kind of documentary that both captures the Icelandic people today and offers Sigur Ros the mantle of the musicians laureates of their nation. And they take it, with modesty and grace and three-minute electric guitar solos using a bow. Love it!

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