The Universe and Me

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sometimes I feel like screaming

Screaming Masterpiece is an Icelandic film released this year over there so I haven’t seen it, but I sure would like to even though reviews from Icelanders don’t make it sound like the next Rokk í Reykjavík. It’s an 87 minute documentary/overview of contemporary Icelandic music, composed mostly of interviews with the musicians talking about their craft and influences. The mistake the film seems to make is its focus on the, however extraordinary, still occasionally dissonant and pretentious avant-garde and underground metal scenes while ignoring pop, jazz and folk artists. Says The Grapevine: “While all of these musicians can be appreciated on their own, together, on one disk, they became intolerable. So much cutey cute, so much sugar, and you begin to hate the whole lot of them.” Still seems worthwhile for the “hyper-dramatic, semi-Wagnerian performance from Sigur Rós and Steindór Anderssen combined with the strong recurrent image of a raven flying in slow motion” and seeing a lingering close-up shot of folk-rocker Mugison’s woolen socks as he’s rehearsing in a church in the remote West Fjords. The band Múm, who planned to work in a chocolate factory, is interviewed at the seashore with another raven flying around. There also appears to be lots of stock footage of glaciers, snowy mountains and black sand beaches mixed in the music video and live footage of concerts and the Airwaves music festival. If the documentary ever makes its way over here, I’ll give my real impressions.

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