Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Screaming Masterpiece

Sort of crap
By WILL SPITZ  |  February 6, 2008
1.5 1.5 Stars
Screaming Björk

“For the most part, Icelandic music is crap,” says Barði Jóhannsson, leader of the Icelandic rock band Bang Gang, early in Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon’s documentary about “1000 years of Icelandic popular music.” “Yet people keep asking me, ‘Why is Icelandic music so special?’ ” Subsequent footage of bands like the krautrock-influenced Apparat Organ Quartet and rap-rockers Quarashi does little to refute Jóhannsson’s “crap” assertion, and Magnússon’s disjointed, out-of-context interviews only skim the surface of the country’s musical history.

The predictable highlights come courtesy of performances by Iceland’s two biggest exports, Björk and Sigur Rós. Björk also provides one of the film’s few insights. “When my generation came along, we finally started to ask ourselves what it meant to be Icelandic and how to be proud of it instead of feeling guilty all the time, like animal creatures colonized by Denmark for 600 years. But once punk broke in Britain in the late ’70s, we were infected by it and we discovered what mattered wasn’t what you could do but what you really did, and we used this power to state a musical declaration of independence.” Unfortunately, Magnússon’s film fails to illuminate what this declaration of independence meant or how it was carried out. Icelandic + English | 85 minutes | MFA: February 14

Related: Sigur Rós, Jónsi | Go, Not fade away, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WORLDS COLLIDE  |  February 03, 2009
    A week ago Wednesday and Thursday, a curious collection of young scruffy indie kids and older scruffy MIT eggheads converged on the school's Broad Institute for two nights of free music, art, and lecture dubbed "Darkness Visible."
  •   GONE, BABY, GONE  |  January 09, 2009
    Boston bids farewell to one of its brightest spots — the row of six diverse and delectable restaurants on Peterborough Street that were consumed by a four-alarm fire early Tuesday morning.
  •   A FLAIR FOR THE DRAMA  |  January 09, 2009
    "There's not enough hype in the world for Glasvegas," old reliable hypemonger NME recently proclaimed. But that doesn't mean the magazine and the rest of the British music press aren't trying.
  •   FANS CHEER; EARTH WEEPS  |  August 19, 2008
    It’s a bummer that the four-plus hours I spent in my car feeling guilty about barfing loads of carbon into the air is most salient in my mind, because, as always, Radiohead delivered an awe-inspiring show.
  •   LAUGH AT THE END OF THE WORLD  |  August 19, 2008
    The two guys who make up Clawjob have an unnerving tendency to describe something as funny when it’s anything but.

 See all articles by: WILL SPITZ