360 Staff Pick: Sigur Rós Live

Blog: 11.15.11

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 12:00 PM

Inní by Sigur Rós is both a trippy documentation of the band's 2008 tour and the band's first-ever live album.  The DVD/CD set is out today and the New York Times calls it a concert film that "leaves most of its genre in the dust."

Director Vincent Morisset captured a concert at London's Alexandra Palace in extremely tight shots, lingering on the four musicians’ faces and hands, revealing their intense concentration as they performed. Morisset filmed the event first on high-definition digital film, then transferred it to 16 millimeter film, projected it, then filmed it again digitally. The technique turns the concert into an impressionistic string of images, light-and-dark flashes set to frontman Jon Thor Birgisson's haunting falsetto.

Inní isn't a tribute film or a piece of journalism — only a few quick interview segments interrupt the concert footage. Instead, Morisset allows the music and images to stand alone. Without subtitles, Birgisson's crooning in Icelandic is unintelligible to most, so we're left to simply feel; it's a sensory experience that lends itself to personal interpretation. When the credits rolled at a screening last weekend, the audience remained in their seats, breathless and still, until the screen went dark.

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Comments [1]

Gary from Westchester County, NY

"Birgisson's crooning in Icelandic is unintelligible to most..."

Actually, some of Sigur Ros lyrics are sung in "Hopelandic," a made-up language of nonsense syllables. But the point holds: that it's "a sensory experience open to interpretation." A Sigur Ros show is magical and otherworldly. Catch them live if you can.

Nov. 16 2011 04:09 PM

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