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Film / Heima

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Cute up north.

Heima is a 2007 Rockumentary about the 2006 tour by Sigur Rós. It was directed by Dean DeBlois (who is better known for co-directing and co-writing Lilo & Stitch and directing and writing the later How to Train Your Dragon film series).

This work provides examples of:

  • Concept Album: The film features several songs from the album ( ), on which all the lyrics were sung in Vonlenska (Hopelandic), a language constructed by the band. The soundtrack to the film also forms a sort of combination compilation/concept album.
  • Concert Film: A lot of live concert footage is seen, as well as studio sessions.
  • Echoing Acoustics: Jónsi's guitar-and-bow combo relies on this.
    • This trope is the exact reason why the band thought of recording "Gítardjamm" with Amiina in an abandoned herring cannery in Djúpavík.
  • Epic Rocking: As with most music by the band the performances takes several minutes.
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  • Everything Is an Instrument: The band visits a man who makes xylophones out of slabs of volcanic rock. The four play a piece on one of the larger models in a fire-lit cave.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Only one song in the band's career at that moment has contained any English lyrics, although they all speak the language quite well. Everything else is either in Icelandic or Vonlenska (to which the listener is encouraged to assign their own meaning).
  • One Man Wail: Jónsi.
  • Other Common Music Video Concepts: the concert segments are not music videos per se, but they are stylized and exhibit some common music video tropes.
    • Backstage Pass: There is only a little bit of actual backstage footage, but there are scenes of their off-stage antics and adventures and the whole film serves as a look into the more intimate world of the band.
    • Backwards Action: Towards the end of the opening song, "Glósóli'," there is a sequence intercut with the live performance of a stream filmed backward, symbolizing their return to Iceland and their roots.
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    • Dance Hall Daze: There a beautifully simplified version of "Ágætis Byrjun" performed in a dance hall/community center. There's no synchronized dancing but a toddler stops by to see how things are going.
    • Travelogue Montage: The entire film is this, but there are numerous intercut still shots of various locations around Iceland shown periodically throughout the film.
  • Rockumentary: A rock documentary about the band.
  • Scenery Porn: The Icelandic landscapes.
  • Shoegazing: Between the bowed guitars, organs, synthesizers, strings, and reverb, a lot of the band's music is very shoegazey. Not all of it, though. Several of the performances featured in Heima are stripped-down, acoustic versions of their songs.
  • Singing Simlish: Vonlenska
  • Stage Names: Icelandic names tend to be long and complicated and hard for non-Icelandic-speakers to say. Fortunately, most Icelanders often use easy-to-remember nicknames in daily life, and the guys are no exception:
    • Jón Þór Birgisson - "Jónsi"
    • Georg Hólm - "Goggi"
    • Kjartan Sveinsson - "Kjarri"
    • Orri Páll Dýrason just sticks with "Orri"
  • Talky Bookends: Concert and travel footage is interspersed with interviews with Sigur Rós and Amiina, the string quartet with whom they've toured and recorded extensively.
  • Textless Album Cover: The cover of Heima features a soft-focus photograph of a river snaking toward a mountain. So do the albums Von, Von brigði, and Ágætis byrjun. Some versions have the name of the band in addition to the eponymous punctuation on the cover, but all versions lack song titles, liner notes, or production credits.


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