review & photos by Bao Nguyen
Sigur Ros & Heima director Dean DeBlois
While thousands flocked out to Randall's Island to see Arcade Fire and friends, I was one of the lucky few to catch the early screening of Sigur Rós' new film, Heima, which documents the band's 2006 summer tour of Iceland.
The film perfectly captures the beauty of the band's music with stunning cinematography of Iceland's landscapes seamlessly blended with the band's live performances. The rare live interview with Sigur Rós revealed the sense of humor of a band that is so often labeled as pretentious based on the complexity and granduer of their music. They jokingly referred to Lionel Richie and Prince as their main musical inspirations, and that they were mainly into music for the money, boys, and girls. The acoustic performance was a repeat from the previous night's secret performance which including "Ágætis Byrjun", "Heima" (new song) and "Njósnavélin") but with onw notable exception - a very clever fan used the last question to request an encore from the band which was met with roaring applause from the audience. After much deliberation on what to play, they chose to play an unfinished song from their new album, which compared to their previous albums, would rely more on more simple arrangements relying mainly on guitars, pianos, and drums.
Interviewer John Seabrook from the New Yorker
The screening and performance took place at Florence Gould Hall in the French Institute in NYC (Oct 6, 2007). All photos by Bao Nguyen, except the last one which was captured by Zach Klen during sound check. There was a second screening and performance at the same place later that night - at midnight.
Bao also went to the New Yorker Festival's Diplo party.