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the times review of 'heima'


red-hot chilly poppers

the sensitive icelandic rockers sigur ros are a clean-cut foursome who were in danger of becoming an easy listening joke thanks to the ubiquitous saturation of their soul-stirring tracks on everything from the bbc’s planet earth trailer to sky sports promos to wimbledon montages. the strangely beguiling concert movie heima (“homecoming”), however, does a credible job of rescuing them from moby-like ignominy and transforming them instead into musical savants.

ostensibly documenting a series of free concerts given by the band throughout iceland in the summer of 2006, the movie actually has greater ambitions. here, by heavily interweaving band interviews and concert footage with ravishing landscape cinematography (often in slow-mo, sometimes running backwards) heima somehow delivers a sensual balm of music, space and place that is hypnotic.

and though the slow-burning tracks themselves might not be universally appealing (two of them culminate in the kind of synapse-splitting guitar chaos that would make megadeath proud), when the band and the film move in sweet simpatico they produce a few precious moments of transcendent grandeur.

(kevin maher)



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