Sigur Rós launch ‘Valtari’ mystery film experiment today
21 May 2012
Sigur Rós have given a dozen film makers the same modest budget and asked them to create whatever comes into their head when they listen to songs from the band’s forthcoming album. The idea is to bypass the usual artistic approval process and allow people utmost creative freedom.
“We never meant our music to come with a pre-programmed emotional response.” says the band’s bassist Georg Holm. “We don’t want to tell anyone how to feel and what to take from it. With the films, we have literally no idea what the directors are going to come back with. None of them know what the others are doing, so hopefully it could be interesting.”
Among the 12 filmmakers working without brief to a chosen song are Alma Har’el, whose elegiac ‘Bombay Beach’ won Best Documentary at Tribeca 2011; John Cameron Mitchell, director of ‘Hedwig & The Angry Inch’, ‘Shortbus’ and ‘Rabbit Hole’; and acclaimed American photographer Ryan McGinley.
Then there’s Icelandic performance artist and sometime Kjartan Sveinsson-collaborator Ragnar Kjartansson; Arni & Kinski, the video makers behind some of the best-loved Sigur Rós clips; and Ramin Bahrani, described by US critical doyen Roger Ebert as “the director of the decade”.
Almost all of the participants have either worked with, or nearly worked with, the band on one film project or another in the past, with Bahrani, for instance, directing the Kjartan Sveinsson-scored ‘Plastic Bag’, and McGinley providing cover art for the band’s last album ‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’, and inspiration for the ‘Gobbledigook’ video.
The series of films is launched today (May 21st) with a film to the track ‘Ég anda’ from the aforementioned Ragnar Kjartansson.
The ‘Ég anda’ film can be viewed at www.sigur-ros.co.uk or via YouTube:
Films will then be rolled out every couple of weeks beginning the Monday after album release (June 4), and extending through the summer in what will hopefully be a dizzying array of stylistic approaches and end results.