Review: ‘Inni’

The soul-stirring fusion of joy and heartache that burns like a current through the music of Sigur Ros comes through loud and clear in "Inni," the second concert film built around the massively popular Icelandic combo.

The soul-stirring fusion of joy and heartache that burns like a current through the music of Sigur Ros comes through loud and clear in “Inni,” the second concert film built around the massively popular Icelandic combo. Whereas 2007’s well-traveled “Heima” reveled in scenic color imagery of the artists’ homeland, this minimalist item strips the band down to its output, fashioning black-and-white performance footage into a uniquely spellbinding experience. Though likely to appeal to a smaller segment of Sigur Ros’ worldwide following, “Inni” has already been booked for offshore playdates interspersed with festival showings.

French-Canadian helmer Vincent Morisset and d.p. Rob Hardy lensed during Sigur Ros’ November 2008 performances at London’s Alexandra Palace, captured on rough, high-contrast monochrome HD that almost encourages one to take the film in through closed eyes. Abstraction is the right approach for a group whose work is by turns soaring, bombastic, magisterial and unfathomable (the lyrics blur Icelandic with made-up tongue Hopelandic), ushering the listener into a state of near-celestial rapture. The spell is intermittently broken by low-grade color clips of the musicians hanging out, providing necessary if not particularly informative breathers in between performances.

Inni

Canada-Iceland-U.K.

Production

A Klikk Film presentation. (International sales: Cinema Purgatorio, New York.) Produced by John Best, Dean O'Connor. Directed by Vincent Morisset.

Crew

Camera (B&W/color, HD, 16mm), Rob Hardy; editors, Nick Fenton, Stephane Lafleur; music, Sigur Ros; art director, Sarah Hopper. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Sept. 3, 2011. (Also in Reykjavik, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, Hawaii film festivals.) Running time: 75 MIN.

With

Jon Thor Birgisson, Orri Pall Dyrason, Georg Holm, Kjartan Sveinsson. (Icelandic dialogue)

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