For Icelandic music lovers, or maybe just simply – music lovers, Screaming Masterpiece is one of those films that make you take a trip down the memory line with no turning back! I keep on wondering why and how I overcame my teenage addiction, which Icelandic music certainly was. Well, after the Trondheim Filmklubbs screening at Nova last week, I am gradually coming back to it.
Screaming Masterpiece is a documentary on Icelandic music scene from 2005 that presents all the major music stars such as Björk, Sigur Rós or Múm but also makes you realize that’s definitely not it. How come Iceland, a small island in the middle of Atlantic Ocean is home to numerous unique music artists? There are only 300, 000 people living there and it’s seems that at least half of them makes music. There is a hypothesis presented in the film, which says that Icelandic musicians start making music without even thinking about commercial international success. They do what they want, the way they want. Photo credit: Press
Björk, who remains one of the most famous Icelandic singers, is of course featured and interviewed in the documentary. She shares her thoughts on why this tiny isolated island is capable of producing so much music and explains what stands behind her songs. The question what makes Iceland a music paradise is, therefore, reoccurring through the film. Did you know that Björk’s music is inspired by national anthems? She thinks they are all the same song with just different lyrics and what she does is challenging it. Icelandic landscapes, climate and often tough conditions influence the artists and make them proud of the heritage. They make music about Iceland because they simply don’t see a need to copy internationally known bands. Icelandic musicians are from Iceland, therefore the music is heavily inspired by the life on the island.
Words by Kasia Gasiorek