Sunday, March 30, 2008

Film Shout-out: Heima

On Friday, my fella insisted that I watch his new DVD of Heima, which is a concert/art film by the Icelandic band Sigur Ròs. All I can say now is, you have no idea.

Heima is different, to say the least. This is not the kind of concert DVD that will wind up in stacks on the shelves of Half-Price Books next to recordings of the Stone Temple Pilots' '95 tour.

In 2007, the members of Sigur Ròs returned from a worldwide tour, exhausted and feeling a little claustrophobic. They decided that they would then tour the small towns and villages of Iceland and play unannounced shows for the people they met. Heima chronicles the places they played -- sometimes for a field full of fans of every age, sometimes to empty ruins and the two sheep wandering by on the hillside, sometimes to a cozy coffeehouse crammed with listeners.

Until their last release, Sigur Ròs played songs with lyrics that were sung in a made-up language -- not English, not Icelandic, just music and sounds. The music is melodic and lovely. Singer Jón þor Birgisson (don't ask me how to say it!) croons in the very upper reaches of his register, and his brow knits so tightly, you could stick a penny in the creases and it would stick. With Heima, they're joined by a string section of ladies who saw away at their instruments with so much gusto that most shots show a few loose hairs on at least one person's bow.

Heima, which means "at home," is more about Iceland than it is about Sigur Ròs. The film intersperses every song with shots of the landscape around them: icy mountains, green sprouts, gray rock, choppy seas. There are clips sometimes of what a village once was, or of the local choir in concert, or the food Sigur Ròs has for dinner with the locals at their community center. Heima gives no explanation in the manner of travel films. It shows without telling, and it's a good choice.

One is left at the end with the sense of a people who have discovered a little something more of themselves, and a profound reminder of what can be drawn from natural landscapes.

And here's the crafty connection: it seemed like everyone in Iceland was wearing the same sweater.

Young, old, hipster, nerd, everybody had a yoked sweater out of the same color palette. I want to make one for my fella, but I don't know where to start. Can you recommend a pattern? A book?

Or failing that, can you recommend a place where I can find directions for a top-down men's yoked sweater? The rest I can fudge from screencaps.

This is all hypothetical, mind you. The fella is a tall, tall man, which means lots and lots of yarn to buy.

Watch the trailer here.


Anonymous said...

How interesting!

I'm not 100% on men's patterns (we really need more of these), but the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns allows you to pick your yarn, your needles, gauge, etc. Then maybe you could find a nice pattern for the yoke & incorporate it?

Cobbalicious said...

Dudes! I found it, right there in front of me. EZ's Knitting Without Tears has one in chapter four. I just need to add the same pattern at the sleeve cuffs, and there you go! Brilliant.