THE STANFORD ARTS REVIEW

Features Opinions
Perspectives Art

Sigur Ros – Valtari Video Series (#4)

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by OLLIE KHAKWANI

week 4

rembihnútur

director: Arni & Kinski

The video opens with an almost Buddhist serenity, tension crackling between the gravelly feedback and the sparkling piano melodies. The actors’ eyes are closed, breathing gently, looking meditative in black and white. Jonsi, lead singer and guitarist, draws a cello bow over his guitar, a technique he’s famous for inventing. It creates a full, reverberating sound that drags along the bass like the world’s heaviest, airiest fabric.

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Sigur Ros – Valtari Video Series (#3)

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by OLLIE KHAKWANI

week 3

fjögur piano

director: Alma Ha’rel

Let’s begin with a short list of things this film features:

  • A room full of framed butterflies
  • Cross-dressed interpretive dancers
  • Ceramics breaking in slow motion underwater
  • Shia LaBeouf’s penis
  • Time travel via glowing lollipops and two helpful men dressed like gay pornstars from the 70s whose breath is strong enough to send people cartwheeling down a hallway and out of the building.

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Sigur Ros – Valtari Video Series (#2)

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by OLLIE KHAKWANI

week 2

varuo

director: Inga Birgisdóttir

This week things get meta. Here’s a story I constructed about the video Inga Birgisdóttir constructed about Varuo, the second track on Sigur Ros’ album Valtari.

We were told never to venture to the steep cliffs of the fjord. The clans on the other side were hostile to us, and in any case there was no way to travel across it without going at least a day’s walk to the north where the river was shallower but the air more bitterly cold. Every day though, just as sunset was approaching, I would run through the small wood that lined our village and stand at the top of the cliff and wait for Hella.

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Sigur Ros – Valtari Video Series (#1)

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by OLLIE KHAKWANI

Preamble

I’ll take any excuse to write a series about Sigur Rós. Right now they’re releasing a set of twelve videos by different filmmakers that illustrate what the songs on Sigur Ros’ new album, Valtari, make them think of. The band itself said it wanted no influence over what they make, something that resonates with me since I’ve steadfastly refused to use Google translate to decode the Icelandic utterings of their songs. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be responding to each of the videos, sometimes as rambled fiction, sometimes as powerpoints, sometimes in pictures (if I feel like it). Here begins week one.

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