Screaming Masterpiece review

High up in the North Atlantic, staring out at the edge of the world, a limbo race of 300,000 people reach back into their folklore and forge music of shimmering, cryptic beauty. Ari Alexander’s elegant doc spins a social and cultural history out of Iceland’s incestuous music scene. And it’s not all about Björk.

Wisely, Alexander lets the musicians do the musing. They talk of the ghostly seas, unholy mists, geographical desolation, jagged landscapes... Sure, Björk is here, but so is acoustic-guitar hero Mugison, the chiming (but unfortunately named) Bang Gang and Apparat, a sort of Nordic Kraftwerk. And if the opening sequence – Alexander’s camera swooping low over creeping glaciers to the titanic prog of Sigur Rós – doesn’t set your neck-hairs tingling, you might want to check that pulse.

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