Screaming Masterpiece Review

Screaming Masterpiece
An examination of the Icelandic music scene, from alternative, to punk and heavy metal, trying to divine what makes it unique and special to the ears of its many fans worldwide.

by Dorian Lynskey |
Published on
Release Date:

21 Dec 2005

Running Time:

88 minutes



Original Title:

Screaming Masterpiece

In this disappointing documentary, Ari Alexander asks what makes Icelandic music so special and then takes 88 minutes to conclude that he doesn’t know. Comprising mostly live footage, Screaming Masterpiece hops from rock-rap, to a string quartet, to end-of-the-world techno until the idea of any distinctive Icelandic sound seems absurd.

As for the interviews, with the exception of Björk and preposterous metal band Mínus, the musicians are a humdrum bunch. Halfway through, Alexander incorporates some fascinating clips from a 1981 documentary about Iceland’s punk scene. As a man with a mohawk dementedly swings an axe into his guitar, you’ll wish you were watching that film instead.

Falling firmly in the category of 'strictly for the fans', it's a disappointingly drab misfire for everyone else.
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