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Grandma Lo-fi dir. Jónsson, Kristjánsdóttir, BirgisdóttirGrandma Lo-fi dir. Jónsson, Kristjánsdóttir, Birgisdóttir
NH Tit-Bits
20 June 2012
A Musical Phenomenon from Iceland: Sigrídur Níelsdóttir in the Competition 'Films on Art'

Filmed mainly with Super 8 and 16 mm cameras, Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir (2011), the co-directorial debut of Orri Jónsson, Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, and Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, is a documentary that is reminiscent of a vintage collage or a child's diary, complete with cutouts, drawings, and animations. The film tells us the story of the life and creative work of the musician and visual artist Sigrídur Níelsdóttir, a cult figure for Iceland's independent music scene who was born in Denmark in 1930.

The title character, Grandma Lo-fi, has always been fascinated by music and art, but her career did not really get under way until she was 70. In 2001, she recorded her first album in her home, and it immediately became a cult phenomenon. She has written more than 600 songs and recorded 59 albums. Her work has garnered attention from Icelandic musicians, and her name has been mentioned by the country's biggest stars, in interviews with Björk, Sigur Rós, and Múm. In 2003, the duet Slowblow (Orri Jónsson and Dagur Kári) used her songs for the soundtrack to the film Nói Albínói, which was directed by Kári and is well known in Poland. The best illustration of the twists and turns that Níelsdóttir's life has taken is her music: it is very personal, joyful, based on everyday experiences, full of a great variety of sounds that she has heard or created on the spot with the help of household appliances. The film's creators gathered material for the movie throughout the seven most creative years of Níelsdóttir's life, uncovering the secrets and inspiration of her creative process.

Orri Jónsson (1970-) graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York and is a photographer and a musician in the group Slowblow, which records music, including for film soundtracks. Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir (1977-) is a musician and artist and founded the collective Kitchen Motors. She acts on stage and records music such as Kira Kira. Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir (1981-) is a visual artist working in Reykjavik. She has designed a number of album covers, including for Jónsi, Múm, Seabear, and Sin Fang.

The film Grandma Lo-fi can be seen as part of the international competition "Films on Art" as part of the12th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival.

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