by Alexa Dalby
A film of Björk’s live stage show that formed part of her multimedia Biophilia project, these 97 minutes will be unlike anything you’ve seen before – unless you’re already a hardcore Bjork fan. Starting with a voiceover by David Attenborough, this immersive sensory experience is her way of reuniting humans with nature by using music and technology. It celebrates her love of nature in all its manifestations, from single-cell organisms to planets, and everything in between by way of the continents, the ocean, volcanoes and the moon.
Dressed in a flesh-coloured plastic body cast swelling with organic shapes, a giant brush of rainbow-coloured hair, blue face paint and backed by a choir of blonde Icelandic women, Björk performs 13 songs and three encores in her own unique style in what is a one-person opera, enriched with stunning visuals and dramatic lighting effects in glowing colours, created by directors Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland (whose The Duke of Burgundy is also screening in the Festival.) Planets hover overhead, volcanoes erupt, starfish swim and cells divide and mutate in back projection, while her musicians play instruments that are digital, traditional or sometimes simply unidentifiable. And she sings about the moon, a volcano, the ocean and a virus. “Like a virus meets a body and soft tissue feeds on blood, some day I’ll find you. I knock on your skin and I am in.”
Björk Biophilia Live is showing on Oct 9th & 10th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival