Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

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Amma Lo-fi

“No-nonsense. Small-scale. Fun. Successful. Just like its subject.” — Ard Vjn, Twitch

Year: 2011
Country: Denmark, Iceland
Running time: 62 mins
Genres: Being old, Music

Screenplay: Orri Jónsson, Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir
Producers: Sæmundur Nordfjord, Louise Højgaard Johansen
Photography: Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Orri Jónsson, Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Magnús Helgason
Editors: Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Orri Jónsson
Music: Sigrídur Níelsdóttir

In Icelandic and Danish, with English subtitles

With: Sigrídur Níelsdóttir, Örvar Smárason, Sin Fang, Mr Silla, Gunnar Örn Tynes, Hildur I. Gudnadóttir, Kría Brekkan, Mugison

Festivals: Rotterdam, SXSW 2012

Appropriately shot on Super-8 and replete with analogue special effects (aka collages), this film introduces us to a legendary little old lady of Icelandic music, Sigrídur Níelsdóttir. She had made music all her life but never recorded any of it until her children gave her a cassette recorder for her 71st birthday. She put down her first album in 2001, created her own cover art and distributed her output in person from a shopping trundler. Playing keyboard and various household appliances that made interesting sounds, she had written 600 songs and produced 59 homemade albums when she called it a day. Níelsdóttir was quickly embraced by the independent music scene in Iceland, with Björk and members of Sigur Rós and Múm tipping their hats. Slowblow used two of her tracks on their soundtrack for Nói Albínói (NZIFF04). In interviews she reveals secrets from her audio kitchen. Tributes from young fans, both spoken and sung, fill out this affectionate and oddly moving tribute to a lively old biddy borne along by her own creative busyness. — BG

NZIFF STAFF PICK: Jim Rush, Taylor Sanders

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