Walking on sunset: Kim Simard’s video homage to Sigur Rós
Montréal videographer, filmmaker and educator Kim Simard has a thing for Icelandic art rockers Sigur Rós. Anyone who has seen the band’s live shows, featuring the surreal bowed electric guitar of crypto-homo front-man Jónsi Birgisson will understand how Sigur Rós inspires more than your average fan videos. We talked to her about the video’s themes, and (wink wink, nudge nudge) how to vote for her project online.
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“This video is about intersecting past and present selves that provide for complex connections between all that is embedded in our personal history, and all that is changeable,” Kim Simard tells me poetically. The filmmaker and educator is known by many for her work with the VIHsion festival, and as a much-loved member of the queer community. Her homage to a track by Sigur Rós features Montréal dancers and choreographers, capturing the pensive, Nordic theme of the band’s almost cult-spiritual music.
“Rembihnútur is about letting go of what is already gone, allowing for the ties between that which is present and past unravel as one strives for a deeper experience of the present moment,” the filmmaker explains. She has submitted her short film to the band’s contest, which will use online crowd voting to determine the lucky winners.
2B: What was it about Sigur Rós that you found inspiring for making a film?
KS: Sigur Rós’s music inspires me on many levels. When I heard they were launching this contest I jumped at the opportunity and immediately started picking the song I wanted to use. This particular song (“Rembihnútur”) caught my attention because of its conflicting rhythms at the beginning of the song, and later its distinct shifts in the emotive tones. Mainly, I felt a release when I heard it, an active process of letting go.
2B: What do you mean by “confronting your past self”? Is it just about childhood?
KS: Confronting your past self is a theme I like exploring cinematically because it can be done through surreal representations. Represented in this video by a moving photograph, the past self confronted here is a child. That child is a symbol of an embedded self history, its impact on the present and how it can hinder personal evolution. Because the song evoked the sense of an active process of letting go, the dance and movements as seen in parallel action with adult and child are meant to be heavy, tangled and somewhat confined. Ending with the erosion of the picture as the dancing becomes freer and more open is meant to symbolize a new beginning, untangled and light.
2B: What inspired you to work with dancers Julie Robert and Simon Rouillard?
KS: I was inspired to work with Julie Robert because she has amazing talent, was involved since the beginning and really got what I was trying to evoke.
I have known Simon Rouillard since film school, and I knew he was perfect because he could move easily with the camera, making it dance with Julie. I knew he would also be creative, adding excellent improvised shots to the mix, like many you see in the video.
2B: If you win, what do you win?
KS: If I win the most popular video prize, I would get exposure of my video on the band’s web site and other social media sites; an “everything package” including an Icelandic wool blanket, signed t-shirt and official artwork, as well as a copy of the new album in any format!
You can vote for her short film, set to the Sigur Rós song “Remihnútur” by clicking here (contest open until Tues. Sept 18, 2012).