#REVIEW: “BIOPHILIA” (TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE)
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
With the One World Trade Center nearly complete TriBeCa is again the artistic haven it was in the 90’s. There is no greater evidence of this than the Neighbourhood’s 12th annual Film Festival that wrapped this past Sunday.
Though focused on narrative Films and Documentary features an Icelandic Girl nevertheless entered her cinematic concert into the contest. Björk’s Biophilia Live follows in the footsteps of a series she began twenty years ago with Debut’s Vessel. The chapters that followed grew as ambitious as their sonic counterparts. Biophilia and its live companion are express evidence of this.
Björk began working on the aforementioned project in 2008. Inspired by her Childhood Hero David Attenborough she endeavoured to bring a childhood dream to life: namely, that of a musical suite that utilizes biological phenomena to discuss the poetry of sound. For as a Child, she struggled with her tutor’s demands of subservience to a classical approach.
After the rebellion of youth and with the wisdom of age she found a way to bring said suite to life. Biophilia was first released as a multi-format Album in the Fall of 2011. Alongside it she delivered an application for Apple and Android devices that displayed each songs relationship to the natural world. From the growth of a virus to the arpeggio like appearance of lightning, the technological experience reconnects the user to the biosphere through its sights and sounds.
Her Tour took this a step further. Instruments such as the Gameleste and Gravity Controlled Pendulum were imagined and constructed to display the ideas of the Album in a live setting. Furthermore famed Musical Director Matt Robertson, (who worked with Björk on Voltaic), returned to arrange the affair and incorporate elements from her catalog into its stylized approach. Manu Delago added his Percussion expertise as well as his beloved work with the Hang. And Gradule Nobili rounded things out with their award- winning vocals. In the summer of 2011, the Tour began in Manchester as a preview of things to come. After traversing the globe for over two years it concluded at London’s Alexandra Palace in the round and in front of sixteen cameras.
Peter Strickland, the Director of the phonic Horror Film Berbarian Sound Studio, acted as Director. Accompanied by BAFTA-winning Editor, Nick Felton, the two strategically covered the Concert and incorporated Stephen Malinowski’s animated elements during Post- Production. The result is an avant-garde expose that tantalizes the senses whilst stimulating the mind.
Center-stage is Björk as beautiful as ever in an Iris Van Herpen gown. She also wore a golden piece from the Designer’s Collection to the Premiere Screening at TriBeCa. There she sat and watched with Fans, and thereafter stayed for their applause and questions. Fans who were unable to attend can now visit www.biophiliathefilm.com to request a Screening in their own City. It’s definitely worth demanding as this is a concert only a Diva such as Björk could create.