Tribeca 2022 Documentaries
Directed by Dean DeBlois
Set against the ethereal backdrop of rural Iceland, Tíu takes us into the world of Icelandic indie folk/rock band Of Monsters and Men - a band I was lucky enough to see at the Hammersmith Apollo, London in late-2019 - as they look back over the ten years since the release of their multi-platinum album My Head Is an Animal. How to Train Your Dragon helmer Dean DeBlois directs this intimate look at a band who seems most at home within the stunning locations in which the documentary takes place - we follow the band travelling to places that they all have a connection to whilst performing an unreleased track on each stop. It’s a whistlestop look back that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the making of My Head Is an Animal (or any of their subsequent albums) though we do get some reflections of the band's early days, from lead vocalist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s memories of music lessons to drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson’s excitement at the first demo of “Love, Love, Love”. Those looking for some insight into the making of their debut album will be sorely disappointed as the technical side of music-making is bypassed for a more natural, DIY approach with the band shining a light on their unreleased tracks ("Lonely Weather" being played on the ocean being a standout). Tíu works best as a charming behind-the-scenes look at, essentially, a musical family and also a gentle introduction for newcomers. Ending with the hauntingly, achingly beautiful Yellow Light seemed the only choice for the end credits, and fans of the band (like me) will be enthused to hear from the members that the journey of Of Monsters and Men is far from over.