The image of happiness. The solitude of music. The misery of politics.
A man explores a bitterly cold, windswept and mysterious land at the top of the world to track down the 50-year-old film scene known as the image of happiness. The journey pushes his subconscious mind to the limit. His hubris-like pursuit of the unknown children from a cult French filmmaker’s pièce de résistance, Sans Soleil, leads him on a pilgrimage of mixed messages. His discovery of an ancient empire is preceded by his own psychological deterioration.
A ustralian baby boomers Sandy and Mike head off to Iceland for a bucket list of music, politics and filmmaking in a landscape akin to the glories of Valhalla. Washing down petrified shark with local beer and Brennivín, they meet with local bands – Tófa (Art Punk), Pink Street Boys (garage/punk), Kælen Mikla (post punk/minimal wave), Sólstafir (non-heavy metal, heavy metal), Singapore Sling (rock‘n’roll/shoegaze), Misþyrming (hard core black metal) and Dream Wife (pop/punk), who are all playing at the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival.
They search for a young punk band to make a music film clip, they visit a women’s underground toilet where Johnny Rotten opens a punk museum, and they meet a true believer who connects with elves, dwarves and huldufólk (the hidden people).
A fter disappointing election results both in Iceland and in the United States, Sandy becomes more fixated on the search for the children (who, if still living, would likely be his age) from the image of happiness. He interviews politicians, filmmakers and journalists about the children. His friend Mike, who really came to listen to music and paint, tires of Sandy’s obsession and leaves for warmer climes. Even Sandy’s new Icelandic friends wonder about his out of control obsession. Feeling abandoned, Sandy heads for the Icelandic wilderness relentlessly chasing the answer he believes he will find.
When documentary and experimental fiction meet in the glorious and hostile Icelandic landscape, the hipster city of Reykjavik demonstrates a complex political system ready to burst at the generational seams. The city lets loose a horde of Nordic killer bands and, beyond the sophisticated city, an ancient landscape reveals the solitude and isolation that makes Iceland mystical and dangerous, physical and spiritual.
Copyright: Living Not Beige Films Pty Ltd 2017.