PREVIEW: Minicine at The Mills // The Valtari Film Experiment

This month, we round out Nordic Season with a special screening of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós’ visually captivating collection of short films, inspired by their ethereal soundscapes.

The Valtari Film Experiment (2012) is the result of the band providing a dozen filmmakers the same budget and allowing them to interpret songs from the band’s album ‘Valtari’ without a brief. The band did not feature in any of the videos and were unaware of the results until the final cut.

“We never meant our music to come with a pre-programmed emotional response. We don’t want to tell anyone how to feel and what to take from it. With the films, we have literally no idea what the directors are going to come back with. None of them know what the others are doing, so hopefully it could be interesting” – Sigur Rós

The Valtari collection is vast and challenging, with much to offer in the way of visual stimulation. Whether it’s a father and daughter in an American desert town, communicating across time or a glitter-haired girl skipping barefoot through a city or a man smothering himself in what could be rubber or marshmallow, whether it’s narrative, art house, animation or interpretive dance, you’ll find it all in The Valtari Film Experiment.


Likewise, the filmmakers themselves come from a variety of artistic backgrounds. One of the most recognisable names is Floria Sigismondi, a Canadian-Italian photographer and director whose previous work includes music videos for White Stripes, Marilyn Manson, Christina Aguilera and David Bowie. Her feature debut was 2012’s The Runaways starring Kristen Stewart and Michael Shannon and told the story of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.

Ramin Bahrani is a multi-Independent Spirit Award nominee and directed Chop Shop (2007) which we screened at The Mills back in 2011.


Minicine has long championed the short film form and the inclusion of shorts in our Minicine at The Mills programme was instrumental in us winning the Cinema For All award for Best Film Programming back in 2012. Short film can offer freedoms to filmmakers that they may not otherwise be afford in feature form; greater opportunities to investigate specific themes or ideas, not limited by a traditional three act structure, experimentation in style and aesthetic.

We’ve long discussed devoting an evening solely to short films and, with our promotion of the music video genre or the last year through our Video Playlist strand, we’re very excited to be screening this selection of work.


We’re also excited to once again bring you delicious bakes courtesy of the award-winning Noisette Bakehouse. Inspired by recipes from members of Sigur Rós themselves, Bakehousers Sarah and Hannah are busy concocting some tasty treats for us all to enjoy on the night, although much like the band didn’t see the films until the final edit, we too are being kept in the dark somewhat about what we’ll be serving…

“Lets just say it will be vegan and contain coconut and blueberry in some delicious face stuffing format.” – Sarah, Noisette Bakehouse

We’re salivating already.


The Valtari Film Experiment screens at 7PM on Thursday 19 March at The Palace Picturehouse in Armley Mills Industrial Museum (doors open from 630PM). Tickets are only £5 and available now from our online ticket office.

And if you’d like to sample some Sigur Rós imagery before our screening, you can always check out our season themed Nordic Me, Nordic You, Aha! music video playlist which includes their promo for ‘Gobbledigook’. WARNING: may contain nuts.



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