To celebrate the upcoming release of Ethan Hayden’s 33 1/3 on Sigur Rós, we bring you the fourth and final installment of Sigur Rós week.
Sigur Rós only made one music video to promote ( ), and that was for the album’s first song, “Untitled No. 1” or “Vaka.” In my book, I write a fair amount about the video, which depicts children playing in an ashen post-apocalyptic wasteland. I draw the comparison to Peter Brook’s famous 1963 adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, particularly the scene in which Simon is murdered by his fellow castaways. That scene’s closing shot, in which Simon’s body is peacefully floating away, after so horrible an attack, bears striking resemblance to “Vaka” in its imagery, tone, aesthetic, even its musical accompaniment. Both films present a dialectical conflict between childhood innocence and the corruption of human nature, though their stances on the former are diametrically opposed. The children in Brook’s film have become monstrous and depraved, while the children in “Vaka” (and nearly every other Sigur Rós video), are held up as symbols of purity, innocence, and hope. Both videos, however, unite in their act of mourning for children who meet untimely and preventable ends.
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Sigur Rós – Untitled #1 (aka Vaka) from sigur rós on Vimeo.