sunnudagur, apríl 15, 2007

Keflavik, Liverpool of the North Documentary

Keflavik - Liverpool of the North

Documentary shot on digital-video 60-90 min. for Cinema/Television
(will possibly be developed into a series of shorter episodes.)
In development/shooting begun
Director: Thorgeir Gudmundsson Screenplay: Óttarr Ólafur Proppé
Producer: S.Björn Blöndal
Produced by Glysgirni
Supported by the Icelandic Film Fund

A documentary on the pop musicians from Keflavik who brought Beatle-mania and modern youth culture to Iceland.

The development of youth culture seems to have happened in similar ways in many countries around the world. There is a 'Liverpool' in most countries. This film will explore the phenomenon from the Icelandic perspective with the emphasis on Keflavík.

In the early sixties an Icelandic Beatle-mania of sorts exploded from the small fishing village of Keflavik, giving the country it's first young musical superstars.

Do to the small size of the market these same people have dominated the Icelandic music industry ever since. They have tried unsuccessfully to break into the larger markets abroad. Forty years on, some of them are still trying.

The documentary will follow the main characters through their careers, documenting the come-backs of defunct groups and new projects taking shape today. We will use historical material (8 & 16 mm. film, TV performances, press cuttings, photographs) interlaced with interviews with players, friends and publishers as well as music-historians.

G. Runar Juliusson sang and played bass with Hljómar dubbed the Icelandic Beatles. Hljómar dominated the scene during the sixties and made two records for Parlophone in England before they broke up to form hippy super group Trúbrot. In 1968 Runar was the undisputed king of Icelandic rock and roll, he was also a member of the national soccer-team and the same year he married Miss Iceland, María Baldursdóttir who was later to release albums of her own. Runar has been active ever since, with various bands as well as solo projects. He performs every week and runs a record company and a studio in Keflavik.

In the early sixties Iceland was a closed society dependent on agriculture and fishing. The music scene was an old-fashioned one, where big-bands dominated the trendy scene of the capitol Reykjavík but the accordion was still the main instrument for the majority of the people. Rock and roll was known only to a select group of teenagers in the city.

Keflavík is a small fishing port on the south-west corner of the island. It is located next to an American Navy base. The teenagers of Keflavik were exposed to the music of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and others through their contact with American servicemen. at the same time the first records of the Beatles came to Iceland, brought by fathers who sailed to England to sell fish. Thus Keflavik, a miniscule village, was the place where the pop-music of the young developed.

The teenagers of Keflavik became the teen-idols of Iceland eclipsing later bands formed in the city of Reykjavik and elsewhere. Most of these teenagers are still going strong 40 years later and have been a dominating force on the scene the whole time. The combination of the connection with England through shipping and the close contact with American influences were the seeds that started the modern evolution of youth music in Iceland.


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