"Waiting for the gift of sound and vision"

Tónlistarmyndir (Cinema Beats) // RIFF 2023


RIFF 2023 proudly presents the category Cinema Beats where special emphasis is placed on films that prioritise music in their storytelling.

Such films have a special category at the festival as we at RIFF feel that music plays a key role in our lives and daily culture. Music, like movies, can express emotions and ideas without words and can bring people together by simply getting their hearts to beat in unison. 

In this category, a particular focus is placed on documentary films that provide insight into the lives of musicians and their cultural world, taking viewers on a journey to specific times and places with a captivating blend of music and imagery. 

It is worth noting that many distinguished guests will attend RIFF to present their films. Brooklyn Sudano, daughter of Donna Summer, will come to Iceland to present her film "Love to Love You, Donna Summer." Additionally, Sophie Blondy will be in attendance to screen her documentary "Tell Me Iggy," which explores the punk legend Iggy Pop.

Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed will also be present to showcase their film "Music for Black Pigeons," a documentary following the 14-year journey of composer Jakob Bro as he collaborates with some of the most renowned jazz musicians of our time. A must-see movie for all jazz enthusiasts.


Love to Love You, Donna Summer / Elska að elska þig, Donna Summer

Roger Ross Williams, Brooklyn Sudano, US, 2023, 105 min

Berlinale Documentary Award: Tilnefning / Nomination

A multifaceted portrait of Donna Summer the woman, artist, wife, and mother whose voice transformed the history of music. This compilation of unique, previously unseen recordings, videos, photographs, artworks, personal audio recordings, and more offers a vibrant testament to the life and artistry of one of the greatest music performers of all time.

Brooklyn Sudano, daughter of Donna Summer will attend the screening at RIFF 2023.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXInltKe8E

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes / Max Roach: Tromman dansar líka

Sam Pollard, Ben Shapiro, US, 2023, 82 min


The film explores the life and music of the legendary drummer, composer, bandleader, and activist Max Roach through an incredible series of creative breakthroughs, setbacks, and rediscoveries. Audiences are taken on a journey from the Jim Crow era to the civil rights struggle of the African American community, with a focus on the modern jazz of the post-war years, hip-hop music, and beyond.

About the film: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/max-roach-the-drum-also-waltzes-film/26469

Music for Black Pigeons / Tónlist fyrir svartar dúfur

Jørgen Leth, Andreas Koefoed, DK, 2022, 92 min

Venice: Heimsfrumsýning / World premiere

Documentary masters Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed followed Danish composer Jakob Bro for 14 years across North America, Europe, and Japan, witnessing his evolution in music. The result is a music documentary that delves into the lives of some of the most famous and prolific jazz musicians of today including Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, and Midori Takada.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI07dp_pFsU

Tell Me Iggy / Segðu mér Iggy

Sophie Blondy, FR, 2022, 52 min


A personal documentary about the rock legend Iggy Pop, recorded in Europe and the United States for Canal+. The film allows viewers to follow the 76-year-old artist, who continues to perform worldwide, through interviews with his friends and collaborators, including John Waters, Johnny Depp, Debbie Harry and Blondie, Denis Lavant, Pierre & Gilles, and his producer Alain Lahana.

Trailer: https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/977402-tell-me-iggy#play=704076292

The Klezmer Project / Klezmer verkefnið / Adentro mío estoy bailando

Leandro Koch, Paloma Schachmann, AR, AT, 2023, 115 min

Berlinale GWFF: Besta fyrsta mynd / Best First Feature

Argentinian filmmaker Leandro is tasked with documenting a Jewish wedding. During one such wedding, he falls in love with Paloma, a klezmer clarinetist. To win her over, Leandro pretends to make a documentary about traditional Yiddish folk music. However, what Leandro doesn't know is that his "fake" film project will take him on an unexpected journey through Eastern Europe in search of the last klezmer melodies.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JivjokgWyo