Björk: Biophilia Live (4 stars)

Björk: Biophilia Live

A beautiful presentation of Björk's strange, beguiling vision from directors Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton

In 2008 Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which over the course of a few years turned into a massively ambitious multimedia project, including an otherworldly live show. The final concert took place in September 2013 after a 70-date world tour and is brought to the big screen by Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton, who have created an immersive cinematic experience.

Björk positioned her stage in the middle of Alexandra Palace’s auditorium, taking her rightful place in the centre like the glowing orb of eccentricity and creativity she is. Before the extravaganza begins David Attenborough chimes in with a soothing narration explaining the birth of biophilia and how it relates to the universe. Björk then appears on stage in an exquisitely designed gown, fashioned to look like glittering, throbbing muscle tissue - her face adorned with a single blue stripe, her head topped with a multi-coloured afro wig.

An Icelandic choir accompany Björk on stage, pattering around like Pan’s People in their blue and gold outfits and leaping into mad shapes whenever a heavy beat drops. Every moment of this live show is wildly imaginative and its big screen translation is expertly handled by Strickland and Fenton who deliver a consistently engrossing spectacle.

The twinkle of stars in the night sky and clouds furiously whizzing overhead blend with time-lapse crystal formations and blooming fungi, which crawl across the stage begging to be touched. The directors gracefully capture the euphoria of the event, while cinematographer Brett Turnbull adds depth to the experience. Björk's bizarre, beguiling vision is beautifully presented here; her dream-like musical ecosystem proving every bit as fascinating and inventive as the lady herself.

Selected release from Fri 17 Oct.

Bjork: Biophilia

  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 1h 37min
  • U
  • Directed by: Nick Fenton, Peter Strickland
  • Cast: Bjork
  • UK release: 17 October 2014

Immersive cinematic presentation of Björk's wildly imaginative 2013 live show at Alexandra Palace, which was itself part of her ambitious multimedia project Biophilia. Fenton and Strickland deliver a consistently engrossing spectacle, capturing the euphoria of the event, and the lady's bizarre, beguiling vision is…


Danceable and upbeat, with interludes that collage tracks with the sounds of ships mooring and setting sail, a foghorn's call and response, sea birds, rain, and a train, Volta, the latest chapter in Björk's shape-shifting career, is another departure for the artist. "It was really different from how I usually work," Björk…