Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Icelandic landscapes have already been used as the background of some great movies. Stunning and unique views make a perfect background for all kinds of movies, from Sci-Fi to romantic comedies. I prefer those that show the beauty of Iceland as it is. Its people, culture, differences (in a good way), its overall beauty. Who doesn't like it when movies depict all of these positive sides of the country? The way we Icelanders are, our culture, and all of this contrasted with the mesmerizing, otherwordly landscapes we got here. One of those movies is the Iceland Eurovision Movie; the story and locations show our pristine Icelandic nature and real Icelandic people.
Is Eurovision real?
As real as life can be! The show is held every year. Questioning the show's existence can even be offending to those hardcore fans who are waiting all year long for the show.
Eurovision is a song contest that has been around since 1956, and it has always been quite a show. It is a musical spectacle consisting of live performances of songs. Representatives come from many countries across Europe. Once every performance is over, the time to vote comes in. Besides money, the winner gets a figurine and the recognition of a whole continent.
Eurovision is one of the most popular song contests and one with the most extended history. This outstanding performance and show for the audience is also a huge chance for the performing artists to share their talents and further push their careers.
Each participating country gets to submit only one song of any music genre. Once all the artists are done performing, the public gets to vote. Now, you cannot vote for your own country! You only have the option to vote for your nation's representative if you are outside the country's border. Seems quite fair. The voting system consists of the public's vote and a professional committee of judges.
Which countries can take part in the Eurovision song contest?
Most people think that only those nations within Europe's borders can participate, but that's not right. If your country is a member of the European Broadcasting Union or is located within the European Broadcasting Area, you can join the show. Some states are not geographically located in Europe, such as Morocco, Israel, Turkey or Azerbaijan but they took or take place in the contest nowadays.
Iceland had its debut in the 1986, and during all those years, it ended up in the second position twice (1999 and 2009). Despite this, most of the time, the nation would not qualify for the finals due to low scoring.
What is the movie about?
We already know what the Eurovision song contest is, the main rules, and what countries can participate. Now let's see what the Iceland Eurovision movie is all about. If you haven't seen that movie yet, please do so or at least have a look at this Eurovision movie trailer. Then you will want to watch it.
Long story short, the movie talks about the Eurovision song contest and two singers who form a band called Fire Saga. They come from a small Icelandic town, whose inhabitants dream of participating in Eurovision. The leading performers are Rachel Mcadams as Sigrid Ericsdottir and Will Ferrell as Lars Ericskssong. However, there are many familiar faces and great stars such as Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato. Within the movie cast, several winners of past real competitions are included.
Lars Erickssong wanted to become a singer from an early age, and his biggest dream was to take part in the show and eventually win the Eurovision song contest. However, his father's lack of understanding, who usually laughs at him, doesn't make this task any easier. The town itself barely recognizes Lar's talent. Even though he keeps trying, his band is only known for their one-hit-wonder: The Jaja Ding Dong song, which Lar's hated so much.
Eventually, due to some conspiracy and unfortunate events, Lars, together with his partner Sigrid, finally, get a chance to participate at Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision song contest: The story of fire saga locations
Most of the scenes were filmed in Edinburgh in Scotland, where the show is supposedly held that year. However, Husavik is the primary location of the Iceland Eurovision movie, and it makes its debut right in the first scene.
The town is shown in a winter scenery with a beautiful view of the harbor. Husavik is a small fishing town located in the North of Iceland, where most of the inhabitants are fishermen. This is where you can experience one of the town's best attraction: A whale watching tour. This is what makes Husavik famous all over the world. And the reason why thousands of tourists visit every year.
There is this great scene when Lars talks with Sigrid about how beautiful their town is, and suddenly in the background, two giant whales jump out of the water. Even though it might not be possible to see in real, you will have a big chance to watch whales in Husavik on one of the boat tours we mentioned before. The main building of Husavik, a wooden Luteran church, also served as a film's background location.
Sadly, Lars has an inadequate concept of his town. He does believe nothing ever happens there; every one knows each other, which is not something good for him. On the other hand, his partner in crime sees it differently. That is where the true beauty of Husavik lies: meeting in the same bar every evening gives you a sense of community. Heading to the same bar, play their song –Jaja ding dong- over and over again, with the people you love. For her, it doesn't seem that bad.
And it wasn't for us either! No wonder why a new bar has now been baptized Jaja Ding Dong! Initially, the bar would have a different name, but quickly after the owner saw the Iceland Eurovision movie, then changed his mind. You can now find the Jaja Ding Dong Bar in the Capre Hotel, in Husavik. The Jaja Ding Dong song is currently very popular among Icelanders.
The beauty of Iceland was also shown in the "Volcano Man" song video that you can hear in the movie's second scene. Famous tourist attractions can be seen in the video like the black beaches on the Dyrhoaey or the Skogafoss waterfall. They have no filter; this is real Iceland, with huge black lava fields, glaciers, and beautiful landscapes covered in snow. What you can see in the video, you will be able to experience in Iceland if you decide to visit us.
The Icelandic Public Television building depicted in the movies is actually the University of Iceland, located in Reykjavik. There was definitely no better location!
The movie also shows the Icelandic culture, the tradition, and beliefs of this nation. The Elves and trolls also play a huge part in the film and are halfway responsible for the success of Fire Saga, the band. Even though most Icelanders do not believe in their existence, no one dares to say it aloud.
Every scene of the Iceland Eurovision movie shows the beauty of its location. Wherever the protagonists go, they are followed by the typical Icelandic landscapes, green moss fields, fjords and pure nature.
Some great scenes were also filmed in Scotland, where the singers scoot around the Carlton Hill on Segways. The scenes where they are at the airport were filmed in Glasgow, the same as the Eurovision arena. It was filmed at The Hydro music venue. They even traveled far to Tel Aviv, where the actual Eurovision song contest took place, to film some scenes.
Does Rachel Mcadams really sing int he Eurovision song contest?
What delights and astonishes you while watching the movie is how beautiful and unique voice Rachel Mcadams has. It makes you wonder if she really sings like that. Well, not really, but she's indeed singing too. To get this amazing effect, her voice was combined with the voice of Swedish song artist and once Eurovision Junior winner, Molly Sanden. The result is pretty amazing as you can hear on the clip above. However, in the "Volcano Man" song, it is just Will Ferell and Molly Sanden singing. Maybe his voice is not as exceptional but he definitely deserves some recognition.