Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Swell Season

I fell in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova a few years ago when the movie Once came out. They are both musicians, working together in a band called The Swell Season, and separately - Glen with his band The Frames; Marketa has just released her first solo album Anar, which you can check out here. They won an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly" written for the movie.

The particularly beautiful thing about them is that their work has been so prophetic in telling the tale of their relationship and their lives together. It's impossible not to get caught up in the romance of it all - when you see Once or listen to their music, you are sharing a moment with them. It's touching because it's all 100% real. They write about each other - songs about them being together before they were together - songs about their split before they ever knew that's where they were headed. They are two people who never sought attention for their personal lives, but couldn't avoid receiving it because they truly are their art.

Anyway, now there is a documentary following them on tour for almost 3 years. My friend, Jessica, and I went to see it yesterday (we've been following them for almost 5 years now) and were pleasantly surprised to be at a screening with a q&a afterward with the directors - all local New Yorkers (Marketa is also a New Yorker now, as of 2010). Apparently, after the Oscar win, Glen was taking a film class in New York. Carlo Mirabella-Davis was his professor. They decided to document The Swell Season on tour, without any plan on what the outcome or story line might be. Carlo and co-directors Chris Dapkins and Nick August-Perna followed the band off and on, waiting for their plot to emerge. They use the music to nuance the couple's relationship and tell the story. In a sense, it's the anti-Once. Really pretty neat.

It's really a lovely film. It's playing at Cinema Village this week only. They are trying for other venues. See it if you can.

*** Erin

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