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Glen Hansard has always been a fascinating man to me. He gives 110% in every performance, sings about heartbreak and loss, and yet seems to have a hopeful disposition about his life. This film touches on both Glen and Marketa's families and how their Oscar win in 2007 catapulted them into stardom, at times with side effects, and how their own romantic relationship began and eventually ended. Well worth the watch.
Strikingly unique, it's a music documentary with a story---Much more satisfying than "Once", the movie that spawned this masterpiece.
Mid-way through "The Swell Season" (the documentary film), Glen Hansard's mother declares that her son and collaborator Markéta Irglová (collectively known as The Swell Season) have become "defined" by their unlikely Academy Award for "Falling Slowly" from the 2007 film "Once". Hansard, quite naturally, dismisses the idea.
Were we attracted to "Once" because of the music - or, were we attracted to the music because of the movie? I have settled on the latter; sorry Glen, Mom was right.
"Swell Season" (the film) is ponderous, the music strained, too much Glen, not enough Markéta.
I don't usually watch music documentaries but I'd heard good things about this and I've waited a number of years for it to be released in the UK.
It's obviously only going to be of interest to people who have seen the film Once and are fans of Glen Hansard / Marketa Irglova / The Swell Season. It charts the sudden rise in fame of the stars after their oscar win and how this damaged their relationship off stage. It's beautifully filmed and one of the most intimate documentaries you're likely to see. Really worth seeing as a companion piece to Once.
"The Swell Season" is a documentary that follows Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in the wake of the success with the movie 'Once,' as they undergo the ordeals of going on tour in America via bus. That having been said, things start off well enough with some fun as they go for a little frolicsome skinnydipping.
Away from the music, the documentary seeks to fill in their respective backstories. But as far as Irglova goes, the interest is only in how old she is. However, Hansard's father lost his chance to go to America for a boxing tournament due to teenage pregnancy, turning to alcohol as a result.(How's that for a guilt trip?) For Hansard, it is music and nothing else, as he goes from touring with a band to getting phone calls from Bono to having his car towed away on a not-so-special episode of 'Parenthood.'
In general, "The Swell Season" is interested in fame, and how it simultaneously opens some doors while closing others, its ambiguous tone emphasized by its black and white cinematography.(But how could you tell things would have not turned out the same?) And as incisive as the documentary can be, it also does the same thing as the fans who show up to get autographs, emphasizing the Oscars over the music which is more important. That having been said, the little knit cap for the statuette is really cute.
Adorable music couple. Too bad they split.
I really liked this documentary. It is better if you have already watched "Once". It follows the post-Oscar tour and romance of the Glen and Marketa as eventually fame and a grueling tour schedule takes their toll. Give it a try!
A sobering companion piece to the film, 'Once'. Reminds me a bit of the way 'Before Sunset' related to 'Before Sunrise'.
not bad :) Music was good ;)
Not my best TC film festival movie I've seen