To The Maxx

break into song
May 25, 2007, 8:30 pm
Filed under: film, music


just as i was moaning about how the currnt crop of movies in release right now is really weak, and how there is nothing worth seeing, a little movie came out of nowhere and punched me in the face.


i recall reading a lot of great things about “once” when it played at sundance earlier this year. it won the audience award. fox searchlight picked it up and the next thing i knew, it had already been released. and in los angeles, it’s only at one theater (the arclight, so not all is lost). after seeing the film, i am confident that it could be a big success…… it’s a total crowd-pleaser…. but, who knows…. maybe fox will expand to a wider release soon. it’s the kind of movie that you want to share with others…..

john carney is an irish director who i had not previously heard of… he once played in the irish band “the frames.” the lead singer of “the frames” is glen hansard. glen hansard recently cut an album with czech musician markéta irglová. carney heard the songs and wanted to use them in a film he was preparing, about two songwriters who meet in ireland…. a sort-of musical. he asked glen and markéta to write a few more songs. one thing led to another and the non-actor songwriters ended up starring in the film.

so the film is a sort-of musical…. it’s certainly one of the most naturalistic musicals i’ve ever seen: super-low budget, shot on video, entirely on location in and around dublin, most of the music is sung/performed live….. these characters break into song without, er, breaking into song. it is almost a kitchen sink, european art-house musical…. but it still maintains the charming, old-fashioned, borderline-corny spirit of the classic movie musicals.

it’s a romantic film… sincere and passionate. devoid of any irony or cynicism…. and if you go into it with a cynical attitude, you probably won’t glean much from it.

i implore those of you who are reading this (is there anyone out there?) to go see “once.” it’s a really exciting movie.

and watching the people who actually wrote the songs performing them adds a super powerful dimension to the film…. if the songs sucked, it would definitely be tough to watch an hour and a half of more music than dialoge, but…… fortunately, the songs are as well written as the film is well made.

the scene in which we first hear this song is super cinematic magic! enjoy.

(buy) (myspace)


2 Comments so far
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should have thought to look here sooner…saw once last weekend and have been walking a little more lightly since. nice to know someone else was equally enchanted…you check out fitzcarraldo (album that is) if you don’t know it. be well.

Comment by agoodanimal

by “naturalistic musicals,” do you mean like pippi longstocking?

Comment by Le Chew Toy

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