...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

July 18, 2007

Once - 7

This is a beautiful film. I would say it is also heart-warming, but that sounds too sentimental- which it is not. Its a simple story of two musicians longing to make music. It is music that is most fundamental to who they want to be. The guy (Glen Hansard frontman of the Irish band The Frames- writer and director John Carney was a bassist in the band) plays guitar on the streets of Dublin, works with his father fixing vacuum cleaners, and records music in his room at his childhood home. The girl (Markéta Irglová - a Czech musician who plays piano and guitar) is an immigrant from the Czech Republic and works odd jobs mostly cleaning. The guy finally learns more about this woman...and that she has a husband back in the Czech Republic and lives with her daughter and mother in a small apartment. So much for that romantic comedy story arc. This film is considered a musical since most of the story is the characters singing and writing songs and the dialogue is relatively sparse. But I think the main theme is the power of music in our lives and how little we might give it credit for forming and changing us. The guy in an attempt to make a professional demo so he can travel to London and record an album enlists the girl and three other street musicians for a weekend recording session...renewing the girls love of playing music, and giving here a chance to share that love. A film that shows both the beauty that music can be in our life, and the importance of friendships in the pursuit of our most fundamental longings.

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