Monday, January 7, 2008

Once, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

[Bumped and updated with clips from YouTube.]

Music is a theme we repeatedly return to here at They Rode On. Movies too. Occasionally, the two merge. The movie Once is one such instance. I might have missed it, but for a recommendation from fellow aviator and blogger, Lex.

I've said before that Adagio for Strings may be the saddest piece of music I know. There's a new contender for that title. "Falling Slowly," from this movie has an effect I can't really explain. It's not even the words. It happens every time that chord change comes leading into the chorus. Waves of almost overwhelming sadness. All in all, that's a pretty interesting accomplishment. Also worth adding to your playlists if you subscribe to any online music service that will allow you to listen to tracks you may not own are "When Your Mind's Made Up" and "Lies." There's a good write up on the artists, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, at Wikipedia.

"Falling Slowly":


"When Your Mind's Made Up":

The movie is wonderful. There's really nothing about it not to like (with the possible exception of some rather interesting cinematography wherein the image of the central subject is steady in the frame, but everything in the periphery jumps around in a way that makes you wonder if there's something wrong with your vision--you get used to it, but I'm not sure it really adds anything to the film). It's a movie about nice people, doing the right things, and having good things happen to them. If that sounds boring, then go rent something from Hollywood where affairs, betrayal, murder, bitterness and everything despicable in human nature is the norm (and if all of that wrapped up in one neat package appeals to you, then see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead--just get your affairs in order first).

For this film though, just throw a log on the fire, grab a blanket and a snuggle partner, and enjoy. Even though it may not end the way you want it to, one could make the argument that it ends even better--it ends the way it should. (And if it helps, you can always take consolation in real life, where the on-screen chemistry between Hansard and Irglová (according to Wikipedia) continues to this day.)

Doc's grade: a solid A.