Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Swell Season



I can't wait to see this film, a documentary following the The Swell Season as they deal with the fame and success that came their way thanks to the Academy Award winning film Once. The film also follows the relationship between Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard. The couple's art-imitating-life relationship has been much publicised, if not by the press, then by the couple's second album, Strict Joy, which followed their relationship and subsequent break up, and included lyrics such as:

"Ok, we're not what I'd promised you we would become. But maybe it's a question of how much you'd really want. Have you had enough? There's plenty more where that came from now." 
Check out the trailer.



The reviews so far have described the film as being "raw", "honest", "truthful". I'm not surprised. Having seen The Swell Season perform at the Sydney Opera House, I have witnessed the almost religious power of Glen Hansard's charisma first hand. I suspect you could just leave a camera on Glen all day and it would make a pretty watchable film.

I distinctly remember the way in which Glen dealt with a particularly vocal audience member who was shouting out during one of Glen's inter-song stories. In the midst of that concert the interjection seemed so... vulgar. Like someone calling out in church for the minister to get on with it. Glen simply stopped what he was doing, turned to face the man, looked at him and said, "C'mon now". Then he went back into his story. It was so great. There was no confrontation or anger. No security required. And it wasn't patronising. The way he said it, it was more like he had said, "What are you doing there? Just relax. It's all going to be ok. I know you're there. But I'm here now. So just relax."

Hansard is intensely watchable. His skill lies in his ability to lay himself completely bare before this audience. There isn't an ounce of pretence in what he is doing. And in today's world, that's rare. Audiences recognise it when they see it. They recognise that rareness in him. And they flock to it. Just to be in its presence for a while. That's special enough.

That's why I can't wait to see this film.

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