One of the best little films I’ve ever seen was 2007’s Once. I say “little” not because the film was short or insignificant, but because the simple story of two unnamed musicians falling in love had a breathtaking intimacy that made it feel raw and genuine. The real-life tale behind the two stars, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, gave the film an added layer of emotion as well: Hansard and Irglová were (and still are) members of a folk-rock duo called The Swell Season, and while promoting the movie became an actual couple as well. The two eventually broke off their romantic relationship, though they’ve remained close as colleagues and friends.

A documentary telling the true story of The Swell Season has been making the festival rounds, and is set to get a limited theatrical release next month. Directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis, The Swell Season follows the duo’s fading romance, personal struggles, and rise to prominence. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) joined The Swell Season, Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová (you know, the musical artists from the indie musical Once) on stage at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on November 18th, 2009. Segel joked that the movie Once beat out the Dracula Love song from Forgetting Sarah Marshall at the Academy Awards due to Hollywood “politics.”

Segel performed a song which involved asking college girls in the audience, interested in having sex with him, to call a phone number – 315-329-6673. And yes, it is a real number. Women who call the number are given an email address to contact him ( Apparently Segel performed the same song, with few lyrics changed, at a Maroon 5 concert earlier this month. Watch a video of the performance after the jump.
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Once: The Broadway Musical?

John N Hart Jr, Jeffrey Sine and Frederick Zollo have acquired the worldwide rights to produce a stage adaptation of John Carney‘s 2007 Irish musical Once. When I interviewed Carney in 2007, he talked briefly about the possibility of a Broadway musical adaptation.

“Haven’t thought of it at all. I don’t think it would play at all on a stage,” admitted Carney, before quickly adding: “I don’t know, it would be great if someone were to ask for the rights or something. They don’t mess around. When those guys buy the rights for those things, they give you millions!”

Well looks like Carney’s wishes have come true. The trio hope to have the musical on Broadway for the 2010-2011 season. Stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are expected to be involved in the development process, but aren’t expected to reprise their roles on stage.

Honestly, I think the only way a Once musical could work is with Glen and Marketa as the stars. I know they aren’t A-list talent (or even b or c list in terms of mainstream audience awareness), but they are the ones who wrote the music, and created the magic in the original indie film. In my 2007 interview, Carney also joked that Jennifer Lopez and Bryan Adams could star in the Broadway version. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that.

source: Variety

Marketa Irglova’s Oscar Speech

One of the true Oscar moments this year happened when host Jon Stewert ushered Best Song co-winner Marketa Irglova back onto the stage after she had been cut off by the music before the commercial break. And thank god she got her chance. Irglova’s speech was moving and inspirational. If you missed it, watch the speach below.

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Once PosterOn Thursday May 17th, we had the chance to speak to director John Carney and stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova about the new india musical Once. At Sundance this year, Once was one of the most talked about films. However we missed it at the festival. We finally caught the film before the San Francisco International Film Festival and loved it. It’s so wonderful, yet so hard to describe. Is it a musical? Is it a love story? We decided to ask the people who would know the answer.


Running Time: 29 minutes

Timecode Chapter Guide:

0:25 Is This a Musical? “Calling it a musical is probably the worst thing you can do!”
3:00 It Started with a Conversation at a Concert…
4:40 “The Music was easy, that’s what we do.”
5:45 The difficult part was the shooting hours
6:10 Trusting John to get a real performance
6:45 Working with Non-actor Performers
8:15 The Top 5 Movies of All Time
12:30 Improving vs. Script
14:30 Returning to the Street to Perform
15:00 Hiding the Cameras, Trying Not to be Noticed
16:15 The Street Scene that Went Wrong
18:30 Once: The Play?
19:45 Filming Handheld Means No Permits
20:10 A Once Sequel?
21:45 John Carney wants to Remake Guys and Dolls Like The Sopranos
23:30 A Big Hollywood Remake?
26:10 The Collaborative Process Behind The Screenplay/Music