That term first came to my mind when, as a child, I’d try to say “stream of consciousness” and end up with “brainflow.” It seems to fit here.

Welcome to the ramblings of my mind. (For now, these ones revolve mostly around films.)


Saturday, January 19th, 2008 8:59 pm—Film

Once (Ireland 2007, Drama/Music/Romance), Writer/Director: John Carney

I fell in love with this movie.

Once is about two soul mates who meet in Dublin: an Irish guy (The Frames singer Glen Hansard) and a Czechoslovakian girl (Markéta Irglová). They never give their love a name—in fact, we never even learn their names—but they don’t need to. A connection like that doesn’t need a label; it just is.

The couple isn’t ready to be together physically. She has an estranged husband in the Czech Republic to whom she feels tied; he still mourns an ex-girlfriend who broke his heart. Perhaps because they hold back from each other, the romance has room to breathe and makes the film even more tantalizing for the viewer. You long for them to come together, maybe even more than they do themselves.

Once is a musical, but the most unusual I’ve ever seen. You might not even realize it’s a musical if you weren’t told. The songs, all haunting and gorgeous, flow organically from the film’s narrative. The guy is a guitarist, the girl a keyboardist, and both are singer-songwriters. We hear them sing to themselves and to each other, and later recording an album. The songs allow the couple to express their feelings to one another, even if they were written with other people in mind.

They fall in love over the course of one song, singing a duet of Falling Slowly in a music store. But Once sealed the deal with me when the girl goes for a walk at night in her pajamas, singing along with her walkman. She could have been me. Except without the howling dogs and shattering glass.

Rent this movie. It’s one-of-a-kind. I think it’s impossible not to be stirred by it. Only the most cynical of you will manage not to fall head over heels for Once. And you’ll still like it enough to call the next day to see how it’s doing. This one’s hard to get off your mind.

* * *

I can’t get this song out of my head; check it out – Falling Slowly with clips from Once. And another goodie: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová playing the song live. I like the recorded version better, but Glen’s intro is pretty funny.

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