Friday, May 25, 2007


In select theaters now is an indie film called Once. Starring two musicians in nameless roles, Once is first and foremost a cliche-fighting story of the common sense of not giving into trouble-causing romantic desires. It is secondly a good insight into the process of making music and trying to make a life out of it. And it is thirdly a small window into a new kind of life in the early 21st century, the immigrant in Ireland.

The story is of a Damien Rice-type who meets a Czech musician and they proceed to make beautiful music together without "making beautiful music together". As mentioned before, the story battles cliches fiercely. Though it is chock full of sentimental dialog (art imitates life imitates art imitates life...), the characters make decisions not usually made in romantic film.
But more important than that, the insight into the world of the struggling musician is prime material. The costs to make it are staggering. Finding the right people to record with, raising the money to record in a studio, setting out to sell the demo, it is a staggering feat that is done over and over with only fractional success. To get a taste of it in a film that is also focused on love and modern Ireland is much appreciated.

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