Not sure how about you, but I can definitely feel the Autumn in the air- the days are getting colder, the evenings are longer than they used to be… And for such evenings I tend to have a set of my favourite films, being ready to get back to them at any time. One of those films is John Carney’s Once which I’ve just finished watching (probably for a hundredth time in my life) and… I’d like to tell you why.
A funny thing- while I’m writing this piece, Mr Turner is singing out of my headphones: F*ck you, Hollywood- for teaching us that love was free and easy, for dressing all our daughters as princesses, for gulling us with tales of happy endings… and these words are actually just perfect to start with- I wouldn’t find any better introduction to the film which is soooo unlike all that American dream thing…
Let’s talk about the main characters- She’s not anorectic with never-ending legs, He’s not a knight in designer armour, they don’t end up getting laid on the first date to live happily ever after. And even if there is a love story involved, it’s just a tool to indicate the complexity of relationships and life as a whole. Life with all its colours and shapes, life filled with emotions, life with all its dilemmas when your heart says: ‘yeah man, go for it’ and your mind responds ‘no f*ckin’ way’.
The story itself is set in contemporary Dublin where an Irish street busker meets a Czech immigrant who makes comments on his songs. Although a naive newspaper seller with her strong Slavic accent and uncomfortable questions does not exactly put the Irishman under the spell, very soon after their first meeting it turns out that those two have a way more in common than it initially seemed.
Glen Hansard, the charismatic singer-songwriter (performing also as the frontman of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova, another exceptionally talented artist (who was rather unknown before her appearance on the silver screen) take us to the bitter- sweet reality which hits the dreams, representing the world we’re all familiar with, convincing us that the magic takes place on dirty streets of an average capital city, that what is true and valuable doesn’t need any sophisticated, oneiric scenery to be glorified, that even if ‘the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows’, there’s always some room for those tiny moments which make life worthwhile.
Once is very special to me not only because of Glen who I love to bits (or actually- far more than that!), not only because of the music I’m a huge (huge-huuuge) fan of but, probably, mainly because of the way it makes me feel- all warm inside, left with a hope, with this comforting belief that sometimes what initially appears rather pointless and miserable may result in the purest, simplest beauty one can experience.