Song Of The Week - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly
It’s been eight years since John Carney delivered his first feature unto the world. Once was a genuine surprise and an equal delight. The tale of a Dublin busker and his almost romance with a Czech girl (both of whom never reveal their names during the movie) was a low budget success story. Despite the rough and ready nature of its instrumentation, Carney’s film was genuinely a musical in the classic sense of the form, using its songs thematically to propel the story and illuminate its characters, who – yes – true to form would spontaneously burst into song no matter where they were (albeit naturalistically in this case.) Never more so than in the quite simply beautiful and enduring Falling Slowly, the centrepiece of the film, that quite rightly won its composers and performers the Oscar for Best Song of the Year.
Carney relied on Glen Hansard to bring his film to life. Hansard had of course previously been Outspan, a member of Alan Parker’s The Commitments. He subsequently fronted his own band The Frames and at the height of his Once-linked success was opening for Bob Dylan on tour, provided the voice of an Irish busker on an episode of The Simpsons and ,more recently, featured on the soundtrack for the first Hunger Games.
After a few years, Carney has returned to the notion of using the writers and performers of pop music to make a movie musical with his delightful new film Begin Again, out now on release.
One of the great things about the clip you can watch below – aside from the song and the performance – is that it’s one of those rare moment in which an entire movie in captured in one concise scene. Here you just watch the unnamed Guy and the unnamed Girl come together in this one song and all of their lives, their hopes, their longing for each other or just for something else is laid bare. It’s a great song. And it’s great filmmaking.