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The Swell Season

48 customer reviews

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(Mar 13, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The world fell in love with Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová - the duo behind the band the Swell Season - when their songwriting collaboration in the indie film Once culminated in a euphoric Oscar® win. Behind the scenes, though, a grueling two-year world tour threatened to destroy their remarkable bond.

Offering an intimate glimpse into the exhilaration and the turmoil of both love and fame, THE SWELL SEASON follows Glen and Markéta through a three-year period of incredible intensity, pressure and passion. As the two wake up in strange towns and navigate a new realm of public exposure, they undergo intense changes that lead them to question their love, their ambitions, and their identities. Ultimately, the audience witnesses the unraveling of a romance and the reconfiguring of a beautiful musical collaboration.

Product Details

  • Actors: Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
  • Directors: Chris Dapkins, Nick August-Perna, Carlo Mirabella Davis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005YFGIX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By John Terry on January 14, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard were not prepared for what happened to them. Writing a devastatingly beautiful and emotionally honest love song "Falling Slowly" propelled a low budget labor of love "Once" to heights they hadn't imagined possible. The musical tale of two lonely people with bruised and battered hearts who meet on the streets of Dublin struck am emotional chord with movie goers and culminated with an Oscar win for "Best Song". It's hard to know how many fans of the movie even knew that the two were actual musicians and friends for many years, Mr. Hansard heads the critically heralded but under appreciated Irish band The Frames. He befriended the Irgl family while touring the Czech Republic and was immediately impressed with Marketa's musical abilities and did what he could to encourage her to develop her talent. The music chemistry between them is almost immediate and they develop a fruitful partnership. Glen feels at home in the Czech Republic and records a solo album entitled "The Swell Season" in Prague with Czech musicians and Marketa's songwriting and musical assistance. This is the first appearance of "Falling Slowly" prior to the film's release. During the filming of "Once", the two acknowledge that they are falling in love despite an 18 year difference in their ages. The two become "The Swell Season" with the members of The Frames comprising the remainder of the band. Marketa is young and inexperienced and finds herself unprepared for the life of a rock musician on the road. The attention and devotion of fans unnerves her a bit. She questions whether she deserves the attention and struggles to find a way to accommodate fans and understand what is happening to her. Glen is a seasoned road warrior and accustomed to shaking hands and posing for pictures and signing autographs.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Like many, I fell in love with the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova with the unexpected hit movie "Once." This tiny movie, made for almost no money, catapulted the pair into indie prominence and even won them an Oscar for Best Original Song (one of my favorites--Falling Slowly). To capitalize on their seemingly instant success, the band (named The Swell Season) hit the road for a two year world tour. But what is the price of instant notoriety? Hansard, who had been working for musical success for many years, was ready and willing to make the commitment that fame dictated. Irglova, on the other hand, was a more reticent partner for whom success came out of the blue. The tour and their fundamental differences put a strain on their real-life romance. With a subtle fly-on-the-wall appeal, the documentary "The Swell Season" chronicles this tumultuous period through amazing highs and disappointing lows. It is a tribute to their artistry, to their music, and to their friendship even as the stresses of the road threaten to alter their relationship irrevocably.

"The Swell Season" is not a movie that promises over-the-top drama, it has a quiet power that sneaks up on you. Initially, it seems that Hansard and Irglova are perfectly in sync. But through small moments, we see Irglova start to pull away and Hansard start to become more and more affected by her withdrawal. The pair seem like great pals throughout, even as their romance appears to dissipate, and you become quite invested in the progression of their relationship. No one is right, no one is wrong. Each is just affected by the tour and its subsequent responsibilities in a different way. Both are refreshingly candid, and don't seem particularly conscious of the camera filming every second of their interactions.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Smarty638 on December 10, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie premiere in Boston and it was absolutely lovely. As a huge fan of the Swell Season and Glen Hansard, it means so much more to understand the relationships behind the music and about the musicians themselves than I thought possible. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Warning: This is not a love story, but a story about love.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T. DiPietro on March 20, 2012
Format: DVD
Anyone considering buying or renting or otherwise viewing this movie is almost certainly a fan of the movie "Once". I am among that group, and think that "Once" is in my list of top-10 movies of all time. They captured lightning in a jar with that movie.

"The Swell Season" is a documentary named for the band Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová formed around the time that "Once" was made.
Unfortunately, while the movie The Swell Season contains some special moments providing insight into what it must have been like for them to get swept up in the whirlwind that "Once" brought about, it lacks a thread for the viewer to hold on to. It doesn't seem to flow either chronologically or thematically. For example, we're told the couple became romantically involved, and then subsequently split up, but it isn't really clear from the movie when either of those moments happened.
But I still gave it 3 stars because of the special moments, including:
-- interviews with Glen's parents
-- scene of band members singing Irish folk songs around a table after a gig
-- scenes of songwriting
-- scenes of concert tour (live music from the band)

Above all, if you haven't seen "Once", then see it immediately before even thinking of seeing this movie.
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