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The Swell Season (2011)

Glen Hansard , Marketa Irglova , Chris Dapkins , Nick August-Perna  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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Frequently Bought Together

The Swell Season + Once
Price for both: $24.26

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  • Once $7.50

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Product Details

  • Actors: Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
  • Directors: Chris Dapkins, Nick August-Perna, Carlo Mirabella Davis
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005YFGIX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,662 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous film making with a heart January 14, 2012
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
My fellow Amazon reviewer - K. Harris - has pretty much covered the plot, and back story, of this film, so I won't repeat much of what he (?) has written. This 2011 90-minute documentary, shot in black and white on what appears to be HD digital (the images are sharp) is part of the almost never ending story of Irish Singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The film of their meeting and beginning as performers was captured in the film "Once". This current film documents their careers beginning after their success for winning the Oscar for the Best Song ("Falling Slowly") and follows them to their current status as performers, but no longer lovers. And, now "Once" has been brought to the Broadway stage as a musical (with the Original Cast album being released today!).

This film has THREE Directors and, while the concert footage - and there is a lot (including 8 musical performances among the 10 deleted scenes - an additional 45 minutes - in the bonus features) - is what you would expect, many of the "personal" scenes - especially one lengthy scene in a café at the 1hr, 10 minute point - is VERY personal. It's hard to believe that the couple knows the camera is right there capturing their intimacy.

There are nearly two-dozen songs performed in the film, though many are excerpts.

This is a most unique music documentary in it's structure and - again, I need to use the word "intimate" portrait of what happens when a guy drops out of high school at 14 to become a street "busker" and, 18 years later, meets a girl of 18 who has just graduated from high school and together they become an "overnight" success in the music business with all that fame entails.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a follow up to Once.
Great Documentary. It is like a follow up on the movie Once. Once seemed so natural and real and this movie shows how the romance that we can sense in Once was real.
Published 18 days ago by musicm
5.0 out of 5 stars can't believe it!
2 Oscars! I don't follow Hollywood happenings or any other social media trappings. I'm not sure what qualifies anybody for this award, but, good for them. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mark Yankowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, and touching
I won't bother to add to the already excellent reviews of this doc, other than to say that it's refreshing to see real people and real emotions on film in an era full of fake... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bill the Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Big fans of Glen Hansard
Love (and own) the movie, "Once". Saw Glen hansard and Marketa Irglova in Oakland for a most soulful concert. Read more
Published 3 months ago by janet m borba
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute Movie
After you've seen Once and fallen in love with the music of these two, this is a nice movie to watch to get the backstory.
Published 5 months ago by zentrainer
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good documentary!
If you're a fan of Glen and Mar, this is a fascinating background story to the wave they rode to stardom.
Published 5 months ago by Les P
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest documentary!
Loved the honesty of this film. I admire how both artists strive to be authentic - in their values and in the journey of life. The music is beautiful, the film thoughtful.
Published 6 months ago by Red Shoes Writing
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than even Once was
So good. It's the real love affair and doesn't end the way you would think, though maybe even better. Perfect.
Published 8 months ago by Christopher Abraham
5.0 out of 5 stars Every music lover should hear this album.
This is one of the most amazing compilations of human voices I have and ever will hear in my lifetime. Read more
Published 9 months ago by tamerica
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life is Always More Interesting
The individuals in this documentary was very unaffected (meaning they were not playing to the camara or saying things they wouldn't normally say just because the camara was there)... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joan
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