Tag Archives: 2007

Once (2007)

I found out about “Once” while watching extras to the film Begin Again.  Once was written & directed by the same director — John Carney — and stars Irish musician/actor Glen Hansard and Czech musician/actress Markéta Irglová.

Usually when I make note of a music-related film it’s because I strongly related to it relative to music — it struck a chord (no pun intended) in me, it spoke to me about the experience and the inexpiable thing that is music … this one is hard to write about.  More than anything I think for me this film speaks to me because of the busking and because of the from-the-core music of the male lead, played by Irish musician/actor Glen Hansard.

Frankly, it’s difficult to write about because I missed about 15 minutes of the film about 1 hour in — the DVD sketched out, which is a typical problem with films I get from the library.  From what I could tell visually I predict that there were important elements to the story line, especially having to do with the ending.  It was very disappointing and I’d like to get my hands on a non-blemished copy so I can get the full story.  I liked that the film was shot hand-held — it made it feel human, that you were with the guy & gal leads having their experience.  Which is another thing … I didn’t realize until I saw the credits that they never have names in the film — as listed in the credits, they are “guy” & “girl”.

Maybe the two areas where this particularly spoke to me …

  • One, it was shot on the streets of Dublin.  I’ve barely spent four days there, but places were familiar.  I particularly recognized parts around the Temple Bar area, and know that a lot of famous performers out of Ireland have come from there.  Despite aspects that didn’t register well with me — that it’s a tourist town with too many poor mannered American college kids, and there are a lot of immigrants and it was hard to find Irish people in Dublin/Ireland — I no less came away knowing that I wanted to return and see more of not just the city but the country.
  • Two, I identified with this film from the standpoint of being a broke musician — dealing with the challenges that come with trying to survive, trying to live your passion (music), and trying to keep your music supported financially when you are struggling to pay rent and for food.

Also, similar to what I got out of Begin Again, I think this film spoke to me about going for it with your music — being venerable with your art and releasing every inhibition to touch the depth of each emotion present in a tune, in a song, and playing it despite judgment, despite an audience, and regardless of what stage you’re on.

Ultimately, about this film, I can’t put my finger on why I’m writing about this one or its importance why a musician or non-musician should see it — but there is something about it that I can’t let it go without note, it touches something inexpiable which is a huge part of music itself.  This film is not just a story, it’s not just a vignette of drama, it does not fall into the ranks of ‘just a music film’ as it is music itself.

I think it’s fair to say that there are some common threads that go through this film that also go through Begin Again, and given how I responded to Begin Again maybe that’s why I respond to its predecessor Once.

PS – I essentially just watched the film a second time.  Without giving anything away, there is an element to the ending – perhaps a few, but one in particular – that to me is beautiful, it is subtle yet it is powerful, it is joy and it is balance.  You might & you might not see it; it may be a musician thing.  If you don’t see it, that’s okay.

Once at IMDB and Wikipedia

Glen Hansard at IMDBWikipedia, and his Official Website

Markéta Irglová at IMDB Wikipedia and her Official website

John Carney at IMDB and Wikipedia

American Zombie (2007)

Yellow Puss

A mocumentary* suggesting that the reanimated dead live among us — from wild or low functioning zombies all the way to high functioning zombies who can pass for being human**. It’s amusing, a lot of subtle humor that sometimes you have to be paying attention and think for (God help us if we have to actually think!) — it could very well be a film that was shot right before some sort of mass zombie outbreak and consequent attack. This film, however, I feel would bore the life out of a non-Z-film-fan, but would be a good chuckle to fans of zombie genre.
* Mocumentary – a fictitious documentary
** Which could help to explain a few of the people I’ve met, particularly in the work-place and management.

American Zombie (2007) at IMDB

 

28 Weeks Later (2007)

Green Ooze nearing-Yellow Puss

When I saw that a part-2 was coming to 28 Days Later I was beyond excited. Only a few years earlier I saw the original on DVD and with this addition I could exercise my fandom with everyone else … then life happened and I found myself too busy & too broke to catch 28 Weeks Later in theaters.

Now viewing this this film 364 weeks (that’d be 7 years) after the release, I’m finding myself … well, I wouldn’t say that 28WL is a warm-over of 28DL, but I’m finding it bothersome that as many images & details along with elements of Jim & Saleena’s journey were drawn from 28DL. One could argue that someone had 1/2 to 2/3rds of the concept necessary for a part-2 flick and the rest of the script was filler from the original. When you watched Batman Begins, Dark Knight, and Dark Knight Rises, did you notice the identical components between the films? I did, and I made an Excel file tracking them — it’s unbelievable — the 3 films largely work off the same scenes, stunts, etc. When it comes to 28DL and 28WL I am seriously considering making a similar file — it might predict what will bee seen in 28 Years Later.

I liked that the film was set in the after-math of a zombie out-break — I’ve seen films where a population of survivors are holding out, but not during the reconstruction of a society. Overall it isn’t that this film left me wanting more, it left me wanting at least a little better. Without giving a spoiler I will say this for the film, it has a happy ending.

28 Weeks Later (2007) at IMDB
28 Weeks Later (2007) at Wikipedia

A NOTE ABOUT THE “28 Days/Weeks Later” SERIES from BagpiperDon (06September2014)

Sometimes hind-sight sneaks up and stabs you in the back like a grumpy UFO ninja pirate. In this case, I have been holding an inner-debate for the past few weeks as to whether I should include the 28D/WLater series in my inventory. Why?

Simple, I’m not 100% convinced that these are zombie films.

In the 28-series the threat is from rage infected people and my impression is that these people become dead and continue to be animated as a result of the infection; further they are never shown as dead who are reanimated by the virus. Like the films Quarantine and Carriers, the 28D/WL-series are infection films, not zombie films. So why have I left them in my review? For that matter, why are the Evil Dead and Army Of Darkness films in my review, too?

Again, the answer is ‘Simple‘ — I like them, and this is my webpage — I can do what I want.

Maybe as zombie-film fans we need to question, though, “Do zombies have to be dead?” In VooDoo zombieism commonly is about a person who is controlled under the spell of another and during that time they are mindless, but they are not dead. The zombie genre is largely not defined, so perhaps there is room for an infection of some sort to make living people zombies. In other words, so long as people are mindless and functioning, they can be zombies … now zombieism can include office workers, managers, politicians, die-hard pot-heads, and sleep-deprived parents with newborns.

That said …

If you dislike my “It’s my webpage & I can do what I want” attitude, trust me, it’s better than having a grumpy UFO ninja pirate sneak up and stab you in the back … particularly when they have bad breath.