Daily Dojo

Not Just Once, But Again and Again and Again

So the Samurai Lady and I finally were able to watch the film ONCE.

Blown away. It’s awesome. Truly.

It’s my favorite film of 2007, even though I saw it last Saturday on DVD. We would have seen in the theatre, but the Samurai Lady has always had a bit of difficulty with the Irish accent in terms of comprehension (and recall, I used to live in Woodside with a few Irish roommates, and when she’d visit me she’d sit and have a conversation and not understand most of what was said, heh-heh) so we waited for DVD so that we could add subtitles for her benefit.

But I’ve digressed. We finally saw it.

So I’ve seen it, I loved it, I will see it again, and you should to. I also just purchased the soundtrack. It’s kickass.

I loved the story, too. I mean, like a lot of great stories it seems simple on the surface but one you get beneath it, it’s actually roiling with complexity and unpredictability. I’m gonna share some of my thoughts on it without giving too much away.

An Irish Busker (street musician) meets a Czech cleaning woman, known only as Guy and Girl, and connect through their love of music. But in the beginning, he’s brushing her off, she asks why he only sings original songs at night and he pushes her away.

Here she actually convinces him to share one of his original songs with her, during a lunch hour in a music store.

It’s something, ain’t it?

Throughout the whole film, while they connect with an amazing chemistry through music, connecting on a personal level is extremely hard for them. In fact, when Girl asks about his ex-girlfriend, he makes up a song on the spot about it rather than speak.

In terms of story, there are so many wonderful twists and turns that are so different from what we see in a lot of contemporary films in America, for me, and of course the ending, which may catch folks by surprise a bit.

But it works, and what comes out are two real people who are far from simple and faced with far from simple choices and responsibilities. And two people who keep bumping into each other’s invisible barriers, knowing it and not talking about it because it’s too painful. And it’s hard not to bump into said barriers when engaged in a craft that opens you up.

Because the film is also about, well, artists in pursuit of their craft, and it’s portrayed in a sincere and honest way. About two people who happened upon one another by happenstance and then inspired each other.

More fun music and images from the film - the first one may be my favorite sequence from the film. In spite of the odds, Guy and Girl scrape money enough together to get into a studio to make a demo:

And you may think you know what happens after that, but I guarantee you, you don’t.

Fun bit of trivia, here. Most characters in this film don’t have names, but they named the drummer TIMMY just because, well, they were too busy during filming to watch television and they were all jonesin’ for SOUTH PARK. Hence, the drummer kept getting called “TIMMY!”

Another sequence, explaining a bit of GUY’S pain. He writes a song while watching videos of he and his ex.

Okay, okay. Enough gushing, I guess. Just get the DVD and watch the damn thing, will you?

But before I go, here they are on Letterman -

2 Responses to “ Not Just Once, But Again and Again and Again”

  1. Christina Says:

    I totally agree with your opinion - it was my favorite film of 2007. Juno is a super movie, but Once is better. You can get the screenplay on the Fox Searchlight website. It’s only like 65 pages - I don’t think the songs are included. http://www.foxsearchlight.com/awards/

  2. Jennifer Gordon Thomas Says:

    my favorite movie of the year as well. perfect and beautiful….i just got it on netflix the other night but saw it when it came out in august. i left the theatre crying and i cried the other night as well.
    P.S. happy belated and congrats on the reading of the new piece!

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