Tuesday, January 01, 2008

falling slowly

hello, folks, and welcome to 2008. here's hoping it's a better one.

i don't do new year's resolutions (and if i did i wouldn't put them on a blog!), but i do hope to improve some good habits and tone down some bad ones in the oh-eight. it's hard to believe the aughts are nearly over. all that crap about how time speeds up as you get older is absolutely true.

00soul and i had a quiet new year's at home. he made millionaire shrimp (basically just shrimp in a buttery, herb-y, onion-y sauce ... eaten with lots of crusty bread), and we drank champagne. just before midnight we turned on the TV and watched the rerun of the ball dropping in times square. i learned from the times square website that this is actually called a "time-ball," which of course delighted my doctor who-addled brain. (the above historic photo is also from that website.)

before the new year arrived, we watched a DVD of once, a unique irish musical film made by director john carney and starring glen hansard of the frames and a young musician named marketa iglova. it came out last spring and was just released on DVD in december. the story concerns two (fictional) musicians meeting in dublin and bonding over making music. it's romantic, in a way, but more important it's about two people who help each other push beyond serious emotional impasses in their respective lives. in the end, both are happier.

it's very naturalistic and kind of gritty, so at first it was hard to realize it's a musical (except without dancing). but the many songs are performed at length, often in their entirety, and there's an especially charming scene on the bus where he explains his past romantic life to her in impromptu song. plus, the songs convey the underlying emotion they're experiencing as well as moving the "action" (such as it is) along.

the film was sweet and funny and very intriguing. it was tiny and intimate ... shot for, like, $160,000. hansard's mum even sang in it. (here's more on the movie.) many of the tunes were really good (if not exactly my type of thing), with an artful way of getting across those sorts of feelings that are so common, songs about them often degenerate into cliche. i particularly liked "if you want me," a vaguely trip-hop-feeling tune that she sings (and wrote), "falling slowly" (the first tune they do together in the film), and "when your mind's made up." both leads were very charismatic, and it was just a really great film to watch on new year's eve. it was hopeful, and it felt real in this very intense way. reading the wiki entry, i learned that the two leads ended up falling in love (despite big age difference). awwww.

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