We rented the movie Once the other night and really enjoyed it. Irena suggested we should review it and start a new movie review blog, so here we go! For me, the main reason to do this is not so much for the sake of the readers. There are plenty of half baked opinions out there and adding ours is probably nothing more than an exercise in cosmic futility. Even so, I think getting in the habit of reviewing the movies we see will have value for ourselves, to help us focus our thoughts and to potentially inform our process as we take baby steps towards creating our next film.
In that vein, Once is a movie that really inspires me. It is very simple, shot on cheap digital equipment without movie stars or elaborate locations. It follows a guy in Dublin who meets a young woman while busking on the street. He befriends her and together they make a recording which becomes a catalyst for both of them finding the will to move forward with their lives. There is no sex, no violence and barely even a plot, just genuine characters and great music. It kind of reminds me of another film called Old Joy, which is another small character piece with a very sparse narrative. I liked Old Joy, but Once has much more to offer than that film. The way the lead character (who is never given a name) is powerfully inspired musically and yet mired in the mundane aspects of living one day at a time is a struggle I think most can relate to. We all want to make our mark, whether it is in music, film or urban planning, but "real life" so often takes up all of our time and energy. I found some inspiration in the journey of "the guy" in Once, and I plan to make some changes in 2008 and get out of various ruts. For that, I sincerely thank everyone who made this film and recommend it highly.