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Movie Review: The Swell Season

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Mike Finkelstein is a huge fan of ONCE.  He has been falling slowly ever since 2006, and he wanted to get a peek into the world of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.  He got his wish.  Here is his review of “The Swell Season.”

PLOT: THE SWELL SEASON follows Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, stars of the cult music classic, ONCE, for three years on tour after winning Oscars for their little movie that could.  Watch as the two travel the world, and get an intimate glimpse into their relationship and personal life, and what fame really means to each.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW:  Back in 2006, ONCE was the little music movie that could.  A simple story about a busker and an immigrant, its songs and effortless love story won the hearts of millions.  Most importantly, it introduced the world to Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and on a certain level, introduced Glen and Markéta to each other.

As audiences found out soon after their Oscar win, despite knowing each other for years, it was Hansard and Irglová’s recent musical collaborations that brought them together, and the filming of ONCE that helped them fall in love.  To hear that there was a real love story behind a beautiful fictional one was just the icing on the cake of a cinematic moment already sweet, but as many people point out at the end of romance film…what happens next?  Are the two really soul mates or torn apart by real life?

That is where THE SWELL SEASON comes in.  A documentary spanning three years on the road in the lives of Hansard and Irglová, it is the closest sequel to ONCE that any fan could ask for.  We see the traditions and customs of a couple and group brought together by a bus and hundreds of concert halls, as well as personal one-on-one interviews with Hansard, Irglová, and their families.  Shot beautifully in black and white with a bold truthfulness that is a breath of fresh air in a world known for reality-television, THE SWELL SEASON shows us that while the fame, fortune and music may seem like a fairy tale to an outsider, real life can make even the sweetest dreams come true a stressful experience.

The conflict of THE SWELL SEASON (also the name of the band itself), lies on the constant feeling that “the grass is greener”.  For Irglová, who was barely 20 when ONCE took off, this entire experience is like being shot from a catapult.  She has loved Hansard since she was a little girl, and wants to be with him, but can’t stand the constant attention or being swarmed at 7:00 am and forced to take pictures with fans.  She is the same as you and I, and wishes that it could just be that simple.

Then, there is Hansard.  For the 37-year-old, who has been busking for years, you could say this is more like a long delayed flight leaving the airport.  He has finally made it, he loves to play his music to thousands and he greets all his fans with open arms.   Yet as he slowly grows tired of Irglová’s resistance, and his parents (who have their own personal issues, both health and relationship wise) constantly praise him and love that their child has an Oscar, he starts to wonder what all of this fame is really worth and what the achievement truly is.

What Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis do so well is that they do not make these underlying tensions the main focus.  Instead, they are equally balanced with the same type of honest moments of love and intimacy that made ONCE such a cherished piece of film.  Within the first few minutes, Irglová is giving Hansard a haircut as he smiles and jokes, “It’s a great life we have, isn’t it?” Another few minutes in, and the two are at the beach, playfully running naked into the ocean.  You can’t help but smile at their childlike playfulness, and the filmmakers have no problem giving the audiences a few other sweet diversions and peeks that only fame can offer: a post gig jamming session, a tour-bus party, and many others.

If you were a fan of ONCE, then you will adore THE SWELL SEASON.  Based in reality, it has the same tenderness and innocence as its predecessor, except this time, we have the added bonus of knowing it’s all true.  For fans of Hansard and Irglová, they already recognize that the ending may not be as Hollywood perfect, yet seeing something crumble is not the point of this documentary.  ONCE left us with a hope of true love and a beautiful life, and THE SWELL SEASON leave us with that same sense of hope.  Because, as Irglová said, “Fair play to those who dare to dream”.

GRADE: B+

Mike’s LIKES:

1) A BEAUTIFUL SEQUEL: THE SWELL SEASON plays as almost a sequel to ONCE, the movie that made Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová stars.  You are still in love with the characters, except this time, they are real.  A beautiful continuation into reality, and something that lets you feel like you have even more closure on the two and their lives.

Mike’s DISLIKES:
1) FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF NEWCOMERS: While this film is great as a stand-alone music documentary, I would definitely still suggest any viewers to check out ONCE first.  I don’t know how they would feel going into it without knowing the backstory, but again, this is coming from someone who has seen ONCE many times before.

EXTRA FACTS:
1) Filmed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Glen Hansard’s teacher from a class in the New York Film Academy.  Hansard invited him to come with the band on tour and chronicle their lives.
2) ONCE cost $160,000 to make.  It made over $20 Million worldwide.

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst

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Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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Priest Accidentally Forgets To Turn Off Filters Before Live Streaming Mass

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The internet is having a field day with the innocent mistake of biblical proportions.

With new social distancing guidelines, many churches have closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while that doesn’t justify all the wine you’ve been chugging during your self quarantine, it does have many people practicing their faith from their homes. One Italian priest was just trying to recite a little prayer for his followers when he accidentally left a filter feature on during the broadcast! In the clip the priest is digitally adorned with a space helmet, workout gear, a fedora and sunglasses and more.

Social media went nuts for the video, which has now gone viral. One comment reads “He just doubled his holy power.” Another reads “Father, Son and Holy Influencer.” One commenter couldn’t resist a good pun and said the video is having a “Mass effect.”

Enjoy your daily blessing and take a look at the funny video below!

 

Priest in Italy live streams mass, activates filters by mistake from r/funny

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Danny DeVito Passionately Urges New Yorkers To Stay Home…And Twitter Agrees!

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For the love of Danny DeVito, stay home!

The world is in a dark place right now and I am not sure how much more bad news we can handle. That’s why when I saw Danny DeVito’s name trending on Twitter I froze. Our great nation could very well crumble if anything bad was to happen to such an icon right now. With extreme trepidation I clicked on the social media link and was relieved to see that good ol’ Danny boy is just strumming up hype because he is passionately urging New Yorkers to stay home.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been driving New Yorkers to stay home and has taken every precaution short of shutting the state down completely to help prevent the virus from spreading. Because New Yorkers can be hard headed, it doesn’t hurt to have some famous friends reiterate your message. Big names like Lala Anthony, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller have all made appearances on Cuomo’s social media pleading with New Yorker’s to heed the governors warning. Only one celebrity was able to make it to Twitter’s trending page however and that was none other than Danny DeVito. DeVito’s message is simple…stay home! In the two minute video, DeVito reminds fans that it’s not just up to the elderly to isolate themselves. “Young people can get it and they can transmit it to old people and the next thing you know – I’m out of there” says the actor. We must save him!

Twitter went into a frenzy with many users agreeing that we need to stay home for Danny. One user wrote “When Danny speaks, I listen.” Another passionately wrote “If you idiots kill Danny DeVito I SWEAR TO GOD.” One promoted DeVito from the icon status I previously awarded him and said “WE GOTTA PROTECT WORLD TREASURE DANNY DeVITO.” 

Take a look at the video below and for the love of the newly minted national treasure, stay home!

 

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