Talk About A Great Trio: “THE COMMITMENTS”, “ONCE”, AND OSCAR!
This “Cult Movie Monday” celebrates a GREAT film that launched the career of
singer/songwriter Glen Hansard, who returned after years to movie screens and snagged an Oscar!
It’s a great story, so let’s get started!
First, we need to head to Ireland, where Director Alan Parker made a great musical about a group that wanted to help their country discover the blues!
If you want a “feel good” movie that celebrates soul music, this is the one for you!
Alan Parker’s cult musical looks at the tough economic circumstances in late 1980’s Dublin, and a group of young musicians who try to bring soul music to Dublin…
Check out the trailer:
The film has a terrific cast, led by Robert Arkins as “Jimmy Rabbitte”, who won’t let anything slow down his passion for soul music!
Jimmy Rabbitte: “Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud!
So Jimmy places an ad in the local paper to get musicians to audition. His father, played by the great Actor Colm Meaney, doesn’t think the OTHER Dublin band will be too worried about The Commitments…
“Is this the band then? Betcha U2 are shittin’ themselves!”
This movie is full of great musical numbers, like the band’s terrific rendition of “Mustang Sally”:
Perhaps NOT For The Kids!
Here is my favorite bit of “Commitments” trivia: the film runs for 113 minutes. In that time, the word “fuck” is used 145 times!
That said, it’s a very sweet movie – it is just filled with honest dialogue!
Glen Hansard’s Commitment!
A very young Glen Hansard was cast in the film as the shy guitar player. He had a difficult time during filming. A clash early on with Director Alan Parker made it very difficult for him to enjoy the experience. He says it took him almost 20 years before he watched the full film.
Hansard The Busker!
Glen Hansard was born and raised in Dublin, and he quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local streets. “Busking” is the term for street performers in Europe…
He formed his own band The Frames in 1990, and acted in “The Commitments” that same year.
Hansard has stated that he regretted taking the role, because he felt it distracted him from his music career.
In 2006, he released his first album without The Frames, The Swell Season, in collaboration with Czech singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France on cello.
His working relationship with Irglova became a worldwide phenomenon soon after, thanks to his second movie role…
Hansard starred with Irglova in the Irish film “Once”. The film is a modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.
Bob Dylan was such a big fan of the film that he had Hansard and Irglová open for him on part of his world tour.
The film is full of great music, but the best known song was the ballad “Falling Slowly…” After filming the “Falling Slowly” scene in the movie, Glen Hansard jokingly said “and the Oscar for Best Song goes to…”
He proved to be highly prophetic, because, in one of Oscar’s most surprising – but well deserved – upsets, Hansgard and Irglova won the Oscar for the original song “Falling Slowly”, beating out the three songs from the Disney film “Enchanted”…the duo also performed the song live on the show…
The entire soundtrack is terrific, and I own both the movie and the CD – and if you want a great musical double bill, then “The Commitments” and “Once” will do the trick!
Now, it you want a classic 70’s murder mystery, then I have this for you:
“The Last Of Sheila” is a GREAT “whodunnit” – with an all-star cast including Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin, James Coburn and Dyan Cannon – see the trailer and get hooked here:
Let me know if you’ve seen “The Commitments!”
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