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Monday 18 December 2017

Once upon a time: intimate film charts Glen's love split

ROMANCE: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Dublin in 2008. Photo: David Conachy
ROMANCE: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Dublin in 2008. Photo: David Conachy
Jerome Reilly

Jerome Reilly

For a brief moment they were Hollywood's golden couple but commercial success eventually drove musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova apart -- at least romantically.

A revealing new documentary follows the couple from the moment they won the Best Song Oscar for Falling Slowly, taken from the musical romance Once, in which they both starred.

The intimate portrait of Hansard, who was once a Grafton Street busker, and the Czech-born Irglova has already received a rave review in the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper describes the black and white documentary "as an incisive cut at fame's effect on the real-life music and romance of Hansard and Irglova".

Filmmakers Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis (who once taught Hansard filmmaking in New York and became a friend) were given almost unlimited access to the couple for nearly three years.

The result is The Swell Season, named after the band featuring Hansard and Irglova which went on an epic tour across the US after they won the Oscar.

While the couple enjoyed artistic and commercial success, the pressures began to take their toll.

The romantic relationship which began during filming of Once died after two years.

In an interview at that time Hansard said: "It did become a real relationship. I think it was just a very natural part of what we were doing together.

"We had made the film. We had gone through so much with the Oscar. Of course we fell into each other's arms.

"It was a very necessary part of our friendship but I think we both concluded that that wasn't what we really wanted to do. So we're not together now. We are just really good friends."

Sunday Independent

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