Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 05 September 2011 00:00

'The Swell Season' doesn't feel so swell

'The Swell Season' doesn't feel so swell
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Chris Dapkins, Nick August-Perna, & Carlo Mirabella-Davis
  • Dates: September 9-11, 2011

The Swell Season meanders through the slow unraveling of the fragile relationship it follows over two years. That the couple under scrutiny is Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglova gains the documentary some affection since Glen and Mar achieved a measure of fame after starring in the 2006 independent film Once. In it, they became a couple on and off screen.

But writers/producers/directors Chris Dapkins, Nick August-Perna, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis spend too much time lingering on reaction shots, long pauses in conversations, and unexceptional moments. Still there are some gems in this low-key presentation, especially Glen interacting with his mother and then expressing second thoughts about his comments later. Similarly, concern about his alcoholic father further reveals Glen's deep sensitivity and struggles, a point of contention with Markéta who wants him to just relax.

Mar also emerges as a thoughtful person, though in strained contrast to Glen. She feels uncomfortable with the autograph/photo seekers while Glen's more extroverted personality accommodates such trappings of fame. Given his background and years of commitment to music with relative anonymity, briefly described early in the film, Glen's success is certainly more hard won, and so it matters that he questions it so seriously.

The title The Swell Season comes from the world musical tour Glen and Markéta put together after winning their 2008 Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures for the Original Song "Falling Slowly," among many other film music awards they received. The Academy Award is the one that matters enormously to Glen's mother, who obsesses over it. It's revealing of so much to see how individuals, their friends and relatives handle such success, it just does so quite unhurriedly. This will give viewers time to reflect but risks the boredom I felt at several junctures.

Shot in appealing black-and-white cinematography, The Swell Season is a St. Louis premiere showing at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. from Friday, September 9th through Sunday, September 11th. For more information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to the web at:

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends


CaveofswordS presents the St. Louis Music Video Showcase

CaveofswordS presents the St. Louis Music Video Showcase CaveofswordS presents the St. Louis Music Video Showcase featuring 40 music videos from local bands. The evening will benefit KDHX, an organization that has done so much to support the local music community.


Brunch at the Stage: Cree Rider Acoustic Duo

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


Discovery Series Presents Roll, Jordan, Roll: The Legacy of Louis Jordan, Father...

Author and musician Stephen Koch* takes us on a journey chronicling music innovator Louis Jordan -- known for 50 top ten hits such as "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," "Baby,...

Online Users

2 users and 10427 guests online
Sign in with Facebook


Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook