Sunday, November 4, 2007

Manufactured Hand-Holding.

As I mentioned previously, I am enamored of the fine motion picture Once, and as such I've been intermittently visiting a particular online retailer to determine when this musical masterpiece will be available on DVD, or, as we say in the business, "DVD."

It's been awhile, but I finally discovered that the movie is scheduled to release on December 18, just four days after my birthday (but still in plenty of time for Christmas!). So I got all this information off my local online retailer's website, which, coincidentally, featured a still image of the DVD's cover, which caused me to simultaneously chuckle and sigh (or "chigh," if you will [which is not the same as this]).

I chuckled because studios are never subtle in their DVD packaging and have been known to misrepresent the content of a movie with a cover that told a different story than the one told in the actual picture. But I sighed because this cover (spoiler!) ruins part of the mystique of Once, suggesting romance when there was none...that we know of.

Compare the DVD cover (the first image) with the original movie poster (the second image) and you'll (hopefully) see what I mean.

In the DVD cover, we have the man and the woman in the same image from the poster, but lightened considerably. The dingy background of downtown Dublin now shines like a Hollywoodized Paris, France. Even Glen Hansard's jeans have been made bluer and fresher, as if he just pulled them out of the dryer after a rinse with Tide with Bleach. Notice also that Glen's gig bag has been replaced with something smaller, as if he's toting around a banjo in that thing.

But these things are minor quibbles. In the DVD image, Glen and co-star Marketa Irglova have been moved together and slightly jostled to suddenly appear as if they're holding hands. Ye gods! The (spoiler) whole point of the movie is that these two characters collide in a way where they might be in love, but never say it or act on it in any visible way! This is what makes Once such a treat to begin with, this complete denial of the formulaic story we expected.

Still, pointless Photoshop work aside, it is a fine film that I cannot recommend enough. Do yourself a favor and check it out, though I feel obligated to warn you that, since it takes place in Ireland, with Irish characters portrayed by Irish people, it does have copious amounts of swearing. They use the F-word like we say "extra cheese" in the States.

Boy, this post really fizzled out toward the end there, didn't it? Sorry--it's been awhile since I picked this "blog" thing back up.