Glen Hansard

Aural Fixation - Large

With yesterday’s announcement that tickets for The Hunger Games were officially on sale (and billboards for the films starting to pop up), Mockingjays everywhere rushed to their computers to buy their ticket to finally watch Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Liam Hemsworth (Gale) and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) bring the book series to the big screen. As we get closer to The Hunger Games release, we also got the film’s full soundtrack listing which revealed the artists that would be creating the musical landscape of Panem. Poised to be one of the next huge book-to-screen franchises, scoring a spot on the soundtrack was a coveted position and the artists that made the final track listing do not disappoint. The stripped-down sound of artists like singer/songwriter Glen Hansard (best known as the other half of The Swell Season) and alt-rock band The Decemberists (whose track “One Engine” is already available) are what you would expect from the series about a desolate world in which children are forced to fight each other to the death. But much like Breaking Dawn’s surprising soundtrack listing, The Hunger Games also features unexpected choices like hip-hop’s Kid Cudi and bluegrass from Punch Brothers.

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Early on in the documentary The Swell Season, its subjects sit on the floor of their tour bus and stare at a familiar movie poster, a tweaked one-sheet for the Oscar-winning Once, which cast Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard as modified versions of their real life selves. It’s the same poster that appears throughout the documentary in various forms – on CD covers, on sheets of paper, on signs announcing their tour – yet in this quiet moment, Hansard and Irglova appearing to finally be getting their first good look at it. They kneel over it for a beat, gazing, and then they start listing all of the things that have been changed from the original photograph – Hansard and Irglova’s legs have been lengthened, Hansard’s hat has been removed and his hair has been added on, the colors of their jackets have been changed, the two have been made to look as if they may be holding hands, but Hansard is most struck by a change he can’t quite but his finger on – “they” somehow made him “more handsome.” On the most basic level, The Swell Season is about the difficulty in dealing with a sudden rise to fame, and the strange alienation and disconnect that comes with that – what happens when “they” make you “more handsome.” But as the film charts that sudden rise, it also tracks a converse reaction that relies so much on that first ascent as to be nearly mathematical. That’s a fancy […]

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Marketa Irglova’s acceptance speech, Javier Bardem’s tribute to dear ole mom or Marion Cotillard freaking out. What was your favorite moment?

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