Posts Tagged ‘John Carney’

Metro: Sing Street hits right note with actor Ferdia Walsh-Peelo

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 12.54.53 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Pete Townshend, guitar god of The Who, says he learned to play guitar and started a band for two reasons:

A: His nose. B. To meet girls.

About his nose he said, “It was huge. It was the reason I played guitar.” He also noted that bands (even band-members with large noses) “always got the best girls.”

“It is definitely one of the things that inspires lads to play music,” agrees Sing Street star Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.

Ask most male musicians why they joined a band and 99 out of 100 will tell you it was for one very simple reason, to meet women. Art, money and fame are often far distant second place to the lure of the opposite sex. Such is the case with Conor (Walsh-Peelo) a fifteen-year-old school by with a crush on Raphina (Lucy Boynton) in Sing Street, the new musical romance from Once director John Carney that plays like a spiritual cousin to The Commitments.

“I think that is the thing that gets Conor started and gets people started pop music,” he says. “Then you form the band and you find refuge in the music. It becomes more than just getting the girl. It’s actually a way of coping when things are crap.

“I didn’t have a great time in school and I went through all these similar kind of phases [as Conor]. I remember seeing [the John Lennon biopic] Nowhere Boy and me and this other guy at school bought leather jackets, gelled our hair back and went into school. Bringing combs with us and doing our hair like in Grease. Looking like complete twats running around town just doing mad stuff. It’s all part of the process. Finding yourself and finding your voice.”

Born and reared just thirty minutes outside Dublin in in County Wicklow, in the film the young actor is the perfect picture of an 80s rock star, despite knowing next to nothing about the decade or the music when he signed on to play Conor.

“It was a huge learning curve,” he says. “I hadn’t reached that point where I was diving into 80s music. I suppose I was up to the late Sixties. When I went into Sing Street I was playing bands and we were still in that place. I was listening to loads of country, music from Tennessee, skiffle music, bluegrass. I had been experimenting with loads of different kinds of music and I got into the 80s stuff when we shot the movie.

“It took me a while but then I got into it after watching a million ridiculous 80s videos. I just got it,” he says. “They just weren’t taking themselves seriously at all. It was just that kind of era. It was all just mad, wasn’t it? There was loads of horrendous stuff around at that time but there were a few gems. Hall and Oates are absolute gems of the pop stuff.”

The musician-turned-actor also singles out The Cure and The Talking Heads as great stuff,” but says his heart lies in folk music.

“Folk music is always where it’s been at for me. I played skiffle music with bands for the craic (fun) of it but when I came back, in my room I’d be listening to Joni Mitchell.”

RICHARD’S “CANADA AM” REVIEWS FOR APRIL 22 WITH MARCI IEN.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.22.06 AMRichard and “Canada AM” host Marci Ien talk about the weekend’s big releases, the pomp and circumstance of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” the Tom Hanks dramedy “A Hologram for The King,” Sally Field in “Hello, My Name is Doris” and the sexy sax sounds of “The Devil’s Horn.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

SING STREET: 4 STARS. “a story that is as joyful as it is tuneful.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.07.05 PMAsk any male musician why they joined a band and 99 out of 100 will tell you it was for one very simple reason. To meet girls. Art, money and fame are often far distant second place to the lure of the opposite sex. Such is the case with Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) a fifteen-year-old school by with a crush on Raphina (Lucy Boynton) in the new musical romance “Sing Street” from director John Carney.

Fuelled by jittery new wave music, this Dublin set coming-of-age story is a crowd pleaser. The year is 1985 and Conor is a fifteen-year-old student at Synge Street Catholic School. Leaving the tyrannical Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley) behind one day he lays eyes on Raphina, a teen dream with a perm and aspirations to be a model in London.

In a clumsy attempt to impress her he asks if she’d like to perform in his band’s new video. Trouble is, he doesn’t have a band. Not yet, anyway. Enlisting manager Darren (Ben Carolan) and musicians Eammon (Mark McKenna), Ngig (Percy Chamburuka) among others, he forms a band, writes songs and works to win Raphina’s heart. ‘

With the help of his older brother, stoner Brendan (Jack Reynor), who tells him, “Rock and roll is a risk… you risk being ridiculed,” Conor changes his name to Cosmo and slowly finds his sound. The songs are crafted from his experience—his mom and dad’s martial troubles, the prissy priest who torments him and, of course, his lady love in “The Riddle of the Model”—and are catchy enough to impress audiences and maybe even Raphina.

Call “Sting Street” a neo “The Commitments” if you like—the two have much in a common, a strong soundtrack, a scrappy Dublin setting, a charming cast of unknowns—but the story of music’s power to change and uplift lives is a potent one. Director John Carney says the story is partially autobiographical and his personal touch elevates what could have been a run-of-the-mill rite-of-passage/dream girl story. Walsh-Peelo and Boynton are appealing central characters (even if the other band members are underwritten) but it is the music that binds it all together. Like Carney’s other films, “Once” and “Begin Again,” the tunes and Carney’s deft handling of them, work as more than just a soundtrack. They are the lifeblood of his stories, the thing that makes them special.

In one bravura fantasy sequence Cosmo imagines his video for “Drive It Like You Stole It” as an elaborate restaging of the prom scene in “Back to the Future,” complete with choreography and 1950s costumes. Instead of simply being a flash set piece, Carney works in all of Conor’s issues into the visuals, entertaining the eye and furthering the story.

There isn’t a cynical bone in “Sing Street’s” body. It celebrates risk taking and underdogs in a story that is as joyful as it is tuneful.

Metro Canada: Irish up-and-comer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 12.54.53 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Pete Townshend, guitar god of The Who, says he learned to play guitar and started a band for two reasons:

A: His nose. B. To meet girls.

About his nose he said, “It was huge. It was the reason I played guitar.” He also noted that bands (even band-members with large noses) “always got the best girls.”

“It is definitely one of the things that inspires lads to play music,” agrees Sing Street star Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.

Ask most male musicians why they joined a band and 99 out of 100 will tell you it was for one very simple reason, to meet women. Art, money and fame are often far distant second place to the lure of the opposite sex. Such is the case with Conor (Walsh-Peelo) a fifteen-year-old school by with a crush on Raphina (Lucy Boynton) in Sing Street, the new musical romance from Once director John Carney that plays like a spiritual cousin to The Commitments.

“I think that is the thing that gets Conor started and gets people started pop music,” he says. “Then you form the band and you find refuge in the music. It becomes more than just getting the girl. It’s actually a way of coping when things are crap.

“I didn’t have a great time in school and I went through all these similar kind of phases [as Conor]. I remember seeing [the John Lennon biopic] Nowhere Boy and me and this other guy at school bought leather jackets, gelled our hair back and went into school. Bringing combs with us and doing our hair like in Grease. Looking like complete twats running around town just doing mad stuff. It’s all part of the process. Finding yourself and finding your voice.”

Born and reared just thirty minutes outside Dublin in in County Wicklow, in the film the young actor is the perfect picture of an 80s rock star, despite knowing next to nothing about the decade or the music when he signed on to play Conor.

“It was a huge learning curve,” he says. “I hadn’t reached that point where I was diving into 80s music. I suppose I was up to the late Sixties. When I went into Sing Street I was playing bands and we were still in that place. I was listening to loads of country, music from Tennessee, skiffle music, bluegrass. I had been experimenting with loads of different kinds of music and I got into the 80s stuff when we shot the movie.

“It took me a while but then I got into it after watching a million ridiculous 80s videos. I just got it,” he says. “They just weren’t taking themselves seriously at all. It was just that kind of era. It was all just mad, wasn’t it? There was loads of horrendous stuff around at that time but there were a few gems. Hall and Oates are absolute gems of the pop stuff.”

The musician-turned-actor also singles out The Cure and The Talking Heads as great stuff,” but says his heart lies in folk music.

“Folk music is always where it’s been at for me. I played skiffle music with bands for the craic (fun) of it but when I came back, in my room I’d be listening to Joni Mitchell.”

RICHARD’S CP42 WEEKEND REVIEWS OF “DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES”!

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.35.46 PM“CP24” film critic Richard Crouse shares his reviews for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Begin Again’!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S REVIEWS FOR JUNE 27, 2014 W “CANADA AM” HOST BEN MULRONEY.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 11.39.37 AM“Canada AM” film critic Richard Crouse shares his reviews for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, ‘Begin Again’ and ‘Life Itself.’

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

 

 

The ape head made quite a splash on his visit to “Canada AM.” Here are some photos of his limo ride and make-up session!

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BEGIN AGAIN: 4 STARS. “director Carney pulls it off with panache.”

rs_560x415-140328181340-1024.Begin-Again-Adam-Levine-Keira-Knightley.ms.032814_copyNear the end of “Begin Again,” the new musical romance from “Once” director John Carney, record producer Dan (Mark Ruffalo) instructs a guitar player, who is also his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), to “keep it simple.” It seems director Carney took the advice as well, using the KISS principle—Keep It Simple Stupid—in the telling of this uncluttered story of redemption and pop songs.

When we first meet Dan he’s having a bad day. His estranged daughter is mouthing off to him, he gets fired from the label he helped create and even his car breaks down. The day—by this time it’s night, actually—improves when he stumbles into a bar to drink his blues away and hears Gretta (Keira Knightley) singing a sad song from the stage. In his mind’s eye he hears a hit, a song that could make her a star and give him another shot at relevancy.

Before he can begin again, however, he must help Gretta get over her ex-boyfriend, up-and-coming rock star Dave Kohl (Adam Levine)—he’s the kind of guy whose voicemail says, “It’s Dave. I’m probably doing something awesome so I won’t get back to you… ever.”—and her distrust of the trappings of fame.

“Begin Again” is as much about the love of music and it’s ability to heal as it is about the various relationships it essays. Carney is covering familiar ground here. His film “Once” breathed the same air, but it’s rarefied air, and he pulls it off with panache.

For instance, Gretta and Dan bond over a shared iPod filled with their favorite songs. Taken by the music they have a “we have to dance right now” moment, but it’s done with a twist when they go to a club and dance to their own music courtesy of their iPod earphones while everyone around them literally dances to the beat of a different drummer.

Ruffalo brings considerable passion to the role of Dan, an “I’ve-been-down-so-long it’s-looking-up-to-me” kind of guy. He’s a walking cliché, a record man who got eaten up by the business and a rough personal life, but Ruffalo gives him a soulfulness that’s very winning.

Knightley looks like an undiscovered indie darling, bringing a delicate but steely sensibility to her performance and the songs that help tell the story.

“The Voice” alum Levine and CeeLo Green (as a successful musician who owes Dan a favor or two) lend some music industry cred to their roles, but the heavy lifting, acting wise, is done by Ruffalo and Knightley.

“Begin Again” is a self contained story with a beginning, middle and satisfying end, but sets itself up for a sequel in the subtlest of ways. Dan comes up with the usual idea of recording Gretta’s album outdoors to get a real taste of New York in the grooves. After successfully setting up under the Brooklyn Bridge and in Central Park, Gretta suggests they could expand their horizons and make records on the streets of several other European cities. I’m not sure if that’s enough to build a franchise around, but I’d sure like to spend some more time with these characters.