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On Camera, Love Blooms Then Withers In "The Swell Season"

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Art imitates life imitates art in a new music documentary now showing at the Tribeca Film Festival. Jon Weinstein filed this report on "The Swell Season."

Swell Season frontman Glen Hansard fell in love with co-star Marketa Irglova while filming the 2006 indie drama "Once." The two won an Academy Award for their song "Falling Slowly," and they went on tour amid the chaos and excitement of newfound international fame.

Now, that heady time is captured in a new film called "The Swell Season," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"Out of the mad success of what had happened, I thought there was some value – certainly on a personal level – in documenting what happens to a person when they sort of get everything that they've wished for," says Hansard. "When you come out of it the perspective's always different, and so what was going on in that moment, in that particular moment, was kind of wild and how we were dealing with it was interesting."

Hansard and Irglova broke up during the tour, and the break-up is captured in heartbreaking detail in the film.

But Hansard says the cameras had very little to do with the collapse of the relationship.

"There was like no part of the thing that was ever acted," he says. "They were just filming. After a while it's incredible how humans adapt. I'm sure that when something is being witnessed it changes everything. Witness changes the nature of things, absolutely. But we were being witnessed all the time at that particular time, so the camera was just invited witness."

The full-time musician and part-time actor says he isn't worried that his personal drama will obscure his music.

"They're so interlinked," Hansard says. "I don't think there's any way to ever separate me and Mar from the music that we made as The Swell Season. I'm very proud of that friendship and that musical relationship, so I don't have any problem with that."

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