Tribeca Video: The Carney Brothers on Zonad


A few year ago, the Irish musical romantic comedy Once became a bonafide phenomenon, and the two musicians who starred in it, collectively known as The Swell Season, found their band breaking out bigger than anyone could possibly imagine in the States. Two years on, that film’s director John Carney has returned to these shores, this time with a feature film he directed with his brother Kieran called Zonad, an idea the two brothers had been kicking around since their early days learning how to be filmmakers.

Essentially, “Zonad” is the name of a spaceman, played by Simon Delaney, who shows up at the small seaside Irish village of Ballymoran wearing a red vinyl outfit and is immediately made a welcomed guest by the Cassidy family, though he has his sights set on their flowering eldest daughter Jenny (played by Janice Byrne), much to the chagrin of her boyfriend Guy (Rory Keenan). Zonad isn’t exactly what he seems though, but he learns that the people of the village are easy to dupe into getting whatever he wants… until another spaceman shows up.

The movie starts out almost like a Mel Brooks-like spoof of those cheesy B-movie sci-fi flicks of the ’50s and ’60s movies, before devolving into something raunchier closer to the Farrelly Brothers, mixing humor and heart. Like with Once, the movie features many faces and names that will be unfamiliar to Americans who may not have seen the Carneys’ Irish television work, including a number of hilarious breakout performances, not only with Delaney but also Byrne and Keenan, who are both very funny taking on their respective archetypes.

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:

Zonad had its U.S. Premiere this past weekend at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival to interesting results – some people got the joke and loved it; others didn’t. has an exclusive video interview with the filmmaking brothers and some of the things we discussed include:

* The history and origins of the project
* What the original idea was that led to Zonad
* How they found Simon Delaney to play Zonad
* How they developed the character with Delaney
* Getting the younger members of the cast into the tone of those ’50s sci-fi movies
* We talk to John about the “Once” phenomenon
and much, much more!

Zonad doesn’t have distribution yet, but if you’re in New York, you can catch one of the last two screenings, Thursday April 29 at 10:30 PM and Saturday, May 1 at 11:30 PM, both at the Village East Cinemas. You can get tickets on the official site.