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Legendary poet, singer/songwriter and alleged ladies man Leonard Cohen is interviewed in his L.A. home about his extraordinary life and times, interspersed with old footage from his private photo collection and lavish praise plus elaborately performed Cohen cover songs from a motley crew of colleague musicians, amongst whom Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker and U2's Bono and The Edge. By way of dessert the latter two and their band mates even get to back up the man for a special performance of his own. Written by
Swie Tio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sometimes, when you no longer see yourself as the hero of your own drama, expecting victory after victory, and you understand deeply that this is not paradise... somehow we're, especially the privileged ones that we are, we somehow embrace the notion that this veil of tears, that it's perfectable, that you're going to get it all straight. I've found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win.
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Performed by Nick Cave
Written by Leonard Cohen
Published by Stranger Music Inc. (BMI) / Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI)
All rights on behalf of Stranger Music Inc. and Sony/ATV Songs LLC are administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing,
8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203 USA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Guess I went into this one with misdirected expectations. I really thought it would be more of a traditional documentary film exploring the true genius and talent of the man. In fact, really all we get are film clips from a 2005 tribute concert in Australia wrapped around some priceless interview moments with Mr. Cohen. It doesn't take much talent to quickly realize the value is with the man, not the cover songs. The question is, why doesn't our rookie filmmaker recognize this? Although into his 70's now, Mr. Cohen remains other-worldly lucid and insightful and his smooth baritone readily spews forth words of wisdom and genius. His observational and oratory skills remain unmatched. The mix of his personal home movies is a nice touch, but oh how I wish we had more of his reminiscing and just talking about his life.
Most of his music is presented by second tier artists. The real stand out is Rufus Wainwright (son and grandson to Loudon I and II). Rufus obviously worships the man and his music and his affection shines through in all three performances, especially "Chelsea Hotel #2" (a kind of tribute to Janis Joplin). Nick Cave probably most accurately captures the Cohen style, but at least half of the songs in the film were performed by women. Quite a contrast to Cohen's own style.
A really magical moment occurs at the end of the film as Leonard performs with the backing of U2. Hard to tell who is more honored at playing with whom. The reverence shown for Cohen's writing is evident throughout the film, but the interview moments are mere teases to what could have been. Make sure to stay for the credits to hear Leonard sing his own song.
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