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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Leonard Cohen : I'm Your Man Review

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man


Directed by Lian Lunson

Released June 21, 2006

Leonard Cohen is a living legend. He's been a well-known poet in Canada since the late 1950's and emerged musically in the late 1960's in the United States and the rest of the world. His song's lyrics are on par with Bob Dylan's and Bruce Springsteen's and his deep singing voice mesmerize the mind and the soul. Some of his most famous songs include "Suzanne," "I'm Your Man", "First we Take Manhattan", "So Long Marianne" and "Hallelujah".

The movie is a moving tribute to this very shy, very complex, yet very brilliant man. A man who has gained knowledge through hardship, experiences with drugs such as LSD and through toiling at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center under Zen Master Roshi from Japan and becoming a monk in the process.

The tributes to Cohen manifest in a concert that was performed in Australia last year with various singers performing his best-known songs. Performers such as Beth Orton, Rufus Wainright, Nick Cave and U2. U2's performance is of course the best as it is performed with Leonard Cohen singing and is the only time we hear the 73 year old Cohen sing in the movie. The rest of the songs are from the in-concert portion and although some are good (standouts being Jarvis Cocker and Nick Cave. Rufus Wainrights' songs are hit or miss for the large part)

Each of these performers also speaks about Cohen and interspersed some insight into his personal history is given. The film isn't exactly gripping, but it is enjoyable. Especially if you are as fond of Cohen as an artist, man and thinker as I am. What is missing is more historical footage from performances past and of course Cohen either singing in the past or the present. There's just too much reliance on this tribute concert and I feel that this is probably a business decision so that more soundtrack copies are sold.

This is definitely a solid film to watch once it comes around on the Sundance Channel and unless you are like me - a huge fan of Cohen's. There's no need to rush out to the theater to see it.

2 Stars


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