Starring Leonard Cohen, Bono, The Edge, Nick Cave, Martha Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton. Directed by Lian Lunson. (2005, 105 min).
Confession time...while I've heard of Leonard Cohen, aside from "Hallelujah" and a few twisted tunes that appeared in Natural Born Killers, I know almost nothing about him or his music. A lot of my friends, mostly those whose tastes are slightly left of the mainstream, mourned his recent passing. For them, this documentary (posthumously released on Blu-Ray) will serve as a bittersweet tribute. For others, a chance to sate their curiosity.
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man is a 2005 film partially consisting of interviews with Cohen himself and musicians - both renowned and obscure - who were influenced by him. Cohen himself comes across as worldly, soft-spoken and charming as he discusses how his life and religious upbringing influenced his lyrics and poetry.
|"Damn...forgot the words again."|
Interspersed throughout is footage from a recent tribute concert featuring various artists such as Nick Cave and Rufus Wainwright. Personally, I think including the performances was a mistake. Director Lian Lunson obviously has a lot of respect for his subject, but this would have been a better viewing (and learning) experience if it had focused exclusively on Cohen himself and saved the concert material for a separate project (perhaps a bonus supplement on this disc).
Still, even though Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man didn't inspire me to rush out and buy one of his records, I do have some new-found respect for his work and talent. Since Cohen was never what one would consider a "popular" artist, I imagine there's currently a lot of other folks curious about this reclusive songwriter who's so frequently name-dropped. And it probably goes without saying this disc is a must-own for fans.
FEATURETTE: "A CONVERSATION WITH LEONARD COHEN"
AUDIO COMMENTARY BY THE DIRECTOR
4 PERFORMANCES FROM THE SAME TRIBUTE CONCERT
NOT BAD...LIKE CAT CHOW