Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965)

Donald Brittain,
Don Owen

"Jazzy portrait of the artist as a young poet, it's fascinating to see this glimpse of the pre-pop singer Cohen. Whether he's self-effacing, full of himself, or both is up for debate, and we can't gather much of why he's in the poetry biz besides for the purpose of meeting girls. (There's a wonderful CanCon moment where, on some stereotypical CBC panel discussion program, Pierre Burton grills him on this point, and Cohen refuses to play along)."

"Informal portrait of Leonard Cohen. The film begins with Cohen delivering a comic monologue about his visit to a friend in a Montreal mental hospital. Later he is seen reading poetry to rapt audience and also alone, or relaxing with family and friends, walking the streets of the city, eating in a popular night spot, sleeping in his three-dollar-a-night hotel room, even taking a bath. His poetry readings are principally from "A Spice-box of Earth" and "Flowers for Hitler". A press conference with Cohen and his friend Irving Layton forms a part of the film. Filmed and recorded at various locations in 1964, released in 1965 by the National Film Board of Canada."


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