Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
Autumn 2006 Documentary series
Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 8:00pm
Directed by Lian Lunson
Starring Leonard Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Bono, Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton, Julie Christensen, Kate McGarrigle, Anna McGarrigle
Rated NR ·
Leonard Cohen manages to garner fans from the unlikeliest of places despite his distinctly un-rock-&-roll appearance and a set of songs that veer closer to poetry than to their uneasy bedfellows in the pantheon of popular music. But viewers looking for an in-depth analysis of the man behind some of the most deeply introspective music ever recorded should look elsewhere: Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man contains precious little insight from Cohen himself. Instead, director Lian Lunson has pieced together a warm tribute to the Canadian singer, drawing on the words of his many celebrity fans while also sharing generous amounts of footage from a Cohen tribute concert staged in 2005.
The concert was filmed in Australia, with the bulk of the celebrity testimonials coming from performers at the show. The eclectic array of artists taking part include Nick Cave, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and folk legend Linda Thompson, all of whom perform unique interpretations of Cohen-penned classics such as “I’m Your Man” (Cave) and “Chelsea Hotel #2” (Rufus Wainwright). Lunson intersperses the concert footage with interviews from the stars, the most vocal and effusive praise coming from the Edge and Bono from U2, who are seen backing Cohen on a rendition of “Tower of Song” as the movie closes.
Cohen himself is also given some screen time in which he muses on a number of interesting topics, but Lunson’s piece is mostly designed as a straight tribute to a man who has never sat easily in the contemporary music world, much to the delight of his fans.