Monk, ladies’ man, writer... Who is Leonard Cohen? Gravel-voiced grumpus to some, godhead of song to others. Lian Lunson’s documentary digs under the skin of the legendary singer, mixing interviews with Cohen and famous fans with scenes from a joyous tribute concert. So, Nick Cave sleazes deliciously through ‘I’m Your Man’ and recalls feeling like “the coolest person” for listening to Cohen as a boy, Rufus Wainwright complements Len’s suits and camps up ‘Everybody Knows’, while U2’s chief windbag Bono offers humble eulogies to Cohen’s meticulous craftsmanship.
Cohen himself is modest and wry: he calls his novel Beautiful Losers “more of a sunstroke than a book”, agonises over turning a blowjob from Janis Joplin into song on ‘Chelsea Hotel No 2’ and talks about art and beauty like a Zen master. It’s a warm, touching portrait of a genius – and long overdue. Hallelujah.
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