Leonard Cohen: In His Own Words.
November 7th Trinty Hall
#LSN_Arts November 7, 2017 marks the first anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s passing.
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO November 1, 2017 (LSN) Event organized to commemorate the passing of Leonard Cohen will feature a free screening of a documentary, Leonard Cohen: In His Own Words.
The screening of the film will be followed by a Q&A/discussion session.
The event will take place on November 7, 2017, at 7PM, in the Trinity United Hall, 310 Park Avenue (across from the Armoury).
Release Notes Leonard Cohen: In His Own Words
I first heard Leonard Cohen’s music back home, in Yugoslavia, in 1985. I was listening to a very popular Saturday afternoon radio-program, Šarada akustika. They played three songs from Cohen’s then new album, Various Positions. If my memory serves me right, the songs were “The Law”, “Night Comes On”, and “Hallelujah”. I remember being very taken by the music. It was the point of no return. I’ve been listening to Leonard Cohen and reading his work ever since.
I moved to Canada in the summer of 1991. There was something special about reading Leonard Cohen’s first novel, The Favourite Game, in Montreal, and recognizing the book’s local references and landscapes. Towards the end of 1992, Leonard released his ninth album, The Future. I embraced it wholeheartedly. Sometime in 1993 he gave a concert at the Montreal Forum. I could not afford to attend it. When it turned out that the Future tour was Cohen’s last, I deeply regretted having missed my chance to see and hear Leonard performing. I thought that the chance would never come back again.
In 2008, it was announced that Leonard Cohen would embark on a worldwide tour for the first time in 15 years. The principal reason for it was ‘financial inconvenience’ that forced him out of retirement. He ended up staying on the road for most of the next five years and—by the time the Old Ideas tour ended in the summer of 2013—performing 387 concerts. I did my best to see him as often as I could: my very first Leonard Cohen concert was in June of 2008, at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, in Toronto; the last one was on April 7, 2013, at the Radio City Music Hall, in New York. Between these two, there were 23 more—in Canada, United States, and Europe. Every single one was beyond memorable.
Late in the evening of November 11, 2016 I received a text from a friend, expressing condolences for Leonard Cohen’s passing. I was shocked by the news. As I was working through what felt like a deeply personal loss, I began to think about the possible ways of capturing and communicating why Leonard Cohen mattered—and still matters—so much to me. The video project, Leonard Cohen: In His Own Words, became my attempt to convey this.
The idea behind the project was to bring together Leonard’s thoughts on some of the key themes that run through his work and shed light on his, so to speak, philosophy on life (and death). I settled on six themes: growing up, writing, love, monastic life, human condition, and the third act. In focusing on these, and mining them through numerous interviews given over the course of five decades, I hoped to reveal the Leonard Cohen that has been with me, as an important part of my life, since that Saturday afternoon in 1985.
I wanted to create the project that can work as a multi-format, and—whether watched, listened to, or (if it was to be transcribed) read—provide an introspective insight into Leonard’s thoughts with the same kind of immediacy and efficacy. For this reason, there are no “extras”—background story, music, or voiceover—but only Leonard Cohen, in his own words.