In this muddled but marvelous blend of documentary and concert film, director Lian Lunson takes you down to a place where it's possible to look closely at the life and art of cult troubadour Leonard Cohen. The Montreal poet had just turned seventy when the Sydney Opera House honored him with this 2005 tribute show. As musical guests cover Cohen songs -- highlights include Rufus Wainwright on "Hallelujah," Nick Cave on "Suzanne," and Beth Orton and Jarvis Cocker on "Death of a Ladies Man" -- the film cuts in interviews with Cohen interpreting his songs and telling of adventures that took him from New York clubs to a Zen monastery on California's Mount Baldy. It's only at the end that Cohen, joined by Bono and the Edge, raises his own voice on "Tower of Song." It's enough to send fans and converts alike to the Cohen library for more of the master himself.
From The Archives Issue 1004: July 13, 2006