Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man

Director: Lian Lunson

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


If you've ever been a Leonard Cohen fan, Lian Lunson's movie will be irresistible. If you've never listened to Leonard Cohen, you will be struck by something ineffable, sensual, and deeply truthful in his music and person. A riveting tribute concert and artful biopic combined, Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man is an exquisitely drawn, revelatory portrait of a songwriter, poet, and philosopher who has long been out of the public eye. Soulful interviews become lyrical memoirs in and of themselves as Cohen generously shares anecdotes from his life (the Chelsea Hotel scene, tea and oranges with the real Suzanne) and humbly reflects on elusive big ideas like love and destiny. Perhaps most arresting is his mellifluous, breathtaking use of conversational language. Here, as in his songs, syntax, cadence, and voice tap into something both mystical and deeply grounded, at once dark and beautiful, as if sadness and joy flowed from the same well. As The Edge (of U2 fame) puts it, he "comes down from the mountaintop with the tablets of stone."

Woven throughout are evocative performances of Cohen's repertoire by illustrious crooning admirers, including Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Beth Orton, and the McGarrigle Sisters; the film's surprise musical finale is well worth waiting for. These inspired interpretations, along with thoughtful testimonials by artists like Bono, attest to the powerful influence and resonance of the creative force—and the self-deprecating, sly, funny, searching human being—that is Leonard Cohen.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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