Leonard Cohen (who was only 37 at the time) and his talented crew of musicians? Beginning in Dublin and ending in Jerusalem, the tour, its highlights and discontents are all captured on the fly by documentarian Tony Palmer in a film that proves intimate, inclusive and full of Cohen's music -- which, heard like this and at this point in the artist's career (he had not yet given us Hallelujah, for instance), does register as sometimes repetitive and similar, one song to another. But his lyrics: Ah, these were and are as poetic. elusive and beautiful as ever.
Bob Johnston, taking showers; one band member casually confesses to actually nodding off during a concert; and Cohen himself can sound awfully silly sometimes.
Just like most of us, Cohen, too, could be occasionally full of shit. And as he himself admits during the course of several interviews we're privy to, he was not much of a singer, either. But there's just so much poetry and yearning and caring in those lyrics. And, boy, could the guy turn out some lovely tunes!
Film Forum will play Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire for two weeks, beginning this Wednesday, January 18. Elsewhere? One would hope so. I will try to do some digging -- and post the results as soon as I can discover them.