“Bird on a Wire” is a time capsule of a specific period in Cohen’s career. But it also neatly illustrates the singer’s personality in an accessible and compelling way. It’s that rare concert doc that isn’t for established fans only. Viewers may feel like they’ve been thrown into the deep end with Cohen and/or may not be immediately won over by rousing live versions of Cohen’s (by-now) famous standards. But there’s a lot of shrewd observations about Cohen spread throughout a lightning-quick 105-minute runtime. When you see Cohen try (and fail) to sing to his Jerusalem audience, you’re seeing the artist struggling to stay on the ground. These aren’t just performances for Cohen, they’re his way of reconnecting with his art and self. It’s a personal ritual, and that makes “Bird on a Wire” an essential part of Cohen’s legacy.
From Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire Review by Simon Abrams (RogerEbert.com: January 18, 2017). This is one of the few articles about this film that considers its cinematology and reviews it as a movie rather than focus on the story of the loss and recovery of the documentary. Recommended reading.
Credit Due Department: Graphic atop this post contributed by Dominique BOILE.