Hear Classic 1988 Leonard Cohen Interview: How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns

Shure_mikrofon_55S-700This is an extraordinary interview that includes this quotation that I consider the touchstone of Leonard Cohen’s perspective:

That’s what it’s all about. It says that none of this – you’re not going to be able to work this thing out – you’re not going to be able to set – this realm does not admit to revolution – there’s no solution to this mess. The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say ‘Look, I don’t understand a fucking thing at all – Hallelujah! That’s the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.

The following description is from Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988 at the RTE site:

From the RTÉ archives: Kildare-born novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist and former RTÉ radio producer John MacKenna made two feature programmes in the RTÉ Radio Centre with Leonard Cohen in 1988, entitled ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’. Together, they offer a remarkable insight to Cohen’s life and work. Below, you can listen to them both in full. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Note: A transcript of this broadcast is available at Transcript: 1988 RTE (LeonardCohenFiles)

The first programme ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’ is entitled ‘Isaac to Joan of Arc’ in which Cohen discusses his interest in and attitude to heroic figures in history. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Programme 2 is entitled ‘If I Have Been Untrue’  and considers songs about people in the street. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post “Shure mikrofon 55S” by Holger.EllgaardOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Video: Hunt for the Wilderpeople Features Leonard Cohen Performance Of “The Partisan”

hunt6

The role of Leonard Cohen’s rendition of “The Partisan” in the positively-reviewed Hunt for the Wilderpeople is described in this excerpt from Deep Focus: Hunt for the Wilderpeople by Michael Sragow (Film Comment: June 23, 2016):

We know we’re in good hands from the opening moments, when the New Zealand greenery undulates across the screen while an otherworldly choral chant fills the soundtrack. Even Child Welfare’s Paula seems to tap her pen in counterpoint to the music. The whole movie has an eccentric rhythm because this director is confident enough to let scenes sit and breathe before accelerating his narrative with peppy deadpan montages. In one charged sequence, timed to Leonard Cohen’s “Song of the French Partisan,” Waititi unfolds the action in the cinematic equivalent of a mural. Via some optical and/or digital wizardry, the camera doesn’t stop moving from left to right as we see Hec, Ricky, and Tupac disappear into the snowy forest while bounty hunters, cops, and guardsmen trail them and Paula huffs and scowls eloquently, at different times and without a cut. It’s startling when the paths of heavily armed lawmen and Paula intersect. It’s as if time and space have merged kinetically. [bolding mine]

 

Note: Most of this was previously posted on this site in June. At that time, however, the film clip was not available.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Soundtrack Features Leonard Cohen Performance Of “The Partisan”

hunt6

The role of Leonard Cohen’s rendition of “The Partisan” in the positively-reviewed Hunt for the Wilderpeople is described in this excerpt from Deep Focus: Hunt for the Wilderpeople by Michael Sragow (Film Comment: June 23, 2016):

We know we’re in good hands from the opening moments, when the New Zealand greenery undulates across the screen while an otherworldly choral chant fills the soundtrack. Even Child Welfare’s Paula seems to tap her pen in counterpoint to the music. The whole movie has an eccentric rhythm because this director is confident enough to let scenes sit and breathe before accelerating his narrative with peppy deadpan montages. In one charged sequence, timed to Leonard Cohen’s “Song of the French Partisan,” Waititi unfolds the action in the cinematic equivalent of a mural. Via some optical and/or digital wizardry, the camera doesn’t stop moving from left to right as we see Hec, Ricky, and Tupac disappear into the snowy forest while bounty hunters, cops, and guardsmen trail them and Paula huffs and scowls eloquently, at different times and without a cut. It’s startling when the paths of heavily armed lawmen and Paula intersect. It’s as if time and space have merged kinetically. [bolding mine]

No excerpts from the film that include “The Partisan” are available, but the trailer provides a sense of the film.

Update – 23 September 2016: Video now online

Must-See 2013 Leonard Cohen Video: Partisan Performed In Paris On Anniversary Of Appeal Of June 18

partisanscnsht7mais j’ai tant d’amis;
j’ai la France entie`re

Special Features: Appeal Of June 18 – June 18th, the day of the concert, is the date in 1940 when Général De Gaulle spoke to the French people from London after the fall of France. He declared that the war for France was not yet over, and rallied the country in support of the Resistance. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance. Consequently, the performance of The Partisan had special significance.

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Bercy: June 18, 2013
Visual: clear, steady visual elements featuring full stage views (no closeups). Audio: excellent.
Video by mhlenoir

Note: Originally posted June 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: A Compelling Performance Of The Partisan By Leonard Cohen – Stockholm 2013

partianstokLinda Sturgess directs our attention to yet another outstanding performance of The Partisan.

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Ericsson Globe, Stockholm: Aug 15, 2013
Video by Alf Browén

Note: Originally posted Nov 21, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: A Strong Leonard Cohen Performance Of The Partisan & A Tremendous Audience Response – Paris 2009

cohen-paris-2009 In my search for the Best Online Video Of The Partisan Performed By Leonard Cohen, I somehow overlooked this 2009 Paris performance. The overwhelming audience response alone would warrant posting.

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Bercy, Paris: July 7, 2009
Video by zerockerparis

Credit Due Department:
The photo atop this post was taken by and used with the permission of Patrice Guino of RockerParis.

Note: Originally posted November 19, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric