Video: Leonard Cohen’s Spoken Version Of Democracy Featured In Mr. Robot Season 3 Trailer

“The marriage between scene and lyric in the teaser is shockingly open”

The minutelong teaser features skin-crawling imagery of chaos and disorder on the streets, all scored with a haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy.”

While the series often shrouds itself in secrecy… the marriage between scene and lyric in the teaser is shockingly open. “It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,” Cohen’s lyrics tell us as we see an unhinged Darlene (Carly Chaikin) walking through the streets of New York. “The holy places where the races meet,” the song continues, as Elliot (Rami Malek) strides through a subway station toward the train bound for Coney Island, the place where fsociety hangs its proverbial top hat.

On and on the commonalities between song and scene go as Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom) chugs a bottle of alcohol to embody his “spiritual thirst,” as protestors who are “neither left nor right” scuffle with law-enforcement officials and as tears pour down a surprisingly “sentimental” Darlene’s face. The trailer also offers yet another look at Irving, the new character played by Bobby Cannavale, who has been described as a laconic used-car salesman — but here, he’s flanked by people wearing Dark Army masks, hinting at his grander role in this deadly narrative.

From ‘Mr. Robot’: Watch the First Official Trailer for Season 3 by Josh Wigler (Hollywood Reporter: August 4, 2017)

Video: Feist Covers Leonard Cohen’s Closing Time In Take This Waltz

Feist Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s Closing Time

In the middle of directing Take This Waltz, recently released in theatres, Sarah Polley hit a snag. She desperately wanted to get Leslie Feist to record a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Closing Time” for the soundtrack. Given how in demand the singer-songwriter is, it was almost impossible to pin her down—even for Polley, a bona fide Canadian celebrity herself. And then one night, around 2 a.m., while Polley and her crew were shooting on a small street in Little Portugal, she heard someone call her name. It was Feist—she and fellow singer Howie Beck, both on bicycles, were on their way to Trinity Bellwoods Park to play glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. Polley asked about the Cohen cover, Feist agreed, and her version of the song is heard at a pivotal point in the film. “That kind of moment is very specific to Toronto,” Polley says now. “It’s a really special place that way.”

From The Argument: In Take This Waltz, Sarah Polley transforms Toronto into a brightly coloured urban fantasy by Jason McBride, Toronto Life July 9, 2012.

Update: Feist also performed another Leonard Cohen classic, Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, at the 2017 Juno Awards.

Originally posted Dec 11, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Finale Of The Staircase Ends With Peterson Instructing His Amazon Alexa To Play His Favorite Leonard Cohen Song, “Everybody Knows”

When we meet Peterson a final time, in the three new episodes that Netflix has added this year, he is negotiating a plea bargain. He no longer spouts eloquent turns of phrase, or drops witticisms during legal meetings. Instead, he seems exhausted and beaten. He shouts at his Amazon Alexa to play his favorite Leonard Cohen song, “Everybody Knows,” which is a bleak dirge about systems being rigged, about the world never falling in one’s favor. It’s a bitter song, but almost funny. And in fact, Peterson does get the last laugh—after entering an Alford plea in February of 2017, he is now a free man, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to time already served.

How The Staircase Defined True Crime Series by Rachel Syme (The New Republic: June 11, 2018)

The first 12 episodes of Netflix’s true-crime documentary The Staircase all end the same way. After an especially haunting or lingering bit of footage, the end credits — a montage of old photographs of the Peterson family in happier times set to somber string music — begin to roll. The thirteenth and final episode unexpectedly changes this formula, scoring the credits with a different song and ending with an intriguing, thematically loaded post-credits scene…

It an interesting juxtaposition when considering the lead-up, which is equally somber. The last scenes before the credits show Peterson, in his home without an upcoming court date looming over his head, putting on a song for the French documentary team that’s been filming his story for a decade. It’s Leonard Cohen’s 1988 track “Everybody Knows,” and Peterson says it’s his favorite song. The camera lingers on Peterson as he wordlessly listens to the music, and then the credits roll as Cohen’s raspy voice replace the usual string music.

‘The Staircase’ Ends With an Extremely Meaningful Post-Credits Scene by James Grebey (Inverse: June 11, 2018)

“Some guys just stumble into money. Like Leonard Cohen into the Chelsea Hotel.” Chuck Rhoades – Billions S3E11

There must be a Leonard Cohen fan or two working on Billions. Not only were two of Cohen’s songs, You Want It Darker and Treaty, employed to great effect in the S3E3 soundtrack (see Billions “Patrick Bateman, Bud Fox Hybrid Wannabe” Episode Features Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker), but the dialogue of Kompenso (S3E11) serves up a Leonard Cohen allusion.via  United States Attorney for Southern District of New York State Chuck Rhoades, played by Paul Giamatti.

Chuck: Is this how one runs a service business?
Ira: Whatever I’m doing, it seems to be working. Because I invested in one. And now I got five.
Chuck: Ah. Some guys just stumble into money. Like Leonard Cohen into the Chelsea Hotel.

“I got this call from a chap called Robert Altman. And he says, ‘Listen, you know, I love those songs, I’ve built a film around them, can I use them?’ I said, ‘Who are you?'” Leonard Cohen’s Appreciation Of Brewster McCloud Prompts Him To Sign On For McCabe & Mrs Miller

Were you consulted about the songs in McCabe?

I was living in Franklin, in Tennessee, and I’d come into Nashville just to see a movie–we’d been living out in the sticks for a long time. And I saw this movie called Brewster McCloud. Have you seen it? It’s a very, very beautiful and I would say brilliant film. I sat through it twice. Maybe I just hadn’t seen a movie in a long time, but it was really fine. I was in the studio that night, in Nashville, and I got this call from a chap called Robert Altman. And he says, ‘Listen, you know, I love those songs, I’ve built a film around them, can I use them?’ I said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘Well, I did M*A*S*H, that’s my film.’ I said, ‘I know it was enormously successful, but I haven’t seen it. Is there anything else that you’ve done that I might know?’ ‘Well, I did a picture that’s been completely buried, that you wouldn’t know about, it was called Brewster McCloud.’ I said, ‘Listen, I just came out of the theatre, I saw it twice, you can have anything of mine you want!’ I did do some additional music–only one thing that was used, I did a guitar background for a little soliloquy by Warren Beatty; it’s just barely perceptible but that is one of the nicest things I ever did, I love that piece. Then I saw the picture, the finished picture without the music, the soundtrack hadn’t been completed. And I said, ‘Listen, man, I’ve got to tell you–if we ever work together again I want you to know you can get an honest opinion from me–I don’t like it.’ He was quite hurt, as I would be too, but… Then I went to the theater in Montreal, and I saw the picture with the music and everything, and it was great! I called Altman in London, it took me two days to track him down, and told him, ‘Forget everything I said, it’s really beautiful.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen: The Romantic In A Ragpicker’s Trade by Paul Williams (Crawdaddy, March 1975).

More posts about Leonard Cohen’s music in McCabe & Mrs Miller are found at

Leonard Cohen Songs Key In Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Singers Of Mercy: How McCabe & Mrs Miller Changed The Western Soundtrack by Charlie Brigden (The Quietus: April 29th, 2018) is an insightful essay on Altman’s use of Leonard Cohen’s music in his landmark movie. An excerpt follows but the full article, available at the link, is recommended reading:

‘Sisters of Mercy’ introduces McCabe’s prostitutes and notably the male reactions, the gawping construction workers and McCabe’s own shyster approach to it all that comes to a head when Alma stabs one of the punters. Cohen’s music just lingers as it’s clear McCabe is in over his head, and it’s no coincidence that this immediately precedes the arrival of Mrs Miller. Mrs Miller’s theme is ‘Winter Lady’, and we first hear it echoed in her smoky yellow room, post-opium session, but it’s used beautifully when she stands outside in the falling snow, scared at the inevitable fate of her and McCabe, Cohen uttering “you chose your journey long before you came across this highway”.

More McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Other posts about Leonard Cohen’s music in McCabe & Mrs. Miller and video clips of Cohen’s music in that film at 

Leonard Cohen & Lian Lunson Share Special “My Mirrored Twin” Seats At The 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening Of I’m Your Man Documentary

Leonard Cohen (the subject of the documentary) & Lian Lunson (the director) both showed up for the premiere of “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man” on Saturday June 24,  2006 at the John Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood. Lian describes what happened next:

This screening was the only public screening Leonard attended. It was a windy night at the Ford amphitheater and Leonard and i sat alone behind the screen with a bottle of wine. The audience could not see us. And, because we were watching the film from behind the screen the film was reversed. It was beautiful to see it that way.

Thanks to Lian Lunson for her charming account of this scene and for permission to use the photo atop this post.

“Urban Transport Planning” Episode Of The Americans Features Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me To The End Of Love

Typically, I hear about Leonard Cohen songs being used in TV shows or movies from fans. In this case, I discovered that Dance Me To The End Of Love was featured in the third episode of the sixth and final season of the FX network‘s highly rated, highly popular series, The Americans, from two online sites linking to Cohencentric posts dealing with concentration camps as the origin of that song.

The Americans Recap: The War at Home by Scott Tobias (Vulture: April 11, 2018):

The closing song is Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love,” played over scenes of Elizabeth strangling a security guard and Philip meeting with Oleg at the park. Cohen claimed the song was inspired by the Holocaust. Here it gives a sufficient impression of finality.

Can you come into the kitchen? The Americans would like a word by Erik Adams (AV/TV Club: April 11, 2018):

The Americans Soundtrack Report, Week Three: B. Elizabeth’s murder streak continues, but the show’s Talking Heads streak ends. As far as consolation prizes go, it’s tough to beat “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” a Leonard Cohen composition whose origin story is gloomy even by Leonard Cohen standards.

Credit Due Department: Image atop post Source, Fair use, Wikipedia