Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: The Prom Version From I Am A Hotel

ihogelThis is the third post in the Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine series examining “Memories” by Leonard Cohen.

I Am A Hotel: Memories

Within “I Am A Hotel,” the Memories video depicts a high school prom held at the hotel’s ballroom. Cohen not only appears as a resident of the hotel but also as the singer-bandleader providing live music for the dance from an elevated stage. A stylized dance performed by a bellhop and hotel maid is Interspersed with the prom scenes.

The sequence is too artsy, too fartsy for my taste, but hey, as the American Bandstand kids would point out, the song has a beat and – apparently – you can dance to it (at least after a few years of professional training). On the other hand, the brassy sax solo does grab me in an indecent way, and Leonard as the sunglasses-clad implacable singer coupled with Leonard as the leering hotel guest encouraging the bellhop and maid toward the (titter) climax is as creepy-nasty-exciting as ones first illicit sexual liaison with someone a lot more experienced and adventuresome in bed.

Continue Reading →

“Would prestige TV even exist without Leonard Cohen?”

quoteup2
This year’s [The Americans] Grim Montage was soundtracked by Leonard Cohen’s notably cheery “Who by Fire.” (Would prestige TV even exist without Leonard Cohen? Has any song in his catalog gone unused for this purpose? Can someone please green-light a David Milch series called Jazz Police?)quotedown2

Rob Harvilla

From How Can ‘The Americans’ Possibly Last Two More Seasons? by Rob Harvilla (The Ringer: 09 June 2016)

Leonard Cohen’s Who By Fire At The “Heart Of The Americans’s Plaintive Season Finale”

americans

On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the sinner’s fate is sealed. To be blotted out of the Book of Life, in scripture’s cruel parlance, is to be culled from the ranks of the righteous, and it’s this eternal exile to which Leonard Cohen turns in his 1974 track “Who by Fire.” The spare, tragic ballad, inspired by Jewish tradition, but attuned to fears of a more modern sort, forms the hardened heart of The Americans’s plaintive season finale, rising on the soundtrack as Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) face an expulsion of their own. “Persona Non Grata,” in which Gabriel (Frank Langella) urges his agents to flee the country, forces these unwelcome guests in Cold War America to confront the question that defines the immigrant experience: At what point is the place from whence we came no longer the place we call “home”?

Excerpt from The Americans Recap Season 4, Episode 13, “Persona Non Grata” by Matt Brennan (Slant: June 8, 2016)

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Rike and Frances Sloan, both of whom alerted me to the appearance of Who By Fire in this episode of The Americans.

Leonard Cohen’s “There Is A War” Plays Pivotal Role In Structure Of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Tug of War: Foreign Fire”

tugIt turns out that Leonard Cohen’s music enhances not only edgy TV series such as Peaky Blinders and True Detective and groundbreaking movies such as Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller but also productions of Shakespeare’splays.

On May 21, 2016, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater debuted “Tug of War: Foreign Fire,” a trilogy of Shakespeare plays – Edward III, Henry V, and Henry VI. Part One – performed the same day over a six hour span (with three breaks).  (A second trilogy comprising Henry VI, Parts Two and Three and Richard III will be staged late summer/fall 2016.)

The significance of Leonard Cohen’s “There Is a War” is made apparent in this excerpt from Chicago Shakespeare Theater – Tug of War: Foreign Fire by City Desk 400 Staff. City Desk 400: June 3, 2016:

But [Artistic Director Barbara] Gaines has purposefully split up Shakespeare’s three-part series, perhaps in part to make the point that war has no finale because we keep fighting the same wars again and again in each generation. To emphasize this point, Gaines adds a postlude, in which the entire cast dons those fold-up Christmas cracker crowns and sings a couple of choruses of “Why don’t you come on back to the war?” from Leonard Cohen’s “There Is a War,” concluding on the line “let’s all get even.” Nothing is finished, war just keeps coming back. Thus we conclude with a depressing but appropriate commentary on our inability to keep the peace.

Bonus: Tug of War: Foreign Fire Montage

Video: Leonard Cohen’s New Song On Peaky Blinders – “You Want It Darker”

pkxxUpdate: “You Want It Darker” is the title song from the new Leonard Cohen album coming out this fall. All information available about the You Want It Darker album  by Leonard Cohen is collected and updated at Info & Updates: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker

You Want It Darker” is the new Leonard Cohen song heard during an erotic asphyxiation scene (definitely NSFW) near the end of Season 3, Episode 5 of Peaky Blinders. The lyrics of “You Want It Darker” (the segment of the song used in Peaky Blinders) follow:

If you are the dealer
Let me out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Update: The lyrics of the entire song can be found at Lyrics Of “You Want It Darker”

The video of the pertinent Peaky Blinders segment can be viewed below, beginning at 44:22.

Lyrics Of “You Want It Darker” – New Leonard Cohen Song Heard In Peaky Blinders

pkxxYou Want It Darker” is the new Leonard Cohen song heard during an erotic asphyxiation scene (definitely NSFW) near the end of Season 3, Episode 5 of Peaky Blinders.

After watching the episode on Netflix, I transcribed the lyrics of “You Want It Darker” as performed in this fragment and uploaded them to the Leonard Cohen Facebook Page.

Update: Complete Lyrics of You Want It Darker as sung on album

If you are the dealer
I’m out of the game
If you are the healer
Means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified
Be Thy Holy Name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni Hineni
I’m ready, my Lord

There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They’re lining up the prisoners and
The guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle-class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission
To murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni Hinen
I’m ready, my Lord

Magnified, sanctified
Be Thy Holy Name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer
Let me out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni Hineni…..this line repeated
I’m ready, my Lord

Update: Watch Video: Leonard Cohen’s New Song On Peaky Blinders – “You Want It Darker”

Peaky Blinders Season 3, Including New Leonard Cohen Song, On Netflix May 31

pk6Excerpts from ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 3: The British Gangland Saga is Back on Netflix by Tobias Grey (WSJ: May 30, 2016):

Gang cultures exist throughout the world, but for movie and television audiences, they don’t always cross borders easily. Netflix doesn’t provide ratings, but “Peaky Blinders,” which starts its third season on the streaming service on May 31, is anecdotally gaining such traction in the U.S. to go along with its hit status in Britain. BBC Two announced Wednesday it had ordered two more seasons of the show. It also airs in about 160 other countries.

The series uses contemporary music by artists such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (whose ominous “Red Right Hand” provides the theme), Tom Waits, the White Stripes and Radiohead. Leonard Cohen wrote a song especially for the series that will appear in season 3. And before he died, David Bowie, a fan. gave his blessing for music from his final album “Black Star” to be used this season. [Emphasis mine]

Update: I’ve uploaded the lyrics of “You Want It Darker” – the new Leonard Cohen Song heard in Peaky Blinders – to the Leonard Cohen Facebook Page.

Update: Watch Video: Leonard Cohen’s New Song On Peaky Blinders – “You Want It Darker”

Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne In Akerman’s Portrait Of A Young Girl At The End Of The 1960s In Brussels

french

On the soundtrack during their encounter in the apartment, we hear Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Suzanne’ (Michèle shoplifted the album from a music shop earlier during her and Paul’s wanderings), the lyrics of which (‘Suzanne takes you down/to a place by the river/you can see the boats go by/you could spend the night beside her…’) form a poignant counterpoint to the encounter shown and implied onscreen. This is Michèle’s first sexual encounter, but given the importance accorded to Danielle and Michèle’s connection, it is tempting to ‘hear’ Cohen’s song as the reminder of the presence of yet another woman in the room.

From Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles
Suzanne by Leonard Cohen