Andrew Pulver explains “What’s so great about [Leonard Cohen’s] stuff?”

So what’s so great about his stuff? I’m not a proper music writer, but for me, it’s a number of factors. First and foremost, Cohen is such an empathetic figure: wise-seeming, morally insightful, emotionally generous and a magnetic performer. (I managed to weasel tickets to two of his 2008 London concerts and was properly awestruck at the way the man conducted himself on stage.) He appeared to distill all the qualities I would have hoped to find in other heroes of mine.



Excerpt from My favourite album: Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen by Andrew Pulver (Guardian: Oct 6, 2011). This is a well written, personal, and perceptive essay about Pulver’s discovery, as a young adult in the 1990s, and consequent appreciation of Leonard Cohen’s first album as a consequence of Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller.  (Andrew Pulver is the Guardian’s Film Editor.) The complete article is available at the link.

2015 Leonard Cohen Highlights: Nevermind By Leonard Cohen – True Detective’s Theme Song

lc-td2Leonard Cohen’s “Nevermind” being chosen as the theme song of True Detective, Season Two itself generated massive interest. When the strategy of playing different portions of the song at the start of each episode became apparent, the number of views generated by this series of posts multiplied. Thanks go to Marie of SpeakingCohen, who provided the exact Nevermind lyrics used in of each specific episode of the program. I’ve listed some of the key posts on this topic below:

Cohencentric’s Perpetually Popular Post – Watchmen Sex Scene Videos: Compare Leonard Cohen & Allison Crowe Versions Of Hallelujah As Soundtracks

sexsceneSince Cohencentric’s online premiere March 7, 2015, this site has hosted more than 1700 posts Over the next few days, we’re going to take another look at some of the most popular.

Of all Cohencentric posts,none has been so consistently well received as Watchmen Sex Scene Videos: Compare Leonard Cohen & Allison Crowe Versions Of Hallelujah As Soundtracks. Since its publication five months ago, not a day has gone by without it being in the ten most viewed posts and on more than 15 occasions, distributed irregularly over those five months, it has been the most popular post of the day. The post and both videos can be viewed at the link.

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: 1973 A Cause Du Pop Movie Poster Featuring Leonard Cohen (Playing Left-handed)


Poster for A Cause Du Pop (aka Guitare Au Poing), the 1973 French film about the 1970 Aix en Provence music festival, which features Leonard Cohen’s Aug 2 performance. It has long been unavailable (although rumors of that it will imminently be made accessible have cropped up sporadically for at least the last five years), making this documentary a much sought after property by fans of Cohen, Johnny Winter, Mungo Jerry, and other artists who performed at the festival.

From Leonard Cohen Video Database

“A Cause du Pop” Movie commercially released under the name “Guitare au poing” Year 1976, France. Movie relating the 1970 festival of Aix-En-Provence (France) consisting of stock-shots from news broadcastings. Leonard sung along with many artists like Johnny Winter, Mungo Jerry, Pete Brown, Colosseum, Titanic, Rare Bird, Triangle, Dynastic crisis, Trader Horn, Chico (now Chico Magnetic Band), Wallace collection, Majority One, Rada Krishna. Production: SEDIMO, Astra Paris Films. Dialogues: Jacques Higelin and Küelan Hercé.Directed by Daniel Szuster. Note also that the French Radio Network “France-Inter” broadcasted the songs on air (unavailable, otherwise illegal).

Note: This is the only reference I find placing the film’s release in 1976. All other sources list 1972 or 1973. IMDb has the release date as June 22, 1973.

From the eBay sales description:

Original synopsis issued by the studio when the film was released and meant for theatrical display.

Note: Originally posted October 29, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Recommended Reading – McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Profound Pessimism And Leonard Cohen Kindness


The film is unimaginable to me without the Cohen songs, which function as these mournful interstitials that unify the entire movie. What a charitable way to describe McCabe, as “just some Joseph looking for a manger,” or to understand his ambition as “watching for a card so high and wild, he’ll never have to deal another.” Through Cohen’s lyrics—not too direct, not too oblique—we understand McCabe as a man who wants to build something and get himself to a place where he can settle down. In other words, there are restrictions to how much he wants from the town of Presbyterian Church. I’m certain the men who have him killed won’t place similar restrictions on themselves.

Excerpt from McCabe & Mrs. Miller: profound pessimism and Leonard Cohen kindness by Keith Phipps and Scott Tobias. The Dissolve: September 30, 2014. The entire essay is available at the link.

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

Note: Originally posted October 6, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Documentary #1 On iTunes Top Concert Films


The iTunes chart of the top concert films (last updated: Saturday, November 7 2015, 1:23 am) lists Lian Lunson’s documentary, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, in the #1 slot. (Source: PopVotex)

Rounding out the top five concert films are
2. In Ecstasy
3. Adele: Live At the Royal Albert Hall
4. Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour Live
5. Stop Making Sense

Leonard Cohen’s “Waiting For The Miracle” In Natural Born Killers Named One Of Best Opening Songs In Film


Some of the most erotic grind-dancing to ever accompany a Leonard Cohen song (on film, anyway)quotedown2

When Spinner published their readers’ favorite choices in the category of Best Opening and Closing Songs in Film,1 Leonard Cohen’s “Waiting for the Miracle,” the opening music for Natural Born Killers, made the cut:

The opening to Oliver Stone’s 1994 take on a Quentin Tarantino screenplay seems to go through as many ass-kicking songs as Juliette Lewis’s gleeful murderess and her manic man go through discourteous truck stop cafe patrons in one memorably violent scene. The intro also features some of the most erotic grind-dancing to ever accompany a Leonard Cohen song (on film, anyway).

“Waiting For The Miracle”  by Leonard Cohen
From Natural Born Killers

While I heartily concur with this assessment, I would submit that a list of “the most erotic grind-dancing to ever accompany a Leonard Cohen song (on film, anyway)” could also be of interest. I am herewith nominating the two films about strippers with Cohen songs in the soundtracks – Exotica & Dancing At The Blue Iguana – see A Contemplation Of Leonard Cohen’s Music In Soundtracks Of Two Movies About Strip Clubs

Note: Originally posted October 17, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Best Opening and Closing Songs in Film. July 19, 2011; Update: No longer online []

Leonard Cohen, Gerard Malanga’s Poem, And The Andy Warhol Scene – Part 2


Note: See Part 1 of this post at the link.

Leonard Cohen Is One Of The Boys (Of New York)

Do you think you have seen all the films in which Leonard Cohen played a role?

Try this one. In 1967 Cohen appeared in a virtually unknown experimental movie called B.O.N.Y. (Boys Of New York) by Gregg Barrios.

Even the extraordinarily thorough UK-based website did not list this film until alerted to its presence as a result of research for this post.

The flick also features … Gerard Malanga.

B.V. Olguín in ‘San Antonio Current’ (10/8/2008) concisely provides the facts relevant to the film, Warhol, Malanga, and Leonard Cohen:

Like most film buffs of the era, Barrios eventually made a pilgrimage to Andy Warhol’s notorious Manhattan Factory. Under Warhol’s tutelage, in 1967 Barrios made his own experimental film, titled BONY (Boys of New York). Shot in both black-and-white and color with a 16-millimeter Roloflex Camera, Barrios’s film captures a day in the life of the Warhol “superstars” — the poet Gerard Malanga and Rene Ricard (the poet and art critic who “discovered” Jean Michel Basquiat) — during which they meet Leonard Cohen and Vogue model Ivy Nicholson. BONY is archived at UCLA and is included on Chon Noriega’s list of 100 Best Chicano Films.

Update June 10, 2014: I received an email from Gregg Barrios, who had come across the mention of his film in the 2010 post. It turns out that BONY (Boys of New York) has been remastered and will soon be available for purchase. Gregg was good enough to include the poster shown above promoting his film which includes Leonard Cohen in the cast.

Leonard Cohen And The Andy Warhol Factory Folks

Continue Reading →