“I’ll… fortify myself with a drink in order to confront the inevitable moral pneumonia that follows on a blizzard of praise.” Leonard Cohen Opens 2006 LA Film Festival Screening Of I’m Your Man Documentary

Leonard Cohen, Lian Lunson, & “Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man” Appear At 2006 LA Film Festival

While this video of Leonard Cohen speaking before the 2006 LA Film Festival screening of “Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man” comprises only Leonard’s brief acknowledgment of his gratitude for the tribute, it merits watching as yet another demonstration of the singer-songwriter’s self-effacing graciousness and as a lesson in expressing sincere gratitude without resorting to the kind of treacle that serves as the primary constituent of, say, acceptance speeches at awards shows for performers.

Heck, it’s worth watching if only to hear Leonard Cohen’s describe his intention to retire to the green room in order to

fortify myself with a drink in order to confront the inevitable moral pneumonia that follows on a blizzard of praise.

Lian Lunson, the film’s director, describes what happened after she and Leonard slipped behind the screen at the end of his speech:

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.

An Evening with Leonard Cohen
LA Film Festival at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre: June 24, 2006

Thanks to Lian Lunson for her charming account of this scene.

This video was originally posted May 3, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The Kind Of Radiant Presence Lian [Lunson] presents” Leonard Cohen On What Persuaded Him To Take Part In I’m Your Man Documentary

Leonard Cohen On Why He Participated In I’m Your Man

#1 His [Cohen’s] respect for Lunson’s [Willie] Nelson documentary – and, Cohen has said, his response to “the kind of radiant presence Lian presents” – persuaded him to participate in the film. 1

#2 Brantley Bardin: What made you decide to do it [participate in the “I’m Your Man” documentary]?

Leonard Cohen: I was approached by [director] Lian Lunson and she’s very beautiful.2

Thanks to Lian Lunson for permission to use the photo atop this post. Originally posted April 12, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. From Drawn to complex characters by Michael Sragow, Sun Movie Critic, Baltimore Sun (June 28, 2006) []
  2. From Idol Chatter column by Brantley Bardin in Premiere magazine (June 2006) []

“Like Scripture and great poetry, every time you hear [Leonard Cohen’s work]… it tends to resonate and hit you where you need it most, like it was written just for that moment in your life that you think nobody else could possibly understand.” Lian Lunson

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He [Leonard Cohen] belongs with that band of minstrels and sages and spiritual wanderers who head out in to the desert in search of salvation and take you along with them, so you won’t be alone. I hope that this movie [I’m Your Man documentary] brings a new audience to Leonard’s work. I felt when I had finished the film that it was like a great book that I had read and that I wanted to give it to all my friends. I am not talking about my film-making. I’m talking about the gift that Leonard Cohen brings; the gift of companionship that his music and words offers.There has not been a period in my life where I have not listened to his music – and like Scripture and great poetry, every time you hear it or pick it up it tends to resonate and hit you where you need it most, like it was written just for that moment in your life that you think nobody else could possibly understand. And we could all do with more of that.quotedown2

Lian Lunson

 

I’m your fan: Leonard Cohen and me by Lian Lunson (Guardian: 21 Nov 2006). Thanks to Lian Lunson for permission to use the photo atop this post.

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.

2016 Skopje City Cinema Film Festival To Feature Lian Lunson’s Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man Documentary

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Nenad Georgievski, the Artistic Director of the Skopje City Cinema Film Festival to be held Oct 1-4, 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia alerts us that the second iteration of the Festival will open with a review / tribute to Leonard Cohen and Lian Lunson’s documentary “Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man.”

From Второто издание на Скопје Синема Сити via Google Translate:

Skopje City Cinema is a film festival for music documentaries founded in 2014. It is a multimedia platform that unites all the theme music – from documentaries, exhibitions, to the promotion of books and lectures.

This year the festival is organized in collaboration with the Cinematheque of Macedonia. During the 4 days of the festival, guests will be present at numerous music films from different genres and productions … The festival is also collaborating with the BBC will show a number of films from their production. The program will find and movies from domestic production.

“You will never untangle the circumstances that brought you to this moment. Embrace your fate.” Leonard Cohen, quoting from the Bhagavad Gita

bhv

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There is a beautiful moment in the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna. The general. The great general. He’s standing in his chariot. And all the chariots are readied for war. And across the valley, he sees his opponents. And there he sees not just uncles and aunts and cousins, he sees gurus, he sees teachers that have taught him; and you know how the Indians revere that relationship. He sees them. And Krishna, one of the expressions of the deity, says to him, ‘You’ll never untangle the circumstances that brought you to this moment. You’re a warrior. Arise now, mighty warrior. With the full understanding, that they’ve already been killed, and so have you. This is just a play. This is my will. You’re caught up in the circumstances that I determine for you. That you did not determine for yourself. So, arise, you’re a noble warrior. Embrace your destiny, your fate, and stand up and do your duty.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, the 2005 documentary

Find more Leonard Cohen thoughts on free will at

Note: Originally posted June 26, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric