The Cars Of Leonard Cohen: In My Secret Life Official Video – Citroen DS

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Cars Of Leonard Cohen

is a series of posts about actual automobiles owned by or associated with Leonard Cohen, metaphorical cars he employed in his songs, and his thoughts about cars. All posts in this series are collected at as they go online.

In My Secret Life Video

The official In My Secret Life video directed by Floria Sigismondi, features Leonard Cohen driving a Citroen DS (note that the car is color-coordinated with Leonard’s shirt). While a stage prop and not a vehicle Leonard owned, the uniqueness of the Citroen DS alone would qualify it as the Leonard Cohen of automobiles.

The French structuralist Roland Barthes wrote that it was “obvious” the DS had “fallen from the sky.” But you couldn’t call it avant-garde because nobody, not even Citroën, followed in the DS’s conceptual path. Even though Citroën built and sold about 1.5 million of the cars, the DS remains a kind of a one-and-done, design-wise.1

5939b264d3171007a5793726ea2bc158The video, nominated for the 2002 Juno Best Video Award, was filmed in Montreal at Habitat 67, architect Moshe Safdie’s experimental housing complex on the shore of the St. Lawrence river and part of the Expo 67 world’s fair (see Official Video For Leonard Cohen’s “In My Secret Life” Set In Montreal’s Habitat 67).

Citroën DS

The following excerpts are from The Citroën DS 19: Why It’s the Ultimate Classic Car by Dan Neil (Wall Street Journal: May 1, 2015):

Sixty years after its introduction at the Paris Auto Show, the futuristic, perfectly Gallic Citroën DS 19 (D series from 1955-75) retains the ability to wow, an atom bomb of style from a time when atom bombs were kind of cool. The DS was the most technically gifted automobile of its time and the most quintessentially modern, in that it scorned all that was familiar in prewar design—big, exposed wheels, low roofs, strong shoulders and commanding chrome grilles—in favor of something utterly new, at least outside the realm of pulp science fiction.

The DS was a front-mid-engine, front-wheel-drive car with rear wheels closer together than at the front, allowing its sleek, tapering bobtail. The rears are enclosed in prim fender spats and, above, the remarkable panoramic greenhouse and fiberglass roof, canted like a beret. Did we mention it was French?

The DS (pronounced DAY-ess, a pun on the French word for “goddess”) was a blaze of unorthodoxy and prescient human-factors design.

In a 2009 poll of top automotive designers, Classic & Sports Car magazine declared the DS “The Most Beautiful Car of All Time.”

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Official Video

 

Credit Due Department: Photo of red Citroen by Alexandre Prévot

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  1. The Citroën DS 19: Why It’s the Ultimate Classic Car by Dan Neil (Wall Street Journal: May 1, 2015) []

Sights & Sounds Of The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent Concerts

Leonard Cohen Gets Together With Friends In Ghent, Belgium – August 2010

The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent concerts blessed us with a deluge of superior videos. Simultaneously,  outstanding photos of the venue (and the nifty 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees jacket displayed in the middle of this post) by Hans Kloss surfaced to serve as the perfect complement to the videos.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – Boogie Street
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Ghent: Aug 21, 2010
Video from bridgebud

Note: Originally posted Aug 25, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photo: Leonard Cohen’s Color-coordinated Shirt & Car

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In My Secret Life Official Video Wardrobe & Props

Until watching shots of the filming of the official In My Secret Life video, I hadn’t realized Mr Cohen’s shirt and car are color-coordinated. Now, as far as I can determine, there’s no special significance to the automobile-shirt color patterns (in fact, in the actual In My Secret Life video the scenes featuring Leonard Cohen and the car are are color-depleted to the point that the shirt colors are not identifiable): it’s just one of those How About That? items that amuse me and, one hopes, the occasional reader.

A second How About That? tidbit is that the building seen in this video is Montreal’s Habitat 67 (see Official Video For Leonard Cohen’s “In My Secret Life” Set In Montreal’s Habitat 67)

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life Official Video

The image atop this post is a screen capture from Leonard Cohen – Ten New Songs – Promo. This appears to be part of the filming of the video for In My Secret Life.(Update: this promo is no longer online). Note: Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s “In My Secret Life” Official Video Set In Montreal’s Habitat 67

5939b264d3171007a5793726ea2bc158Excerpted from MTV Architecture: Famous Buildings In Music Videos by James Bartolacci (Architizer: June 13, 2013)

Habitat 67
Leonard Cohen – “In My Secret Life”

Moshe Safdie’s experimental housing complex, which was conceived as his master’s thesis at McGill University, acts as a visual metaphor for Leonard Cohen’s mysterious subconscious in the likewise experimental music video for “In My Secret Life.” Apparently Cohen’s secret life is filled with the routine domesticity of an egg-headed family depicting some kind of existential crisis. We’re not really sure.

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Video: Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Official Video

 

Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks: Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

Credit Due Department: Photo of Habitat 67 by Wladyslaw; found at Wikipedia Commons

Note: Originally posted November 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Five Funniest Leonard Cohen Music Videos: 3. In My Secret Life Official Video

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The Five Funniest Leonard Cohen Music Videos

The humor of these videos starring Leonard Cohen, aka Poet Laureate Of Pessimism, aka High Priest Of Pathos, aka Master Of Erotic Despair, aka Gloom Merchant, …1 is, one hopes, self-evident so only minimal annotations have been added. Today’s post features the #3 video; all posts in this series can be found at

The Criteria:

  1. The videos must feature Leonard Cohen in a professionally staged and directed performance intended to be viewed in the video medium.
  2. Videos of live performances, such as concerts, are ineligible.
  3. Home-brewed cut and paste videos, Leonard Cohen impersonations, and parodies are ineligible.
  4. “Funniest” includes funny-ha ha, funny-weird, and combinations of both.

3. In My Secret Life (Official Video)

Before viewers start looking up the correct spelling of “philistine” for that angry email, I should point out that I do know that this video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, has been lauded at film festivals and is beloved by fans.

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On the other hand, c’mon – it’s pretty funny-odd.

“But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I’d die for the truth.” Leonard Cohen Explains “Truth” In My Secret Life

Sometimes you write the word “truth” in your new songs. What kind of truth are you talking about?

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We all have a sense of a truth. The truth can be the most intimate conversation with one’s heart about its desire and appetite. And when this conversation appears, it comes very close to the truth and a feeling of authenticity. But I don’t imagine to have a metaphysic system without contradictions, and I don’t think this is the poet’s nor the songwriter’s duty. In one of the songs I start by saying: ‘I smile when I’m angry. / I cheat and I lie. / I do what I have to do / to get by. / But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I’d die for the truth.’ To be understood in the way that you can deceive everybody but yourself. This is the truth viewed in a simple, pragmatic and ordinary way, but it isn’t the great truth of our existence. I can’t control that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark September 2001). Originally posted October 15, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

High Quality Video: Leonard Cohen Performs In My Secret Life – Montreal 2012

seclifemontI saw you this morning
You were moving so fast
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past
And I miss you so much
There’s no one in sight
And we’re still making love
In my secret life

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Montreal: Nov 28, 2012
Video by leonardcohenvideo

Note: Originally posted November 29, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric