Feelings dont age. These are the words of Hal Willner, music producer and artistic director of a tribute concert in Sydney in January in 2005 where a variety of artists came together to perform the songs of Leonard Cohen. His pronouncement also explains the secret of this recording artists enduring success: Leonard Cohens songs dont age either. What he does is pure poetry. Ive been a Leonard Cohen fan for as long as I can remember, says director Lian Lunson. He is one of the greatest. Her film not only provides a record of the performances during the Came So Far For Beauty evening at Sydney Opera House, it also takes us behind the scenes of the show. Alongside interviews with some of the artists who took part in the event such as Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Linda Thompson, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, the film also includes Leonard Cohen himself, wryly discussing his career. His comments are interspersed by archive footage and photographs from his private collection. Leonard Cohen has released 14 albums to date. Born in a suburb of Montreal in 1934, he published his first anthology of poems in 1956. After a number of protracted trips to Europe he settled on the Greek island of Hydra where he wrote several novels. Returning to America in 1967, he lived in New Yorks legendary Chelsea Hotel for a while. His appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and his debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen instantly established him as a singer/songwriter. He has been held in high regard ever since, not only as the songwriters songwriter, but also as a poet, a hero of alternative culture and, last but not least, a ladies man. Lian Lunsons film does justice to all these aspects of his personality.
by Lian Lunson
with Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, U2, Antony, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright