Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 42min
Nick Broomfield’s new documentary uncovers the fascinating and moving story of the relationship between Leonard Cohen and his first lover and inspiration, Marianne Ihlen.
Known as the director of acclaimed films on Tupac, Kurt Cobain, and Whitney Houston, Broomfield’s new feature strikes a more personal note, having been a first-hand witness to its leads’ affair. On the Greek artist’s colony of Hydra in 1960, Cohen, a failed novelist with a fear of performing in public, met the Norwegian mother and muse, then in the company of her son and a younger, polygamous, writer. After a brief, sunny, idyll on the island, the couple started to separate when Cohen returned to Montreal, where he found success and recognition as a singer-songwriter that parted them further, as both youth and the 60s ebbed away.
Thanks to plentiful archive footage, and its director’s personal involvement with his subjects, the film manages a poignant intimacy with its subjects, without sentimentalising them or the times which they inhabited, as well as thoughtfully exploring the theme of the artist and muse.
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