Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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vlcoats
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby vlcoats » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:55 am

Hi B4!

Yes, very interesting. Still, I think Marianne & Leonard is one of those movies most of us here would like to see.... no matter what people say about it!

This reviewer is hopefully wrong in that it strikes him as not very good, but he did make me laugh when he said, "To Bloomfield, Cohen is a god." All I could think was, "Wait... you mean he isn't?" :shock:

;-)
Vickie
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:36 am

B4real wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:01 am
....written above, "He’s Canadian; she’s Greek".... :razz:
Yes, very sloppy reporting. The article also refers to, "Hopping from the ‘60s to her death some half-decade later" (my italics) -- that would only be five years. "Half-century" is what it should say!

I have no respect for the opinions of any so-called "writer" who can't get basic facts straight nor proof-read well-enough to catch stupid mistakes. :roll:
199Dan
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby 199Dan » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:34 pm

Well said, Lisa.
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Andrew (Darby)
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby Andrew (Darby) » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:44 pm

For Melbourne based folk, or those within striking distance who would travel to catch it (and perhaps other festival films) on the big screen, this doco is being screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival on two days: Tues, Aug 6th; Sat, Aug 10th. 8)

http://miff.com.au/program/film/mariann ... ds-of-love

I'll be attending the Tuesday screening. :D

Cheers,
Andrew :)
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The madness of the moons'
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christineanne
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby christineanne » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:09 pm

From the UK Newspaper 'The Guardian' today (23rd July 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... rtist-muse

and just in case the link doesn't work, here is the text

Was Leonard Cohen’s Marianne the last artist’s ‘muse’? Let’s hope so

Fiona Sturges

Nick Broomfield’s film underlines the downside of a life spent providing comfort and inspiration for a male artist

Tue 23 Jul 2019 06.00 BST Last modified on Tue 23 Jul 2019 09.40 BST

Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen in an image from the film Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
‘Since Ihlen gets first billing in the title, one might assume that this is her story, but instead it depicts her through the prism of the men in her life.’

What are the life skills appropriate to an artist’s muse? Hotness is a given; and sexual availability, while not compulsory, has generally been appreciated. The ability to keep a house tidy is a plus, as is being supportive of the artist at all times, even if he – and it is nearly always he – is being an arsehole. It helps, of course, to be mysterious; if one is to be endlessly gazed at, it’s best not to give everything away at once. As for a life, and a career of one’s own, well, history has shown that such things are rarely tolerated.

In Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, out later this week, the filmmaker Nick Broomfield examines the on-off relationship between the late Marianne Ihlen, a Norwegian single mother, and the poet and musician Leonard Cohen, whom she met on the Greek island of Hydra and who died just four months after her in 2016. Ihlen was immortalised in the song So Long, Marianne, and inspired Cohen to write Bird on a Wire. Since Ihlen gets first billing in the title, one might assume that this is her story, a biopic of sorts, but instead it depicts her through the prism of the men in her life. These include the novelist Axel Jensen, who left her not long after their son, Axel Jr, was born; Cohen, the towering genius whom we are told she could never hope to tame; and Broomfield himself, who had a fling with her during a visit to Hydra in his early twenties.

In the voiceover, Ihlen’s recollections of life with Cohen include doing the shopping and preparing meals. While he, drug-addled, bashes out the novel Beautiful Losers on his typewriter (later described as “verbal masturbation” by a Canadian critic), she lovingly brings him sandwiches. Sometimes, she says, she simply sits at his feet. Marianne & Leonard is undoubtedly handsome and atmospheric, much of it made up of grainy footage of the couple and their friends, and shows Hydra to be little more than a mirage, a place where children are neglected and couples fall apart. But perhaps the film’s most enduring message is what a massive ball-ache it is to be a muse.

It’s easy to scoff now, of course. We live in a time when women are seen as capable of making great art, even if the old structures ensure they don’t always get the chance. Still, the history of art, music and literature is littered with women upon whom muse status has been bestowed but whose lives appeared to be miserable and whose legacies remain indistinct. Consider the pre-Raphaelite “stunners”, immortalised in oils by Millais, Rossetti, Holman Hunt and friends, as medieval queens and ancient goddesses. Nice work if you can get it, except that poor Lizzie Siddal nearly caught her death posing as the drowned Ophelia in the bath, and Jane Burden, muse to William Morris and Rossetti, is better known for her abundant hair and pouty lips than her embroidery, which was integral to the Arts and Crafts movement.

‘In her lifetime, the painter Frida Kahlo’s work was overlooked in favour of her artist husband, Diego Rivera.’ Rivera and Kahlo circa 1945.

Not all artists make their muses lie in freezing baths, but they’re not above eclipsing their careers. Ask Marianne Faithfull, who was a singer before she met Mick Jagger, though as his girlfriend became, in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, “an angel with big tits”. No wonder her masterpiece, Broken English, didn’t emerge until after she and Mick had split. In her lifetime, the painter Frida Kahlo’s work was overlooked in favour of her artist husband, Diego Rivera, who loved nothing more than to paint his wife; only in death did she finally get the credit due to her. Camille Claudel was an artist in her own right but barely got a look-in during her relationship with the sculptor Auguste Rodin, and ended up destroying much of her work. The list of women overlooked, cast aside or actively ruined by their artist lovers goes on.

Present-day muses seem to fare better: you’d scarcely find a man in the fashion world who wouldn’t claim Kate Moss as his muse, but she is nobody’s subordinate. Karl Lagerfeld had scores of muses, among them Kristen Stewart and Cara Delevingne, though both appear to be in the driving seats of their careers. Do women artists have muses? Probably, but they’re far less likely to make a show of it, or expect the focus of their gaze to ply them with sex and sandwiches.

Judging by his film, Broomfield is enamoured with the idea. Marianne & Leonard prostrates itself at the feet of Ihlen’s beauty and celebrates her nurturing spirit but doesn’t seem interested in her inner life, or indeed her suffering. Why? Perhaps because to delve deeper risks puncturing the otherworldliness and genius of male artistic endeavour, and that just wouldn’t do.

• Fiona Sturges is an arts writer
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:43 pm

So, has anyone here actually seen this film?
John Etherington
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby John Etherington » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:21 am

I saw the film in Richmond tonight. Overall, I found it to be well-structured and generally engaging. Most pleasing was the footage of Hydra and especially that which featured the young Marianne. I also appreciated the somewhat outspoken contribution by Aviva Cantor (Irving Layton’s one-time partner). It was also good to hear contributions from other lesser-known figures.

I would say the film treated Leonard and Marianne’s relationship honestly, though it could perhaps have had a little more focus on Marianne herself, and the qualities that Leonard so admired in her. Julie Felix made a fine contribution, but no mention was made of her song “Beside the Still Fjord” (from her "Clotho's Web" album), which reveals her sympathies with her friend Marianne and criticizes Leonard’s behaviour towards her.

If my memory serves me well, the only other famous Leonard ladies that got a mention were Janis Joplin, Suzanne (the mother of Adam and Lorca) and briefly Kelley Lynch. With a view to putting the story into a wider perspective I can think of at least half a dozen other major ”Leonard ladies” who might have at least got a name-check.

I found the use of some of the film footage a bit uneven, since that which was shown didn’t always match the chronology. Quite a bit of the footage was familiar, and previously seen in films such as “Ladies and Gentleman Mr Leonard Cohen”, “Bird on a Wire”, and “Leonard at the Isle of Wight”. Furthermore the clips of songs were mostly very brief. I can't remember hearing “So Long Marianne” played in full (this would have been good for those who are new to the story). It it was, my focus may have been distracted by the shots of Marianne in the audience.

I’m being deliberately critical here, but overall the film was well-presented and addressed both the joy of Leonard and Marianne’s life together, as well as the pain and “fall-out” that followed that idealistic era of the Sixties; leaving consequences that time alone might help to heal.

Finally, it was good to see Albert Noonan and Jim Devlin both get name checks in the credits.
Last edited by John Etherington on Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Heather1969
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby Heather1969 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:00 am

I too enjoyed the documentary last night. Totally agree with John’s review but would go a step further and say I’m not sure who the film is aimed at. Apart from the small amount of unseen footage of Marianne and as John pointed out the interview with Aviva Layton there is nothing I have not seen or heard before but not enough back story for someone finding the story for the first time.
Always a joy to see and hear Leonard on the big screen, so absolutely worth going to see.

Heather
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby Brian M » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:37 pm

For those who live in or near London:

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/ev ... ds-of-love
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby LisaLCFan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:47 am

Thanks, John and Heather, for your reviews. It is much more meaningful to hear your thoughts than to read reviews by hack journalists, most of whom seem to have their own agendas, and are generally trying to sound so much more superior and insightful than everyone else.

Cheers!
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby LisaLCFan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:20 am

I saw the film tonight! I really enjoyed it -- I thought it was really well done. I went with a couple of people who aren't really Cohenites (although they like Leonard's music), and they also enjoyed it. There were many film clips, photos, interviews with people, voice-overs by both Leonard and Marianne, and while some of it I'd seen/heard before, that was okay, because it was nice to see/hear those things again, in what I thought was a very interesting new context. I'm glad I saw it!
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Geoffrey
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:39 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:
>I saw the film tonight! I really enjoyed it -- I thought it was really well done. I went with a couple of people who aren't really Cohenites (although they like Leonard's music), and they also enjoyed it.
----------------
i have not yet had the opportunity to see this film, but am glad to learn that you had a pleasurable evening :). can you remember who it was that spoke first after the movie? whether it was the couple or yourself who first said how enjoyable it was? if they are nice people, which i am sure they are, and aware that you are a cohenite, they would probably not have wished to blemish your experience by saying they didn't enjoy it. using tact in order to avoid hurting someone is an acceptable way of being untruthful. one way to ascertain their sincerity would have been to enquire about any particular scenes that they especially enjoyed, or found less interesting.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby LisaLCFan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:50 pm

Geoffrey wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:39 pm
... one way to ascertain their sincerity would have been to enquire about any particular scenes that they especially enjoyed, or found less interesting.

I am not one to interrogate my friends in order to ascertain whether or not they are lying to me!

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the film -- I was a bit wary of the premise, not sure how it was going to be presented (nor if I would like it), but as I noted, I thought it was very well done, engaging and interesting.

I hope you get the chance to see it!
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Geoffrey
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:05 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:
>I am not one to interrogate my friends in order to ascertain whether or not they are lying to me!

well no, not an interrogation, of course not. what i had in mind was merely one or two subtle enquiries carefully woven into the chit-chat. 'lying' is not a word i would have used, because that has bad connotations, whereas 'being tactful' has only good. from your response one can surmise that you are at least open to the possibility that this couple might not have enjoyed the film as much as yourself, but without more information such a conclusion must always remain speculative.

>I hope you get the chance to see it!

thank you, lisa - i am looking forward to doing exactly that. a good copy arrived on an 'unauthorised' free file-sharing site a while ago, and i am just waiting for the right moment to see it :-)
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Re: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, film by Nick Broomfield

Postby MargRz » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:21 am

vlcoats wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:33 am
I also searched for a theater showing it on the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego but with no success.

Thank you for the postings for a DVD source. I see it says that the format may not play outside of Europe, but I have purchased dvd's saying that before, and they usually (?) work. Has anyone purchased one of these and had it work for them? (We play DVDs on either an Xbox One or a PS3).

I REALLY want to see this, especially after reading some of the letters between them and being in Hydra.

Thanks again!
Vickie
Vickie,

I’m told DVDs in PAL (the European format) will play on multi-region DVD players in North America. I’m actually shopping for one. You may also keep checking the Sundance.org site. At some point the film should become available for streaming there. 2019 Sundance Film Festival is where it was first shown in the US.

Good luck.
Marg

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