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REVIEW: New Doc Dives Into ‘Hallelujah’ By Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was deep in his career when he finally finished “Hallelujah”. Well, the first version of “Hallelujah” – there will be many versions when all is said and done. He wrote lyrics for seven years. However, when he sent the album Different locations for his longtime record company Columbia Records in 1984, company president Walter Yetnikoff decided not to release it in the US The song that would become the national anthem of Cohen died upon its appearance.

But in the new documentary Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A SongComing to theaters, directors Dayna Goldfine and Dan Gellar examine how, despite the differences, the song has taken on a life of its own, to varying degrees, with Bob Dylan, John Cale, Jeff Buckley and Shrek. Right, Shrek.

Now, four decades after its first recording, it’s absolutely ubiquitous, a regular feature in movies, TV shows, and singing competitions around the world.

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It’s a delightfully put together movie that starts at the end – his last performance in 2013, singing “Hallelujah”, of course – and rewinds to the beginning of his songwriting career. to track how he got there. In some ways, it feels like two different movies: The first is a standard biographical documentary, then shifts the focus to the resurrection of “Hallelujah” outside of Cohen, before the finale Let’s turn our attention back to Cohen and his triumphant final tour. As the title says, it’s been a journey and a long way there.


Click to play video: '10-year-old girl with autism goes viral with her emotional performance of 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen







10-year-old autistic girl becomes famous for her heartwarming performance of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen


10-year-old with autism becomes famous for her sensational performance of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen – December 21, 2016

The filmmakers are enamored with their eloquent subjects, from Judy Collins and composer/stager John Lissauer to his childhood friend and rabbi Mordechi Finley.

One of the key voices was journalist and author Larry “Ratso” Sloman, who interviewed Cohen several times over 30 years and to whom the recordings of those interviews were used for Cohen to speak for himself. The archival footage is also quite distinctive, and elegantly incorporates Cohen’s music throughout.

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Much of the film is devoted to documenting Cohen’s own spiritual journey and his burgeoning relationship with the Jewish faith, from poetry to his final years at a meditation center atop Mount Baldy. . Singer Regina Spektor marveled at his politeness during his Coachella performance in 2009, saying it was like Cohen was teaching audiences how to be nice.

However, for all the rave and praise for his finding, this is a movie that seems completely unconcerned with the fact that he’s a father of two. We see pictures of them as children with their mother during a mention of his family falling apart. A reporter mentioned the children later, but only in context to clarify that their mother Suzanne Elrod was not in fact the woman he was singing about Suzanne.


Click to play video: 'The Leonard Cohen Memorial Grows Outside the Chelsea Hotel in New York City'







The Leonard Cohen memorial rises outside the Chelsea Hotel in New York City


A memorial to Leonard Cohen grows outside the Chelsea Hotel in New York City – November 11, 2016

There could be many reasons for this, including respecting the wishes of his grown children, or wanting to focus on work. But the lack of any recognition makes this attempt to create a holistic, insightful portrait of Cohen seem incomplete at best. More time is spent explaining the aesthetics of Shrek rather than his relationship with his kids.

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READ MORE: Leonard Cohen’s first posthumous album revealed: ‘Thanks for the Dance’

Or maybe they weren’t really part of the path to “Hallelujah,” even though his daughter had a baby with Rufus Wainwright, who was responsible for one of the song’s more famous covers, which was published. The above introduction was very successful Shrek soundtrack.

A lot of credit for the song’s extended lifespan goes to Shrek. While the soundtrack has lost some of its cultural value, it’s hard to underestimate the power of hearing a great song for the first time in a movie.

Interestingly, however, it seems that John Cale’s cover turned out to be the most influential. He removed the arrangement, went to the piano, typed in the lyrics, and turned “Hallelujah” into a melodious song. Jeff Buckley even said that although Cohen wrote the song, it was Cale’s version that he was covering. It seems that no one, from Brandi Carlile, Bono to Eric Church, sings Cohen’s version.

In an interview, after “Hallelujah” was #1 (The X Factor contestant Alexandra Burke), No. 2 (Jeff Buckley) and No. 36 (Cohen) in the UK in 2008, Cohen said that he thought “People should stop singing it for a bit.” Sloman believes he’s joking, but that hardly even matters at this point. The song became bigger than Cohen and seemed destined to remain in the culture for years to come.

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Click to play video: 'Leonard Cohen dies at 82'







Leonard Cohen dies aged 82


Leonard Cohen passed away at the age of 82 – November 11, 2016

© 2022 The Associated Press

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