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The Leonard Cohen Documentary
Tags: leonard cohen
If you're a L Cohen fan, and you've not seen this film, you really must! It's such a powerful film, because its vibe focuses on the joy and pleasure one can get from well-made art. There's covers of Cohen songs by Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave and others ("Antony" sort of annoyed me), intersperced with interview moments with Cohen himself, talking about his past, his approach, and his poetry -- it's the poetry of his little pop songs that is so amazing!

Waiting until the crescendo, which is Cohen performing "Tower of Song" with U2, is totally worth it -- I'd pay $8.50 just to see that! And he can still sing, sort of.

My favorite part, and Bob you'll absolutely love this part, is Cohen talking about his spiritual growth, his Buddhism, which he downplays. Most importantly, Cohen says, is letting go of personal visions of "victory," i.e. happiness over something. Let me be the first to say that that line of thinking absolutely precludes one from happiness -- I've realized that over the last few days, to the core of my being. It's the most courageous philosophical step one can take. Fame, fortune, adulation, definitions, labels, victories -- there can never be enough; there's just samsara, baby. This can cause some pain of realization (see below), but in the end the world is not an extension of yourself; you are part of the world, and must deal with all that it is, ugliness and beauty all the same, the palimpsest of heaven over the remnants of hell, and vice versa, on and on into eternity, which is nothing but the imagined lack time.

I love Leonard Cohen's work so much! I think he might be even better than Dylan from a philosophical vantage point, because Dylan has the last remnants, the minute trace, of, as he says, "
I'm gonna win my way to wealth and fame..." -- i.e. the ego of the worshipped rock star icon.

Some little chunks:

"Give me Leonard Cohen afterworld/ So I can sigh eternally" — from "Pennyroyal Tea" by Nirvana (1993)

Baby, I've been waiting,
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
and I know you sent me some,
but I was waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come
Leonard Cohen, The Future, "Waiting for the Miracle"
 
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