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MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE

MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE

Nick Broomfield · USA · 2019 · 101 mins · PG CC
IMDb70%80%

CLOSED CAPTIONING AVAILABLE
The history between filmmaker and subject is prominent in the latest from Nick Broomfield, veteran documentarian of musicians that include Kurt Cobain and Whitney Houston. He turns here to the life of the legendary Leonard Cohen, but there’s a unique angle. The director was close to Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, even appearing in some of the archival footage in the film. It’s his most personal film to date. 

“Marianne & Leonard” is the story of an artist and a muse. Leonard Cohen wrote “So Long, Marianne” and “Bird on a Wire” directly about Marianne Ihlen, the woman he met at a crucial, formative age, and with whom he fell madly in love. They inspired each other on a Greek island called Hydra, a magical place to which Broomfield’s film regularly returns, and a place the filmmaker visited as a young man and spent time with Ihlen, who actually inspired him to make his first film. It was what you’d imagine the life of a young future poet would be on a Greek island—days of writing, drinking, drugs, sex, and sun.

Moving to the States and transforming into a musician with the breakout success of “Suzanne,” Cohen’s star rose while Ihlen stayed in Hydra. They would have largely separate lives, but Broomfield makes the case that they remained each other’s greatest influence, deftly drawing lines from Hydra & Marianne to Leonard’s music & stardom.  --RogerEbert.com

“Nick Broomfield’s haunting documentary is a lovely illustration of the twists and turns of a complicated relationship.” –The Wrap

“A thoughtful musing on the passing of time, of lovers past and gone, of a bygone era of hopes and dreams” --Little White Lies

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