17 March 2023.
HALLELUJAH : LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG ****
Seriously, this documentary is one not to be missed! Especially if you are in the AVS category, and lived the delights of the 1960s. And for all others who appreciate a charismatic ‘mensch’.
From his sublime “Suzanne” in 1967 to “Dance me to the Ends of Love” and the hypnotic “Hallelujah”, both from 1984, Cohen has bewitched generations of followers with his soulful, melancholy renditions of songs that are actually vocal poetry springing from his life quest.
With in-depth testimonies from friends and colleagues such as Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, one of his great loves – the Norwegian Marianne Ihlen – and Cohen himself, this documentary shows the many sides of this modern minstrel who came from a well-to-do Jewish family in Montreal, Canada.
From his early, mid-60s dark turtlenecks to his later suits and signature hat, the producing/directing team of Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller have created an incredibly moving homage to this man who lived life fully, from sun drenched idylls on the Greek isles in the 1960s, to his bouts with depression and lengthy spiritual retreats with Japanese monks in his autumn years.
Later in life, when a trusted financial assistant took off with most of his money, he had to get back on the road again in a series of concerts that were even more successful than his early glory days. And of course, it is his trademark ‘Hallelujah’, to which he continued adding verses throughout the years, that lights up this heartfelt documentary. Run to see his odyssey on the big screen. It may move you to tears when he gets down on his knees to sing Hallelujah during his last concert in 2013.
Why on earth did this not win an Oscar for best documentary? But then, they just gave seven Oscars to the frenetic, incoherent mess that is “Everything Everywhere all at Once”, in the name of diversity!
(HALLELUJAH showing at the Grütli cinemas)
And if you haven’t yet seen them, these films are ones still to catch (all reviewed here) :
MON CRIME – Ozon’s brilliant period thriller/comedy
CARAVAGE (at the Bio) – sumptuous review of the great painter’s woes
LA SYNDICALISTE – true story of big business , police misinformation and a courageous woman
UN HOMME HEUREUX – gentle comedy covering a sensitive subject
TAR – a grand conductor’s downfall
WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? – a rousing, delicious multi-cultural romcom
THE WHALE – tragic but beautiful rendition of a tormented man – deserved acting Oscar
BABYLON – a chaotic homage to old Hollywood
OPERATION FORTUNE – RUSE DE GUERRE – Guy Ritchie’s latest fun action flick
(Schedules on cineman.ch – Geneve)
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.
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