a The filmmaker duo, who will follow the life of Leonard Cohen through the legendary national anthem “Hallelujah,” said they were in awe of the Canadian singer and it took years of preparation before tackling the documentary. Geller and Dana Goldfein told AFP during the screening of “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, Travels, Songs” at the American Film Festival, which opened this weekend in Deauville, France. He said he studied video and selfie photography for eight years. before making a movie.

“When I first thought about this project, and even when I first embarked on it, my feeling about Leonard was that he was an extraordinary man. You know, that was the great Leonard Cohen. I did,” said Goldfine. “How were you going to give justice to this extraordinary man?” Gellar and Goldfine approached the singer’s life, who gave his blessing to the project two years before he died at the age of 82 in 2016. I was. Through his most famous song, “Hallelujah,” which has achieved cult status in the rock world.

When Cohen first released the song, it was on his 1984 album Various Positions, but it received little attention. But then Bob Dylan played a cover, followed by John Cale of The Velvet Underground, Jeff Buckley, and about 300 artists recorded their own versions of “Hallelujah.” “We’re looking at Leonard Cohen through the prism of his most famous songs,” said Goldfine.

“He is human”

Focusing on this one song, she said, freed the filmmakers from “the burden of having to do it like a cradle like a biography.” Instead, they emphasized “the portion of Leonard’s spiritual journey that reveals his influence and why he is the only person in the universe who could have written ‘Hallelujah,'” with Goldfine following up. added like “

Geller and Goldfine, who are based in San Francisco and whose previous productions include “Ballet Lasse” and “Isadora Duncan,” acknowledged the importance of getting Cohen’s blessing. “Without it, we wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” Geller said. The duo still took years to access Cohen’s notebook, which is now in his family’s possession.

When they explored the archives, they also discovered that Cohen had developed an early knack for photographic self-portraits. “I would like to say that Leonard was the first selfie photographer, because he was ahead of his time. He probably went back to his 70s and used this old Polaroid camera to take selfies of himself. started,” he says Goldfine.

The film also features a young, nervous Cohen who interrupts a performance of his first hit “Suzanne” in 1967, choking with stage fright, only to be brought back on stage by his duet partner, American singer Judy Collins. Includes emotional scenes. The incident deepened the filmmakers’ realization that even the great Cohen was only human. “He’s a man. He’s no ordinary man,” said Goldfine. “He is a man who has worked hard for himself. Every day of his life.” – AFP

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