Nick Cave starts things off wearing a black suit.
A funeral is the first thing that comes to mind. That is the time when people gather to contribute praise upon an individual or entity. In this case – Leonard Cohen is far from dead and the folks are gathered to pay tribute to an extraordinary poet, novelist and songwriter.
“No regrets, no occasion for self congratulation.” These are the words which escape Cohen’s mind at the beginning of the film; I’m your Man.
Who is Leonard Cohen?
Over the years, the Montrealer has received an aura of sainthood. Musicians, politicians and the average citizen cannot claim to be big fans. Who owns a Cohen record? Be honest.
Yet if Cohen enters a room, a supermarket or a suburban mall, once his presence is acknowledged, a hush overcomes the masses. Why? Most do not know the answer to this question. Most do not know how to find out.
In the film, artists such as Rufus and Martha Wainright, Kate McGarrigle, Nick Cave and members of the rock group U2 – search for the answers. They scope the fields of wisdom. They arrive empty handed on the stage which Cohen built.
Was Cohen born among the chosen? How did this figure become the one to roam the truth? How does a man with no singing voice, become the frontman for a band of humanity.
‘Everything has a crack in it …’
Including God, Buddha or the religious flavour of the moment. Including Cohen himself; according to Cohen himself.
Life is an enigma and Cohen, in his search for life’s missing pieces – becomes exactly what he is searching for. A walking, wounded and strong willed enigma trotting through the fields of life. A man on a horse coveted by so many – understood by few, including himself.
A man who seeks answers can never be satisfied. A bomber can never hit the mark if the instructions are torn up and tossed into an abyss of lies. A void created by the very things which started Cohen on a journey of self- discovery.
Information be has gathered is kept in his suitcase. It is shared and worn by others. Gladly the monk – the high priest of lyrical beauty, allows people blessed with more talent to display his songs in their golden cases. At the end of the day, they remain borrowed. Placed back to their proper place among the loafers and suits which travelled the globe.
Cohen is our man. There can be no doubt. He is a bird on a wire, gazing upon the winds of change. Chanting, whispering – halelujah …