Sponsored
Categories: Film

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Sponsored
Sponsored

Nick Broomfield’s documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love fails to support its own thesis. The facts: On the Greek Island of Hydra in the early 1960s, Canadian writer and poet Leonard Cohen found a muse in Norwegian expat Marianne Ilhen. The thesis: Their friendship and mutual influence remained intact until they both died as octogenarians in 2016. But, as the film demonstrates, when Cohen found success as a singer and a pussyhound in the late 1960s he essentially ghosted Ilhen. Large swaths of Marianne & Leonard are about Cohen’s career, and every so often the movie’s all “Oh, and Ilhen also still existed.”

That’s probably exactly how it felt to Cohen at the time — and some interviewees suggest Ilhen was doomed, since poets like Cohen are elusive creatures who can never be pinned down by a woman and all that other tired, Great Man hoo-haa. Broomfield tries to frame the fact that after many incommunicado decades, Cohen gave Ilhen front-row tickets to a 2009 Oslo concert — and later wrote her a letter when she was dying — as grand gestures capping their half-century romance, but it doesn’t scan. There may well be a crack in everything, yet very little light gets into Marianne & Leonard. Desert Dust sounds fun, though.

Rated R. Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Sponsored
Sherilyn Connelly

Recent Posts

Avett Brothers at Greek Theatre on August 17, 2019

The Avett Brothers high-stepped onto stage to a fantastic show at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley. The band is always…

19 mins ago

Young the Giant at the Greek Theatre on August 15, 2019

Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums and Alice Merton played an amazing show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley!…

49 mins ago

DAY TRADING PRINCIPLES FOR BEGINNER

In order to thrive in any trading market, one needs to create an effective trading strategy, one that guides your…

5 hours ago

Modesto Bigots’ Protest Garners S.F. Attention

Organizers of Modesto’s straight pride parade may not have permits for a grand celebration but they’re still planning to make…

6 hours ago

Keeping the Homeless Out of Sight Makes Their Lives More Dangerous

Nearly 10,000 people in San Francisco are homeless, with a nightly shelter bed waitlist that hasn’t dropped below 1,000 in…

1 day ago

Here’s How Palestinians See Themselves

Just 40 miles or so separates the Palestinian town of Birzeit in the West Bank from the Israeli port of…

1 day ago