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.
Psychobilly act The Horrorpops performed at San Francisco's Slim's concert venue this past Thursday, February 13th. Accompanying them on tour…
In Ride Your Wave, Hinato conjures up her dead boyfriend when she sings to water.
The band is still together despite being spread from coast to coast.
Metronomy at The UC Theatre on Friday, Sudan Archives at Swedish American Hall on Monday, Ralph with Joan at Cafe…