*NO SPOILER, BUT A VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING* I'm not a great Leonard Cohen fan, but now he is topical (i.e. just died) this film is getting shown on the television so it got left on last night. His music is OK, the words are poetic but the melody and accompanying music Seems somewhat monotonal and often distractingly off-key. Maybe this is so as to not detract from the lyrics and as a delivery method it is reasonably effective. The musical content aside, this is no ground-breaking film. That it was pieced back together from 3000 clips is impressive, but not as awesome as if it had been a more interesting subject - it's a music tour documentary and it's pretty run-of-the-mill; you like the ones about a band you love and otherwise just go "meh, seen it all before". The director is not one I've seen any work of previously, and I'm not likely to want hunt his work out in the future. Footage has been worked in to accompany some of the songs and, whilst it may be fitting to the subject, is not always what you might expect and here's the crux of my review: there's one part of the film that I'm now always now going to associate with this artist every time I hear one of his songs and it's not right that I should because it's not his fault, it's the director's. The film contains actual footage of an actual person being actually executed. If you don't know it's coming it is actually disturbing and will actually stay with you for the rest of your life. There's other images of people being horribly killed, but the one that sticks with me is of a man being shot in the head in Vietnam, complete with all the images of what happens to a person when they are executed in this manner. The still photo from this footage is well known, but I didn't know it comes from a film. Now i know it does and won't forget it. It's not Hollywood, it's graphic in the way you know only real life can be. So if you want to see a fairly drab 70s "rockumentary" and never see life in quite the same way again, watch this film. Otherwise go buy an album and enjoy the pictures you choose to put in your head rather than those another interpret's for you, which has always been the point of poetry, hasn't it?
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