Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Lian Lunson, Director of "Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man"

By Indiewire | Indiewire June 20, 2006 at 5:19AM

Fresh from a run on the fest circuit that has included stops in Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin (among many others) is Lian Lunson's "Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man," a documentary about the acclaimed and influential musician. Opening this Wednesday at Film Forum in New York, the movie is anchored at a the "Came So Far For Beauty" show, a tribute to Leonard Cohen at the Sydney Opera House in Australia last year. The film features interview footage with Cohen as well as live performances by Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton, Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, Jarvis Cocker, The Handsome Family, Julie Christensen and Perla Battala, and a performance of "Tower of Song" by Cohen with U2.
0

Fresh from a run on the fest circuit that has included stops in Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin (among many others) is Lian Lunson's "Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man," a documentary about the acclaimed and influential musician. Opening this Wednesday at Film Forum in New York, the movie is anchored at a the "Came So Far For Beauty" show, a tribute to Leonard Cohen at the Sydney Opera House in Australia last year. The film features interview footage with Cohen as well as live performances by Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton, Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, Jarvis Cocker, The Handsome Family, Julie Christensen and Perla Battala, and a performance of "Tower of Song" by Cohen with U2.

Lian Lunson recently responded to indieWIRE's email questionnaire, his answers to our questions are published below.

Please tell us about yourself...:

I was born and raised in Australia. Went to drama school, became an actress and did a few movies before I moved to America in 1987. Apart from being an actress, I have done every job on a film set that there is to do. Ultimately I became a producer, which is a very helpful background to have if you want to make your own movies from the ground up.

What were the circumstances that lead you to become a filmmaker?

I learned filmmaking by working on sets and watching people do things I would never do. I learned what not to do first, and that covered a lot of bases. At least if you know what you don't like and what not to do...you have a head start. Filmmaking is a collaborative and creative process and often you are not sure what it is you want because you haven't seen it yet. Knowing clearly what you don't want to see is a good start.

I became a filmmaker because I like to create things. I like the challenge of creating an atmosphere and a heightened world.

"Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man" director Lian Lunson. Photo provided by Lionsgate

Where did the initial idea for your film come from?

The initial idea for this film came from listening to some tracks of the Leonard Cohen tribute concert that Hal Willner had put together. There was a possibility that this tribute show would be performed as part of the Sydney Festival in Australia.

I thought that if I could include Leonard Cohen then I had the makings of the film. But hearing the music first was where the idea began. I have always been inspired by films, music, literature that present some sort of otherness. I wanted the film to really show the essence of Leonard Cohen. I felt that all of these songs were like chapters in his life and that somehow all of these different performers were all different parts of him.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?

The challenge was putting the film together with that in mind, merging the concert and Leonard Cohen into a world that was something other than just that. Having extraordinarily gifted performers helped. I am not sure if I was entirely successful in doing that, but that was my goal.

What is your definition of "independent film"?

I think the concept of 'independent film' has changed dramatically with the introduction of the digital world. I mean I could get in a car with my camera and my laptop and drive across America and make a film single handedly now. And a lot of people are doing that. So I think the concept of that phrase has changed.

What are some of your all-time favorite films, and why? What are some of your recent favorite films?

My all time favorite films are "Night Of The Hunter", I first saw it as a child and it stayed with me forever. The documentary "When We Were Kings" because it truly captures the beauty, brilliance and grace that is Muhammad Ali and "Moulin Rouge" because it is so gorgeous.

Recent favorite films have been "Brokeback Mountain" for every reason and Wim Wenders' "Don't Come Knocking" because it was visually so beautiful and a real ode to the cowboy genre.

This article is related to: Documentary, Interviews






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More