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Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

(Rated M)

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"Now so long, Marianne..."

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From celebrated documentarian Nick Broomfield (Whitney: Can I Be Me, Soldier Girls) comes a delicate portrait of the renowned friendship and torrid love affair between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian “muse” Marianne Ihlen. Starting on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in the late 1960s, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love follows the legendary couple from their serendipitous meet-cute in a local marketplace throughout their tempestuous romance, from broken hearts and cold shoulders to the utterly beautiful songs that would end up memorialising their one-time love. Carefully exploring the fine line in hedonistic bohemia between anything-goes and everything-falls-apart, this poetic documentary is a must-see for Cohen devotees and romantic types alike.

"A tender, vivid snapshot ... Marianne Ihlen emerges as someone of enormous gentleness and dignity"
— The Guardian
"Unmissable ... puts the artist-muse relationship under the microscope"
— Rolling Stone
"Admiring, affectionate and a little awe-struck"
— The New York Times
"Hauntingly beautiful ... Packs an emotional punch"
— Little White Lies

Why You Should See This Film

Indulging the well-known mythos behind Cohen’s beloved ballad “So Long, Marianne” while also contradicting its simplistic sexual politics, Broomfield’s film manages to unpick the figure of the “muse” and reveal the fascinating complexity of Ihlen herself. An important revision of timeless cultural tropes and also an all-access view into the recording of some of Cohen’s most gorgeous lyrics, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is haunting, quietly told and surprisingly personal.

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  • Year: 2019
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Nick Broomfield
  • Cast: Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins
  • Duration: 102 minutes
  • Language: English
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