Two Men of Montreal

Canada 1965

Documentary The stories of two Montrealers who have little in common except that they are both content with their lives. Includes the film Legault's Place about Emile Legault's old cottage around which Montréal has grown; and Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen.. 58 min.


Canada 1966

Experimental film A man, a woman and a dog take turns donning wings in this 1966 experimental film that both mocks and embodies the spirit of its decade. Featuring music and an uncredited appearance by Leonard Cohen (6 min. 55 sec.). Available on home video.


Canada 1967

Experimental film A prose poem read by Leonard Cohen from the novel Beautiful Losers to the accompaniment of diverse photographs and other illustrations. While Cohen reads, the camera moves in and out of the pictures; he reads four times and each time the emotional effect is different. Directed by Josef Reeve, produced by Tom Daly, National Film Board of Canada, 4:35 min. Available on home video.

Ernie Game

Canada 1967

Drama A mid-winter romantic feature filmed in Montreal, a story about young people who have left their parents’ homes but still have not made homes of their own. Directed by Don Owen, starring by Jackie Burroughs and Anna Cameron. Music by The Kensington Market and Leonard Cohen who is shown playing The Stranger Song at a party. National Film Board of Canada, 88 min.

Isle of Wight Rock Festival

UK 1970 (1995)

Concert film On August 31, 1970, Leonard Cohen performed in the Isle of Wight Rock Festival. >From his gig only the song Suzanne is included in the 3-hour television documentary produced by the BBC. Read more. Available on home video released by Castle.

Dynamite Chicken

USA 1971

Experimental film Here we have a weird documentary which features a full one plus minute of Cohen reading What am I doing Here 1964, from "Flowers for Hitler". Only accompanied by black & white photo. The movie is mostly Richard Pryor, fair amount of Paul Krassner for us aging hippies! (Dick Straub) - A collection of skits, parodies, musical performances, and film clips supposedly relating to the peace movement of the late Sixties and early Seventies , but more a general patchwork than a purposeful collection. Cast (in credits order): Joan Baez, Linda Boyce, Jim Buckley, Ron Carey, Leonard Cohen, Marshall Efron, Jay Garner, Paul Krassner, John Lennon, Peter Max, Ondine, Yoko Ono, Richard Pryor, Lisa Ryan, Andy Warhol, Malcolm X, Lenny Bruce, Al Goldstein, Allen Ginsberg, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Charly Manna. Cinematography by Guy Fraumeni.- (Internet movie data base)

Poets on Film # 1

Canada 1977

Experimental film Animated interpretations of the poems Riverdale Lion by John Robert Colombo, A Kite Is a Victim by Leonard Cohen, Klaxon by James Reaney, and The Bulge by George Johnston. See next entry. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. 8:17 min.

A Kite is a Victim

Canada 1977

Experimental film "Worthy, lyric and pure," a line from this early Cohen poem, describes this animated short and the poetry itself. Excerpt from Poets on Film No. 1 (1 min. 25 sec.). Available on home video.

Moving Picture

Canada 1985

Art film Scene of the film: rehearsal at a ballet studio; Leonard Cohen has a supporting role as a visitor to the studio. The leading part is played by Ann Ditchburn (who is also the Gypsy Wife in "I am a Hotel" video). The coreography of many of the dances is hers. Two Cohen songs are heard in the backgroundFirst We Take Manhattan and Famous Blue Raincoat (by Jennifer Warnes) Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. 53 min.

Miami Vice
Episode: French Twist

USA 1987

TV series Leonard Cohen's tv star debut as Zolan, a senior executive in the French Secret Service engaged in an illegal operation to blow up Greenpeace boats. Sheer fiction, of course; nothing like that ever happened in reality. (And if you believe that, you may also believe Monsieur Cohen's French accent/Stephen Scobie). Cohen was lured into the role by his son Adam, a fan of the TV series.

Prince's Gala Trust

UK 1988 (2000)

Concert documentary Every year Prince's Gala Trust organizes a big concert in London. In 1988 Leonard Cohen performed some of his songs, of which Tower of Song is also on the 1988 DVD volume.

View from the Typewriter

Canada 1993

Documentary Through selections from the works of ten of Canada's finest writers, the nation's cultures, peoples and landscapes are explored. Using segments from several NFB documentary portraits of Canadian writers, this production features Hugh MacLennan, W.O. Mitchell, Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, Jack Hodgins, Farley Mowat, Leonard Cohen, Malcolm Lowry, Earle Birney and Milton Acorn paying tribute to their country. 47:27 min.

I'm Your Man

Canada 1996

Animation Set to the Leonard Cohen song of the same name, this irreverent animated film plays on the conventions and clichés of romance (4 min. 32 sec.). Available on home video.

US Poetry

USA 1996

Poetry reading The PBS broadcast of the five-part series The United States of Poetry in February and March 1996 (depending on the station) had Canadian Leonard Cohen reading (not singing) part of "Democracy" from his 1992 album The Future. Cohen starts off part 3, The American Dream. Cohen is sitting at a desk during the entire reading in black surroundings, with no background except an American flag in the beginning. This segues into a flaglike Universal Product Code (UPC) with a white spot for the stars representing the 50 states, and the camera pans progressively in on Cohen. There is sparse musical accompaniment about half way through the reading. This TV documentary was produced by Washington Square Films for the Independent Television Service. Available on home video and CD. Click on this link: Democracy - to hear the poem! (in RealAudio)

Tower of Song

Canada 2001

Documentary Focusing on the 30 Canadian musicians who are in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame--a diverse array of artists including Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, The Guess Who, Neil Young, and classical pianist Glenn Gould--this television special explores each artist in the context of their homeland. Unfortunately Cohen gets less than two minutes. Produced by Musical & Performing Arts, 92 min. Released on DVD.

Later with Jools Holland...Giants

UK 2003

TV performance
On Later with Jools Holland...GIANTS the host introduces us to thirty-two musical legends of the last thirty years, including Leonard Cohen with his 1993 outtake of Dance me to the end of love. In a short interview Cohen talks of his early country music influences. DVD release.

This Beggar's Description

Canada 2005

Documentary A sensitive, moving doc chronicling the life of Philip Tétrault, a Montreal poet, musician and diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. A promising athlete as a child, Philip began experiencing mood swings in his early 20s. His extended family, including his daughter, share their conflicted feelings love, guilt, shame, anger with the camera. Director/writer Pierre Tétrault (brother of Philip) uses lots of shattered, hazy imagery and some discordant music (by Donald Quan ) for ambience. Songs by Leonard Cohen also add a running commentary, and Cohen, himself a long-time admirer of Philip's poetry, makes a poignant, understated appearance at the film's end. In one particularly humorous scene, Cohen, a V8 in his hand, and Phil, with an ever present bottle of scotch in his, are sitting on a park bench trying to figure out how long they've known each other. Try as they might, the two wordsmiths can't figure out what 52 minus 18 equals. If you have the DVD be sure to also watch the special feature "Picnic in the park - shooting the breeze with Leonard Cohen" (Sources: and

Last revised on November 11, 2005