Leonard Cohen, Mt. Baldy ’96
This engaging documentary was produced and filmed by a French artist, Armelle Brusq and filmed in Spring 1996 on Mt. Baldy and in Los Angeles. More details here from www.leonardcohenfiles.com:
“The film describes the daily routines of the Zen monks at the Zen Center of Mt. Baldy: waking up early (2:30 or 3:00 am), marching together to the ceremonies, meditating, making food and eating. We see Cohen working in the kitchen and helping his dear friend and teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi (90 years at the time of shooting); later he drives with Roshi to another Zen Center (Rinzai Ji) in Los Angeles.
Cohen’s cabin with his Technics KN 3000 synthesizer and computers are shown, and he sings his new song A thousand kisses deep. He also recites three unpublished poems, two telling about Roshi (one titled Roshi at 89) . The third was titled Too old.
The camera also visits the office of Stranger Management: Cohen demonstrates his archives (lots of boxes full of notebooks, he shows a poster of his first book Let Us Compare Mythologies and a painting made by Suzanne, the mother of his children). Later a studio session is going on, he is working with Raffi Hakopian (violin) and Leanne Ungar (his sound engineer). Afterwards Cohen and Brusq dine at Canter’s.
In this documentary Cohen tells about his life, his memories, why he lives at the Zen Center. He suggests that some kind of a circle has been closed and now he can do something else (see footnote)
The film ends with (I was) Never Any Good (at loving you), a new song written for his next album. He goes to his car and listens to a demo sung by Billy Valentine.”