Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song sheds light on the rise of an iconic song
Very few songs have gained as much endurance and widespread appeal as Leonard Cohenit’s “Hallelujah”. Covered by several emblematic artists such as Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley, and with images and messages that appeal to both religious and secular alike, its rise as one of the most well-known and beloved pieces of music is nothing short of amazing. As such, it is quite easy to understand why the song is the subject of a new documentary. The new trailer for Alleluia: Leonard Cohen, A journey, a song teases the song’s rise to prominence and the convoluted, meandering journey Cohen went on to both write the song and get it out to the public. The film, which is set to debut at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival on June 12, will hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles on July 1 before its national release in the weeks to follow.
The trailer focuses on the man behind the iconic song, which is widely considered a mystery to music fans. Leonard Cohen was a spiritual seeker, constantly exploring religions other than his own. Before writing his magnum opus, he spent time as a monk, devoting hours of his time in a prayer hall, all for the sake of spiritual discovery. This sets up Cohen’s perspective on “Hallelujah” – a song formed from a lifetime of deep contemplation of the mysteries of the world. From there, the song became a priority for the musician and at one point had 180 verses according to a former Rolling Stone journalist. Despite all his hard work, the album was rejected by Columbia Records even though they had already paid for it.
The second half of the trailer then sets up the song’s phoenix rise. Under a new publisher, the song slowly crept up the charts thanks to covers by Buckley and John Calewith “Hallelujah” even ending up in the hit 2001 animated film, Shrek. Testimonials from recording artists and others for the documentary highlight how different people were affected by different versions of the song. From there, the rest was history. “Hallelujah” earned a living of its own and eventually achieved iconic status after becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a journey, a song Just The Galapagos Adventure directors Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine. The film pulls together a collection of rare footage and interviews to tell Cohen’s often overlooked story and how his song went from flop to famous. Cohen himself approved the film’s production in 2014, giving the crew access to some of his personal belongings, including his notebooks and journals, as well as photographs courtesy of the Cohen Trust.
In addition to being shot for Tribeca, the film also had successful runs at the Venice Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival. It holds a very solid 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out the film’s trailer below to get a glimpse of the story behind Cohen’s famous song before it hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles on July 1:
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