Remembering Leonard Cohen

On Film / Short Takes — Nov 11, 2016

Last night, we were heartbroken to learn of the passing of Leonard Cohen at the age of eighty-two. A trailblazing musician who started out as a poet and novelist, Cohen established himself as one of the world’s most influential singer-songwriters, exploring themes of romantic longing and spiritual anguish over the course of a nearly five-decade career. His unmistakable baritone took on haunting new dimensions when brought to the big screen, most notably in Robert Altman’s melancholy 1971 western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, which uses three songs from the singer’s 1967 debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

In memory of this great artist, we’re sharing the above excerpt from a scene in McCabe & Mrs. Miller that features Cohen’s song “Sisters of Mercy.” For a closer look at the music in Altman’s masterpiece, check out Robert Christgau’s examination of Cohen’s contributions to the soundtrack.