Leonard Cohen – Happens to the Heart

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Thanks for the Dance: Happens To The Heart
Daniel Askill directs the first film in a new series of artistic responses to Leonard Cohen‘s posthumous album in partnership with Sony Music Canada

Nowness has invited a global roster of filmmakers and artists to present visual interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s life and lyrics in a new and exciting collaboration with the Leonard Cohen Estate and Sony Music Canada. “Happens To The Heart” is the first official single from the folk legend’s last original and unreleased album, Thanks For The Dance, which has been reimagined for film by award-winning director Daniel Askill.

“This film charts the letting go of ego and the trappings of fame”

Known for his transportive and emotionally-charged visual storytelling, Askill pairs Cohen’s resonant baritone poetry with the physical and emotional undressing of a young explorer who finds spiritual catharsis after meeting a mysterious monk in the woods.

I wanted to make something that spoke to Leonard’s years as a zen monk,” says the director, who was inspired by the musician’s dedication to Buddhism and the five years Cohen spent living at California’s Mount Baldy Zen Center. “This film is a quiet, symbolic narrative that charts the letting go of ego and the trappings of fame.

“This series explores Cohen’s core thematics: from love and loss to artistic expression”
Bunny Kinney, Nowness creative director says, “our ambition with this series of short films is not only to uphold and celebrate Leonard Cohen’s incredible artistic legacy with new visuals, helmed by some of the most exciting image-makers working today, but to also further explore Cohen’s work and the core thematics of his music: from love and loss to artistic expression itself, identity, self-reflection, transformation and transcendence.”

Offering creative insight into the hidden machinations of Cohen’s life, Askill invites viewers to contemplate their search for enlightenment in a film—as the director describes—“that aims to speak universally of any transition we go through in life.”

via https://www.nowness.com/series/thanks-for-the-dance-leonard-cohen/happens-to-the-heart-daniel-askill

Thanks for the Dance Nowness series


Lyrics:

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I got my shit together
Meeting Christ and reading Marx
It failed my little fire
But it’s bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart

There’s a mist of summer kisses
Where I tried to double-park
The rivalry was vicious
The women were in charge
It was nothing, it was business
But it left an ugly mark
I’ve come here to revisit
What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets
I was dressing kind of sharp
Had a pussy in the kitchen
And a panther in the yard

In the prison of the gifted
I was friendly with the guards
So I never had to witness
What happens to the heart

I should have seen it coming
After all I knew the chart
Just to look at her was trouble
It was trouble from the start
Sure we played a stunning couple
But I never liked the part
It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle
What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle
The devil’s got a harp
Every soul is like a minnow
Every mind is like a shark
I’ve broken every window
But the house, the house is dark
I care but very little
What happens to the heart

Then I studied with this beggar
He was filthy, he was scarred
By the claws of many women
He had failed to disregard
No fable here no lesson
No singing meadowlark
Just a filthy beggar guessing
What happens to the heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
It was just some old convention
Like the horse before the cart
I had no trouble betting
On the flood, against the ark
You see, I knew about the ending
What happens to the heart

I was handy with a rifle
My father’s .303
I fought for something final
Not the right to disagree

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