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Leonard Cohen, Playful at All Ages

Today is Leonard’ Cohen’s much-anticipated, somewhat controversial Tel Aviv performance. So much anticipated, in fact, that Cohen seems to have employed a decoy version of himself in order to avoid the enthusiasms of the Israeli paparazzi at Ben Gurion airport.

In honor not so much of Cohen’s Israel appearance as the singer’s 75th birthday, the Canadian National Film Board has made available online the 1965 documentary, “Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen.” Shot in Montreal during one of Cohen’s winter visits from his residence on the Greek Island of Hydra, the film documents Cohen before the start of his musical career, when he was just a precocious Canadian poet. Though dated, the documentary reveals Cohen’s trademark charm as well as the wiliness with which he still confounds the media.

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