This site uses some unobtrusive cookies to store information on your computer.
What are cookies?

This site uses some unobtrusive cookies to store information on your computer.

Some cookies on this site are essential, and the site won't work as expected without them. These cookies are set when you submit a form, login or interact with the site by doing something that goes beyond clicking on simple links.

We also use some non-essential cookies to anonymously track visitors or enhance your experience of the site. If you're not happy with this, we won't set these cookies but some nice features of the site may be unavailable.

By using our site you accept these terms.



Leonard Cohen - Bird on a Wire (with Tony Palmer) (12A)

Leonard Cohen - Bird on a Wire (with Tony Palmer)

Fri 28 Sep


Directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire is a 1972 documentary film that chronicles a troubled concert tour of Europe and Israel by the acclaimed Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. A differently edited version, not directed by Tony Palmer, opened in London in 1974 and was shown on German television, but it disappeared for decades and the original vision was considered a lost film.

Here, a fully restored version of Tony Palmer's original version of the film (released for the first time in 2010) is presented on the big screen - with a live introduction from Tony Palmer himself, who will be signing DVD copies of the film after the screening.

"Simply one of the most beautiful music documentaries I have ever seen, as moving as the man’s music. Both fascinating and hilarious. It is also a compelling document of Europe in the early 70s. There is achingly beautiful footage of Cohen singing at the peak of his powers, lit and framed so as to look like a Renaissance painting. In watching him sing, you see more of the soul of this unique, enigmatic artist.”

- Bernadette McNulty, The Telegraph

About Tony Palmer

Tony Palmer is a British film director and author. His work includes over 100 films, ranging from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher and Frank Zappa, to his classical portraits which include profiles of Maria Callas, Margot Fonteyn, John Osborne, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner, Yehudi Menuhin, Carl Orff, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams. He is also a stage director of theatre and opera.

Among over 40 international prizes for his work are 12 Gold Medals from the New York Film Festival as well as numerous BAFTAs and Emmy Awards. Palmer has won the Prix Italia twice, for A Time There Was in 1980 and At the Haunted End of the Day in 1981. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an honorary citizen of both New Orleans and Athens.

Tony Palmer has also published several books, and has written for The New York Times, The Times, Punch, Life Magazine and more. From 1967–74 he was a regular music critic for The Observer, and from 1969–74 he had a weekly column in The Spectator entitled 'Notes from the Underground'.