Gabriel Byrne is set to star in a new film inspired by the words and music of Leonard Cohen.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Wait. That’s Joyce. But you understand my meaning, I am sure.
Melanie Goodfellow at Screen Daily has the exclusive scoop. I am trying really hard not to copy and paste the entire article here, so be sure to head over there and read it!
Byrne’s character Samuel O’Shea has seen better days as the film opens. His second marriage is ending and he has started seeing strange things such [as] Frankenstein sidling up to him in a bar, or his much-missed late father popping in for a chat.
When Samuel discovers he has a brain tumour, which may be the cause of his strange visions, he enters a more reflective period of his life, moving to his family’s remote shack, where he embarks on the novel he has been meaning to write all his adult life and unexpectedly falls in love with a local woman. This trajectory leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable happy ending.
The title of the film is taken from Leonard Cohen’s 1977 album, and the script was inspired by the work of the late Canadian poet and musician, including themes of love, loss and the relationship between fathers and sons.
Cohen’s music and verse will be woven throughout the film supported by his blessing of the project prior to his death in 2016 and the continuing support of his management.
Directed by Matt Bissonnette, from his script, you should know that he has a previous Leonard-Cohen-inspired film in his repertoire, so that’s interesting.
The film will begin production in Montreal and the west coast of Ireland this summer.
Here is Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies’ Man, published in 1977, arranged by legendary Phil Spector.
This review from Rolling Stone in 1978 offers some perspective:
“Death of a Ladies’ Man,” one of Cohen’s finest songs, is a seriocomic marvel that leaves you either anticipating great adventure or wondering if you’ve just had it. A man and a woman fall in love, and eventually the more realistic woman completely trashes the poor, romantic man, taking everything, including his sexual identity. (“The last time that I saw him/He was trying hard to get/A woman’s education/But he’s not a woman yet.”) The song’s incredible last verse manages to be terrifying, funny and philosophically awesome, all at the same time. It’s about life and love and could serve as an epitaph for most of us sharing this planet:
So the great affair is over
But whoever would have guessed
It would leave us all so vacant
And so deeply unimpressed
It’s like our visit to the moon
Or to that other star
I guess you go for nothing
If you really want to go that far.
Of course, we have no idea how Leonard Cohen’s words and music inspired this film or how they will be used in the film itself. It’s fun to ponder, though, and we do not have anything else to go on for the moment.
So, stay tuned for more news about Gabriel’s latest project. It’s going to be brilliant. Yes. Yes. Yes.
PS. The header image above is indeed Gabriel Byrne, in a wallpaper I made long ago. Here it is, in the event you would like to decorate your desktop. heart