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Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:15 pm
by Paul Zagreb
Lizzy and David's words are why I love this forum so much. I have the DVD, which a friend got autographed for me by Tony Palmer at Greenman festival. It is a tour de force and it is incredibly respectful to Leonard as an artist and man. I would hate to see this truth lost in legal maneouvering that seem to be about Sony at the very last moment realising that the film might sell in large numbers and they can make a buck or two. I feel no guilt whatsoever for purchasing and having it but do want the brilliance of it to be as widely available as possible. I am really sorry, of course, that Leonard is reported to be disappointed not least because of all that has gone before in his dealings with managers, lawyers, accountants and, of course, with Sony. I don't want to be party to any slanging match. Two things strike me and they make a kind of paradox. The first is that Leonard and his management's support for the forum and related web sites has brought all of us fans nothing but good over the years - perhaps far more than it could ever be possible to hope for. At the same time, the forum is a place which, whilst people sometimes overstep the line, has always been the best example of how we can disagree with each other without hurling insults and personalising disagreements about ideas. Both the closeness to Leonard of the forum and its independence are precious to me. I couldn't imagine losing either. I really hope that Leonard and Robert Kory and Tony Palmer and Steven Machat can find a way out of this in a way which all are comfortable with.

Paul

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:31 pm
by neo
I don't think we've been too harsh on Sony in this discussion. At least we would have criticized any other record label just the same.

Thank you Davido for posting 'Any System'!

Yeah, any system be it Sony, Warner or whomever! :lol:

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:34 pm
by Paul Zagreb
neo wrote:I don't think we've been too harsh on Sony in this discussion. At least we would have criticized any other record label just the same.

Thank you Davido for posting 'Any System'!

Yeah, any system be it Sony, Warner or whomever! :lol:
I agree completely .. I just don't want us starting to be hard on each other!

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:35 pm
by Cheshire gal
I think possibly Sony is causing this trouble to generate sales. They must know that all Forum members and fans would buy this DVD, which is excellent, but perhaps they think more would buy it if it was to be made scarce and controversial.

I also hate to think of Leonard being upset by this. He has given us so much of himself and this film proves it. It is very well filmed but a little sad also.

Cheshire gal

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:49 pm
by brightnow
Cheshire gal wrote:

...I also hate to think of Leonard being upset by this. He has given us so much of himself and this film proves it. It is very well filmed but a little sad also.

Cheshire gal
Here's something most of us can agree on!

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:58 am
by musicmania
I have just finished watching this DVD and before I comment on it I have a couple of other comments to make.

1) Having had a few dealings with Vince on both his shop site and FB I can honestly say I believe he would NEVER do anything which would knowingly upset Leonard and was acting in good faith when he sold copies to me and many others who were delighted with the professional service that we received.

1) I am not going to pretend to know what Sonys or Robert Korys motives are but I'm sure they will be revealed and hopefully a truce will be called between them and Tony Palmer and this DVD gets the recognition it deserves. I would really like for Leonard at least to give this his support. I don't really care what Sony think but acknowledge the role they play in Leonards life and I do believe that Robert Kory is acting in Leonards best interest. As it stands I don't think anyone has reason to doubt this.

Now to the actual DVD and I will try and be careful here as not to spoil it for those who have yet to see it. While the happenings of the last couple of days took the shine off my delight of receiving this nothing can take away from the effect it has had on me from watching it. Having being originally recorded just six years before I was born I am very grateful to having the opportunity of seeing this documentary that takes Leonard back to age where he was only a few years older than I am now. By definition for me something which makes me laugh one minute and be in floods of tears the next is gonna rate highly and this most definately had both. There were harrowing scenes during Story of Issac where at one stage I covered my eyes but I do believe we should see this as I'm a strong believer in knowing our history and what is going on around the world. I only recently discovered this song and it is fast becoming a favourite. I absolutely loved Leonards reply that when asked what is success and he replyed survival. That gave me food for thought and made me realise how true that is. My favourite part of the DVD was the last 20 minutes. I won't reveal too much but I really wanted to reach into my screen and give Leonard a hug. Before I saw Leonard in Lissadell I didn't think I could love him more and then again after Lissadell but this has just endeared me to him even more. I will be eternally grateful that I have Leonard and his music and poetry in my life and I have a feeling that this DVD will be watched over and over again. just hope in my heart that every Leonard fan who wants to will get a chance to see this.

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:25 am
by bridger15
musicmania wrote: ...last 20 minutes. I won't reveal too much but I really wanted to reach into my screen and give Leonard a hug.
What a beautiful post, musicmania.

When I watched the DVD for the third time last night (premiere in Krakow and twice at home), I had tears in my eyes at that point. I know exactly how you felt.

---Arlene

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:18 am
by Shockvalue
Paul Zagreb wrote:It is a tour de force and it is incredibly respectful to Leonard as an artist and man. I would hate to see this truth lost in legal maneouvering that seem to be about Sony at the very last moment realising that the film might sell in large numbers and they can make a buck or two. I feel no guilt whatsoever for purchasing .......
Paul
Well said!! - it does all seem to be getting a bit "grubby" with "bucks" being the bottom line! The only winners in these sort of things are generally the lawyers.
I would hate to see it down to people equating Leonard again with poor management/money decisions(albeit in a different context). When Leonard embarked on this tour there were many people who only heard the focus from the press of the financial motivation for the tour. When I mentioned I was going to the concerts I received a number of number of comments along the lines of "oh he's only touring again because he needs the money"! As we all discovered there was so much more and these concerts are judged as some of the finest live performances ever.
With regard to "Bird on a Wire" I hope it gets sorted - the movie is part of both Leonard's and Tony's creative legacy.

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:31 am
by lightning
Does anyone have a key to these mysteries?
What did Sony have to do with the BBC edit when in the early '70's,when it was made, Leonard was signed to Columbia Records?
If Leonard was paying for storage of the Bird on a Wire films for 22 years, why didn't he tell Tony where they were during that time?
What happened to the film after the Rainbow Theatre? Who kept it from being distributed and why?

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:34 am
by Cheshire gal
Barnes and Noble in the U.S. is still offering it on line at $14.99. Look under movies to find it, not music.

Good luck. It is really a must for all of us. Amazon says it is not available.

Cheshire gal

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:45 am
by bene449
Jarrko/Marie,

Thanks for posting the reply from Leonard's management, who obviously support this site. I don't think you realise that my videos were ordered at an event in Krakov, which was facilitated by Leonardcohenfiles and had Leonard's blessing (he gave a free gift to each visitor, in the event bag). Now, you guys are suggesting that i should return the dvds to Sony, which i bought at an event promoted by Leonardcohenfiles, and lose my money???????????????

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:38 pm
by Puddingdale
Amazon.co.uk shipped my DVD today. I was looking forward to this and as many am now confused. Should I have a bad conscience?
I guess/hope not.There was a lot of time to prevent the release of this DVD. By now many copies have been sold and distributed, there have been official screenings, fans have watched and legally own their copy... As has been said before, if SONY really manages to stop sales, bootlegs will re-emerge and that would be even worse for them.
The only thing that might be able to stop or rather diminish a further distribution of the finished masterpiece would be a direct statement from Leonard that he really was against it. But how could that be? Is there some regret that he allowed Tony to film his vulerability up and close? That is the only reason I could think of really, I do not believe this is about money on Leonard's part. However, I cannot picture him taking back a graceful and brave gesture he granted decades ago...
Hmmmm. Whatever may be the case, I surely am not strong enough to prevent myself from watching the DVD as soon as it arrives. ;-)

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:53 pm
by bene449
Pudding,

You are right in that it is confusing, especially when you are only being spoonfed the information. If you want to know why these sort of things happen, it may be worth reading "Gods, Gangsters and Honour" by Steve Machat. Some people may say that it is full of lies but it is strange that the powers that be didn't try and stop its release. There is quite a lengthy chapter on Leonard Cohen and his management. This is not a plug because i sell this book on my website; you can get it from any good bookseller.

Vince
Leonardcohencafe

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:01 pm
by Puddingdale
Thanks. :) I hope we will learn more soon.

Re: Tony Palmer presents "Bird on a wire"

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:55 pm
by Pearlvoice
Gee, only now have I read about all the trouble regarding the DVD. While I think it's really sad that so many trouble and legal action is apparantly going on regarding the release of such an extraordinary movie, I think that it's just impossible for us to judge what is going on there behind the scenes. We don't know the original legal contracts made back then when the film was produced and originally released in the movies, who held (and still holds) the rights, distribution licenses etc etc. It's probably not that simple as just to say "It's Tony Palmers film so he can do with it whatever he wants to". There are so many legal questions that have to be dealt with and fixed in legal agreements in connection with the production, release, copyrights, distribution rights of such a movie. Based on which Leonard/Kory might (!) well have the right to say that they would've liked to have it released with Sony. There are just too many facts that we don't know (please correct me if I'm wrong here as I am only judging from what I just learned here) so I really wouldn't want to take sides as long as these things remain in the dark.