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'72 Leonard Cohen Film Sets DVD Release

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From MVD: Tony Palmer and MVD Visual are proud to announce the release of Leonard Cohen "Bird On A Wire" for US distribution on August 31.

Originally made in 1972 and directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, "Bird On A Wire" follows Cohen on his 1972 European tour and contains 17 classic performances, 4 poems and tour footage. After massive re-editing, although not by Palmer, it was released in 1974, had a very limited run and then 'disappeared'. Like many films from the era it was thought that the original version had been lost, but in 2009, 294 rolls of film were discovered containing much of the original rushes and soundtrack of the 1972 film. Palmer was able to restore much of this footage and it is now available on DVD for the first time.

"When, in 2009, 294 cans of film were discovered in a warehouse in Hollywood, in rusted up cans that sometimes had to be hammered open, and these cans were shipped to me by, of all people, Frank Zappa's manager, I believed at first that nothing could be salvaged. The cans did not contain the negative (still lost); some of the prints were in black & white; and much of it had been cut to pieces and/or scratched beyond use. But when I finally opened one box and found most of the original sound dubbing tracks, I knew we had a hope of putting the jigsaw back together," said Palmer. "So now, taking full advantage of the latest digital technology, this is what we have done, piece by piece, slowly and painstakingly. It has taken months and months, and probably has cost more than the original filming, and although it's by no means perfect, it's very close now to the original." . . .

Tracks include: Avalanche, Suzanne, Tonight Will Be Fine, Passing Through, Sisters of Mercy, Who By Fire?, Story of Isaac, One Of Us Can't Be Wrong, The Partisan, Chelsea Hotel, Nancy, Famous Blue Raincoat, Bird On A Wire, and more...

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