Leonard Cohen Europe ’72 DVD Coming August
Tony Palmer’s 1972 European tour film finally available to consumers in August. Watch a preview clip, below.
MVD Visual is bringing a rare concert film to DVD on August 31. Originally made in 1972 and directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, “Bird On A Wire” follows Leonard Cohen on his 1972 European tour and contains 17 classic performances, 4 poems and tour footage. As part of the deal, the digipak includes a reproduction of the ’72 film poster, pictured below.
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.
Palmer, a veteran of films on the Beatles, Cream,
Hendrix and Zappa, picks up the story:
“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.
“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.
“Now, looking back after 38 years, my admiration for Cohen as a poet, a singer and as a man, remains undiminished. The original film was made with love, and I hope that quality once again shines through the restored film.”