Meeting Tony Palmer, "Leonard Cohen Bird On A Wire" at UCLA, Los Angeles

Arlene & Tony Palmer

 From May 25, 2010  leonardcohenforum

Meeting Tony Palmer and talking about changes in the new release of "Bird On A Wire"

Tony Palmer was in Los Angeles on the May 22, 2010 weekend for the Tony Palmer Wagner Film Festival, a part of the hoopla leading up to the Los Angeles Opera's first Ring Cycle. While not a fan of Wagner or of the Ring, I am an enthusiast of historic Opera productions. So I attended the Saturday afternoon screening of Palmer's "The Wagner Family," a film chronicling the internecine fighting among the composer's family members.

Prior to the screening, I had the chance to talk with Tony Palmer and his associate, Rob Ayling, at a meet & greet.

Tony Palmer, Rob Ayling

Mr Palmer had just finished a difficult Q&A following the showing of another of his films, "Parsifal -- The Search for the Grail," and commented that "a good proportion of the audience this morning were in a somewhat disturbed emotional state at the end of the film". He brightened, however, when he noticed a sheet I was holding with the image of the Bird On A Wire DVD cover I had printed out from Jarkko's post.  (Thank you, Jarkko)

And when I mentioned that everyone on the Leonard Cohen forum is very excited about the impending release of the DVD, he smiled broadly and replied, "You just made my day".

He then became effusive and ebullient - and incredibly charming. telling me how the the new version of the film will differ from the original. When I asked him if anything had been edited out from the original film that he regretted seeing on the cutting room floor, he looked dismayed then became very excited. Palmer explained that the original footage of Leonard Cohen speaking, deleted from the first release at LC's request, has been restored to the new DVD version.

Mr Palmer was also good enough to agree to a photo with me, insisting we hold the sheet with the Bird On Wire DVD cover, which he later autographed.
Afterward, Rob Ayling forwarded these two photos to me.

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