Gordon Lightfoot Forums

Gordon Lightfoot Forums (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//index.php)
-   General Discussion (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=28840)

paskatefan 05-02-2019 06:05 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
OMG! Wow! Wow! Wow! Thanks again, Char!


charlene 05-03-2019 11:13 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019


Q&A part 1

charlene 05-03-2019 11:13 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
Q&A - part 2

charlene 05-03-2019 11:15 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-03-2019 11:15 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-03-2019 11:16 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-03-2019 11:16 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-03-2019 11:17 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
ALBERTA BOUND-The Good Brothers with Gordon Lightfoot

charlene 05-03-2019 11:23 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
entering the venue for the Premiere of "IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND" - Apr.27,2019.https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a8795d48_z.jpg20190427_174447 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

charlene 05-03-2019 11:25 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
AFTER PARTY entertainment:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...0c9a3df2_z.jpg20190427_214345 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...1f4b8af9_z.jpgIMG_4026 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...3655695b_z.jpg20190427_214543 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d3f71ff0_z.jpg20190427_214911 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...814701df_z.jpg20190427_215041 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d28bb042_z.jpg20190427_215212 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...46f3dbe0_z.jpg20190427_215229 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

charlene 05-03-2019 11:26 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...cda7225b_z.jpg20190427_215341 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...952343b7_z.jpg20190427_221418 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...397d7ac5_z.jpg20190427_221447 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...1d58d029_z.jpg20190427_221503 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

charlene 05-03-2019 11:29 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...0b842615_z.jpg20190427_221506 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...fc47f23b_z.jpg20190427_221509 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...62a65399_z.jpg20190427_221514 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...9f9d29c8_z.jpg20190427_221519 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...74bbf368_z.jpg20190427_221525 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...276f0c42_z.jpg20190427_221535 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...3e32f73d_z.jpg20190427_221537 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...77ef5047_z.jpg20190427_221541 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...e2c0c544_z.jpg20190427_221545 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...10829b6d_z.jpg20190427_221547 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

charlene 05-03-2019 11:52 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...1e68618d_z.jpg20190427_230338 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...2d4210c5_z.jpg20190427_230456 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...73fba3e3_z.jpg20190427_230506 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...f7c2d670_z.jpgIMG_4016 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...69e03b59_z.jpgIMG_4005 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...549fe69e_z.jpgIMG_4008 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...c4e14e8b_z.jpgIMG_4006 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d20617f5_z.jpgIMG_4015 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

charlene 05-03-2019 04:29 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-03-2019 08:30 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
Tuesday April 30, 2019 Q&A with Gordon

Off Yonge Street 05-04-2019 03:41 PM

Re: HOT DOCS -LIGHTFOOT doc to premiere

Originally Posted by Off Yonge Street (Post 192020)
The website for the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (located at 506 Bloor St. West in Toronto, near the Bathurst subway station) indicates that the movie "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind" (88 minutes) will be also be screened on the following additional dates:

Friday, May 24 - 1:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Saturday, May 25 - 3:15 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 - 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 27 - 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 28 - 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 29 - 1:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Friday, May 31 - 1:00 p.m.

The following link has further information:

The website for the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (located at 506 Bloor St. West in Toronto, near the Bathurst subway station) now indicates that the movie "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind" will be also be screened on the following dates in June:

Saturday, June 1 - 4:15 p.m.
Sunday, June 2 - 3:45 p.m.
Monday, June 3 - 1:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, June 6 - 9:15 p.m.
Friday, June 7 - 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 8 - 6:30 p.m.

The website for the Bytowne Cinema in Ottawa (located at 325 Rideau St.) indicates that the movie "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind" will be screened at that theatre on the following dates:

Friday, June 7 - 6:55 p.m.
Saturday, June 8 - 4:20 p.m.
Sunday, June 9 - 12:30 p.m. and 5:25 p.m.
Monday, June 10 - 7:15 p.m.

The following link has further information:

charlene 05-10-2019 09:15 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

By Ben RaynerPop Music Critic
Fri., May 10, 2019

The first image to flicker onscreen in Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is a long shot of the film’s titular subject standing with hands on hips at the door of his Rosedale mansion, levelling an iron gaze at the camera that veritably screams “tough nut to crack.”

And, hey, whaddaya know? Gordon Lightfoot is a tough nut to crack. The final impression of the 80-year-old Canadian folk icon left by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni’s briskly entertaining and entirely legend-affirming new documentary — which received its world premiere with two screenings attended by Gord himself in Toronto during the Hot Docs film festival late last month and will return to the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Bloor St. from May 24 until June 7 before landing on the CBC’s Documentary channel at the end of the year — is that of a meticulous, if unpretentious perfectionist and professional who prefers to do his deep thinking in private and channel it into song rather than parading himself before the public as an open book, like so many other pop stars of his stature.
So while writer/directors Kehoe and Tosoni do manage to crack open the Lightfoot mystique a little bit in If You Could Read My Mind, the real triumph of their film is that they got Gordon Lightfoot to acquiesce to a documentary examination in the first place. As his longtime personal assistant Anne Leibold, noting that Lightfoot has been approached “hundreds” of times to do similar cinematic projects during her time on the payroll, puts it to the Star: “I applaud them because they got through a thick brick wall with him.”

The dry-witted Lightfoot, who has for years been good-naturedly badgered by Kehoe and Tosoni to let them do a film on his life and work during their occasional run-ins, simply shrugs off the decision to participate in the documentary as a matter of trust and timing.

“I was sitting with John Brunton (the film’s producer) one day and he was describing how a tornado came through Muskoka and almost tore his cottage in half with him inside with his family. That got me thinking,” he says, wedged into an impossibly cramped and humid office upstairs at the Hot Docs theatre with Kehoe, Tosoni, Leibold, Lightfoot’s wife Kim Hasse, a couple of other extraneous bodies and, for some reason, an actual humidifier before attending If You Could Read My Mind’s second screening on April 30.

“This has been suggested at other times. I thought about this a long time ago — a long, long time ago — but about five years ago we were talking about it one day and we said ‘Look at us. We’re still all walking around. Let’s get it done.’ As long as they didn’t go too deep. And I had the feeling that they weren’t going to try to make, like, a hatchet job of this. So here we are. I knew there would be certain things about it that might cause me a little discomfort, but that’s no problem. I mean, it’s a harsh world out there, y’know?”

Much of the filming got done at Lightfoot’s house, he adds drolly, “because I had the parking.”

The first time Lightfoot saw If You Could Read My Mind was in the theatre with everyone else at its actual Hot Docs premiere on April 27, which made the night of the second showing a slightly less stressful occasion for the filmmakers.

He had, Kehoe says, “given us carte blanche” to do what they would with the hours of interviews they began logging shortly after Lightfoot performed a trio of shows at Massey Hall before it went dark for two years of renovations last Canada Day. And yet, although the film doesn’t dig terribly deep for dirt — If You Could Read My Mind really only glances off such potentially contentious topics as Gord’s once-formidable drinking (Anne Murray gets in a good shot nonetheless) and his tempestuous ’70s relationship with notorious groupie Cathy Smith, later implicated in the overdose death of John Belushi and the probable inspiration for 1974’s bitter “Sundown” — there were, no doubt, a few squirmy moments in the cinema to be had on opening night.

The film opens, after all, with a visibly disgusted Lightfoot watching a vintage performance of his 1966 ramblin’-man calling card “For Lovin’ Me,” declaring it “a very offensive song for a guy to write who was married with a couple of kids” and musing “I guess I don’t like who I am” before finally calling an end to the session with a snarled “I hate this f--king song.”

“I’ll be much more relaxed tonight, I think. I was nervous, Gord — really, really nervous about your reaction,” admits Tosoni. “We’ve had our tiffs, right? And I don’t mean the Toronto International Film Festival. You’ve been ticked at us a couple of times, and I just don’t like him to be. But Martha and I did the film that we thought was right and we’re glad he said he liked it. But it was a little nerve-wracking the first time.”

“Joanie and I tossed and turned over it because we did feel that, for one thing, we have this personal relationship with Gord and we also have this huge respect and, also, he had given us his trust,” adds Kehoe. “He didn’t have approval. It was kind of in our hands so we did feel like, wow, we had to do this definitive documentary. But we kinda let go of that idea. In the end, we just said ‘We’re gonna make the film that we’re making about Gord.’ Somebody could come along and make a totally different film about him — and a great one, too — and just take a different angle. We tried to go through the songs as part of the story and kinda create a story around the songs a little bit. So that’s how we wove in the personal life.”

The thrice-married Lightfoot shrugs again.

“There are things that made me feel uncomfortable at times. But that doesn’t bother me all that much, really,” he says. “It’s mostly about the music. I mean, it’s all basically there — the personal side is there — but the way they handled it, it was, like, ‘Do you want to let it all hang out or do you just want to find a nice spot where you don’t have to go too deep?’ ”

The songs do lead the way in If I Could Read Your Mind, providing a loose narrative thread from Lightfoot’s early upbringing in Orillia — there’s priceless pre-pubescent audio of him singing high-register as a church choirboy — to his early tenure on CBC’s Country Hoedown show to his years as a ’60s coffee-house cool cat rolling through Yorkville, New York and Los Angeles with the likes of Ian and Sylvia, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan on through his elevation to one of Canada’s first true international pop-superstar exports with the arrival of monster hits like “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” during the early 1970s.

The epochal version of the latter from 1976’s Summertime Dream is revealed to be not just the first take of the song he and his band attempted in the studio, but a recording of the first time they’d ever played it together. And that’s where If You Could Read My Mind’s greatest pleasures lie: in nerding out over the obsessive completeness of each composition Lightfoot still hand-annotates in solitude before giving them up to the world. And nerd out people do throughout the film. Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson all gleefully go on the record alongside Can-folk contemporaries like Ian and Sylvia Tyson and Murray McLauchlan, as well as such unexpected Gord aficionados as actor Alec Baldwin and Greg Graffin of veteran Cali-punk outfit Bad Religion, professing their love of Gordon Lightfoot’s ageless and prototypically Canadian songwriting.

Lightfoot, for his part, doesn’t mind being viewed as a bit of a museum piece in the film because he isn’t a museum piece just yet. The main reason he didn’t watch If You Could Read My Mind until its premiere was that he was out on the road until a couple of days before the screening.

“I’m always just getting off the road. We have eight legs of touring this year and we’ve only done three legs so far. Five more legs to go. We gotta pay the bills in our band so we work steadily,” he says. “It’s just all part of the game to me. Y’know, we’re busy. We’re still working. I’m working on an album right now. It’s just one more thing that we’ve got going on here, this documentary. There’s a lot of stuff going on.”

A new Gordon Lightfoot studio album would be his first since 2004’s Harmony. He won’t give up details just yet, but he will say he’s determined to finally see it through because “I’ve been talking about it so much that I’ve put myself under the gun.”

“The material is completed, but I will have to teach it to my orchestra and that’ll take some time. That might take until the end of the year,” he says. “I’m not sure if it’s gonna take me three months or nine months yet. It’s gonna be one or t’other. It’ll either come out at the end of this year or early in 2020. Once we have it down, we’ll go in and do it — when everything’s ready to be done.”

There’s a pause before an expertly timed callback.

“It’s a good thing I have all that parking at my house. An entire band can park at my house.”

Ben Rayner is the Star's music critic and based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ihateBenRayner

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...4fcc9e57_z.jpgrene johnston-tor star-apr.30:2019 by char Westbrook, on Flickr

T.G. 05-12-2019 02:16 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
Ah, so now it looks like Lightfoot WILL be using the "orchestra" and not doing the album completely solo. I prefer that.

T.G. 05-15-2019 05:16 PM

CTV Feature on the Documentary

charlene 05-21-2019 07:36 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
Round/circular building/apartment hopping to have affairs on Alexander St. in Toronto = CIRCLE IS SMALL. Only Lightfoot could meld that building with a small circle of friends knowing what's going on in a relationship.. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/gordon-li...self-1.4430644

David Friend, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:28AM EDT

Gordon Lightfoot didn't need much convincing when filmmakers approached him about a documentary on his prolific music career.

The iconic Canadian folk singer-songwriter figured their timing probably couldn't be any better.

"I'm still walking around," the 80-year-old performer says matter of factly, with a smirk, as he sits between the two documentarians in his Toronto living room.
"So let's just go ahead and let's do it."

And the way Lightfoot tells it, that's how "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind" came to be -- though its filmmakers Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, who spent eight years trying to make the documentary happen, tell a different story.

The pair were locked into sanding Lightfoot's career down to a tight 90 minutes, leaving scant room for his childhood, rise to fame, struggles with alcohol, tabloid relationships -- oh, and his colossal influence on a generation of musicians.

"We struggled with it, and we knew we would," Kehoe says.
"You can't make the definitive film about somebody like this. Someone could always come along and do a different film... and you know, we had the feeling that we're women, we're the age we are... we know Gord... We felt we could just make the movie that we would make."

When the documentary opens across Canada in the coming weeks, Lightfoot's fans will certainly have strong opinions about what made the cut and what didn't.

The musician's children are virtually left out of the picture, while the abdominal aortic aneurysm that nearly killed him in 2002 goes unmentioned. But the film uncovers other aspects of the musician that he usually keeps reserved.

It opens with Lightfoot throwing criticism at his early song "For Lovin' Me," a philandering anthem covered by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and others, that he now considers tactless and unacceptable for his concert set lists.

Later, a slightly agitated Lightfoot spills the beans on "The Circle is Small," a song he acknowledges is inspired by the "apartment hopping" he participated in while having affairs with women during the 1970s in downtown Toronto.

"I didn't have to tell them everything," Lightfoot says of the stories he shared with the filmmakers. "I mean, you've gotta put enough in there to at least make it interesting."

It's those "golden nuggets" Kehoe says were difficult to pry out of Lightfoot, who saves his deepest revelations for his music. After Lightfoot leaves the room for another interview, she explains how intensely private he could be during interviews.

"He would say, 'I don't even know why I'm doing this film.' And I said, 'Gord, it's not really for you, unfortunately,"' she adds.
"I had said to him, 'We really need you to be honest with us. This is your legacy project."'

Lightfoot understandably doesn't spend much time dwelling on the bigger questions of his legacy, possibly because in many ways he's still building it each day. He's in the midst of a U.S. tour that runs until late June.

After that, he'll put the finishing touches on his first album in 15 years.

Much of the material was created by Lightfoot in late 2001 and early 2002 before he suffered health setbacks that complicated the release of his 2004 album "Harmony."

He largely swore off writing new material in the years that followed, though Lightfoot says rediscovering "half a dozen songs" while cleaning out his office gave him new inspiration. He's confident the album will be released by early next year.

"When I was younger, I always felt that I was really not ready for prime time," Lightfoot says.

"I felt like I was too callow, I didn't like the way I spoke. I was in a feature movie and I didn't like the way I acted. It took me a long time to come to terms with that."

His perspective has changed in recent years, he adds, and "everything is just up." He's pleased with his band's live performances, and as he sees it, their comradery on the stage is inspiring.

"We're all sports-minded," he said. "We're like a team trying to improve itself more."

charlene 05-22-2019 09:52 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

Gordon Lightfoot is happy to still be performing
'I’m still doing it, and I’m so happy I’m still doing it'

Gordon Lightfoot may be 80 years old (five years older than Mick Jagger!), but he’s got a new album in the works and 40 tour dates in Canada and the U.S. this year. He has to keep moving; his fans have been following him for decades.

“They’re about 10 years behind,” he says, relaxing in his home in Toronto’s ritzy Bridle Path neighbourhood, and temporarily out of the limelight. “It’s always been that way; when I was 28, they were 18.”

He does the math. “I cover about 60 years; a couple of generations, I suppose.”

What keeps him at it? “I love the work,” he says simply. “I’m still doing it, and I’m so happy I’m still doing it. Everybody’s got that mindset. I like to stay hot.”

Lightfoot is flanked by Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe, co-directors of the documentary Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind, which premiered at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto this year, and starts its regular theatrical rollout on May 24.

Their history with the singer-songwriter goes back to the ’90s, when they did a segment on him for a doc called Country Gold. They later worked with him on the Junos – he’s won 16 in his career, and also performed at various ceremonies. So when the notion of making a feature-length doc about him came up, so did they.

“Joannie and I just kept hanging around,” Kehoe explains with a grin. Lightfoot is more direct: “I have faith in their ability.”

The doc covers the ups and downs of Lightfoot’s life, including his three marriages, six children, alcoholism and sobriety, and the aneurysm in 2002 that almost took his life, leaving him in a coma.

“I woke up from that hearing ‘Minstral of the Dawn,’” he says, referring to one of his 1970 hits. ”For six weeks, I was unconscious, and my sister was getting them to play stuff to see if it would jog my brain enough to wake me up.” Turns out Lightfoot can raise Lightfoot.

The documentary also reminds viewers just how many musicians have covered his songs. A partial list includes Neil Young, Liza Minelli, Herb Albert, Olivia Newton John, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Don McLean, Petula Clark, Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, Judy Collins, Elvis Presley, Diana Krall, Sarah McLachlan and Peter Paul & Mary. But not Frank Sinatra.

“Sinatra tried ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ and ended up throwing the music on the floor,” he recalls. “He said, ‘I can’t do this.’ ”

The new album — he’s still tinkering with the format, but says it might just be him and a guitar, akin to Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album Nebraska — will include some new songs as well as some older material that has never been released

“I have stuff that I wrote a long time ago that I’m getting ready to use right now,” he says happily. “It was lost and I found it. I found it when I was cleaning out my office one day. As strange as it may sound.”

charlene 05-22-2019 09:55 PM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

charlene 05-23-2019 10:43 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019
FOR CANADIAN LIGHTHEADS: List of CANADIAN AIRINGS - CITIES/DATES, OF THE DOCUMENTARY - IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND - (more info regarding viewing by out of Canada fans will be forthcoming asap. CBCTV is airing it in late fall and CBC GEM online/doc page will air it as well.. I am not sure if GEM will be viewable out of country..more to come!)

In Theatres Now
04-27-2019 Toronto, ON Hot Docs
05-03-2019 Edmonton, AB Northwestfest
05-04-2019 Vancouver, BC DOXA Film Festival
05-08-2019 Calgary, AB Calgary International Film Festival
05-24-2019 Toronto, ON Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
05-31-2019 Victoria, BC Vic Theatre
06-05-2019 St.Catharines PAC Film House
06-07-2019 London, ON Hyland Cinema
06-07-2019 Cobourg, ON Loft Cinema
06-07-2019 Ottawa, ON Bytowne Cinema
06-07-2019 Hamilton, ON Playhouse Cinema
06-07-2019 Waterloo, ON Princess Twin Cinema
06-07-2019 Sudbury, ON Sudbury Indie Cinema
06-14-2019 Calgary, AB Globe Cinema
06-21-2019 Saskatoon, SK Rainbow Roxy Theatre
06-21-2019 Regina, SK Rainbow Roxy Theatre
07-14-2019 Toronto, ON Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

charlene 05-23-2019 10:49 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

May 21, 2019
By Jim Slotek

Rating: B-plus

You know the biographical doc you’re watching is not exactly going to be a puff piece when the subject spends the first 10 minutes cringing.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind – a feature at the recent Hot Docs film fest – opens with the 80-year-old Lightfoot at his Bridle Path home with wife Kim, watching cover-after-cover of what turns out to be the song he’s most ashamed of, (That’s What You Get) For Loving Me. The parade of covers includes Peter, Paul & Mary, Ian & Sylvia, Johnny Cash, etc.

Finally, he insists they stop. And when you consider it, the song does contain possibly the most cruel lyrics ever written by a man to a woman.

It’s understandable enough if Lightfoot simply regrets his early callowness. But there could be guilt involved too. If this expansive documentary about one of Canada’s true poets reveals much about his astonishing creativity, it also suggests some things about his personality – one of which is that being one of the women in his life was not always easy. Tellingly, Lightfoot’s four children, from two marriages, are not part of the production.

He clearly had an ego, one that drove him out of the gravity-well of Orillia where he grew up, to Toronto’s Yorkville scene (and odd turns in a barbershop quartet, a spot as a singer on CBC’s Country Hoedown and half of a folk duo).

But what he could do was write songs. There’s the requisite amount of dirty laundry in this archive-laden bio, directed by Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe (they obviously weren’t going to let go of his crazily passionate relationship with Cathy Evelyn Smith, who would later be involved in the death of John Belushi). But its insights for music fans are remarkably rich. Self-taught, he wrote his own music and arrangements by hand in hotel rooms. Though he was a perfectionist, one of his biggest hits, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was not only a first-take that made it to the single, it was the first time the band ever saw the song on paper and played it.

He was friends with people who weren’t easy to know, like Bob Dylan (there’s footage of the famous 1972 Mariposa festival in Toronto, where Dylan showed up to hang with Lightfoot, (who played for a while on a picnic table, and watch Neil Young perform a surprise set – a game-changing moment for me, since I was a 14-year-old in attendance). The film includes intimate moments of chaotic parties with impromptu songs from Dylan and others.

And though the film is full of the usual expert-witnesses (including Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, both Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Anne Murray, Geddy Lee and, incongruously, Alec Baldwin), it’s Lightfoot’s own story, with a narrative strung together by songs, that compels. He managed to become an international star while staying as Canadian as maple syrup – a balance that confounds artists even today. The lyrics to Edmund Fitzgerald and the epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy alone should make him required reading in Canadian literature classes.

There is a Boomer attraction to all of this, of course. The archival footage of life in ‘60s Yorkville and the Yonge Street strip alone will bring a tear to many an eye.

In the end, Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind does not quite read its subject’s mind. But you’ll likely come out knowing much more about him, and appreciating his place in history that much more.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind. Directed by Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe. Starring Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Anne Murray. Opens Friday, May 24 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, and across Canada through June.

Lightfoot at 80, with his best friend.https://i660.photobucket.com/albums/...y2019-doc..jpg

charlene 05-23-2019 10:50 AM

Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot documentary - interviews/photos/articles-Apr.-2019

DOXA 2019: A Canadian icon speaks out in Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind
by Mike Usinger on April 24th, 2019 at 11:10 AM

A famously enigmatic (and cranky) Canadian icon tells you everything you wanted to know, and some things you didn’t, in Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.

The goal was a daunting one for directors Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe when they got famously enigmatic Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot in front of the camera to tell the story of his life.

“We really, really wanted to get something more than what people have heard already,” Tosoni says, in a conference call with Kehoe from Toronto. “And we knew that would take some time, because he needs to trust you. He’s an inscrutable man, and we were aware of that from the beginning.”

The fascinating thing about Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is the way that one of the greatest storytellers in the history of pop music—Canadian or otherwise—seems at once totally open, and yet at the same time leaves one thinking there’s plenty going on inside that he’s never going to share.

That’s hinted at by Lightfoot’s peers. At one point in If You Could Read My Mind, Murray McLauchlan suggests that Bob Dylan and Lightfoot have more in common than a mutual admiration and respect for each other’s talent.

“Murray says if two enigmatic people could be in a perfect marriage, it would be Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot,” Kehoe says with a laugh. “That’s really true. I was very gratified to hear his drummer say, ‘You could drive across the country with Gord and he’d never say anything poetic.’ He says everything that he has to say in his songs.”

If all this makes it sound like Lightfoot is unwilling to pull back the curtain on his career, it shouldn’t. Fans whose working relationship goes back to the long-running CanCon staple The Tommy Hunter Show, the directors began seriously working to get Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind off the ground a half-dozen years ago. That’s when Lightfoot let them know he was ready to tell his story.

“I think he had a fear that he never wants his career to end,” Kehoe says. “He didn’t want to do a comprehensive film as if it was over. I think, at this point, he’s getting on, and he feels a responsibility to his body of work. So he wants to bring attention to it, and this is part of that.”

If You Could Read My Mind starts off in the present day, with Lightfoot looking back at footage of his younger self performing his ’60s hit “For Lovin’ Me” and being appalled. Not by the fact that it showcased him as a monster talent who’d rack up an endless string of monster hits over the coming decades, including “Sundown”, “Rainy Day People”, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, and too many others to count here. Instead, right before declaring “I hate this fucking song,” he confesses “I guess I don’t like who I am.”

His reason? The song is an almost painfully autobiographical account of a messed-up-on-multiple-fronts Lightfoot walking out on his wife and young family.

Consider that a heads up that Kehoe and Tosoni don’t just focus on the highs in If You Could Read My Mind.

Little moments make it clear how deep the filmmakers dug for the film: an early Lightfoot interview with an impossibly young Alex Trebek; scratchy audio of his earliest live performance, as a choirboy in church in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario. Mixed in with modern-day interviews and performances is a treasure trove of crazily obscure historical moments (Lightfoot as a bit player on the ’60s CBC show Country Hoedown), snaps of old posters and rare archival photos (star-studded ’70s house parties in Toronto where you can almost smell the Crown Royal), and auxiliary interviews with peers and insiders that put his career in complete and important perspective.

The 80-year-old is deservedly feted in the film by a long list of artists that includes Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, Geddy Lee, Alec Baldwin, Anne Murray, and a clearly thrilled-to-be-there Greg Graffin of Bad Religion. What also emerges is Lightfoot’s deep respect for his craft—as much as he had a golden touch that’s seen his work covered by everyone from Elvis to the Dandy Warhols, he’s also taken a meticulously workmanlike approach to the business of songwriting.

What ultimately emerges is a picture of a deeply conflicted and perhaps tormented artist, whose life includes a long path of failed relationships and the profound regrets that come with them. No matter how big a Lightfoot fan you might be, you’ll learn things to the point where you’ll never listen to the timeless “If You Could Read My Mind” the same way again.

“He really is an artist, first and foremost,” Kehoe says. “But also within that headspace there’s the workman, there’s the dreamer, there’s the lover, there’s the crabby guy. All these different characters are there within Gord. And then there’s also this guy from Orillia, and that’s who he feels he needs to be a lot of the time.”

With that, Tosoni jumps in with, “He’s very, very unpretentious, but not pretentiously so. He’s basically got a very Canadian personality.”


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.