Commissioned by NOWNESS, photographer and artist Harley Weir’s new short film was created in response to the title track from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album, Thanks for the Dance
Three weeks before Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82 in 2016, he had released his 14th studio album, You Want it Darker. The legendary musician and writer worked prolifically and, after the release of You Want it Darker, had amassed enough material for a final album, which was released posthumously at the end of last year. In a collaboration with the Leonard Cohen estate and Sony Music Canada, NOWNESS has invited a series of artists to create music videos to accompany the album, Thanks for the Dance. Taking Cohen’s life and lyrics as inspiration, Harley Weir presents her response to the album’s title track.
“I’m a huge fan of Leonard Cohen. His lyrics are so raw and yet so warm. I am honoured to be a part of his legacy,” says Weir of her contribution to the project, which has seen previous films created by Laure Prouvost and Daniel Askill. Weir’s offering debuts on NOWNESS today, and stars Lily Cole and Rowan Blanchard in a typically sensuous and visceral film from the London-based artist and photographer.
In Weir’s film for Thanks for the Dance, Blanchard plays the “tempestuous bride caught between different stages of life”, who we watch dancing and running in an ornate white wedding gown. Cole is posited as storied figures like Botticelli’s Venus and the Madonna, her red curls standing out against a dark background as Cohen sings, “we’re joined in the spirit, joined at the hip, joined in the panic, wondering if we’ve come to some sort of agreement”. Watch the film below.