Leonard Cohen's songs brought to life in Death of a Ladies' Man
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Matt Bissonnette's new feature, starring Gabriel Byrne and Antoine-Olivier Pilon, will start principal photography later this summer
Death of a Ladies' Man is a new Canadian-Irish co-production set to be filmed in July 2018 and being helmed by Canadian director Matt Bissonnette. The movie borrows its title from Leonard Cohen's fifth studio album, released in 1977, and focuses on the story of Samuel O'Shea, a carousing, womanising Irish poetry professor (Gabriel Byrne) living in Canada, whose life takes a series of unexpected turns when he is diagnosed with a brain tumour and his marriage comes to an end. The shocking news brings the academic back to Ireland, where he is finally ready to write the novel he has been putting off for years. The story thoroughly explores the themes of love, poetry, illness, loss and father-son relations.
Penned by the director himself, Death of a Ladies' Man will mostly be shot in Montreal, Canada, and on the west coast of Ireland. It will also star French-Canadian actor Antoine-Olivier Pilon. The feature is being produced by Martina Niland for Cosmo Films (Ireland), Corey Marr for Corey Marr Productions (Canada) and Marie Claude Poulin for MCP Productions (Canada). Additional funding has been provided by Monte Rosso Productions (United Arab Emirates), the Harold Greenberg Fund (Canada), The Movie Network (Canada) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Furthermore, the work will feature a number of Leonard Cohen’s songs and apparently received the legendary musician's approval before his passing in November 2016.
Producer Niland is quite optimistic and hopeful about the reception of Bissonnette's work. In her opinion, the film will have “massive crossover potential” for both Irish and North American audiences. “Obviously, festival audiences will be attracted to this, but I think it moves beyond that, especially with the Leonard Cohen angle and the music,” Niland added.
Toronto-based independent film company Mongrel Media is currently handling this feature's distribution in Canada, with Element Pictures on board for the Republic of Ireland. Death of a Ladies' Man will be ready for theatrical release in early 2019, and its sales are currently being handled by Paris-based firm Celluloid Dreams.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.