Watch Leonard Cohen’s Lost TV Musical ‘I Am a Hotel’


Maybe you didn’t realize Leonard Cohen had written a musical for Canadian TV. But now that you know he did, back in 1983, don’t you want to drop everything and watch it? Well, thanks to Dangerous Minds, which spotted the film on YouTube, you can. The 25-minute production I Am a Hotel is comprised of five bittersweet love vignettes set at Toronto’s King Edward Hotel, each soundtracked and inspired by one of Cohen’s songs (“Suzanne” and “Chelsea Hotel #2” are both featured). The stories are interspersed with shots of Cohen — billed as “The Resident” — performing live or singing directly into the camera, making I Am a Hotel more like a series of high-concept music videos than a traditional musical. The film’s dreamy mysticism and lyrical power fortunately overshadows is ’80s-tastic visual aesthetic and effects, making it well worth a half-hour of your time. In fact, why not watch it right now? It’s Friday! Close your office door. No one’s looking. Your boss already went home.