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Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Rated Parental Guidance

(Coarse Language) 90 minutes

Dir: Martha Kehoe/Joan Tosoni, Canada, 2019
Ian Tyson, Sylvia Tyson, Randy Bachman, Steve Earle, Anne Murray, Sarah McLachlan

“To be honest, a documentary on Gordon Lightfoot was the last thing I thought I needed to see... It turns out Lightfoot is full of surprises, the most engaging of which is his candor and humour. Rather than sit back and bask in the legacy he has established, 80-year-old Lightfoot is not afraid to discuss his shortcomings in life or which of his popular songs he now hates. He fondly reflects on the thriving musical scene that the, now posh, Yorkville neighbourhood once was, and openly begrudge the Beatles stealing his thunder when it came to album sales. While the film doesn’t delve too deeply into the darker aspects of his life, such as his alcoholism or womanizing, they do a great job of detailing what has made his songs stand the test of time. In zeroing in on the artistry that goes into Lightfoot’s song writing, If You Could Read My Mind thrives where most music documentaries fail. The audience gets to explore everything from the detail he puts into tuning his acoustic guitars to how he finds the right melody for his songs. Hearing Lightfoot talk about the importance of utilizing his imagination when writing songs, especially when painting vivid lyrical pictures of Canada’s past, is eye-opening to say the least. It adds further context to why everyone from Elvis Presley to Barbra Streisand covered his songs, and why the likes of Alec Baldwin, Geddy Lee, Sarah McLachlan and countless others still sing his praises to this day. Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is a film that will satisfy longtime fans and make a whole new generation fall in love with this talented artist.” - Courtney Small, Cinema Axis