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Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Ending July 31, 2020

At 80 years old (and currently recording another album), Gordon Lightfoot continues to entertain and enlighten. Personal archive materials and studio sessions paint an intimate picture of an artist in his element, candidly revisiting his idealistic years in Yorkville’s coffeehouses, up through stadium tours and the hedonistic ’70s. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Barbra Streisand are only a handful of the stars whose recordings of “Early Morning Rain” and other hits helped Lightfoot’s artistry leap across borders, but no matter how far his music travelled, he continued to write passionately about the country he called home. As fellow music icon Burton Cummings sums it up, “Gordon’s stuff screamed Canada.” With his instantly recognizable voice and masterful guitar playing, Gordon Lightfoot remains influential and timeless.

"If you’re worried Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is the kind of hagiography that’s all too common in music docs, that danger is thwarted before the opening credits. Watching 1960s footage of himself playing his early hit For Lovin’ Me, the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter cringes and admits he should never have written such a chauvinistic song.

While the film could easily indulge in baby boomer nostalgia, Lightfoot doesn’t let it. Now 80 years old, he’s gregarious and reflective, grateful for his accomplishments without overlooking his faults. That helps temper the requisite career arc checklist, which is pretty much unavoidable in this genre.

There are other talking heads, too – everyone from Sarah McLachlan to Geddy Lee to, for some reason, Alec Baldwin – but it’s Lightfoot himself who offers the most insight. Considering the depth of his career – from the 60s folk revival scene in Yorkville to defining a conception of rugged-yet-sensitive Canadiana – that makes him almost the perfect subject." - Richard Trapunski, NowToronto

Virtual cinema: 

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Directed by: 
Martha Kehoe, Joan Tosoni
Running Time: 
Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Bachman, Alec Baldwin
Screenplay by: 
Martha Kehoe, Joan Tosoni

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