Zack Snyder, Leonard Cohen, Allison Crowe, And The Watchmen “Hallelujah” Sex Scene
Leonard Cohen singing “Hallelujah” during the now famous sex scene in Watchmen has been a center of controversy since the film’s opening,1 but as a previous Heck Of A Guy post, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Mood Music For Watchmen SuperHeroic Sex Scene, pointed out, Cohen was not the Director’s first choice to perform the song for that scene:
In the just released film version of the classic comic, Watchmen, two of the superheroes, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II, are shown in a – um, let’s call it a vigorous sex scene set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Zack Snyder, the Director of Watchmen, addresses that choice in an interview with James Parker that appeared in the Boston Phoenix:
James Parker: The sex scene between Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II is pretty great — the boots, the zips. And you’ve got Leonard Cohen doing “Hallelujah” over it.
Zack Snyder: Well, I originally had a different version of “Hallelujah” on that scene — it was the version by Allison Crowe, and it was really beautiful. Too beautiful, as it turned out, because when I showed it to my buddies, they were like, “Wow, you really mean this, this love scene.” So I was like, okay, that didn’t work. But with the Leonard Cohen, in that moment, it’s a little sadder of a song, it’s a little bit more twisted, it’s a little more broken, which expresses to me what’s going on in that scene, between those two characters.
Well, maybe – or maybe not. In any case, viewers can now see for themselves.
How To See The Watchmen Sex Scene With Soundtrack By Allison Crowe
Yep, you can compare the Nite Owl-Silk Spectre II coupling accompanied by “Hallelujah” sung by Leonard Cohen and that same assignation set, as originally envisioned, to Allison Crowe’s rendition of “Hallelujah.”
The video of the sex scene from Watchmen, with Leonard Cohen’s own version of “Hallelujah” has, I discovered yesterday, been on YouTube for four months.
Given my interest in how the movie might have turned out if the original plan to use the Allison Crowe “Hallelujah” had been implemented and my self-infatuation with my cut and paste video skills,2 it is not surprising that my first notion was to replace the Leonard Cohen soundtrack on the pertinent YouTube video with the audio from the Allison Crowe track. Realizing, however, that this would be 37 kinds of illegal, I turned to Plan B.
The Heck Of A Guy Auteur Academy – Or – How To Manipulate Soundtracks Of YouTube Videos
This is one of those incredibly dumb but delightfully effective techniques.
For this project, you will need a computer that connects to YouTube and plays YouTube videos. A reasonable set of expectations is also helpful. Otherwise, you’re set.
The Watchmen – Hallelujah video now on YouTube, once muted, will be the visual component of our new composite video with the modest working title of “The Watchmen Superheroic Sex Scene with Variable Supersonic Soundtrack.” A second YouTube video, Allison Crowe – Hallelujah, once minimized, will provide the sound (think silent movies with music provided by a live piano player).
Allison, alas, inexplicably chose to sing different verses on her video than Cohen sings in the movie so the synchronization isn’t precise. As it turns out, however, the combination sounds pretty darn good if you start the Watchmen – Hallelujah video and then begin the Allison Crowe – Hallelujah.
But, if you are the fussy sort (and I am), starting the Allison Crowe – Hallelujah video at the 12 seconds mark of the Watchmen – Hallelujah video syncs the end of the Watchmen – Hallelujah video with the end of the first verse of Allison Crowe’s “Hallelujah.”
A full set of instructions and a link to an instructional video are at the end of this post.
Bonus: More Soundtracks
Tired of hearing “Hallelujah?” Well, try another song as the soundtrack for this (or any other movie scene). I like, for example, the effect of playing the sex scene to Leonard Cohen – 1976 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video and Leonard Cohen – Memories. It has also been pointed out to me that the song at the center of yesterday’s post, “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On”, would be an appropriate choice.
Instructions And Instructional Video
The list of directions below looks daunting only because I broke down the process into the smallest steps possible. The entire set-up takes less than 2 minutes.
A video (1 minute, 33 seconds) of the process can be viewed at How To Manipulate YouTube Soundtracks (note instructions in subtitles at bottom of video; I also recommend enlarging the video to “full-screen view” at bottom right of video)
- Minimize all windows except this one
- Right-click on this link: Allison Crowe – Hallelujah
- From the menu that opens, choose whatever is closest to “Open in new window”
- Pause the video and reset the timeline to the starting poit (0 seconds)
- Click on the window’s Restore button (the middle one at the top right of the window)
- Resize the window so it is no larger than half the desktop (it doesn’t matter how small you make it as long as you will be able to click on the video “Start” arrowhead)
- Return to this page and repeat the process for this link: Watchmen – Hallelujah, but when re-sizing this window, keep it large enough to see the video
- Mute the Watchmen – Hallelujah video by clicking on the volume button at the lower right of the video screen to show a red “X” on the icon
- Return to this page and minimize it (the button furthest left in the group at the top right of the window)
- Adjust the two video windows so both are visible and neither overlaps the other
- Start the Watchmen – Hallelujah video
- When the Watchmen – Hallelujah video has played for 12 seconds, start the Allison Crowe – Hallelujah video
- Minimize the Allison Crowe – Hallelujah video
- Adjust the Watchmen – Hallelujah video for comfortable viewing
- See Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Mood Music For Watchmen SuperHeroic Sex Scene, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah As Watchmen Sex Scene Soundtrack – Debate Continues, and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah In Zack Snyder’s Watchmen – Bizarre, Sublime, Nuked The Fridge? [↩]
- See Leonard Cohen, Thanks For The Tour, 1976 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video, 1980 Do I Have To Dance All Night Video, and Anjani Birthday Montage [↩]