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Lou Reed's Berlin
     

Lou Reed's Berlin

Director: Alejandro Garmendia, Julian Schnabel

Cast: Lou Reed, Emmanuelle Seigner

 

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Thirty-three years after his ambitious concept album Berlin was pronounced dead on arrival, Lou Reed reteams with producers Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner to stage live performances of the now-classic release at concert venues all across the globe. The album, which was savaged by

Overview

Thirty-three years after his ambitious concept album Berlin was pronounced dead on arrival, Lou Reed reteams with producers Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner to stage live performances of the now-classic release at concert venues all across the globe. The album, which was savaged by critics upon release, was scored with orchestral arrangements and follows several characters as they experience jealousy, rage, and loss. While many turned their backs on the release back in 1973, the tide eventually turned and Berlin was even named by Rolling Stone as one of the top 500 albums ever released. Filmed during a five-night stint at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., this belated, live rendition of Berlin features an impressionistic backdrop filmed by director Julian Schnabel's daughter Lola and haunting backup vocals courtesy of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
This reviewer never knew Lou Reed's Berlin album to have been so thoroughly maligned on its original release -- but, then again, the mid-'70s was when we stopped paying attention to most of the music press. Luckily, Reed himself, along with director Julian Schnabel and producers Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner, never took the criticisms seriously (or, in Reed's case, permanently to heart). And the result is this concert film, intended to be shown at full concert volume (some filmgoers may have to change seats to protect their hearing), filled with fluid camera work and showcasing not only Reed and his band (including original guitarist Steve Hunter) and the large coterie of support musicians, but also the extraordinary performing space at St. Ann's Warehouse (one of the great, not sufficiently heralded treasures of the New York City art and music scene). Schnabel's designs, and the photography by Ellen Kuras (Neil Young: Heart of Gold), intercut with dissolves and edits to silent footage shot by Schnabel's daughter Lola, all seem to fit the music, and the combined effect is spellbinding, even as the music surges in power (with some occasional bursts of lyricism) in this concert setting. The piece itself is still something of an acquired taste, though not nearly as much in 2008 as it was 33 years before. In point of fact, the three non-Berlin numbers -- including "Sweet Jane" -- that finish the film are still far more accessible and provoke the strongest audience reaction. But they're icing on the cake; if you're still with the movie for the end of the concept work, then you're already very likely won over.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/26/2010
UPC:
5021866001401
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Ais
Region Code:
2
Time:
1:22:00
Sales rank:
35,988

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lou Reed Actor
Emmanuelle Seigner Caroline
Antony Actor
Fernando Saunders Participant
Sharon Jones Participant
Brooklyn Youth Chorus Participant
Steve Hunter Participant
Tony "Thunder" Smith Participant
Antony Hegarty Participant

Technical Credits
Alejandro Garmendia Director
Julian Schnabel Director,Set Decoration/Design
Stanley F. Buchthal Executive Producer
Susan Feldman Producer
Sydney Festival Producer
Benjamin Flaherty Editor
John Harris Sound/Sound Designer
Maya Hoffman Executive Producer
Jon Kilik Producer
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Fergus Lineham Producer
Ann Ruark Co-producer
Tom Sarig Producer
Arts at St. Ann's Producer

Scene Index

Song Lyrics and Theatrical Trailer

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