Simon is a sales representative about fifty. When Mickey, his cop friend, is being shot, he leaves everything to find the murderers. Two years before, Marx, an old gambler, met Frederic, a ... See full summary »
It is an irremediable shame that so few of Lou Reed's live performances were captured on film. There's the 1993 concert movie of The Velvet Underground's reunion, of course, and a handful of solo performances (most of them from Lou's later years except 1983's "A Night with Lou Reed"), but even for the casual fan there's very little to choose from...and for an artist of Reed's caliber it's inexcusably *too* little. Fortunately for us all, one of the options is "Berlin", Julian Schnabel's superlative eighty-minute document of Lou's performance of the album of the same name from beginning to end (plus a lengthy encore). Thirty-three years after the album's release, the "Berlin" song cycle was as vital and compelling as ever, Reed's gritty, unflinching delivery on classics like 'Lady Day' and 'The Bed' enhanced by a twelve-piece band and various backing vocalists including the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. This was not a mechanical run-through of the ten tracks from "Berlin": it was a recreation of the album itself, in both sound and spirit, and it's amazing. (The encore features an exquisitely disturbing rendition of 'Rock Minuet', a late-period masterpiece from Lou's 2000 album "Ecstasy", as well as a couple of Velvet Underground favorites.)
If you're going to own just one Lou Reed concert film, this should be it. "Berlin" is a perfect example of the brilliance of Reed's musical artistry.
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