Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lou Reed's Berlin Rockumentary I'm a huge Lou Reed/Velvet Underground fan and I'm pretty pumped to FINALLY see the production that Julian Schnabel created of Lou Reed's Berlin...out on DVD today. For those of you who aren't familiar with the musical significance of Berlin, I'll explain:

In 1973 Lou Reed released a rock opera that would go on to be recognized as one of the most depressing albums of all time: Berlin. Berlin told the morbid tale of a couple in Berlin struggling with drug addiction, domestic abuse, adultery, and prostitution. Reed had hoped to create a film adaptation of the rock opera, but put his plans on hold when Berlin's orchestra heavy sound and dismal subject matter received mixed reviews. Reed released Berlin after Transformer, his highly successful and upbeat album (think "Take a Walk on the Wild Side"). The world just wasn't ready for Lou Reed's experimental visions and when Berlin flopped Reed refused to perform any of its material for 33 years. As time passed, critics rebuked their negative reviews of Berlin. Rolling Stone listed Berlin in its top 500 albums of all time, and record sales went up.

In 2006 St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn approached Lou Reed about putting on a production of Berlin. Reed accepted commissioning Julian Schnabel to design the set and film the production. The production took place over the course of 5-days and included performances by Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones, a seven piece orchestra and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and Emmanuelle Seigner who stars as Caroline.

Here's the trailer:

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