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Lou Reed Berlin on Film

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ATR, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:57 PM.

  1. ATR

    ATR Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baystate
    For those of you who are already fans, and for those of you who could become there is currently streaming on the Saint Ann's Warehouse site a film of Lou playing the Berlin album, arranged somewhat differently with emphasis on guitars. Julian Schnabel, who directed, and Hal Wilner were both fans of the 'failed' album, commercially that is, from way back. Lots of NY ringers onstage in the horn section, some excellent string and vocal chorus work, interesting visual projections. Well photographed and recorded. Streaming for free until Nov 29th. I think they already did Songs for Drella and sadly I missed that. St. Ann's Warehouse
     
    Hep Alien, ralphb, acetboy and 3 others like this.
  2. babyblue

    babyblue Pactches Pal!

    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I'm sorry to rain on your parade if you liked this video, but I hated it more than any other music video I've seen. And Berlin is one of my favorite albums of all time. Schnabel hasn't a clue how to direct a film of a musical performance. I thought it was a total mess visually and aurally. The sound mix moved Lou's vocals as his image moved from one side of the screen to the other with each shot. This might work with dialogue, but with music it's unbelievably distracting. If I remember correctly, the DVD included raw footage of the performance, which was miles better than the produced film. I was so looking forward to seeing this video when it was released and was so disappointed that it was such a slap in the face.

    Some may find it enjoyable (though the Lou fans I know didn't), but I found it an utter disgrace.
     
    extravaganza, R. Totale and Neonbeam like this.
  3. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Same here, I thought it totally ruined that album. The black and white photos in the 1973 pressing's booklet is all the "film" "Berlin" ever needs.
     
    babyblue likes this.
  4. Deja Doh

    Deja Doh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    What do you want for nothing?

    I love Berlin, I think it's one the 100 best albums ever made. The video is an attempt at an artsy piece, but resembles an incoherent 60'sWarhol movie.
     
    babyblue likes this.
  5. egebamyasi

    egebamyasi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    It's worth watching. It has Steve Hunter.
     
  6. ATR

    ATR Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baystate
    I was startled by the nasty response to my innocent recommendation to watch this For Free to anyone interested. So I searched the visual arts forum and found two locked threads about the film. Not surprised. It’s not unusual to have the fantasy relationship between yourself and some cultural icon intruded upon by a boorish and all knowing fan intent on killing any buzz you had or were trying to fire up. This is the seed for that great joke in Annie Hall where Alvy pulls Marshall McLuhan from behind a movie poster to correct the loud guy pontificating in front of him. I have an idea why those threads are locked. Have a nice day and get your antidepressants titrated properly like mine are and Lou’s were.
     
    acetboy and aphexj like this.
  7. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Location:
    Toronto
    I saw this film shown in a theatre, when it was on limited release, and found it incredibly moving
     
    ATR likes this.
  8. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Joisey
    I liked the film........have the DVD. I’ll watch this to give St Ann’s Warehouse some support.

    The Songs for Drella film they had last week was a first time seen for me. I loved it.
     
    C6H12O6, ralphb and ATR like this.
  9. ATR

    ATR Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baystate
    Sorry to have missed Songs for Drella. Been listening to Live 69 all day and considering investing in a set of Matrix Tapes.
     
    ralphb likes this.
  10. Syscrusher

    Syscrusher Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I didn’t hate it but I think it would have been way better if the band was just Fernando, Tony and Mike Rathke.
     
    ATR likes this.
  11. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    The only thing I didn't like about ...Drella was that although it was a filmed performance it wasn't in front of an audience. But the performance itself was wonderful. Nice watching Lou and John interact that way. I'm looking forward to watching Berlin tonight.
    St. Ann's is a 10 minute walk from my apartment, so they'll probably get a donation from me. These days every little bit helps.
     
    aphexj and ATR like this.
  12. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    Get the Matrix set, you'll love it.
     
  13. ATR

    ATR Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baystate
    I just overpaid for a Harry Smith Anthology which I do not regret but I will consider it. I know I would love it.
     
    ralphb likes this.
  14. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    It's insanely overpriced these days. Can't understand why it went out of print to begin with.
     
    ATR likes this.
  15. And Bob Ezrin conducting like a madman
     
    aphexj and ATR like this.
  16. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    Location:
    Toronto
    He told a great story about that on a two-part episode of Bob Lefsetz's podcast recently. Worth a listen if you are a fan of Ezrin's production work
     
    ATR and midniteinsanjuan like this.
  17. Thanks...I'll check it out
     
  18. INSW

    INSW Forum Resident

    Thanks, I'll watch it. Never have liked Berlin though. The whole album just feels soggy. Miss you anyway, Lou.
     
    ATR likes this.
  19. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    Watched it last night and it betters the album in every way. More intense, the songs breathe like never before, Lou's craggy voice suits them perfectly, and the Steve Hunter/Lou guitars are sublime. All that plus horns, a string section and chorus (including Sharon Jones and Anohni ). A must see/hear.
     
  20. ATR

    ATR Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baystate
    What, no distracting panning of Lou's vocals in the audio? Not an utter disgrace? I guess you're not much of a Lou Reed fan. Seriously, glad you enjoyed it. I liked it too. My wife compared the visual projections to what Kentridge does at the Metropolitan Opera. I thought it went back to Joshua Light Show and Electric Circus. And if it looked like an 'incoherent' Andy Warhol movie then Lou probably thought it was about right.
     
    ralphb likes this.
  21. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    My guess is the projections worked better live, but none of it got in the way of the performance. Not quite what would go on at the Fillmore, but the Met and Andy references would be pretty close.
     
  22. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    Location:
    My lab
    The Songs for Drella film was great, a better experience than the album.

    The St. Ann's Berlin was interesting, and at the time I recall some people saying the live CD may be preferable to those who thought the album was overdone. But since then I've grown to appreciate how the original album was recorded - Ezrin did excellent work and still prefer it by a good margin. Doesn't mean the live performance isn't worth seeing though, and if it's free this week, it's a good time to check it out.
     
    ATR likes this.

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