USA, 2007, 85 min
Direction: Julian Schnabel
Cast: Lou Reed, Fernando Saunders, Sharon Jones, Antony Hegarty, Emmanuelle Seigner
Selection: Planet Rock
The music documentary by Julian Schnabel shows Lou Reed’s concert performance that lasted five nights (from 14th to 17th of December, 2006) in St. Ann’s Warehouse Club in Brooklyn. Why was this one chosen, among numerous performances of this well-known musician? Namely, Lou Reed recorded an album called Berlin thirty-three years ago. The album was a complete commercial failure, so Reed decided never to perform it live. However, thirty-three years later, after being talked into by the club owner and fans of the album, he changed his mind and made a performance that was masterfully though of and recorded by director Julian Schnabel.
After more than thirty years of different critic reviews, Berlin was finally presented. It was thought to be one of the most depressive music creations, but after the unforgettable stage performance, it was far from being only gloomy notes. With the help of such performers as Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie, Sharon Jones, a big orchestra and Brooklyn Youth Choir, a true imaginary world was created, where Lou Reed guided the audience with his voice to become witnesses of Carolyn’s self-destruction. Exquisite setting was a perfect side element in expressing the beauty and tragedy of the “narrator’s” first lady, performed by Emmanuelle Seigner. His dark creation that tells about love and its followers - jealousy, anger, and loss, came from an unpopular album to an amazing emotional and catharsis music experience written on the movie screen.