Friday, January 02, 2009

Lou Reed's Berlin (DVD)

I hate Lou Reed. He broke up the World's Greatest Ever Band. He is rude to interviewers. For years he was a prat. Then he reformed the World's Greatest Ever Band for a stadium tour. Now he looks like someone who used to smoke a lot. I once saw him and Laurie Anderson buying coffee in a Peets in Berkeley. He is not tall.

But this is an ideal concert DVD. The band is hot, but they know how to play quietly. There's a kid's choir, and a jazzy band, and strings, and Sharon Jones. Old Lou's voice is not in great shape. He almost speaks a lot of lines like in those late Johnny Cash recordings. It's all in a small theatre in Brooklyn. The direction by Julian Schnabel is stylized without being obtrusive. It looks like it was done with only a few cameras, and they wander around slowly looking at the band. Basically you get to hear the songs while some arty film is projected on the performers. When Antony steals the show with his vocal on Candy Says Lou even smiles. A bit.

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