Lou Reed's Berlin review

There’s something karmic about Lou Reed playing his dour, commercially suicidal 1973 LP Berlin to an adoring crowd in a Brooklyn warehouse 35 years later. This high-class concert film, courtesy of The Diving Bell And The Butterfly director Julian Schnabel, stays rapt to the show, offering no scene-setting or talking heads. If you don’t like the music, there’s nothing to see here. If you do, Lou, his band, backing singers (including the tremulous tones of Antony of ‘And The Johnsons’ fame), orchestra and choir bring new majesty to this darkest of repertoires. Caroline, the album’s heroine, is brought to life in flickering video projections and incarnated by Emmanuelle Seigner. But the real drama is onstage, as Reed dredges his traumatic and very personal songs back into the present – to an often harrowing and triumphant effect.


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