Berlin

2007, Music/Documentary, 1h 21m

32 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Julian Schnabel expertly captures the dark melancholy of Lou Reed's misunderstood concept album in this moving concert documentary. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1973, Lou Reed's album "Berlin" meets with hostile fans and critics, evidently because its precursor, "Transformer," was an upbeat, glam-rock hit. Despite the album's gradual critical acclaim, Reed never performs it live. This changes for five nights in Brooklyn, N.Y., as Reed performs the melancholy album in its entirety. The rock 'n' roll legend resurrects his doomed work, performing in front of projected images depicting scenes from the star-crossed romance the album narrates.

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Critic Reviews for Berlin

Audience Reviews for Berlin

  • Nov 15, 2010
    Lou Reed performs his best album with the aid of the brilliant filmmaker Julian Schnabel in possibly the greatest concert ever captured on film. A beautiful vision of one of the most depressing albums ever recorded.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2009
    "Lou Reed's Berlin" is a concert performance by Lou Reed and lots of friends of his critically panned 1973 album at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. The concert is enhanced by footage(featuring Emmanuelle Seigner) to tell the narrative of the concept album but director Julian Schnabel only goes halfway. A truly immersive multimedia experience would have been the way to go, for a lot of the images are projected onto the back wall behind Lou Reed which was never intended for that. In fact, the final songs work best with no projections or any other distractions. As with any concert film, simple is best and while the lack of audience reaction shots is refreshing, the camera technique is not the best. And while I usually do not recommend this, some interview footage would have gone a long way towards explaining the album's history. As it is, Julian Schnabel's perfunctory introduction provides only scant information. By the way, I am not particularly a fan of Lou Reed but went into this with an open mind. So, that probably explains why I have had the Aimee Mann song "Goodbye Caroline" playing in my head all day.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2008
    this film brings out the best and most powerful moments of Reed's "Berlin" album. occasionally, some of the guitar work by Steve Hunter veers towards the wanky side of things, but never goes completely overboard in that regard.
    chase _ Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2008
    Schnabel's indulgent and artsy flourishes distract from the potent enough power of Reed's music.
    William G Super Reviewer

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