Lou Reed’s Berlin

Staging “Berlin” has been discussed for over 30 years. In December of 2006, it became a reality. “Berlin,” one of the most depressing albums made, is brought to life by the artistry of Julian Schnabel.

Susan Feldman, artistic director of St. Annes Warehouse in Brooklyn, approached Lou Reed about performing his album “Berlin” in its entirety. Reed accepted and invited acclaimed director and artist Schnabel to design the sets for his performance. Having been an enormous admirer of the album since its release, Schnabel set about to make a film that would reach beyond Brooklyn.

Using the divided city of Berlin as its backdrop, the story of Caroline and her lovers is told through Lou Reed’s emotive and provocative words. With performers like Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones, a seven piece orchestra, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, aiming to create a captivating and enveloping world, Lou Reed takes the audience with him as he bares witness to Carolines self-destruction.

Schnabels set design creates the backdrop of a hotel with greenish walls in a film that displays the beauty and tragedy of the narrators leading lady (played by Emmanuelle Seigner, Roman Polanski’s wife-actress). The overall experience is devastating, and in moments even haunting and lyrical.

MPAA: PG-13
Running Time: 85 Minutes