Berlin: A Performance by Lou Reed Directed by Julian Schnabel
Berlin is a concept album that represented a brave departure from the familiar sounds and themes of Lou Reed's earlier solo work, a tragic tale about heartbreak and addiction meant to be played live as a rock opera, in the vein of The Who's Tommy. But its poor reception meant that plans for a live performance were put on hold until 2007, when, with a renewed confidence in the material, Reed toured with a full orchestra and choir, giving some of the most personal and powerful performances of his career. The tour was filmed by legendary artist Julian Schnabel, a longtime friend of Reed's who also designed the spare and beautiful set, and whose daughter Lola contributed moving images projected behind the stage. This immeasurably powerful book draws on stills from Schnabel's film, photographs of the set design, printed lyrics of Reed's original verse, and images from Schnabel's projections to tell the twin stories of Berlin as rock opera and as unique collaboration between two geniuses of contemporary art, music, words, and film. The book also includes a rare conversation between Reed and Schnabel.
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