Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: United States
Run Time: 75 minutes

Hall of Fame or no Hall of Fame, many rock trailblazers, by the time they reach middle age, become either dead or parodies of themselves. Maybe both. One exception: Lou Reed, the dark poet of the New York concert and club scene, continues to experiment with new forms while staying essentially true to his uncompromised ballads of city life. Rock'n'roll for adults, Reed's alley-junkie lyrics and intense, enigmatic presence spawned numerous pop-music urban legens about the man, onstage and off. What exactly was the relationship of the Velvet Underground to Andy Warhol? To Nico? To heroin? Did Reed really create a double-album of sheer noise ("Metal Machine Muic") just to break out of a recording contract? Does this satumine performer even possess a sense of humor? It's possible - witness his bemused reaction at finding a 45 he cut at age 14; just one of the highlights as the traditionally guarded Reed opens up about his early influences and continuing evolution. Additional comments by peeers, followers, critics and fellow surviors of the Velvet Underground era and beyond take the viewer/listener for a fascinating rock on the wild side.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Susan Lacy, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Karen Bernstein

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Jed Parker

Principal Cast
Lou Reed, John Cale, David Bowie, David Byrne, Patti smith, Jim Carroll, Penn Jillette, Maureen Tucker, Mary Woronov

Film Contact
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