Lou Reed
USA 2009
28 min

When Lou Reed, singer of the unforgettable Velvet Underground and author of albums such as “Berlin” and “Transformer”, is going to direct a documentary film for the first time at the age of 68, one might have thought he would seek to probe the world of music. Not at all.
His first documentary film focuses on something else: the face and the narrative of his cousin, on the eve of her 100th birthday. Sitting next to her, sometimes even kneeling, whispering his questions close to her ear, Lou Reed, assisted by Ralph Gibson, records the story of an incredible life. Often showing amazement, like a child, at the events Shirley has lived through, laughing at her quirky, frank or irritated replies, frequently asking her to repeat just to make sure, he films an affectionate and moving portrait, interspersed with some photographs.
While Shirley’s narrative first touches on the ordeal of two world wars and the disappearance of her family “whom Hitler took care of”, it takes an unexpected turn. We learn that she left Poland on her own in 1938, with only two suitcases and a few dollars in her pocket to travel to Montréal – where in six months she learnt not French but the mandolin before finally slipping off illegally to New York, buried under the goods on a truck. There she was to become a dressmaker in the Garment District and to lead the workers’ demands hence her nickname Red Shirley, which gave the film its title. An extraordinary figure of women’s emancipation, captured in all her authenticity. (Barbara Levendangeur)

]]>Red Shirley]]> will be screened on a Special Evening called Red Shirley and Cousin Lou. Ein Abend mit Lou Reed. Film und Lesung in the presence of Lou Reed.

This event is already sold out.

  • Shirley Novick
  • Ralph Gibson
  • Eric Kramer
  • Ben Flaherty
  • Metal Machine Trio
Sister Ray Enterprises

Sister Ray Enterprises

Related Movies