An incredible retracing of the evolution of Reed's remarkable career over three decades. Filled with interviews with Reed, his friends and some of the major artists influenced by Reed including David Bowie, David Byrne, Pa... more »tti Smith, Suzanne Vega, Dave Stewart, Philip Glass and more. Production Notes, Biographies, Discography, Scene Access, Screen Test, Rare Velvet Footage« less
"Lou Reed's Rock n' roll Heart documentary is a sensitive and revealing look into the prince of darkness. We get incredible live footage of Lou doing "Kicks" and a sample of Lou and his rock n' roll animal band tearing thru "Sweet Jane" with Lou dressed all in black with collar entering the stage as someone screams out "play Heroin" and he screams back "shut the f##k up". We also get to hear an acoustic take of "Heroin" live from Italy which is pretty terrific and a hard edged rendition of "dirty blvd" is included as well, so from a performance standpoint this program delivers. The basis of the program covers how Lou got started in music from his first guitar lessons to his high school bands to his songwriting job for a company that catered to whatever fads were happening at the time. Lou also discusses his joy of meeting one of his mentors by the name of Delmore Schwartz in college and how his poetic genius helped shape Lou's art. The program then goes into the beginnings of the Velvet Underground which obviously follows the band's acceptance into the Andy Warhol factory. Here we get to see that whole wild scene where art,dancing,film, and music all came together thru Andy Warhol's artistic eye with revealing interviews from people who worked in the factory and performance footage. One of the best bits of the program is where 2 of the original characters who make up the "Walk on the Wild Side" classic discuss the song then sing the song with such touching adoration and nostalgia. A segment about Lou's insane "Metal machine Music" project follows then they touch lightly on a few other ventures then discuss in length the "New York" album and so on. Interviews from Patti Smith,Thurston Moore,David Bowie,David Byrne, and Jim Carroll are all entertaining and informative as they tell us what part of Lou Reed influenced and touched their life. The video ends in a most special way as the camera focuses on each individual who participated in the program. The individual has to stare at the camera without moving just like Andy Warhol used to do in his screen tests and it's a hoot to see people like Jim Carroll and David Bowie just crack up in the middle of their pose. There's other goodies that make up the program but i don't want to give it all away because it's truly a wonderful and heartwarming documentary. I've seen it many times and it's always fresh and sincerely moving so if you love Lou then you will love his rock n' roll heart. As Lou said "My life was saved by Rock n' roll!!! Rock n'Roll!!!" and i hope your life can also find the salvation...
The Icon In Context
demien | 09/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The strong use of vintage footage, and interviews of contemporaries places Lou Reed in his proper cultural context.Iconic IsolationLou Reed's lack of need to fit himself into a readily commercially exploitable groove, and stay there for more than a minute, his keeping away from a recognizable group aside from the Velvet Underground places him in niche by himself. The information provided about Reed, his music and the influences on him removes him from that isolation.Interesting On Many LevelsThis video is intellectualy, musically and photographically interesting.Intellectual and Artistic RootsThe examination of Reed's poetic roots dating back to Reed's time at Syracuse helps to explain the literacy of his lyrics. The material covering his interaction with the Warhol Factory also gives some depth to what Reed was doing with the Velvet Underground. How he fit into the New York art scene, and how he didn't fit into the San Francsico art scene, provides some insight into his personality.Musical DevelopmentThe roots of Reed's music, its development, its changes are fairly well covered. This video is somewhat lacking in covering the period after "Rock and Roll Animal" and before "New York". This is one of it's few failings. Eye Candy +The videographers made excellent use of the vintage footage available. What they did on their own is also quite interesting. Although some might see it as a gimmick the use of a dissolve from a older portrait to a contemporary video still of the interviewee was effective. It helped to reinforce in the viewer's mind just who was being interviewed."
A must see!
demien | 03/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Rock n' Roll Heart' captures everything that is magical about Lou Reed both as a musician and an icon. The documentary charts his career from the Velvet Underground to his current position as an elder statesman of the rock scene. There are key interviews with John Cale, David Bowie, Patti Smith, David Byrne and Thurston Moore, illustrating how Reed's influence has remained strong through time. The director also focuses on the main influences on Reed which range from Delmore Schwartz to Andy Warhol. Overall, an excellent film."
Great documentary on an American Classic
Justin | 03/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an oustanding documentary on Lou Reed. Although I would have liked to see a little more about the Velvet Underground, especially their break up."
Justin | Australia / Singapore | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoyed this DVD, I have always liked Lou Reed's music but did not have much of an understanding of his history. This is a good documentary style DVD that gives you a feel for the man, the times and what influenced his music. Interviews with friends, colleagues and other artists give you a good feel for what he is about. If you like his music and want to know more about the most difficult person to ever interview this is well worth while. "