A great artist was lost yesterday. And although this blog is TV & Cinema oriented, Lou Reed' 's legacy in films is significant. Whether it is his participation in soundtracks, or cameos in films, his influence will always be present.
His history with movies might not have been huge compared to some rock icons out there who have made the transition into acting, scoring, or even writing and directing, but it's probably significantly bigger than you might remember. Perhaps most memorably he played a domineering music producer in "One Tricky Pony," the 1980 film that Paul Simon wrote and starred in (Reed's character slicks up a song Simon and co. mean to be a little bit more raw; Rip Torn hilariously plays the record company exec). In 1983's "Get Crazy," Reed cameoed as a metaphysical folk singer and antisocial recluse that was meant to be a spoof of Bob Dylan. He also leant his voice to animated movies three times. First, the much forgotten "Rock & Rule," Clive A. Smith's musical science fiction film from Canada's Nelvana studio in 1983 (Reed wrote a song and doubled as the voice of the protagonist Mok Swagger; it also included songs by Cheap Trick, members of Blondie, Iggy Pop, and more). The second major voice role, mostly unknown to Americans as it never really screened here until after the fact, was a villain in Luc Besson's animated "Arthur and the Great Adventure" films for kids (the first and third entries in the series; they were big hits in France).
Even more, Reed had a memorable cameo in Wayne Wang's 1985 film "Blue in the Face," starring Harvey Keitel—a sort of sequel/spin-off outtakes movie from Wang's "Smoke" that centered around a Brooklyn Cigar Store and its manager Auggie (Keitel). It also featured cameos by folks like Jim Jarmusch, Lily Tomlin, Madonna, Michael J. Fox and many more (based on Paul Auster's novel "Smoke," Reed also cameoed in Auster's first real directorial debut on his own "Lulu On the Bridge").
But it's Reed's iconic music moments in movies that are myriad. Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting" forever cemented "Perfect Day" in the mind of audiences, and while it isn't Reed's version, The Cowboy Junkies' cover of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" is rather unforgettable and creepily juxtaposed. Reed was the subject of "Lou Reed's Berlin," Julian Schnabel's 2006 documentary chronicling the live concert performance of Reed's seminal 1973 concept album Berlin (honestly, as a big fan of Reed, Berlin and Schnabel, this was a bit of a letdown). Reed also co-directed "Red Shirley," a documentary where the musician interviews his cousin on the eve of her 100th birthday (she lived through both world wars).
Other memorable moments of Reed's music in cinema include "Satellite Of Love" employed in Todd Haynes' paean to '70s glam rock "Velvet Goldmine"; the use of "Magic Moment" in David Lynch's "Lost Highway"; the rather hilarious cover of the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" in Michel Gondry's "The Science of Sleep" (retitled "If You Rescue Me"); "Street Hassle (Waltzing Matlida)" featured memorably at the end of Noah Baumbach's "The Squid & The Whale"; the VU outtake "Stephanie Says" in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums"; the begining bars of VU's "Heroin" in "Killing Them Softly"; "I'm Sticking With You" in "Juno," and the instrumental "Rouge" in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls" from Reed's 2000 album Ecstasy (which Schnabel also guested on).
Rest in Peace, Lou. You will be missed.
This post contained parts of Rodrigo Perez's post in Indie Wire (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/rip-lou-reed-1942-2013-the-music-movie-moments-that-defined-an-icon-20131027).
I kindly thank him for such a thorough article on the great Lou Reed
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....