Lou Reed in the 1983 comedy Get Crazy
  • Lou Reed in the 1983 comedy Get Crazy

Starting next week, Delilah’s in Lincoln Park will pay tribute to Lou Reed with a short, free series of films in which he appears. First up is A Night With Lou Reed, an hour-long concert movie from 1983. It documents Reed soon after he released one of his best solo records, The Blue Mask, a collection of songs that touches on such atypical (for rock and roll) subjects as sobriety and domestic happiness. It’s one of the few rock albums I know that explores the theme of contentment without resorting to cliche or sentimentality—I look forward to seeing if this performance achieves the same thing. It screens on Tuesday at 7 PM.

Soon to follow are Lou Reed & John Cale: Songs for Drella (on 11/18), which documents Reed and his former Velvet Underground bandmate performing tracks from the record of the same name in 1990, and Lou Reed: Spanish Fly (on 11/25), a 2004 concert movie (shot in Spain—get it?) in which Reed plays songs from throughout his career. Both are recommended for Reed fans, but cinephiles might be intrigued to know that Songs for Drella was directed by Ed Lachman, the great cinematographer of The Limey, Far From Heaven, Ulrich Seidl’s “Paradise” trilogy, and many others.

Is this an omen of more Reed-related screenings to come? Get Crazy (also 1983), an episodic rock ‘n’ roll spoof that features Reed doing a very funny send-up of Bob Dylan, might provide some levity during this time of mourning. (The Music Box already revived it in the past year, so it likely won’t pass through town again soon.) Also worthy of revival are Andy Warhol’s experimental VU concert films—The Velvet Underground and Nico (1966) and Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1967)—and Jonas Mekas’s Walden (1969), an experimental epic in which Reed appears. I can’t recommend Wayne Wang and Paul Auster’s supremely lazy Blue in the Face (1995) on cinematic or musical grounds, though Reed delivers some moving reminiscences in it during his few scenes.