A Critic's Notebook: A tribute to Lou Reed and other cinematic treats

What costumes shall a poor girl wear?

Legendary musician Lou Reed (1942-2013) will get a cinematic tribute at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on Fri., Feb. 21, beginning at 8 p.m.

Film Love curator Andy Ditzler will project several of the films Andy Warhol made of Reed and the Velvet Underground. The idea, Ditzler says, is to recreate an environment similar to the one in which the films originally screened. "It won't be a regular theatrical screening in the sense of watching each movie beginning to end," Ditzler says. "It will be multiple simultaneous film projections, a mix of sounds from the films and some lighting effects like those which characterized the VU's early performances with Warhol. It's not a reenactment of the original shows by any means, but a way to explore the type of environment in which most people heard the band at first."

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The centerpiece is the film The Velvet Underground and Nico (a/k/a The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound) from 1966. Ditzler will also show reels from another film called The Velvet Underground and several Warhol screen tests of the band members and others including Salvador Dali.

Ditzler's website warns that the event will make use of stroboscopic light. For more information, visit the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.


Speaking of inventive short films that evoke another time, Atlanta theater company Saiah recently unveiled the trailer for its upcoming show Terminus. The live theatrical production, which opens April 16 and runs through May 17, will be a site-specific, interactive, migrating performance set during the Civil War. Audience members will choose which character they want to follow during the experience. The young theater group has won critical acclaim and numerous audience awards including Readers' Pick in Creative Loafing's annual Best of Atlanta issue for Best Play for its shows Rua and Moby Dick. For more information, visit the company's website.


There's a game English majors and academics play in which they admit the canonical works they've never read. "I've never read Middlemarch," "Well, I've never read For Whom the Bell Tolls," and so on, with each lit geek trying to outdo the others in admitting to the huge gaps in their knowledge. (Well, academics find it funny anyway). If there were ever an arts journalists' version, I'd have a winning hand because I could fess up that I've never seen Swan Lake. Still, I'm glad the Royal Ballet is screening its production of the iconic ballet this Thurs., Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., including to several cinemas in the Atlanta area.

I attended the broadcast of Giselle last month and thoroughly enjoyed it: The screenings are great in that they bring you up close to the dance in a big, movie-screen-sized way, and they also provide interesting glimpses behind the scenes before the show and during the performance's intermission. Attending the production will mean I'll no longer have my ace in the hole for that imaginary future game, but I don't think anyone would ever want to play anyway, so it's all good. Check Fathom Events for more information.