Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Lou’s Cousin Shirley

Lou Reed can lay claim to being a lot of things – singer, poet, writer and artist. You can now add director to that list as the 68 year-old, former Velvet Underground front man has stepped behind the camera to direct his first film – Red Shirley. The 28-minute, short documentary tells the story of Reed’s 100 year-old cousin Shirley Novick – who left Poland in 1928 at the age of 19 to go to Montreal to learn how to play the mandolin.

Novick ended up in New York, after smuggling herself over the Canadian border on the back of a truck, becoming a dressmaker and a crusader for worker’s rights – which earned her the name of the film’s title. In addition to his duties in front of and behind the camera, Reed also composed the soundtrack with his Metal Machine Trio. Red Shirley is set to premiere at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon, Switzerland on May 20. Here’s the trailer…

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