Lou Reed And Metallica And Darren Aronofsky Make A Video

Last month lots of ink and pixels were spent on Lulu, the collaboration between downtown bard Lou Reed and thrash lifers Metallica—"worst album of the year or maybe ever" declarations; "you just don't understand what Lou is trying to do" cries from partisans/people suspicious of the unwashed's lack of knowledge about the Frank Wedekind plays the album was based on; head-scratching so fervent it resulted in bleeding. But for all that hue and cry and Internet arguing, the thing didn't make much of a dent sales-wise; it debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 36, selling 13,000 copies in its first week, and then nosedived off the chart in week two. Blame the leak, which came a couple of weeks before the album's bow in stores, or blame the bad buzz, or blame the economy—but don't blame a weak promotional campaign: Despite the soft launch, a video by a big-name director—Requiem For A Dream/Black Swan helmsman Darren Aronofsky—debuted over the weekend. It's for the 3:45 single edit (work with me here; the full track's 5:18!) of "The View," and it starts off as your pretty standard black-and-white "guys rehearsing" clip (complete with people getting out of their cars), then gets hazier as the murk of metal and back-and-forth shouts by Reed and Metallica frontman James Hetfield intensifies. And of course, it ends with Reed being thrilled by the brilliance that has just ensued. Clip below.

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Live: Director Darren Aronofsky at the Rubin Museum

Pointing on the job

"Brainwave": Darren Aronofsky
The Rubin Museum
March 19

Once, at a Q+A following an early screening of The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky's long-anticipated film about a tripartite Hugh Jackman questing after immortality, I asked the director what was up with all the poking. (To wit: There's that hallucination scene in which a pen takes its sweet agonizing time poking into a swollen brain. Plus all of Requiem. And in The Fountain, too, the camera lingers unnaturally on a close-up scene of mutilation-by-sharp-thin-object.) By way of a response, the director spread his arms sarcastically, and glanced at the audience. "Hey, look, my psychoanalyst is here tonight. Why don't you tell me? Maybe I didn't get laid enough in high school?" Snickers all around.

"Yeah," I responded, then, perhaps regrettably. "Maybe that's also why a guy in your film drinks jizz from a tree"--a reference to the milky bounty Jackman sips in The Fountain. Muttering started up, and the moderator stepped in to take another question.

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