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  • John Cale - An Exploration of His Life & Music / Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Moe Tucker, Chris Spedding
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John Cale - An Exploration of His Life & Music / Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Moe Tucker, Chris Spedding


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Editorial Reviews

John Cale is best known as the founding member of one of the most important rock bands of all time - The Velvet Underground - and in a wide-ranging solo career since the band's demise. Cale has created blistering rock music, classical and avant-garde compositions, notable film scores and has produced albums by Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Squeeze. In this fascinating biography, Cale returns to Garnant in Wales where he grew up and began a promising career as a classical musician, before abandoning it all for the allure of New York in the 1960s. This documentary includes an exclusive interview with Lou Reed.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JGWCZQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles Miller on February 21, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The music is great, as is some of the information provided, but what a strange way to present it all. Rather than reviewing the career of John Cale in a chronological, or any rational fashion for that matter, this film jumps all over the place. And quite disappointingly, excessively fixates on certain periods while pretty much ignoring the bulk of his solo career altogether. This might be okay for those who already know the story, but those new to John Cale's work will need a scorecard to understand what is going on. Meanwhile for those already familiar with the story from reading some of the biographies out there, nothing really new or insightful is presented here.

As expected, there is considerable time devoted to The Velvet Underground period. But as wonderful as that band was, isn't this supposed to be about John Cale? Way too much time was spent on this phase of his career, especially considering the fact that so little original film actually exists from those days. This, in tandem with the fact there is already a plethora of documentaries available on the Velvets, makes this portion of the film rather duplicative.

After this sequence, the film jumps back in time to Mr. Cale's early years in Wales. Very interesting indeed, but shouldn't this have been the starting point? A considerable amount of time is devoted to this relatively non-musical portion of John Cale's life. This would have been fine if this film were at least 90 minutes long, but as it stands at a mere 59 minutes, the time would have better spent on Mr. Cale's actual solo music career.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Scarillo VINE VOICE on April 7, 2007
Format: DVD
As a hard-core Cale fan, I totally agree with Charles Miller's review of this product (make sure you read it) - this COULD'VE been great; instead, it's merely good. I was amazed that Cale's tenure at Warner Brothers as a staff producer, the Paris 1919 album, his production of Modern Lovers, and virtually his entire post-Island/pre-Drella output was completely ignored. There is a gross-out sequence in the doc, during the Wales segment involving a slaughterhouse, that i also could've lived without - it's not for the squeamish. It makes the chicken-chopping incident seem almost tame by comparison.....

For background, this documentary was done by the BBC, in 1998, around the time that the "What's Welsh for Zen" book was being written (with Victor Bockris). I HIGHLY recommend that book as it goes VERY in-depth on Cale's life and work, in first person. There is a lot of good-to-great footage in this documentary, and they got Lou Reed to sit for an interview (which is important, since neither Reed nor Cale are on the Velvet Underground Under Review DVD), but i really felt it only scratched the surface, and didn't fully convey just how edgy, versatile, and what a true original Cale really is.
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By Lost Johnny on December 11, 2007
Format: DVD
The other reviewers have made pertinent comments on this documentary.

I watched with rapt attention and it was over only too soon!

I thoroughly enjoyed it but it seemed far too short and whole significant parts of Cale's career were missed out. What about his collaborations with Terry Riley, Brian Eno (who appeared fleetingly) and others? The Stooges and Patti Smith were included, but what about Cale's other work as a producer-- Jonathan Richman or many others? "Paris 1919", for many Cale's finest album, didn't feature.

On the plus side, there were good interviews with the likes of Chris Spedding, Lamont Young, Moe Tucker and the ever moody Lou Reed. The apart about the Nico ballet was interesting. It was fascinating to see the part of wales where John Cale grew up and see him play the organ.

John Cale himself came as an engaging character, fairly self effacing character (with a taste for garish clothes). I could have listened to a lot more from him.

Cale fans won't want to miss this DVD but don't expect too much.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pereubu on May 13, 2007
Format: DVD
I'd give this DVD five stars bec. of the unique interviews listed above. Plus some footage of John Cale live (not complete songs but that's okay) in the seventies. Will be definitely interesting to VU/Cale fans.
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John Cale - An Exploration of His Life & Music / Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Moe Tucker, Chris Spedding
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