Sundance Watch List: Lou Reed's RED SHIRLEY

Lou Reed has a reputation as a tough interview – though I honestly found him charming when I sat down with him a few years back – but in his new short film, RED SHIRLEY, which will have a special screening at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the veteran rock star gets a taste of his own medicine when he turns the tables and sits down with his 100-year-old cousin Shirley to ask her about her work as a seamstress and life as an activist and unionist.

Shirley immigrated to America when she was 19 years old and went to work in the garment industry, earning just $6 for a 48-hour workweek.

“It wasn’t an easy life for a new immigrant, for a young person,” she tells her famous cousin in the trailer for the film, which features camerawork by portraitist Ralph Gibson. Her work as a seamstress lasted 47 years.

“You worked for 47 years at that machine?” Reed asks, incredulous.

“At a machine, not that machine. We changed jobs.” Shirley says.

Ha! Reed will also headline the annual Celebration of Music in Film at this year’s festival. It’s open to all Festival Credential Holders, which is a nod to the masses you have to figure Red Shirley would appreciate.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.