“the velvet underground”: a todd haynes documentary

Sandro Ricaldone

Documentary Film, USA, 2021, 110′
Directed by Todd Haynes
Produced by Todd Haynes, Christine Vachon, Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Christopher Clements, David Blackman
Cinematography: Edward Lachman
Edited by Affonso Gonçalves, Adam Kurnitz
Distributed by Apple TV+
Release date July 7, 2021 (Cannes)

The Velvet Underground is a 2021 documentary film directed and produced by Todd Haynes that chronicles the life and times of the rock band The Velvet Underground.

The Velvet Underground was an influential band that arose from the music, art, and film avant-gardes of early-1960s New York City. Although not a commercial success at the time, it had a significant impact on underground, experimental, and alternative music and the development of punk and new wave music. Its core members were Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, and Maureen Tucker. Artist Andy Warhol managed and promoted the band—convincing them to add German singer and model Nico to their line-up. Haynes’s film examines the cultural milieu of the band and its musical and cinematic influences. It tracks the band’s history from formation to the break-up of its original line-up in the early 1970s. Interviews with surviving band members Cale and Tucker and musicians the band influenced are woven with archival music and film material.