The Velvet Underground

classified 15

Please note: This was screened in Oct 2021

Todd Haynes
Mary Woronov, Lou Reed (archive footage) Jonathan Richman
121 mins, 2021, USA
Primary language

Acclaimed director Todd Haynes explores how The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing their place as one of the most influential bands in rock and roll.

This new documentary explores the group’s origins in 1960s New York, their connections with Andy Warhol, the success (or lack of it) of their storied debut – and their afterlife as one of rock’s most important and iconic groups. It shows just how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: the band is both of their time, yet timeless; literary yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture.

The film features in-depth interviews with the key players of that time combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that creates an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band's creative ethos: “how to be elegant and how to be brutal.”