What’s The Deal With Todd Haynes’ Velvet Underground Film?

By Yeshwanth K

About the Band:

To those of you who don’t know, Velvet Underground is a rock band based in New York City in 1964, which comprised of Lou Reed (Lead Guitarist/singer), John Cale (instrumentalist), Sterling Morrison (Guitarist), and Angus MacLise (drummer). In the year 1965, MacLise was replaced by Moe Tucker, who was in the majority of the band’s songs. Nico, a German singer, and musician was also in a few songs of the band’s.

Image courtesy of Loredana Sangiuliano / Shutterstock

Until the name Velvet Underground was confirmed in 1965, they performed under various stage names, and from 1966, Andy Warhol became the manager for this band.

In 1968, Doug Yule replaced Cale for the last two performances by the original band. After that, everyone except Yule has left the band, and then he was named the band’s leader for a UK tour. Other musicians who joined the band. From late 1970 to late 1971, Walter Powers was a member, and from late 1971, Willie Alexander was a member of the band.

In the early 90s, the band came together with Reed, Cale, Tucker, and Morrison, who performed various events in 1993. After Morrison passed away, the remaining three members performed together, and the band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, which was the last time the band performed together.

Some of the best songs of the band are “Pale Blue Eyes,” “Waiting For The Man,” “Sunday Morning,” “Sweet Jane,” “Venus in Furs,” “Beginning To See The Light,” “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” “Rock and Roll,” and others.

Let’s talk about the film:

On October 15, 2021, a documentary about the band Velvet Underground was released with the same name on Apple TV+, directed and produced by Todd Haynes. This film depicted the life and some of the significant events that happened in the lives of the band’s members.

Before the release, the film had a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 7, 2021. The film consists of the cultural backdrop, significant events, cinematic influences, and cultural influences. It also shows how the band formed, how the members broke, and everything else.

Image courtesy of Loredana Sangiuliano / Shutterstock

Interviews with Cale and Tucker and interviews of musicians impacted by the band are also presented very effectively with an authentic music touch. These interviews were shot in 2018, shortly after Haynes was approached to direct and produce the documentary in 2017. Yule, who replaced Cale, is in the voiceover, yet he was not filmed for the movie.

By the time we were writing this, the film had a score of 98% for Tomatometer and 83% for Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. It also has a score of 7.5 out of 10 on IMDB when more than 2.3k people gave the ratings.

Critics say that the film is an apt documentary of the band members’ lives and the band’s impact during that time. Well, based on what we hear, it deserves to be watched.