Part of Music City Mondays.
All screenings: Video introduction from NPR music critic and correspondent Ann Powers
The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock ’n’ roll’s most revered bands. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND 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 — creating 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.”
“Haynes, the uncommonly sensitive and provocative director of CAROL, I’M NOT THERE and FAR FROM HEAVEN, among others, isn’t here to give us a blow-by-blow account of the New York band that was adopted by Andy Warhol’s Factory scene..THE VELVET UNDERGROUND is an exemplary doc, doing a virtuoso job of weaving archival footage, still photos and talking heads into a freewheeling trip through the band’s world.” —Steve Pond, The Wrap “Haynes deals with the band on the level they wanted (as musical poets, innovators and influencers) with admiration, but not uncritical reverence…. In short, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND is a documentary that meets the Velvet Underground eye-to-eye and enriches it.” —Finnuala Halligan, Screen Daily