The Velvet Underground is the first documentary from I’m Not There and Carol director Todd Haynes (Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story almost counts, but not quite).
The Apple TV+ film, which premiered to rapturous reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, looks at one of the most influential rock bands ever. Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker (and later, Doug Yule) packed a lifetime’s worth of sunglasses-wearing, guitar-distorting, BDSM and heroin and stabbed in the head with a sheet metal cutter-chronicling memories into four short years, from 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico to 1970’s Loaded. It’s in the spirit of the VU that Haynes’ film doesn’t look like your average music doc — it channels the experimental Exploding Plastic Inevitable scene that guided the band, while still allowing for talking head interviews. Your life can be saved by rock and roll (and rock and roll documentaries).
Here’s the official synopsis:
The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock and roll’s most revered bands. Directed with the era’s avant-garde spirit by Todd Haynes, this kaleidoscopic oral history combines exclusive interviews with dazzling archival footage.
The Velvet Underground premieres in theaters and on Apple TV+ on October 15.