In the first trailer for his documentary on the Velvet Underground,” director Todd Haynes takes viewers on a lightning-fast overview of the film, the era, the band and why it was so vastly influential.
The doc chronicles the 1960s group, which was once managed by Andy Warhol and considered the house band of his Factory, via deeply researched archival footage, contemporary and past interviews with bandmembers — including Lou Reed and John Cale — and those around them, ranging from Warhol and Factory denizens to music executives and critics from the era. While commercially unsuccessful during their initial 1965-1970 run, the Velvets went on to influence multiple generations of musicians, from Patti Smith and R.E.M. to Beck and Pavement and beyond.
In Variety’s review of the film, critic Owen Gleiberman called it a “dazzling historical collage, but not a definitive portrait” of the revered band. That’s partially because there’s hardly any footage from the group’s heyday. Instead, Haynes relies mostly on photographs, past Warhol films and interviews with key players of that time to paint a portrait of the band.
“A scrapbook of images that moves, ‘The Velvet Underground’ immerses you in the band but still leaves them slightly out of reach,” Gleiberman wrote.
“The Velvet Underground” is the first documentary from Haynes, the filmmaker known for “Far From Heaven,” “Carol” and “I’m Not There.” More recently, he directed the Mark Ruffalo-led legal thriller “Dark Waters.” He was Emmy-nominated for HBO mini-series “Mildred Pierce.”
“The Velvet Underground” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and will debut on Apple TV Plus and in select movie theaters on Oct. 15.
Watch the trailer for “The Velvet Underground” below: