The most frequent recurring thing about The Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quibble that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought it started the band.
You can’t hear that line in the Todd Haynes documentary The Velvet Underground. Nor do we see famous facial montages talking about their enormous influence. You can’t even actually hear the pretty complete Velvet Underground track until nearly an hour in a two-hour movie.
Certainly unconventional filmmakers of “Carroll,” “I’m not there,” and “far from heaven,” Haynes treats velvet traditionally, given his uncompromising pioneering themes. Reject. Debuting in theaters and on Apple TV + on Friday, “The Velvet Underground,” like Velvets, is boldly artistic and endlessly inspiring. You feel that even Lou Reed will be happy with the way the movie rejects the obvious.
“We didn’t have to make a film to convey the greatness of the band,” Haynes said in an interview earlier this year prior to the premiere of the film’s Cannes Film Festival. “There were a lot of things I intended to do:” OK, we know this. “How this happened, this music, where these people came from, and this group Let’s understand exactly how this miracle of the people gathered. “
“The Velvet Underground” is an early disciple of founding member John Cale (who describes the band as striving for an “elegant and brutal way”), with a lively footage that is rarely seen. It features a number of rare interviews, including one Jonathan Richman. The Modern Lovers and Jonas Mekas, a late pioneering filmmaker who filmed the first live performance of The Velvet Underground in 1964 and dedicated the film.
“The Velvet Underground” is the most peculiar way to revive the group’s birth and fermented downtown New York art scene of the 1960s. How Haynes turned Lou Reed and Velvet on by acts like Warhol’s Factory’s fertile downtown landscape, the strange New York explosion, La Monte Young’s experimental drone music and Delmore Schwartz’s devastating poetry. Patiently follow. Art, avant-garde movies and music clashed. Above all, the documentary is a revelatory portrait of artistic cross-polynation.
“I really felt the coexistence and creative inspiration that was being exchanged from medium to medium,” says Haynes. He states that such a localized hotbed now looks like a victim of the digital world. “I’m anxious for it today. I don’t know where it is.”
“The Velvet Underground” is Haynes’ first documentary. Earlier, he deliberately created artificial fiction for great musicians. His “Velvet Gold Mine” was David Bowie’s glam rock fantasia. In “I’m not there,” he cast seven, rather than trying the impossible task of finding an actor who could play Bob Dylan.
“When you were studying Bowie in Velvet Goldmine and all the Dylan in I’m not here, you came across the real thing,” says Haynes. “I always thought I should do something different if I wanted to reproduce this in the form of fiction. So you’re not comparing it to the real apples and apples. You’re not. If you are using the language of and place it in a different context, you will see the frame. “
Haynes has never met Reed, who died in 2013. But he met him several times at events like the Whitney Biennial (“I was too scared,” he says). Reed has given Haynes permission to use the “Satellite of Love” in “Velvet Goldmine.” Reed’s widow and filmmaker Laurie Anderson approved Haynes to direct the film, and other real estate properties like Andy Warhol were in favor.
The only Warhol footage that actually recorded velvet before is strapped throughout the film. In split screen, the factory band member’s screen test (usually displayed as a still image) plays for a long time, with a lead or kale provocatively staring at you.
“Their only film is by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.” Haynes said, “This is very rare and strange. Traditional coverage of a band playing live. There is no. There is only Warhol’s film. To tell a story about great art, we only have art in art in art. “
Follow AP film writer Jake Coil on Twitter. http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
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Find the Velvet Underground frequencies
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