The Velvet Underground: An interview with director Todd Haynes on the groundbreaking documentary
Todd Haynes’ new release The Velvet Underground is an immersive dive into the cultural hub that inspired the music of Lou Reed’s legendary band of the 1960s-70s. While this is the director’s first documentary, Haynes is well known for his music biopics. From 1998’s Velvet Goldmine, which celebrates glam rock and takes inspiration from figures such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop, to the 2007 Bob Dylan tribute I’m Not There, Haynes not only honours groundbreaking artists but also skilfully captures the time and the vibes that gave birth to their genius and creative urges.
Rather than going through the biographical accounts of the band members, The Velvet Underground sets the scene by drawing the audience into a trance and exploring the fertile artistic ground in which the musicians moved. Supported by pop art icon Andy Warhol, the band created distinctive songs that would influence countless musicians that emerged after them.
The Upcoming caught up with Haynes to find out how he felt about making this documentary and the driving forces he considers motivated the restless and unruly Lou Reed. The director also told us why it took so long for the band to be fully appreciated, and the reasons behind people’s fascination with biographies.
The Velvet Underground is released on Apple TV+ on 15th October 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Velvet Underground here: