Academy Award nominee Todd Haynes has just teased his latest cinematic outing, a deep-dive expose on the rock band The Velvet Underground.
For the uninitiated, The Velvet Underground burst onto the music underground in the mid-1960s. Lead by guitarist/singer (and noted bisexual) Lou Reed, the group became a favorite of artist Andy Warhol and pioneered work on the idea of concept albums; that is, albums that tell a loose story about a group of characters, and that mediate on different real-world themes. Despite the art-house cred–and the support of popular musicians including Marianne Faithful and Mick Jagger–The Velvet Underground never quite found mainstream stardom and disbanded in 1970. That didn’t stop the group’s music or members from becoming widely influential, particularly in the Glam Rock genre. Lou Reed, in particular, would prove highly influential to David Bowie.
Haynes, director of Velvet Goldmine, Carol and Far From Heaven, now chronicles the rise and fall of the band in the director’s first-ever documentary. Utilizing new interviews, archive footage and rare concert materials, Haynes retraces the origins of the band, their avant-garde rise, and the tensions that eventually force them to disband.
Given Haynes’ love for queer rock in the films Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There, and Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, we are so ready to see him cut loose with the Underground.
The Velvet Underground arrives on AppleTV+ October 15.