Todd Haynes’s “The Velvet Underground”

October 22, 2021

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Kate Wolf, Medaya Ocher, and Eric Newman speak with director Todd Haynes about his latest movie, and first documentary, The Velvet Underground, which shows how the legendary rock group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions. The band is very much of its time, yet timeless, rooted both in high art and in the New York demimonde. The film features in-depth interviews with key artistic players of the 1960s combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art. The result is an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band’s creative ethos: “how to be elegant and how to be brutal.”

Also, Kelefa Sanneh, author of Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, returns to recommend Pamela Des Barres’s I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie.