US 2021, 110 min Director Todd Haynes
They were the downtown NYC group that doubled as the missing link between John Cage, Rimbaud, and the Brill Building; the in-house band for Warhol’s Factory happenings; and the leather-jacketed, sexuality-blurring rock stars that inspired generations of musicians to pick up droning guitars. Who better to pay tribute to the Velvet Underground than Todd Haynes (MVFF Tribute, 2017)? The filmmaker who gave us an abundance of Dylans in I’m Not There (MVFF 2007) and the glam-rock freak out Velvet Goldmine turns his attention to the V.U. in his first documentary, charting everything from Lou Reed and John Cale’s early musical collaborations to the group’s early-’70s dissolution. It’s a trove of rare performance clips, vintage experimental-movie snippets, and new interviews—as much a portrait of an era as of a band, told in the style of the avant-garde filmmaking that fueled the Velvets’ moment in the spotlight and secured their status as world-renowned countercultural icons. –David Fear
We will be joined in person by executive producer John Sloss for an onstage conversation.