Film review – The Velvet Underground (2021)

The Velvet Underground

Todd Haynes’s narrative films have previously demonstrated just how aware the US filmmaker is of the way specific stylistic devices connect the past with the present. He has notably worked within and subverted classical Hollywood melodrama genre conventions in Far from Heaven (2002), Carol (2015) and the 2011 miniseries Mildred Pierce and he has also worked with stylistic approaches associated with pop music and the subcultures that surround it, most notably the glam rock aesthetic of Velvet Goldmine (1998) and the fragmented identities belonging to Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (2007). It is therefore not a huge surprise – but nevertheless completely wonderful – that for his first feature documentary, on the avant-garde rock band The Velvet Underground, Haynes embraces the experimental approach to filmmaking that was so much a part of the 1960s and 1970s New York art scene where the band first rose to prominence.

Read and listen to the rest of this review at ABC Radio Melbourne