You won't want to miss this fantastic new Velvet Underground documentary

Originally published at: You won't want to miss this fantastic new Velvet Underground documentary | Boing Boing

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I had very high hopes for this as I consider the Velvet Underground one of the great bands and I have thought that every Todd Haynes movie I’ve seen completely is great, but I was disappointed. I’ll grant it’s a very good introduction, but I was hoping for better.

Often very visually busy, which sometimes suits the material very well, but other times not. For example, in the early parts, during the discussion of minimalism, perhaps the visuals should reflect that aesthetic. Haynes is apparently trying, but frantically cutting from one bit of minimalism to another, is not.

Also, I really, really dislike when documentaries about music refuse to have the decency to play at least one piece all the way through without distracting voiceover. We do get that, but not until the end credits, so one can listen or attend to the credits. (One of these end pieces is from Cale, Nico, and Reed’s legendary 1972 show at Paris’ Bataclan club, a reunion, like their 90’s one, which the film could have at least mentioned in passing.)

Also, some “facts” which were either untrue, Frank Zappa was not a hippie, misleading, despite all the im-pli-ca-tions Doug Yule did not play all of the drums on Loaded, or poorly delivered, Cale talks about Nico pursuing her own creative path while we hear her sing “Chelsea Girls,” a song written by Reed and Morrison from an album which she hated due to the out-of-her-control production.

Hey, it keeps moving, one doesn’t have time to be bored, one hears snatches of some great tunes, and even a little non rock’n’roll history gets mixed in, but if this is “the best, most interesting documentary” about the Velvet Underground, there’s still a lot more that can be done.

Personally, this is my favorite VU doc, but it is admittedly not for beginners, in the Velvets or Warhol’s filmwork:

The Velvet Underground and Nico '66 - YouTube


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