The Velvet Underground (2160x1023)
The Velvet Underground, © Motto Pictures (2021)

ACMI Presents

The Velvet Underground

Todd Haynes | USA | 2021 | M

A kaleidoscope of sound and vision that captures the legacy of one of the world's greatest and most influential rock bands.

The movie makes you wish you were there. Lights darkened, dots and rays and Reed flickering before us, we nearly are.

K. Austin Collins (Rolling Stone)

Todd Haynes delves into the myth and legacy of the iconic and influential rock band, The Velvet Underground. Led by Lou Reed, and John Cale and rounded out by Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker, the documentary highlights through oral history and archival footage how the avant-garde spirit of the era shaped and influenced the band. Alongside showcasing their many collaborators such as the ethereal chanteuse Nico, and pop artist Andy Warhol, the film is a thrilling document of the disruptive art that emerged from the time, and a loving tribute to a New York that doesn’t exist anymore.

In what is Todd Haynes’ first feature documentary, he tackles subjects he has long been circling around: counterculture movements, artists and musicians who have shaped popular culture and who have also left an indelible mark on his filmmaking sensibility. The Velvet Underground plays like a film that could have emerged from the 1960s and Haynes taps into the energy and visual style of the artists that informed that era, notably experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas, to whom it’s dedicated. Split screens, dissonant music, and a kaleidoscope of sound and vision collide to create the spirit of the period and a loving, fitting homage to a band that provided its soundtrack.

Format: DCP
Language: English
Source: Apple
Courtesy: Apple
Duration: 121 mins


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121 mins



Contains coarse language, sex and nudity


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Screening before the feature

Sonic Youth: Disappearer

Dir. Todd Haynes, 1990, Universal Music, USA, 4 mins.

Driving along the nighttime streetscape of an American city, Sonic Youth begin to transform their film noir-infused identities. Whether they're a band leaving a stage performance or spies finishing a high-stakes operation, their personas are disappearing as the kerbside people watch on.

Sonic Youth: Disappearer

Focus on Todd Haynes (Thu 12 Oct – Sun 12 Nov 2023)

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