The Velvet Underground: Todd Haynes seems to understand that making a documentary about The Velvet Underground without it being avant-garde would be a mistake. So, while the narrative line (driven by some interviews with relevant participants, as well as some recovered archival sound bits) is very traditional (but, more relevantly, informative and insightful), visually the film is everything but. Editors Affonso Gonçalves and Adam Kurnitz do it all: split-screen, interposed images, out-of-context images, varying speeds. And, of course, what a wealth of material they have available to them. That allows the flow of interesting facts about the band, its members, and surrounding circumstances to be complemented by a sometimes hypnotic series of images. The film is also very generous with letting their music speak for itself, with an enormous number of tracks being played in its entirety or majority; of course, the band produced a very particular kind of sound, so that may or may not be for everyone’s liking.
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