The Velvet Underground (2021)
Critic Consensus: The Velvet Underground takes a fittingly idiosyncratic approach to delivering a rock documentary that captures the band as well as its era.
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Critic Reviews for The Velvet Underground
This bracing collage is pure rock bliss and a poke in the eye to old-style storytelling.
If you already love the Velvet Underground, this is two hours of visual and aural bliss. If you don't, same.
Claims for the eternal qualities of any music are dubious at best, but what Haynes exhibits through his own complex, textured documentary is that the Velvet Underground's music remains fertile ground for inspiration.
Haynes jettisons the traditional role of talking heads; he dispatches incidental music; he regards emotional arcs and sentimentality the way he might a toothache. He made a film that feels of a kind with the subject.
What makes a rock band worth attending to a half century after its breakup isn't its personalities or backstory or context, interesting as those can be, and here they're all highly interesting. It's the music.
Haynes' dazzling visuals are grounded by interviews with the two living band members - most extensively John Cale, the Welshman and classically trained violist who formed a potent partnership with the Long Island-born Reed.
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