The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Velvet Underground

Acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes (Carol) takes on the legendary art-rock outfit in his documentary debut The Velvet Underground.

Haynes begins from the ground-up, laying out the band’s origins from its original core members to the release of their iconic debut record The Velvet Underground & Nico. Formed in the midst of the ever-evolving pop art and counterculture movement of the mid-1960’s, the band would spawn an explosion of inspiration and an enigmatic presence in the world of rock music. But what follows once those movements recede, and band members slowly begin to depart? Todd Haynes tracks the band’s unpredictable history in the time passing their short-lived discography, and the departure of their iconoclastic lead singer, the late Lou Reed.

A gold mine of archived footage of the band’s performances and recording sessions, as well as brand-new interviews shot by Haynes’ mainstay DP Edward Lachman, The Velvet Underground is as essential a dive into one of the most revolutionary acts in rock history as any fan should rightfully expect.


“The film features in-depth interviews with key figures of the time, never-before seen performances, an array of recordings, Andy Warhol films and much else to create an experience both instantly sensory and richly illuminating.” — Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV

“It’s a dark, disturbing and glorious film about a dark, disturbing and glorious band, and another sign that Haynes knows how to put music onscreen in a way that few other directors do.” — Steve Pond, The Wrap

“Of course, it’s a great-sounding documentary, too. See it in a theater with good audio, and you will actually vibrate when ‘Heroin’ kicks in.” — Ben Kenigsberg,