Todd Haynes, visionary director of “Carol” and “Far From Heaven,” is teaming longtime collaborator Christine Vachon’s Killer Films to direct his first documentary, about legendary rock group The Velvet Underground. David Blackman and Universal Music Group will also produce.
Variety reported the news out of the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where Haynes received the Pardo d’onore Manor award for career achievement. Haynes’ debut feature “Poison,” played in festival competition in 1991. The festival screened “Wonderstruck,” the newest film from Haynes which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, alongside “Poison.”
Haynes is also working with Amazon on a limited TV series ““an intensely important figure of immense historical and cultural influence,” the director told Variety.
The new project is currently in development, but will feature interviews with the living members of the band, as well as relying on “[Andy] Warhol films but also a rich culture of experimental film, a vernacular we have lost and we don’t have, [and that] we increasingly get further removed from,” Haynes said.
He will also use archival footage, though the director said it will be “challenging,” given the group’s surprising dearth of visual documentation. Haynes said he was looking forward to “getting in deep to the resources and material and stock and archival footage and the actual cinema and experimental work.”
In the grand tradition of great filmmakers documenting great musicians, The Velvet Underground documentary promises to rank among the best, hopefully on par with Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” and Jonathan Demme’s “Stop Making Sense.” Haynes proved his in depth music knowledge with 2007’s experimental Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There,” and if this next project is anything like that groundbreaking film, it will undoubtedly do Nico and The Velvet Underground justice.