Fulcrum moments in modern history have been a subject of director Todd Haynes’ fascinations for years now. Whether in the glam-rock revivalism of Velvet Goldmine, the thoughtful cult-of-personality investigation of I’m Not There, or the sad and wistful period details of Carol and Far From Heaven, Haynes has spent his career making films about the emotions at the center of social upheaval, whether cultural or personal or (usually) both. So it’s appropriate that for his documentary debut, the director would tackle one of the more iconic and culturally essential rock bands of all time: The Velvet Underground.
During an interview with Variety at the ongoing Locarno Film Festival, Haynes revealed that he’s begun work on a to-be-titled project about the band, 50 years after the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Haynes mentions that he aims to “rely certainly 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.” Although he plays generally coy about the details within the interview, it’s noted that there will be some difficulty in putting the piece together:
“It will also be ‘challenging’ given there is so little documentation on the group, the director added. So he is looking forward to ‘the thrill of the research and visual assemblage’ and ‘getting in deep to the resources and material and stock and archival footage and the actual cinema and experimental work.’ Haynes also aims to include interviews of the surviving members of the band and the contemporary 1960s artistic movement.”
Haynes also touches on another Amazon-funded limited series project, but divulged little about who and what it will focus upon. In the meantime, his Velvet Underground doc will eventually see the light of day, whenever Haynes can find a sufficient amount of throwback material to honor one of the more famously enigmatic acts of the ’60s. In the meantime, Haynes’ next feature Wonderstruck, which premiered at Cannes this past May, is set to be released by Amazon on October 20th.