Velvet Underground getting Criterion Blu-ray treatment

Physical editions due on Boxing Day

The Criterion Collection has announced the release of The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film by Todd Haynes for release on Blu-ray and DVD on December 13th. Todd Haynes’ kaleidoscopic Apple Original documentary includes never-before-seen band performances, interviews, rare recordings, and mind-blowing transmissions from the 1960s avant-garde cinema scene.

Emerging from the primordial soup of glamour, gutter sleaze, and feverish creativity that was New York’s 1960s underground culture, the Velvet Underground redefined music with its at once raw and exalted blend of experimentation and art-damaged rock and roll. In his kaleidoscopic documentary, Haynes vividly evokes the band’s incandescent world: the creative origins of the twin visionaries Lou Reed and John Cale, Andy Warhol’s fabled Factory, and the explosive tension between pop and the avant-garde that propelled the group and ultimately consumed it. Never-before-seen performances, interviews, rare recordings, and mind-blowing transmissions from the era’s avant-garde cinema scene come together in an ecstatic swirl of sound and image that is to the traditional music documentary what the Velvets were to rock: utterly revolutionary.

Video and audio are presented with a new 4K digital master, approved by Haynes and cinematographer Ed Lachman, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

Features include audio commentary with Haynes and editors Affonso Gonçalves and Adam Kurnitz; outtakes of interviews shot for the film with musicians John Cale, Jonathan Richman, and Maureen Tucker; filmmaker Jonas Mekas; and actor Mary Woronov; a conversation from 2021 among Haynes, Cale, and Tucker; complete versions of some of the avant-garde films excerpted in the movie, including Piero Heliczer’s Venus in Furs from 1965; teaser; English subtitles; optional annotated subtitle track that identifies the avant-garde films seen in the movie; plus a 2021 essay by critic Greil Marcus.

The film is 120 minutes and rated R.

In October, Republic Records/UMe issued The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film By Todd Haynes – Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack on 2 CD and digital, featuring both well-known and rare Velvet Underground tracks. Curated by Haynes and music supervisor Randall Poster, the album serves as the perfect introduction to the band and companion piece to the film.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email:

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