Song of the Day #4,920: ‘Sunday Morning’ – The Velvet Underground

Writer-director Todd Haynes’ delivered another of this year’s celebrated music documentaries with The Velvet Underground, the first feature length film to explore the career of the seminal indie rock band.

This is Haynes’ first documentary, though he has tackled musical icons in the past with Velvet Goldmine (about the glam rock scene in the 70s, and based heavily on David Bowie) and I’m Not There, which chronicled the life of Bob Dylan through multiple stages using six different actors in the central role.

I’m particularly fond of I’m Not There. I consider it one of the best films of the 00s. Haynes’ unique take on Dylan had me hoping for a similarly creative approach to The Velvet Underground.

Instead, what we have here is a very straightforward Behind the Music-style documentary. It’s fine, in that it dutifully checks off the key points in the formation and evolution of the band, but it doesn’t take any chances cinematically.

Apart from ample use of split-screen images and other frames within the frame, nothing sets this movie apart from anything you’d see on CNN or VH1. And while I enjoyed seeing footage of the Andy Warhol art scene and learning about Lou Reed’s fierce artistic integrity, The Velvet Underground never distinguishes itself as a film.

[Verse 1]
Sunday morning brings the dawn in
It’s just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s just the wasted years so close behind

[Chorus]
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all

[Verse 2]
Sunday morning and I’m falling
I’ve got a feeling I don’t want to know
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s all the streets you crossed not so long ago

[Chorus]
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all

[Solo]

[Chorus]
Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all

[Outro]
Sunday morning
Sunday morning
Sunday morning

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,920: ‘Sunday Morning’ – The Velvet Underground

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m not interested enough in the band to watch a so-so paint by numbers documentary about them.

  2. Peg says:

    I agree with Dana

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