THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO
(director: Andy Warhol; cinematographer: Paul Morrissey/Andy Warhol; music: The Velvet Underground; cast: Lou Reed, John Cale, Mary Woronov, Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker, Nico, Ari Boulogne; Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Andy Warhol; Raro Video-PAL format; 1966)
“The music is good.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Andy Warhol(“Blowjob”/”My Hustler”/”Chelsea Girls”) directs The Velvet Underground at his NYC apartment at the Factory during an instrumental rehearsal one January day in 1966. The group is joined by German statuesque blonde model/singer Nico, playing the tambourine, and her young son Ari doing some movements at her feet. The band members are Lou Reed (guitar), John Cale (viola and bass guitar), Sterling Morrison (guitar and bass guitar) and Mo Tucker (drums).
The band’s name is taken from a book by Michael Leigh on the degeneration of sexuality in the modern day.
After the band plays for an hour in a drone-like manner, the police enter the Factory and the rehearsal ends peacefully with the musicians saying their goodbyes.
The music is good. The black-and-white visuals are ordinary. With underground Warhol touches in the filming process, the film seems more interesting than it should be and also registers as a piece of ’60’s musical history.
REVIEWED ON 5/2/2013 GRADE: B