Todd Haynes has made some of the most fascinating movies of the last quarter century, but he’s never made a documentary before. The Velvet Underground for Apple TV+, about the band of the same name, is his first. But it also returns Haynes to subject matter he’s explored before, namely the world of rock and roll stars of the 1960s and ’70s.

Haynes first garnered major attention with his short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which chronicled the rise and fall of the Carpenters; instead of actors, Haynes had Barbie dolls play all of the characters. After Haynes found success in the independent film scene, he also made I’m Not There about the life of Bob Dylan, and Velvet Goldmine, about the rock scene in the 1970s, with characters inspired by Lou Reed among others.

Now Haynes will tell the real Reed’s story as part of his Velvet Underground documentary. The film, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, contains interviews with members of the band, along with previously unseen performances by the group. You can watch the trailer below:

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock ’n’ roll’s most revered bands. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes, “The Velvet Underground” shows just how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: the band is both of their time, yet timeless; literary yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture. The film features in-depth interviews with the key players of that time combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that creates an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band's creative ethos: “how to be elegant and how to be brutal.”

The Velvet Underground will be available on Apple TV+ on October 15.

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