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The Velvet Underground and Nico (1966)

"A Symphony of Sound" - depicts a rehearsal of The Velvet Underground and Nico at the Factory, 231 East 47th St., (loft on 4th floor), New York City. It is essentially a one long loose ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Cale ... Himself
Gerard Malanga ... Himself
Sterling Morrison ... Himself
Billy Name ... Himself
... Herself
Christian Päffgen ... Ari (as Ari)
... Himself
Stephen Shore ... Himself
Maureen Tucker ... Herself
... Himself
... Dancer
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Storyline

"A Symphony of Sound" - depicts a rehearsal of The Velvet Underground and Nico at the Factory, 231 East 47th St., (loft on 4th floor), New York City. It is essentially a one long loose improvisation including some private conversations and a brief visit from the NYPD. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Documentary | Music

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8 February 1966 (USA)  »

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Featured in Nico Icon (1995) See more »

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A Headache
20 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

It's the Velvet Underground in 1966 so it would be difficult to make this bad. Pretty much the only way it could be ruined is if the cameraman zoomed in and out rapidly for 10 minutes... 20 minutes... 30 minutes... which, in fact, is the case. It's absolutely nauseating. While this might not bother some, it certainly bothered me.

I guess what the cameraman was trying to do was treat the camera like it was an instrument. The other effects don't detract from this document, and the zoom wouldn't even be that bad if it was used a little more sparingly. On occasions, though, I really wish the camera was strictly used as a means to record this moment in time. John Cale plays something really wicked looking at one point, but you never really get a good look at it with all the zooming in and out and the tendency to not be focusing on what you want to see.

It is still a film worth seeing for any Velvet Underground fan, and if you're a fan of Warhol's films, well, I guess you're used to things that are difficult to watch, so go for it. I definitely understand why this isn't commercially available. I'm glad I saw it, but I wouldn't be disappointed if I never saw it again.


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