Films from the Underground
Andy Warhol + Lou Reed
A Symphony of Sound: The Velvet Underground and Nico
A Symphony of Sound: The Velvet Underground and Nico , 1966, 66’
16mm film, black and white, sound
Transferred from 16 mm to DVD
Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
©2014 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a Museum of Carnegie Institute
All rights reserved.
Warhol's classic 1966 music documentary has been described by critics as "eternally chic" and, according to writer and biographer Victor Bockris, "remains the single best visual record of the Velvet Underground". Recorded during a practice session at the Factory; shot in January 1966, it shows the group rehearsing for what was probably their opening at the Film-Makers' Cinematheque basement theater. Nico, the German singer and actress whom Warhol introduced into the band, sits on a stool and bangs a tambourine, while her son Ari plays on the floor at her feet. The two reels contain a great deal of wild camerawork and psychedelic zooming, which indicates that this film was intended for exhibition, probably in double-screen, behind the Velvet Underground on stage.