After a thorough bout of negotiations, the previously lost film footage of the Velvet Underground performing at a Vietnam War protest at Dallas’ White Rock Lake in 1969 has made it into The Velvet Underground, a documentary directed by Todd Haynes. The documentary, mirroring the name of the band itself, contains this special footage that was initially discovered and digitized by the G. William Jones Film and Video Archive Team right here at SMU.
The Velvet Underground premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France this past July at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, the festival’s largest and most prestigious theatre. The event was attended by many, including director Todd Haynes, singer/model Jane Birkin, actress Helen Mirren, and me, a recently graduated SMU film student. The documentary was well received by audiences and ended up being the favorite of many out of the entire festival’s lineup of films. The clips from White Rock Lake appear towards the middle of the film and are very “blink and you might miss it.” As I was a student intern at the G. William Jones Archive, I was delighted when I recognized the clips from White Rock Lake. It was amazing to see a special piece of SMU abroad, especially in such a personal way.
For all of those in the SMU community who want to see our contribution to this incredible documentary, The Velvet Underground will make its American debut October 15, 2021 on Apple TV+.
Blog post: Emily Cook (standing on right), SMU film student graduate (2021) and G. William Jones Film & Video intern