Julie Goldman interview: ‘The Velvet Underground’ documentary
For Julie Goldman, the producer of “The Velvet Underground,” her love for the titular band can be traced back to where she lived as a kid. “I’m a lifelong New Yorker and I think if you grew up in New York, you’re likely to have been familiar with The Velvet Underground,” she tells Gold Derby in our recent Meet the Experts: Film Documentary panel (watch the exclusive video interview above). Goldman also credits a specific member of her family in helping to introduce her to the band. “I grew up with an older brother, so that always helped with my musical education and I was very aware of The Velvet Underground and John Cale and Lou Reed.”
“The Velvet Underground,” which is currently streaming on Apple TV+, chronicles the band that was comprised of Reed, Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker. After forming in 1965, Andy Warhol would become the band’s manager in 1966. The group performed throughout the rest of the ’60s and eventually disbanded in the early 1970s. The film is the first documentary to be directed by Oscar nominee Todd Haynes. Goldman is a two-time Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature: “Life, Animated” (2016) and “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (2017).
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In terms of what surprised her to learn about the band, Goldman says that she is astounded at how the band came together. “They’re so thought of as fractured and that there was always strife, but I love what surprised me is delving into where they came from, how different they were and how they could come together.” She added that it was a great counter-narrative to the notorious infighting that the band was known for. “It’s almost like this miracle that they found each other and that this band came from that. That, to me, is the surprising thing of how they found this unity.”
In looking at the current cultural landscape, Goldman doesn’t believe that there’s anybody in it that’s quite like The Velvet Underground, but she also believes that has helped contribute to their staying power. “The way that they have something that is such a unique sound then they were able to do songs that were kind of poppy and different. The way that they spoke in music is just different.” It’s why she believes that they were such an inspirational band. “They’ve launched so many different bands because they were like no one else. And they kind of like happened and then they went away.”