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Todd Haynes digs deep into ‘Velvet Underground’

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Todd Haynes digs deep into ‘Velvet Underground’

Critically acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes has a decades-long history examining musical icons in a deeply personal way.

“The Velvet Underground,” an in-depth documentary on the ’60s rock band, follows Haynes’ “I’m Not There” about the elusive art of Bob Dylan; “Superstar,” Karen Carpenter’s story told with Barbie dolls; and the David Bowie-inspired fiction of “Velvet Goldmine.”

Asked in a phone interview whether his fascination is with the ’60s or the artists, “All of that,” Haynes, 60, answered. “The reason we spend the time trying to trace the sources of the artists and their musical interests and evolutions is really to try to understand what it is.

“What made the Velvet Underground, as a band, and as a kind of complex of artists creating this unique sound? What was unique about it?

“Because the Velvet Underground took years for the music to become as well-known as it is today. And so influential.

“But what happens in that process is you lose what was new about it. Especially a band this influential. So one of my challenges was to try to hear the music afresh.”

Haynes uses a split screen — that sometimes splits again and again — to tell his complex story in which Andy Warhol becomes the catalyst to make The Velvet Underground’s most prominent players Lou Reed and John Cale famous by adding Nico, the now-iconic German singer, to the band.

Lou Reed from archival photography from “The Velvet Underground,” premiering globally on Apple TV+ on October 15, 2021.

When the group dissolved, Reed went on to a successful solo career. His last years — he died in 2013 — were with downtown artist Laurie Anderson.

Which prompts the question: Was Lou Reed gay?

“Oh yeah, man,” Haynes answered. “My point of view is that they’re all gay! It’s about an attitude as much as it is about actual gay sex.

“But Lou Reed was experimenting with gay sex as well. He talks about it very directly. Just listen to ‘Transformer,’ his first big solo record, which David Bowie produced.

“That’s a pure gay liberationist record, let alone a (piece) of underground transgressive queer culture that the Velvet Underground represent.”

Haynes points out what he never knew about the Velvets: “I just have to shout out to Boston because it’s such a special part of the story.

“I learned how important Boston and the Boston Tea Party venue was to their history. Jonathan Richmond from the Modern Lovers was a teenager in Boston and saw 60 to 70 of their shows, almost more than they were in New York.”


“The Velvet Underground” streams Friday on Apple TV+.

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CU professor will compete in first-ever Professors Tournament on “Jeopardy!”

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CU professor will compete in first-ever Professors Tournament on “Jeopardy!”

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Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an assistant professor at CU Boulder and will be featured on “Jeopardy” starting Dec. 6.

A professor of African American history at the University of Colorado in Boulder will, in her own words, partake in the “coolest nerd thing” she’s ever done next week as she makes an appearance on the first-ever Professors Tournament on “Jeopardy!”

Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an assistant professor at CU Boulder, where she teaches U.S. and African American history, with a focus on American Civil War memory, Black cultural history, Black radicalism, and collective memory in the United States, according to CU Boulder.

She is one of 15 educators who will compete for a $100,000 grand prize and spot in the show’s upcoming Tournament of Champions.

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Barbados bids farewell to British monarchy, becomes republic

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Barbados bids farewell to British monarchy, becomes republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Barbados stopped pledging allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as it shed another vestige of its colonial past and became a republic for the first time in history.

Several leaders, dignitaries and artists, including Prince Charles and Rihanna, attended the ceremony that began late Monday in a popular square where the statue of a well-known British lord was removed last year amid a worldwide push to erase symbols of oppression.

Fireworks peppered the sky at midnight as Barbados officially became a republic, with screens set up across the island so people could watch the event that featured an orchestra with more than 100 steel pan players and numerous singers, poets and dancers. It was also broadcast online, prompting a flurry of excited messages from Bajans living in the U.S., Canada and beyond.

“Happy Independence Day and freedom to all,” wrote one viewer.

The drive to become a republic began more than two decades ago and culminated with the island’s Parliament electing its first ever president last month in a two-thirds majority vote. Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason was sworn in before dawn on Tuesday as the island marked its 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.

“As cautioned by our first prime minister … we ought no longer to be found loitering on colonial premises,” she said. “We must seek to redefine our definition of self, of state, and the Barbados brand, in a more complex, fractured and turbulent world. … Our country and people must dream big dreams and fight to realize them.”

Mason, 72, is an attorney and judge who also has served as ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. She will help Prime Minister Mia Mottley lead the wealthy Caribbean island of more than 300,000 people that is dependent on tourism, manufacturing and finance.

Barbados didn’t need permission from the U.K. to become a republic, although the island will remain a member of the Commonwealth Realm. It’s an event that the Caribbean hasn’t experienced since the 1970s, when Guyana, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago became republics.

Barbados became independent from the United Kingdom in November 1966, more than three centuries after English settlers arrived and turned the island into a wealthy sugar colony based on the work of hundreds of thousands of African slaves.

In recent decades, the island has begun distancing itself from its colonial past. In 2005, Barbados dropped the London-based Privy Council and chose the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal. Then in 2008, it proposed a referendum on the issue of becoming a republic, but it was pushed back indefinitely. Last year, Barbados announced plans to stop being a constitutional monarchy and removed a statue of British Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson from National Heroes Square, the location of the event to celebrate becoming a republic.

“From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude,” said Prince Charles, who thanked Barbadian officials for inviting him and said he has greatly admired what they’ve achieved. “Freedom, justice, and self determination have been your guides.”

During the ceremony, the prime minister awarded pop star Rihanna the honor of National Hero of Barbados, telling her, “May you continue to shine like a diamond,” as they both laughed.

Barbados’ flag, coat of arms and national anthem will remain the same, but certain references will change, according to Suleiman Bulbulia, a columnist for the Barbados Today newspaper. He wrote that the terms “royal” and “crown” will no longer be used, so the Royal Barbados Police Force will become the Barbados Police Service and “crown lands” will become “state lands.”

“It is the beginning of a new era,” he wrote. “Any Barbadian can aspire now to be our Head of State.”

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Dolphins Q&A: What’s going on with Jason Sanders in the kicking game?

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50 Colo. Time dealers, Wells are auto fame inductees

Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Omar Kelly answer questions from readers.

Q: How do #Dolphins fix kicking game in the off-season? I find it hard to believe that Sanders has lost his touch. Is Palardy the issue with the holds? Will Palardy get replaced? — Dixon Tam on Twitter

A: There’s something to it at this point. Jason Sanders has missed a kick in five of the past seven games.

The latest: Doinking an extra point off an upright in Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium, just a week after a field goal attempt at MetLife Stadium banged off the goalpost.

Between the five missed field goals and the point-after attempt on Sunday, he has missed six kicks, doubling last year’s total of three when he was an All-Pro selection in 2020.

Sanders is in a little bit of a funk right now, but I wouldn’t give up on him and make a drastic change this offseason. We still know what he’s capable of when he’s on his game, and he hasn’t yet compounded multiple misses within a game to the point where you say he’s got the yips. Against the Panthers on Sunday, he did make two fourth-quarter field goal attempts — under no pressure in the blowout, granted — after his extra-point failed.

As far as punter Michael Palardy being his new holder this season, Dolphins special teams coordinator Danny Crossman denied that had anything to do with the misses last week.

“In this profession, and especially in that job, it’s a fine line between being successful and not being successful,” Crossman said. “We have complete confidence in [Sanders]. It’s small things. We’ll keep working, and Jason will be fine.”

Crossman also said there has been no change in Sanders’ mechanics.

“There’s nothing different,” he said. “He’s been the same for the three years that I’ve had him. We’ll just keep fine-tuning and keep working and keep grinding. One thing about Jason is he’s a worker. We’ll get that taken care of.”

As far as Palardy’s role in the punting game, he shanked a few early in the season and has one of the lowest yards-per-punt averages in the NFL (44.2), but he’s No. 3 in the league in punts inside the 20 (21). He has pinned opponents down deep plenty, and gunner Mack Hollins has great chemistry with him downing his kicks deep in opponents’ territory.

Sanders also just signed a five-year contract extension this past offseason. Palardy is on a one-year deal.

Have a question?

Email David Furones, or tag @OmarKelly or @DavidFurones_ on Twitter.

Previously answered:

What changes could come to receiving corps in offseason?

What offensive linemen should Dolphins target in free agency?

Why are Dolphins interceptions down from last year?

Can Tua still be a top-10 quarterback?

Was 2021 team destined for failure before Tua’s injury?

Does Austin Jackson’s move to left guard bring hope?

Did franchise botch Fitzpatrick, Tunsil, Tannehill trades?

Will O-line go through more changes?

Does Tua’s injury reignite Deshaun Watson talks?

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