Todd Haynes was always interested in the arts, and made amateur movies and painted while he was still a child. He attended Brown university and majored in art and semiotics. After he graduated he moved to New York City and made a very controversial short film 'Superstar'. The movie uses dolls instead of actors to tell the the story of the late Karen Carpenter. The movie was a success at several film festivals, and because of a lawsuit by Richard Carpenter (over musical rights) is very hard to see but it is a true classic for bootleg video buyers. His first feature, Poison (1991) was even more controversial. The film was attacked by right wing fanatics who said it was pornographic, it won the Grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It is now considered a seminal work of the new queer cinema. His next film Safe (1995) was a very different work for Haynes, it told the story of a women suffering from a breakdown caused by a mysterious virus. She ends up in a very strange clinic. Many thought the film was a metaphor of the Aids virus. The movie was a considered to be an outstanding work and was one of the best films of the year. In his most recent movie Velvet Goldmine (1998), he combines the visual style of 60s/70s art films and his love for glam rock music to tell the story of a fictional rock star's rise and fall.