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 KAREN CARPENTER STORY (1987).
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.
In his following movie VELVET GOLDMINE (1998), Haynes 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. Haynes further estabalished himself with FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002), for which he received an Oscar nomination.
His latest movie I’M NOT THERE (2007) about Bob Dylan was nominated for several prizes (amongst which an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett) and won Best Film, Best Actress and Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival