In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin ... See full summary »
Robert Sean Leonard,
A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enroll at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers and each one deals with the problems and stress of training and getting ahead in the world of dance.
1971: Glamrock explodes all over the world and challanges the seriousness within the flowerpower generation by means of glitter and brutal music. Brian Slade, a young rockstar, inspires numerous teenage boys and girls to paint their nails and explore their own sexuality. In the end Slade destroys himself. Unable to escape the role he created for himself, he plots his own murder. When his fans discovers that the murder is a fake, his star falls and he is forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the story about the fake murder of Brian Slade. When Arthur was young and grew up in Manchester, he was more than a fan of Slade. Reluctantly he accepts the assignment and starts to investigate what happened his old glamrock hero. Written by
The film was originally supposed to feature some of David Bowie's music, hence the title. However, when Bowie learned that the script for the film was partially based on the unauthorized biographies "Stardust: The David Bowie Story", written by Henry Edwards and Tony Zanetta and "Backstage Passes" written by Bowie's ex-wife Angie Bowie, he threatened the producers with a lawsuit. Hence, no Bowie songs were used, and the script was partially re-written to avoid unnecessary resemblance between Bowie and the Bowie-style character Brian Slade. See more »
During "Death of Glitter" concert, the bassist of The Flaming Creatures takes his hands off the bass for several seconds to reattach the shoulder strap, during the song "20th Century Boy". Meanwhile, the bassline of the song continues uninterrupted. See more »
Even if I didn't think this movie was fantastic (which I do), I would have to be impressed with the incorporation of Oscar Wilde, his fascination with the decadence of pop culture, and his brilliant philosophies concerning art.
At the end of the film, when Arthur Stuart sits to have a drink with Curt Wylde (Oh look! A play on Oscar!, Wylde looks up and tells him that, "The true artist creates beautiful things, and puts none of his own life into them". This is one of the several scenes in which Oscar Wilde is referenced subtly, seamlessly and beautifully.
Curt is not simply Iggy Pop. He is Oscar Wilde. He is the true artist of the crowd, because he creates music without using the art as a form of autobiography.
Brian Slade is Dorian Gray. He invests all of his persona into the public, and into his songs, trapping himself in an expectation. The alter-ego Maxwell Demon is eternal youth. It is the embodiment of Slade in a single moment. Unfortunately, he traps himself, and leaves no room for growth. The shooting accomplishes two things. Slade arranging this pseudo-murder is Dorian gray destroying his portrait. At first Dorian was intrigued, even excited by the changes he saw in the painting. Then it began to wear on him. So with Slade/ Demon. The hoax liberates Slade the way death does Gray. Also, This secures Maxwell Demon a place in history. Brian Slade was a pop-star who was too controversial and too personally naked in his work to have any real longevity. The hype would have faded, and if he changed or grew as a person, that would have meant changing everything about his art (as they were so interlocked) and would have led to cries of "sell out". Either way, he would have faded out and been likely forgotten (the way Britney Spears will hopefully do one day). By enacting this faux death, Slade guarantees Maxwell Demon some form of eternal youth, trading in his career to do so (selling his soul).
There's more, as well. Jerry Devine, for instance, is Lord Henry. Mandy is Sybil Vane. They aren't exact, of course, and there are other veins running through them that make them unique, but one can see the influence.
Beautifully done, and a well paid tribute to the genius of Oscar Wilde!
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