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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

 -  Drama | Music  -  23 October 1998 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 23,987 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 312 user | 95 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Velvet Goldmine (1998)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cecil
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Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley ...
Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver ...
Osheen Jones ...
Micko Westmoreland ...
Damian Suchet ...
BBC Reporter
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Kissing Sailor
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Young Man
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Storyline

1971: Glamrock explodes all over the world and challenges the seriousness within the flower power generation by means of glitter and brutal music. Brian Slade, a young rock star, 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 discover that the murder is not real, 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 growing up in Manchester, he was more than a fan of Slade. Reluctantly he accepts the assignment and starts to investigate what happened to his old glamrock hero. Written by Jack Fairy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bálványrock - Velvet Goldmine  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$301,787 (USA) (6 November 1998)

Gross:

$1,043,487 (USA) (11 December 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The light switches in the New York newspaper office are British. See more »

Quotes

Brian Slade: Man is least himself when he talks in his own person... Give him a mask and he'll tell you the truth.
See more »

Connections

References The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

2HB
Written by Bryan Ferry
Performed by The Venus in Furs
Vocal by Paul Kimble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Velvet Goldmine and Dorian Gray
5 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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