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.
Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »
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 character role of "Maxwell Demon" that he created, he plots his own murder. When fans discover the murder is not real, his star falls abruptly and he is quickly forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the tenth anniversary 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
The Curt Wild character is mainly inspired by David Bowie's relationship with two American 1960's underground rockers whose careers Bowie resurrected, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. Iggy Pop hailed from Michigan and shared Wild's long blond locks, while Reed underwent shock therapy for bisexuality as a teen and was rumored to have had an affair with Bowie before their falling out after Bowie produced Reed's album Transformer. Much central to the film is fictionalized, such as the mythical, mysterious, decade-long disappearance of "Slade", although he reincarnated himself as Tommy Stone, a blonde with a white suit (the 'thin white duke'). Bowie wasn't as huge of a star as Slade is depicted here and never withdrew for so long from the public-eye as did the film's character. See more »
The light switches in the New York newspaper office are British. See more »
The first duty in life is to assume a pose. What the second duty is, no one has yet found out.
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It is quite an extraordinary experience to sit through this film years after its controversial outing back in the distant 1998. Like many of the great pieces of art, or wine for that matter, time gives it that extra something that evolves its taste into something that you crave. The erotic innocence of the story is very much Oscar Wilde territory. Innocence, yes. - I've been arguing about it with some people about the inclusion of the word, if not the feeling, innocence in this context. I insist the word is perfectly fitting because at the end of this rainbow there is the longing for love. Ewan McGregor's cock is already famous the world over - and with reason - here it dangles across his frame like a child, unaware of his own nakedness. Jonathan Rhys Mayer is a delight. Strange to see him in feathers after "Match Point" and yet it makes a lot of sense. Christian Bale one day, will leave behind the pouting arrogance that is rapidly becoming his trademark - even as Batman - and come back to the glorious promise he insinuated here. All in all a triumph, Todd Haynes style.
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