Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Curt Wild: We set out to change the world... ended up just changing ourselves.
Arthur Stuart: What's wrong with that?
Curt Wild: Nothing, if you don't look at the world.
Brian Slade: Man is least himself when he talks in his own person... Give him a mask and he'll tell you the truth.
Mandy Slade: It's funny how beautiful people look when they're walking out the door.
Curt Wild: The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.
Brian Slade: Ha! Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner!
Mandy Slade: For the first time in Brian's life, he was simply telling it like it was. Did he realize what he'd actually done? How could he have? I mean, today there'd be fighting in the streets, but in 1972, it was more like dancing.
Mandy Slade: I needn't mention how essential dreaming is to the character of the rock star.
Curt Wild: Make a wish, and see yourself on stage, inside out, a tangle of garlands in your hair. Course, you are pleasantly surprised.
Curt Wild: Excuse me, fellas, while I raise a glass to the loveliest man in Europe.
Brian Slade: And they tell you it's not natural.
[after Curt Wild has exposed himself to an audience]
Brian Slade: They despised him.
Mandy Slade: Yeah. But when you're abused like that, you know you've touched the stars.
Brian Slade: I know. I just... just wish it'd been me. Wish I'd thought of it.
Mandy Slade: You will, love.
Jerry Divine: That man sittin' over there in the white suit... is the biggest thing to come out of this country since sliced Beatles.
Mandy: Now, just because someone sees, you know, two naked people asleep in bed together, it doesn't necessarily prove sex was involved. It does, however, make for a very strong case.
Cecil: [talking about Brian] He was... elegance walking arm in arm with a lie.
Cecil: According to legend, when Curt was thirteen he was discovered by his mother in the family loo at the service of his older brother and promptly shipped off for eighteen months of electric shock treatment. The doctors guaranteed the treatment would fry the fairy clean out of him, but all it did was make him bonkers every time he heard electric guitar.
Reporter: Tell us, Brian, are the rumors true when they say you and Curt Wild have some sort of plans up your sleeve?
Brian Slade: Oh, yes. Quite soon we actually plan to take over the world!
Mod Girlfriend: So what are ya, mod or a rocker?
Brian Slade: I'm six of one, half a dozen of the other, really.
Malcolm: I don't believe that there is much of a future to speak of.
Pearl: We're in a bit of a decadent spiral, aren't we?
Billy: Sinking fast.
Ray: Big Brother, baby, all the way.
Malcolm: Which is why we prefer impressions to ideas.
Billy: Situations to subjects.
Pearl: Brief flights to sustained ones.
Ray: Exceptions to types.
Pearl: And yourself?
Arthur Stuart: What? I'm... I'm just lookin' for a room at the moment.
Mandy: I just, uh... don't think I have what you're looking for.
Arthur: See, I think you do, actually.
Mandy: Oh, yeah? And what makes you think so?
Arthur: Well, that smile for one thing.
Mandy: Well, smiles lie.
Female Narrator: For once, there was an unknown land, full of strange flowers and subtle perfumes; a land of which it is joy of all joys to dream; a land where all things are perfect and poisonous.
Brian Slade: [lying in bed in a coke haze] Woman defend themselves by attacking, just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders.
Mandy Slade: I lost my girlhood, true, but it was for you.
Mandy: What's true about music is true about life: that beauty reveals everything because it expresses nothing.
Brian Slade: I should think that if people were to get the wrong impression of me, the one to which you so eloquently referred, it wouldn't be the wrong impression in the slightest.
Curt Wild: Listen, a real artist creates beautiful things and puts nothing of his own life into them, OK?
BBC Reporter: So you're saying you're bisexual?
Young Man: Yeah. I like boys. I like girls. They're all great. No difference, is there? - Mr. BBC.
Brian Slade: There's suffering at the birth of a child as at the birth of a star.
Brian Slade: "I knew I should create a sensation," gasped the Rocket, and he went out.
Curt Wild: [sitting in cafe with Jack Fairy talking about Brian] I dunno... I dunno. It got too big I guess, too... got too... schizold, you know? I mean, he thought he fuckin' WAS Maxwell Demon in the end, you know? And Maxwell Demon, he thought he was God.
Mandy Slade: [voiceover on New Year's Eve '69] And in crowded clubs or hotel bars, this shipwreck of the streets rehearsed his future glory. A cigarette tracing a ladder to the stars.
Brian Slade: [meets Curt for first time at bar] I just wanted to say... I think your music is tops, really, smashing, the best of the lot.
Curt Wild: [Curt lifts head] Smashing, top hole, jolly f...
[Curt's head falls back and he passes out]
Mary: I'm not really myself except in the midst of elegant crowds, at the heart of rich districts, or amid the sumptuous ornamentation of palace hotels, an army of servants, and plush carpet underfoot.
Reporter: Uh, Brian! Why the make-up?
Brian Slade: Why? Because rock and roll's a prostitute. It should be tarted up. Performed. The music is the mask, while I, in my chiffon and taff - well - varda the message.
Jerry Divine: Every great century that produces art is, so far, an artificial century, and the work that seems the most natural and simple of its time is always the result of the most self-conscious effort.