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Velvet Goldmine
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Velvet Goldmine More at IMDbPro »

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141 out of 192 people found the following review useful:

Velvet Goldmine and Dorian Gray

Author: swinging_rose_hips
5 October 2004

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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101 out of 125 people found the following review useful:

Stardust Memories

9/10
Author: great_sphinx_42 from The Poppy Field, OZ 69666
3 June 1999

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that has polarized people as much as this one, or at least very few. Some people have put down every single thing about it. As for me, when my roommate (who had already seen it) asked me what I'd thought of it I replied in all honesty, "I loved every single frame of it." She concurred, and we've both seen it again since. I plan to buy it as soon as I can find it for sale. It's heavy on metaphors, which seems to have annoyed a lot of people. As for it's structural resemblance to 'Citizen Kane', that was one of the points. Glam rock was in part about copying others for copying's sake, like Brian Slade copied from Curt Wild, and everyone copied from Jack Fairy. The performances are all great. Some may nitpick about how the characters were portrayed, but I think they were all apt. Ewan McGregor has gotten plenty of slobbering, ecstatic praise from me in the past, and this only encouraged the worship. Toni Collette, so mired in ugly duckling roles since 'Muriel's Wedding', is wonderful, as is Christian Bale's brittle, disillusioned reporter role. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is, as Brian Slade, a glittering void, as cloaked in mystery at the end as he was at the beginning. Some of have criticized his role, but I think he did it just right, with a grand coldness. One believes that only such a creature could be the idol of an era that was, in the end, about glittering emotional voids and icy hipness. Why did he do what he did? We never know. That's one of the best parts. (I must embarrass myself here by noting, also, that Rhys-Meyers is so shockingly beautiful it's disgusting, like eating too much honey. Kinda makes you wanna puke on his shoes, doesn't it?) I suppose that not everyone can be expected to love this movie as much as I did, but I'm still a little surprised at some of the venom that's been spit at it. Then again, it is a truly enigmatic film, delicious for those who can appreciate a glorious feast of sight and sound, but just plain confusing and annoying for those who lack the imagination to appreciate it.

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83 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Put The Blame On Wilde

9/10
Author: A.W Richmond (adelitarichheaven@outlook.com) from United States
17 April 2006

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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106 out of 150 people found the following review useful:

A glittery glam-rock piece of slash fanfiction

Author: Kate Bolin from New Orleans
20 January 1999

Slash Fanfiction is when a person writes a story involving two (usually) males characters from a television show or movie in a homoerotic romantic relationship. And this is what Velvet Goldmine is. A visually stunning, incredibly tasty piece of slash fanfiction. But instead of Kirk & Spock or Mulder & Krycek, it's someone who's a lot like David Bowie and someone who's a lot like Iggy Pop. Perhaps that appeals to you. Perhaps it doesn't. But despite its fanfiction feeling, this movie is absolutely visually stunning. The imagery will last with you long after you leave the movie, your eyes blinking as you adjust to a rather grey drab world. The movie isn't about substance, it's about style; about creating and rearranging yourself to fit the time, to fit the world around you. It's about fluidity, fluidity of gender, personality, ideas, and romance. Because, like all Slash fanfiction, above everything else, it's a love story.

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56 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Lovely, lovely lovely. And Jonathan Rhys-Meyers's just soooooooo beautiful

10/10
Author: Ergodiel from Stockholm, Sweden
5 December 1998

This is definitely one of the best movies I've ever seen. I must admit the beginning confused me a bit, and the movie may have lacked in plot, but I just didn't notice, during the movie, I felt like I got sucked up within it, not like becoming one of the characters, but as if the cinema and the people within was gone and the only thing that existed was the movie - this only happens to me very,very rarely, I don't know if I've really been _that_ captured by a movie ever before - and it seemed the time that passed was at the same time very long and still just a few minutes. It felt somewhat like a very intense dream of sorts, and it lasted for the rest of the night once I got out of the cinema.

Indeed, these where fictional characters, like so many have pointed out before I did, even though based on real glam-rockers. However, I don't think that matters very much (although that may be because I wasn't there during the glam-era) it's a very good movie, it's artistic and the music is adorable (but I do think Bowie should have let them include at least the song Velvet Goldmine) so why bother about whether it's really real or fictional? Why not just enjoy it?

As for the Jack Fairy-character that some of you has wondered why he was there, I thought it was him who shot Maxwell... but as far as I'm concerned, he didn't have to do anything really, he was beautiful enough (not quite as marvellous as Jonathan's character Brian though) to have his existence in the movie justified anyway.

I rate this my fav movie right now, and everyone with an open mind should see it and for the rest of you lot, I just pity you that you can not see the beauty of this piece of art, because it really really is an utterly beautiful dream, I'd like to call it, once you let yourself fall into it and don't think of annoying unimportances (which I usually do while watching a movie, this one saved me from that, I guess I owe that to Todd and the talented, beautiful actors).

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55 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

A Surreal View of Surreal Glam Rock

10/10
Author: starsandjules from United States
24 April 2005

I have to admit, the only reason I rented this movie was because of my current Ewan McGregor fixation--but I really hit a good one renting Velvet Goldmine. Being too young to have experienced the glam rock scene of the seventies and eighties and the roots of punk rock this movie not only gave me an awesome Ewan fix but a surreal, musically effulgent look at a time period that few got to experience first hand. Should you be a very straight forward and literal movie goer, I would not recommend this movie. But Velvet Goldmine kick a whole lot of ass for anyone who loves music, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain and the pioneers of some of the greatest music to come out of the 20th century. Todd Haynes created a world of decadence, sexual experimentation glued together with infectious music and enough eye makeup to keep Christina Aguleria happy into her eighties. I highly recommend this movie to those with open minds and open ears.

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50 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

great & campy fun...

Author: nadyalec from dc
7 November 1998

i really enjoyed this movie. the person who reviewed it so negatively seems to have missed the point. yes, it is over the top, campy & sometimes corny. but come on! you were expecting a restrained movie about david bowie and iggy pop?

i loved the camp, outfits, and excesses, and was unexpectedly moved by the story. using a queer, ex-fan reporter to frame the movie--so as to emphasize the effect that this bi-positive bi-posing rock star had on queer kids, and how upsetting his betrayal of them was--worked brilliantly. the use of arty-fairydust moments to capture the importance of fantasy to this scene worked wonderfully. i really appreciated jack fairy, as a character and as a link from glitter to the drag scene--this is not usually acknoledged. and whenever the movie veered too far into preciousness, the iggy pop/kurt wild character showed up to redeem it. his origin story--18 months of electroshock after being caught having sex with a boy--was a much-needed dose of reality in the midst of the glitter. and whenever the movie needed testosterone and directness, he appeared to supply it.

well, i think it's pretty clear that i'm the demographic for this movie--i'm the right age, i'm a fag, and i love both punk and glitter. but my straight boyfriend adored it too. if you ever enjoyed glitter or punk, keep an open mind & check it out, i think you'll like it. even if you don't, you can always look at the pretty outfits.

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34 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully crazy

9/10
Author: meusiclver from U.S.A.
5 April 2005

I love this movie because it is daring in content, partly non-fiction and partly fiction, delves into characters that would seem small or supporting, and it makes me want to wear glitter and find my sexy sassy side. Granted it will not be everyone's cup of tea, granted it's strange and dramatic, and granted it is sometimes assaulting to our senses. However, the cinematography is beautiful and memorable, the costumes are fantastic!, some of the acting is incredible, and the directing makes you feel like a stranger as well as an insider in the spectacular world of glam rock. It's worth watching just for the experience, even if you end up hating it. The first time I watched it I was thinking "Okay, too much hype and too little point." Isn't that sorta what glam rock's about though? Not entirely, obviously, but to some extent...yes. And the movie does start somewhere and end somewhere else. Several characters change drastically in the course of this film. DO NOT watch this film if you don't like films with homosexuality, drugs, nudity, or anything else interesting like that. DO watch it if you are interested in glam rock and interested in watching a film that is anything but conventional.

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30 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

the glitter of Velvet Goldmine

10/10
Author: emrababeck from United States
20 March 2006

There is something about this movie that entrances people. Its about the death of Glam Rock, and even though this is a weird premise the stories of how one person changed the lives of many beautiful people without even being aware of it is mesmerizing...on top of that you get a guilty pleasure out of all the make-up, sex, and extremely bizarre music. In this David Bowiesque film, there's romance, music, Oscar Wilde, aliens, and Ewan McGregor with an American accent. I own it, love it, and play the soundtrack in my car without any inhibitions. Christian Bale is a journalist attempting to figure out where his once-upon-a-time hero/rock-star Brian Slade (Meyers) disappeared after a fake death ten years prior. During his search he encounters an old lover of Slade's who weaves the story of the singer's beginnings, and Brian's American ex-wife who remembers of his bitter end. All of this is summed up with Curt Wild (Mcgregor)This movie claims to be about Brian Slade, but it's about the people he left in his wake.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

One of my favourite films of all time

10/10
Author: Bifrostedflake from United Kingdom
17 July 2008

I almost didn't want to comment, because I simply cannot match some of the wonderfully eloquent things that have already been said about this film, however, because it is an all time favourite of mine, I simply cannot resist.

How anyone can not like this film is beyond me, I have read a lot of reviews of this film, both positive and negative and the negative points people have made I couldn't disagree more with. The film isn't about Iggy Pop and David Bowie, it isn't even about two gay men, its about two people who are falling in love at the most inopportune and exploitable moments of their lives.

The characters aren't just engaging, they are addictive, the plot isn't just compelling, it's spellbinding. The acting cannot be faulted, the casting is perfect and the soundtrack is one that I have barely gone a week without listening to in the last ten years.

After badgering him for the last five years or so, I finally convinced a friend to watch this film. At the end I asked him what he thought and he just looked quite pensive for a moment and then turned to me and said: I wish I had watched this film years ago when you first told me about it.

I don't allow myself to watch it often, even though I own 3 copies of it, I save it for special occasions when I want to be completely glued to my TV screen. If you have never seen the film, I urge you to watch it this minute and allow it to become deep-set in your heart. If you have seen the film and didn't find it as wonderful as I do, then I actually, genuinely feel physically sorry for you, that you are unable to enjoy this cinematic masterpiece.

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