Velvet Goldmine (1998)
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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).
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!
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.
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.