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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R | | Drama, Music | 23 October 1998 (UK)
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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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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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4,228 ( 751)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Curt Wild
... Brian Slade
... Arthur Stuart
... Mandy Slade
... Jerry Devine
... Shannon
... Cecil
... Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley ... Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver ... Oscar Wilde (8)
Osheen Jones ... Jack Fairy (7)
Micko Westmoreland ... Jack Fairy
Damian Suchet ... BBC Reporter
... Kissing Sailor
... 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 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 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 »

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

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Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Auksine praraja  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£156,050 (United Kingdom), 25 October 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,787, 8 November 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,053,788, 20 December 1998
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Technical Specs

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(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor were filming their sex scene, the director cut without letting them know, so the two continued to simulate the act until they realized the trick that had been played on them. See more »

Goofs

During the circus interview (1:05:14), a reporter asks "Is it your belief that all dandies are homosexual?" to which Brian Slade replies, "Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner." When the next day's newspaper is shown (1:07:42), Slade is quoted as saying "Nothing makes one so bold as being told one is a sinner." See more »

Quotes

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.
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Connections

References Privilege (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot One
Written by Nathan Larson and Shudder to Think
Performed by Shudder to Think
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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