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.
Bobby Platt (Christian Bale) is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange... 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 name of Brian Slade's rock persona, "Maxwell Demon," and that of his band, "The Venus In Furs", are references to two of the key artists in the original Glam Rock movement: Maxwell Demon was the name of a band in which Brian Eno performed in England in the mid 60s, and "Venus In Furs" (originally the title of a 1870s novel Austrian writer by Leopold Sacher-Masoch, of whose name the term 'masochism' was derived) is the name of a song by Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. Songs by both artists are featured on the film's soundtrack. See more »
A closed-circuit TV camera housing appears outside the theater for Brian Slade's concert as the shot pans across a queue of fans early in the film. Such outdoor CCTV security and surveillance only became widespread in the mid-1980s, while that particular style of camera housing did not appear for some time after that. See more »
So you're saying you're bisexual?
Yeah. I like boys. I like girls. They're all great. No difference, is there? - Mr. BBC.
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After watching 'Velvet Goldmine' for a second time I still have absolutely no idea what Todd Haynes was trying to achieve. He could have approached it as a straightforward biopic of Bowie and 70s glam (with the names changed to protect the "innocent" if need be), OR as a surreal, camp fantasy equal parts Ken Russell, Russ Meyer and Grant Morrison (Zenith, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles). But by doing both, or rather, neither, it's ends up a confused bore that pleases nobody. As an Eno fan I was happy to hear quite a lot of his (and Roxy Music's) songs used on the soundtrack, and some of the Bowie pastiches were very good also, but I find 'Velvet Goldmine' to be overlong and ultimately unsatisfying. I also think Haynes not entirely accurate equation of glam rock equaling homosexuality sheds more light on him than the actual era. The movie is more a post-Morrissey look at glam than a truthful document of an exciting and innovative musical period. 'Velvet Goldmine' contains a few enjoyable moments but not enough to recommend it. A great movie could be made about Bowie but this isn't it.
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