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Thread: Velvet Goldmine

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Why I'm mad about...Velvet Goldmine



    Todd Haynes's flawed masterpiece still rocks, says Stephen Dalton





    “We have a very modest goal for this film,� the director Todd Haynes told me before the release of his glam rock opera, Velvet Goldmine. “That’s just to turn every gay person straight and every straight person gay.�



    Arriving on a wave of unsustainable hype, Haynes’s highly personal homage to the pansexual peacock rockers of the early 1970s inevitably disappointed many critics and film fans. It certainly has its flaws, partly because a million-dollar chunk of the budget was lost at the last minute, but also because of its overreaching pretensions. A glittering patchwork of artfully revised history that uses David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and early Roxy Music as a jumping-off point, Velvet Goldmine also incorporates elements of Citizen Kane and Oscar Wilde’s life story to construct an exquisitely composed monument to fakery and artifice.



    Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays the Bowie-esque Brian Slade, a self-invented rock icon who fakes his own onstage suicide, much like Bowie killed Ziggy in 1973. Ewan McGregor co-stars as Curt Wild, a riotous American rocker modelled on Iggy Pop. Christian Bale also appears as a reporter investigating Slade’s “death� ten years later, while Toni Colette and Eddie Izzard model lurid trouser suits in the background.



    Despite its disjointed plot and thin characterisation, Velvet Goldmine mostly fails for the right reasons. McGregor, looking eerily like Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain in his silver moptop, certainly gives his all with a full frontal display during a concert sequence. Haynes only asked the star to “moon� the crowd but he got carried away and paid meaty, bouncy, historically accurate homage to Iggy.



    For rock trainspotters, Velvet Goldmine is packed with buried treasure. Besides real-life echoes of Ziggy and Iggy, the soundtrack features vintage glam-era tracks performed by Radiohead, Elastica and their Britpop peers. The film’s producer, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., clearly called in some favours here. Ironically, Bowie himself refused to allow his songs to be used, even though the entire film is named after one of them.



    Velvet Goldmine proved too audacious for commercial success, but everyone involved left with a little extra dash of glittery magic. Stipe went on to produce Being John Malkovich while Haynes earned Oscar nods with last year’s sumptuous melodrama Far From Heaven. McGregor scored with Moulin Rouge!, which turned a similar idea into a big-budget hit. Perhaps Velvet Goldmine just arrived too early. It may not be realistic, but who needs truth when you can have legend?

  2. #2
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    DB7:

    who needs truth when you can have legend?
    And who needs Haynes when you can have Douglas Sirk. :)

  3. #3
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    But how many would fly up from the bottom of thier garden to watch it?

  4. #4
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    "Queens and fairies and muscle Marys". :)

  5. #5
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    Or when in Russia,

    "Tsar's, Cossack's and Bolshoi lunchpack's" wink

  6. #6
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    HACKETT:

    Or when in Russia,

    "Tsar's, Cossack's and Bolshoi lunchpack's" wink
    You forgot GULAG, vodka and Lenin.

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    Velvet Goldmine definitely is one of my favourite films...we all know whats wrong with the plot and that the critics really hated this film. so what? the soundtrack absolutely rocks and the movie contains great performances like that of Ewan McGregor himself. Adorable!

    there is a kind of sadness at the heart of this movie that can't be denied.

    For some reason it always makes me sad watching it..for what reason I have never known - oh thats just about the cheesiest thing I've ever posted on a public forum! hope you dont jump down my throat

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