Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Velvet Goldmine (1998)
  • Time: 124 min
  • Genre: Drama | Music
  • Director: Todd Haynes
  • Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette


Almost a decade has elapsed since Bowie esque glam superstar Brian Slade staged his own death and escaped the spotlight of the London scene. Now, investigative journalist Arthur Stuart is on assignment to uncover the truth of the enigmatic Slade’s rise and fall. Stuart, himself forged by the music of the 1970s, explores the larger-than-life stars who were once his idols and what has become of them since the turn of the new decade.

One comment

  • Image was everything. During glam rock’s four-year reign (1969-1973) in England, its leading figures — Roxy Music, led by Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, Marc Bolan’s T-Rex and David Bowie — revolutionized the music scene. More than ever, the idea of a stage persona, such as Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, was crucial, and members of glam flaunted and broke through gender and sexual stereotypes. It was all about freedom, baby. Freedom and discovery and the truth but, more importantly, it was about the presentation.

    Of course, the whole notion of celebrity and image is not an original concept. Nor is the burden of that very image. Glam rock was comprised of a handful of rebellions: it was anti-Establishment, anti-upper class and anti-realist. When I say anti-realist, I mean in the sense that they didn’t reveal truths about homosexuality — or sexuality in general for that matter — or the hierarchical society with stark truths. Rather, they dressed it up and hit home with the artificiality. They paraded about in all their pomp and circumstance like royalty; the irony, of course, is that they weren’t. Bowie, who highlighted the era with his declaration of “I’m gay and always have been” (He later explained, “It was probably the most provocative thing one could say in 1972. Drug talk was positively establishment, and it sort of felt like the era of self-invention [was] coming up.”), was only able to move on after effectively killing his Ziggy persona.

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