Velvet Goldmine (1998) Review

It is 1984 and Arthur Stuart a British journalist decides to investigate the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was highly influenced by American singer Curt Wild.

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To begin with, I think it is very important to clarify that I am such a massive fan of the glam rock era and love it all. Especially T.Rex/Marc Bolan who was just my favorite, love David Bowie too and kinda think the whole Brian Slade character kinda looked a bit like Bowie. With being such a huge fan of glam rock, when I started watching this movie I was wondering why I had never actually heard of this movie before . . . let alone seen it. So thanks again to Netflix for allowing me the chance to watch this movie.

The story follows the rise to fame of Brian Ferry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) one of the singers who helped create the glam rock era, who faked his own death on stage. Reporter Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) is trying to find out what happened to Brian 10 years after the incident . . . while doing this Arthur realises how close he was to it all. Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor) was another singer who had a very interesting relationship with Brian over the years, was very much involved in pretty much everything after a while.

A lot of the movie was based around the free-ness of the era, which had many of the male singers saying they were bisexual and there was nothing wrong with two men being together. Much of this shocked the older generation. It seemed like a time when anything seemed to go, no matter how shocking it was. The men dressed on stage in glitter and more women’s style clothing. But you just have to see a young David Bowie, Slade, T.Rex and even Elton John in the 1970s to see that is what they were all doing. Being very flamboyant on (and off) stage.

While watching the movie I could not help to try and figure out who the story was supposed to be based upon, the obvious is David Bowie as Bryan Slade did in fact look quite a bit like him. I could not help thinking about Marc Bolan from T.Rex as well. I just loved hearing T.Rex in the movie, along with Roxy Music which are two of my favorites. I so love all of the glam rock music, and found myself really loving this movie. Even if some of it was very random. I also have to admit that I was very hooked in trying to figure out myself what indeed did happen to Bryan.

I think the story of Arthur having to revisit his past was also very good, as he grew up confused and obviously had a big crush on Brian and even Curt (whom he had a little fling with). His parents threw him out of the house for shaming them. So he went to London to be more apart of the glam rock era.

I thought the singing from Jonathan and Ewan was just fantastic and really sounded like it was actually from the glam rock era. So did the videos and the way that they were dressed. I was very impressed with all of that. Christian Bale’s acting was very good as well (still waiting to find out if it ever isn’t).

So overall I really loved this movie, in all its randomness. But I think if I did not already love the glam rock era and music I would have found this movie way too strange.

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