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Velvet Goldmine


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Velvet Goldmine
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette, Eddie Izzard
  • Directors: Todd Haynes
  • Writers: Todd Haynes, James Lyons
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Christine Vachon, Christopher Ball, Harvey Weinstein, Michael Stipe
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 1999
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0788815741
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,824 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Velvet Goldmine" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Ewan McGregor (MOULIN ROUGE, TRAINSPOTTING) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (THE GOVERNESS, MICHAEL COLLINS) -- executive producer Michael Stipe of R.E.M. presents this electrifying journey through rock 'n' roll's most outrageous era! It's been 10 years since glam-rock superstar Brian Slade (Meyers) faked his own death and vanished from the spotlight. Now, it's the job of an investigative reporter, Arthur Stuart, to locate this living legend and uncover the truth behind his disappearance! Through the course of Stuart's investigation, you're taken for a wild, all-access guided tour back into a vibrant music scene ... for an uncompromising look at the flamboyance and excesses of its larger-than-life stars! Acclaimed by critics, VELVET GOLDMINE also earned an Award of Merit at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival!

Amazon.com

Todd Haynes, ever unpredictable, follows up his experimental trilogy Poison and his restrained Safe with this flamboyant study in glam rock through the kaleidoscopic lens of Citizen Kane. Christian Bale plays Arthur Stuart, a reporter sent to investigate the legend of rock legend and bisexual pop icon Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as a not-so-thinly veiled David Bowie), who disappeared a decade ago after staging his own mock assassination. But Arthur is flooded with memories of his own adolescence as he interviews Slade's friends and business associates, peeling back the layer of makeup and spangles that was the model of rebellion for a generation of middle-class British kids and discovering a hollow center. Ewan McGregor almost steals the film as the punk pioneer Curt Wild (equal parts Iggy Pop and Kurt Cobain), the genuine article to Slade's calculated, coifed image of glitter stardom. Haynes's film lacks nothing in capturing the flamboyance and spectacle of the era with flashy filmmaking and kitschy costumes, and if the plot seems lost in the preening and visual fireworks, perhaps that's the point: behind the façades and manufactured fronts is nothing but glitter, energy, and a beat. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

All I can really say is wow.
K. Jankovich
Velvet Goldmine's other great strength is its music, which consists of classic tunes from the era, as well as songs specifically written for the film.
E.A. Week
This was one of the best films I have ever seen.
KaSSie MoLKo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By E.A. Week on July 28, 2005
Format: DVD
An oddball film that chronicles the rise and fall of an early 1970s glam rock star, Velvet Goldmine almost defies categorization. While separating fiction from fact can be tricky, the story is based pretty much on the life of David Bowie; some details have been tweaked for dramatic effect, but there's surprisingly little deviation from just about any biography that's ever been written about him. The non-linear narrative takes the viewer into the glittery world of one Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and the entourage surrounding him. Slade had created an alter-ego for himself called Maxwell Demon (as Bowie created Ziggy Stardust), and the character had almost come to eclipse Slade himself. After an on-stage stunt literally backfires, Slade's fans revolted against him, and the singer vanished into drugs and obscurity.

His story is conveyed in flashbacks when, in 1984, journalist Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) is assigned to write a tenth anniversary retrospective on Slade and perhaps uncover the singer's ultimate fate. Arthur interviews Slade's first manager, Cecil (Michael Feast) and then his bitter ex-wife, Mandy (Toni Collette), and from them pieces together Slade's early background as a musician, including the players who proved crucial to his career: maverick second manager Jerry Devine (Eddie Izzard), unstable proto-punk rocker Kurt Wild (Ewan McGregor), and deceptively shy wardrobe mistress Shannon (Emily Woof). Arthur of course is no mere bystander to all these events; the unfolding story reveals that he was a huge fan of Slade, turning to music as an escape during his troubled adolescence. In digging up Slade's past, he also unleashes a lot of his own demons, and the story is just as much Arthur's as Brian's.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: DVD
I *really* wish this film would materialize into a human so I could have sex with it. If you haven't seen the film and are getting put off by the nasty reviews here, please, for your sake, ignore them. They didn't get it. It was meant to be a campy, fun, very indulgent piece of slash fan fiction. Nothing more.
I'll be honest, it's not for everyone. If the idea of extremely sexy and gorgeous boys in makeup and tight pants making out appeals to you, especially if you're obsessed with glam rock, and an extra bonus if you're a rabid Placebo fan (the Placeboys are in it, and Brian looks tastier than I've ever seen him, which is saying something), buy this movie immidiately. You will not regret it, I swear.
However, if you're homophobic, or you think this was supposed to be a bio of Magic Pants himself, or you want to watch a brilliantly written indie film like Trainspotting or something, you're going to be pissed off. I won't lie to you. This movie was made for girls who are into the whole slash fan fiction scene and gay boys only. If you're a fan of Hedwig, Labyrinth and Rocky Horror, you're going to be obsessed with this film.
And the soundtrack kicks f*cking @ss, btw.
Oh yeah, and Ewan McGregor's naked.
Now go see it.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Aliebling on November 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Many of this film's critics make the mistake of taking it too literally - though based on Bowie's life, it's not intended to be accurate or biographical. It is a glam fantasy, both beautiful and painful at the same time. The story is very complex, but every bit of it is worthwhile, so if you didn't "get it" the first time around, try watching it again! I have seen Velvet Goldmine many times, and every time there is something new that I notice, or something else to think about. Todd Haynes' script and direction and pure genius, and that's all there is to it!
I can not find fault with a single of the actors - each of the stars gives a incredible performance. Toni Collette, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Ewan McGregor give depth and emotion to characters, so that even at their harshest or most brutal moments, one can't help but feel for them. Micko Westmoreland (aka The Bowling Green) is a standout as Jack Fairy, who is glamour personified. There is wonderful chemistry between the male leads, who truly bring to life the movie's gay romance. Their on-screen kiss is more passionate and beautiful than any I have ever seen on film, gay or straight.
But before you start taking the movie too seriously, it's also great fun! You can analyze it, which is worthwile, or you can pop it in for a night of fluff and glamour. Everything is visually exciting... feathers, sequins, spaceships, and glitter everwhere. Not to mention the music! Perhaps the most valuable thing I gained from this movie was an introduction to a genre of music I knew nothing about. How did I survive for so long without Roxy Music?
I HIGHLY recommend this movie!
"Once upon a time, not so long ago, the children of the revolution looked up into the sky.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By G P Padillo VINE VOICE on March 9, 2005
Format: DVD
The Glam Rock movement was as much about shocking as it was anything else. In its way it took itself more seriously than any popular art form. The artists seemed to lie to themselves and each other with a pretense that nothing mattered, when the reality was that EVERYTHING mattered too much. The affected hairstyles, glitter, platform shoes, outrageous clothing, faux-bisexuality combined belied its phony "I don't care" attitude.

Todd Hayne's captures all of this brilliantly in Velvet Goldmine. He is ably aided by a cast who give startlingly nuanced performances and though each succeeds in bringing off the poseur hard-edge to their performances each character is afforded opportunity to also reveal a fragility that is the heart of their performance. Despite all the shock and "glam" we are watching people who are no more than children, unguided trying to make their way in a world technology, morals, where civilization itself was changing faster than anyone could keep up with. The center of the movie seems to be the observation of watching innocence shattered and failed attempts to recapture it and understand the confusion surrounding it.

Haynes understands music as well - or better - than any currently working director and "Goldmine" more than any of his other films almost feels as though it is following a symphonic form, repeating its motifs and driving home its confused, distraught yet ultimately hopeful message through its innocence. Visually as well as aurally - and every other way - Haynes scrupulous attention to detail pays off with a rewarding film that won't be to all likings, but is very nearly brilliant in every way.
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