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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Indie Pick O' The Day: Velvet Goldmine

Velvet Goldmine

An indie pick that should definitely be watched with the sound turned waaaay up! The movie darts between New York in the early 1980's and England in the 1970's, as journalist Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) investigates the disappearance of fallen glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) after his staged death.

We see the rise of of Brian Slade. A mod from in the late 60's early 70's London who hurts those who love him and are close to him to get to the top. He is initially discovered in a cabaret act by his first manager but then leaves him for manager Jerry Devine that promises more money and glamour(
Eddie Izzard). At the same time he is transfixed by another edgier rock performer named Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor). The two of them hook up and the world "is theirs". The get it all. Money, Drugs and Women. Brian Slade even develops an alter ego. A very Bowiesque character named Maxwell Demon. He and Wild's relationship develops from friendship to lovers much to the dismay of Slade's wife Mandy (Toni Collette). Slades life then spirals out of control with drugs. His wife leaves him and even his best friend and lover Wild gets fed up with his antics. At the end when it is discovered his murder is a fake his fans leave him.

During this time we see Stuart as a teenager following the careers of his favorite artist in magazines, newspapers and listening to their records. He is mystified by them as artists but also turned on by the homoerotiscm that is obviously present between his two mentors. He is then kicked out the house by his father when he is discovered masturbating to a magazine of Wild
and Slade kissing. With his freedom he can then fully embrace the "glam" life style and himself.

Although you may not be that into rock or glam rock in general this movie features a kick ass soundtrack. The tunes are catchy and they are sung by the movies stars themselves. And I might add Rhys-Meyers and McGregregor have some pretty decent singing chops. You just might catch yourself singing along.

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