Velvet GoldmineNovember 6, 1998
In 1984, British newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart is investigating the career of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade…
Release Year: 1998
Rating: 6.7/10 (17,021 voted)
Critic's Score: 65/100
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
In 1984, British newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart is investigating the career of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by American rock singer Curt Wild, whose show was quite crazy for his time.
Writers: James Lyons, Todd Haynes
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
(as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver
Oscar Wilde, 8
Jack Fairy, 7
The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one
Release Date: 6 November 1998
Filming Locations: Croydon, London, England, UK
Opening Weekend: £156,050
(25 October 1998)
(20 December 1998)
Did You Know?
The singer performing a lounge version of Roxy Music's "Bitters End" is 'Peter Bradley Jr' from the band Subcircus, a last minute replacement for Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals.
There are ads for "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miserables" on the side of the London double-decker bus in 1974 London.
Listen, a real artist creates beautiful things and puts nothing of his own life into them, OK?
Velvet Goldmine and Dorian Gray
Even if I didn't think this movie was fantastic (which I do), I would
have to be impressed with the incorporation of Oscar Wilde, his
fascination with the decadence of pop culture, and his brilliant
philosophies concerning art.
At the end of the film, when Arthur Stuart sits to have a drink with
Curt Wylde (Oh look! A play on Oscar!, Wylde looks up and tells him
that, "The true artist creates beautiful things, and puts none of his
own life into them". This is one of the several scenes in which Oscar
Wilde is referenced subtly, seamlessly and beautifully.
Curt is not simply Iggy Pop. He is Oscar Wilde. He is the true artist
of the crowd, because he creates music without using the art as a form
Brian Slade is Dorian Gray. He invests all of his persona into the
public, and into his songs, trapping himself in an expectation. The
alter-ego Maxwell Demon is eternal youth. It is the embodiment of Slade
in a single moment. Unfortunately, he traps himself, and leaves no room
for growth. The shooting accomplishes two things. Slade arranging this
pseudo-murder is Dorian gray destroying his portrait. At first Dorian
was intrigued, even excited by the changes he saw in the painting. Then
it began to wear on him. So with Slade/ Demon. The hoax liberates Slade
the way death does Gray. Also, This secures Maxwell Demon a place in
history. Brian Slade was a pop-star who was too controversial and too
personally naked in his work to have any real longevity. The hype would
have faded, and if he changed or grew as a person, that would have
meant changing everything about his art (as they were so interlocked)
and would have led to cries of "sell out". Either way, he would have
faded out and been likely forgotten (the way Britney Spears will
hopefully do one day). By enacting this faux death, Slade guarantees
Maxwell Demon some form of eternal youth, trading in his career to do
so (selling his soul).
There's more, as well. Jerry Devine, for instance, is Lord Henry. Mandy
is Sybil Vane. They aren't exact, of course, and there are other veins
running through them that make them unique, but one can see the
Beautifully done, and a well paid tribute to the genius of Oscar Wilde!