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“Velvet Goldmine” for Rock Week!

“Velvet Goldmine” for Rock Week!

“Velvet Goldmine” (UK, 1998) The effervescent youth of the 1970s. London. Glam Rock. These elements would mark one of Todd Haynes’ most emblematic and audacious works to date, revealed during the new queer cinema movement with “Veneno (1992)”. “Velvet Goldmine” is not just a film, but an aesthetic and artistic manifesto.

Although there are similarities between the protagonist Brian Slade, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and David Bowie, including his musical and visual trajectory, and Curt Wild, played by Ewan McGregor, and Iggy Pop, Todd Haynes guarantees that this is a fictional story written in partnership with James Lyons.

In the very first scene we see a flying saucer flying over London, and then Brian Slade as his alter ego Maxwell Demon is shot on stage, looking shiny, brilliant and opulent. We then follow his life with the beginning of the musical Hot One, where the costumes, by the prestigious Sandy Powell, have a Victorian feel and the aesthetic is that of a music video.

With a phenomenal soundtrack featuring classics by T-Rex, Lou Reed, Roxxy Music and The Stooges, the film has the desired glam vibe and is a visual treat. As we get to know the character Brian better, his relationship with the role of Toni Collette, and his career as a folk singer, we become involved with the protagonist until his explosive relationship with Curt Wild.

Christian Bale plays journalist Arthur Stuart, tasked with writing a story about a new conservative phenomenon, Tommy Stone, while also tracking down the whereabouts of Brian Slade, who faked his own death on stage and was never heard from again.

The film highlights androgyny, the fluid scene, so much so that the band that was launching itself in this style at the time, Placebo, appears, sings “20th Century Boy” and even has some words said by its vocalist, Brian Molko.

Arthur was a fan of Slade as a child, and this characterizes the awareness of his homosexuality and the sexual ambiguity of the movement. Heels, wigs and glitter were staples for these creatures to sparkle on screen.

The gay aesthetic. The spirit of freedom. The orgies. The music. The stupendous performances. The careful direction. All of this makes “Velvet Goldmine” a unique, timeless, emblematic film that also presents us with a beautiful number from “Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed, symbolizing the sexual encounter between Curt Wild and Brian Slade.

*Eduardo de Assumpção is a journalist and responsible for the blog

Instagram: @cinematografiaqueer

Twitter: @eduardoirib

By Ezatamentchy

Source: Maxima

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