Personally, I liked Velvet Goldmine because it stirred away from your typical Hollywood or blockbuster film. It was not your mainstream movie which follows a standard plot. When it’s action, the good guy first loses, trains and wins in the end. It’s engaging and it makes your brain work. These types of films never fail to entertain me.
However, I was a bit disturbed with the portrayal of Christian Bale’s character when he was growing up. I never realized the power that music has and the image that it creates. Deviance and being “hated” was the one thing that called Arthur’s attention. Being different and maybe escaping from reality was what he wanted. The scene where he was pleasuring himself by looking at pictures of Brian Slade while music was playing was quite disturbing. I was not really sure what he was doing at that scene. However it became awkward when the camera movement along with the background music drew a scene, which indirectly showed Arthur’s attraction if not his lust for Slade.
I took European Cinema with Fr. Nick in the first semester of last school year and homosexuality was part of a few films shown in class but it was never shown in this way. It was a bit more normal in a sense that there are boys loving each other and all that. It was not shown in a way that makes you ask “Why exactly would someone do that?” kind of way.
What also bothered me in the film were the two known actors playing unusual roles. It was difficult to associate the characters Christian Bale (Batman) and Ewan McGregor (Obi wan) with the characters they had in Velvet Goldmine. Having seen Batman and Star Wars first, there was already bubble wherein both play certain roles for certain movies. This created a barrier which made it everything hard to believe. I didn’t understand what was happening at first. Why were they being gay and all I thought to myself, could they really pull it off? Throughout the film, I constantly tried to think that this isn’t Batman or Obi wan. At first I didn’t even believe that it was Ewan McGregor who was playing Kurt Wild. At some point in the film I guess I’ve accepted both of their roles because of the situations they were in. I wasn’t really convinced with their acting and all. I guess glam-rock or maybe the rockstar life has a way of showing how bi-sexuality is just a little part of the entire picture. It’s not always someone you want to be, it’s someone you have to be or someone you try to be.
Lastly, I guess it’s just a pet peeve of mine wherein the big bold letters of the opening credits were too much. I found it distracting at the beginning and I found it hard to focus on what was happening on screen. It was taking up at least 1/3 of the screen. I didn’t really get what happened. I just saw Christian Bale when he paused and looked back or something.