Velvet Goldmine circles around 70’s Glam Rock. Honestly, while reading some reviews, David Bowie and Iggy Pop (a few popular names during the glam rock era) did not ring a bell to me. I guess this lack of knowledge contributed to me seeing the characters (Brian Slade, Curt Wild, etc) in the movie all so new and different for me. There was no comparison or contrast for me between the characters and the “real” stars for me so I basically saw this movie just merely describing the world of Glam Rock.
I love the story and plot of Velvet Goldmine than Blow-Up because like what we discussed in class; it’s more structured. I am a sucker for movies that have flashback scenes that basically tell the story. In Velvet Goldmine, the present plot (where Arthur Stuart is a reporter trying to figure out what happened to the famous-notorious, Brian Slade) serves as the shell of the story but then the scenes that go back to the past serve as the core of everything because this is where we find the clues that eventually solve the mystery of the plot. Although there isn’t any proper closure, I like it still that the movie leaves the viewers to make up their own closures.
I think the theme of the story focuses on “creation”. Brian Slade and Curt Wild were epitomes of that. They dreamed of creating a liberal world where deviance and exploring one’s sexuality is normal. For the teen generation during their era, this sort of dream was a fad because this is where the experience of adolescence and finding oneself is prominent. Their characters served as both good and bad examples because their personalities produced bittersweet endings. Their characters, creating and living in a world of Glam Rock succeeded in changing the world and themselves. They made an extraordinary fashion that somewhat destroyed them in a way. When Arthur Stuart was a teenager, he idolized the rockstars Brian Slade and Curt Wild but in the end, he ends up as a simple journalist and leaves me wondering whether that dream of his is still in his bucket list, whether he still has problems with his sexuality or was it all just a phase. Then we go to Curt Wild, who in the end looks like an average joe. We see Brian Slade creating a fake death and in the end changing his entire look where we cannot recognize him anymore. I wonder why the sudden changes of these characters. What happened to their creation sensation that lead them to get lost in it? Probably egocentricity overpowered eccentricity which resulted to Brian Slade’s divorce with Mandy Slade, separation with Curt Wild and Brian Slade changing himself completely for redemption of fame.
I found Velvet Goldmine amusing and it sort of surprised me with its vulgarity and profanity but it did not offend me personally in any way. What I particularly enjoyed about the film aside from the music (and the music was just exquisite) was how the actors played their characters. I’d never imagine these mainstream actors like Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale to be doing indie films like Velvet Goldmine but that’s what actually drew me to the film. I admire these actors and seeing them actually do something outside what we usually see is actually quite fascinating. My whole view on these actors changed in a positive way despite the obscenity and uniqueness because Velvet Goldmine broadened their range of acting. This movie revealed their diversity as actors which lead me to think that they can do anything and they have created something sensational.