The film Velvet Goldmine is based mainly on the life of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” character set in the glam rock era of the early 1970’s. Given the era and time frame of the events that transpire in the film, it would be easy to relate and connect with the movie on a personal level. However, I feel as though given the fact that I was not yet born during this time and that I have no recollection whatsoever of the “glam rock” era that took over much of Europe, the United States and perhaps maybe even most of the world, the film never felt right with me.
To be honest I was very uneasy throughout the entire film, the characters never sat well with me, I just felt that their open homosexuality or bisexuality was a bit too much too fast. There really wasn’t a gradual introduction to the style of the 1970’s and what was considered “in” at the time. I felt blindsided by the constant barrage of images, color and graphics of this time era and honestly it just didn’t suit my taste. That being said however, I’m not trying to imply at all that this wasn’t a good or even great film. Despite my personal disliking towards the movie, I can completely understand and see as to why it’s highly regarded as a success in the film world.
It is for exactly those reasons mentioned above that this film comes off as a success, it is because of those images, color and graphics that the film is able to capture the essence of this era, and as unsettled as I was while watching the film, I can understand completely that that’s probably how I would have felt if I had been around during the 1970’s and experiencing the “glam rock” era personally. The film was able to take me on a journey not only through the life of the character Brian Slade and how he struggles and fights with the tribulations of being a global rock icon while also being openly bisexual, but also took me through the times of the 1970’s, and it is through that reason that I feel this movie has done a great a job.
Overall though, it was all a bit too much for me. Personally, I did not enjoy the film as I mentioned before, it was all too graphic and went over-the-top. I was exceptionally uneasy during the scene where Slade is filming his new music video and he’s dressed ridiculously whilst many strange things occur (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1y_PRuq7x0). It reminded me of the musical artist Lady Gaga in today’s world and how unsettling and strange she can be. However, what I did like about the film was how it contrasted and juxtaposed the character of Christian Bale between past and present and how different he was back then as an adolescent rebelling against his parents to how he has succumbed to the ways of the world and forgone his past ways. Ultimately, the movie does a fantastic job in setting the mood in relation to the time frame given, it was all just a bit too fabulous for me.