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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R | | Drama, Music | 23 October 1998 (UK)
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cecil
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Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley ...
Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver ...
Osheen Jones ...
Micko Westmoreland ...
Damian Suchet ...
BBC Reporter
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Kissing Sailor
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Young Man
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Storyline

1971: Glamrock explodes all over the world and challenges the seriousness within the flower power generation by means of glitter and brutal music. Brian Slade, a young rock star, inspires numerous teenage boys and girls to paint their nails and explore their own sexuality. In the end Slade destroys himself. Unable to escape the character role of "Maxwell Demon" that he created, he plots his own murder. When fans discover the murder is not real, his star falls abruptly and he is quickly forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the tenth anniversary story about the fake murder of Brian Slade. When Arthur was young and growing up in Manchester, he was more than a fan of Slade. Reluctantly he accepts the assignment and starts to investigate what happened to his old glamrock hero. Written by Jack Fairy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Style matters. Even when it comes to murder. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bálványrock - Velvet Goldmine  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£156,050 (UK) (23 October 1998)

Gross:

$1,043,487 (USA) (11 December 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's structure - a journalist tries to figure out a mystery concerning a cultural icon through research and interviews with those who knew him - is taken directly from Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. See more »

Goofs

In "New York City 1984" the cars are driving on the left-hand side of the road and there are British traffic signs. See more »

Quotes

Freddi: The first duty in life is to assume a pose. What the second duty is, no one has yet found out.
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Connections

References Friends (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Band of Gold
Words and Music by Ron Dunbar (as Ronald Dunbar) and Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (as Edythe Wayne)
Performed by Freda Payne
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Velvet Goldmine and Dorian Gray
5 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

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 of autobiography.

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 influence.

Beautifully done, and a well paid tribute to the genius of Oscar Wilde!


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