Although what you are about to see is a work of fiction, it should nevertheless be played at maximum volume.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, wearing glitter makeup and amazing ensembles, add that to a constantly shirtless Ewan McGregor and a string of amazing actors, costumes, performances and you’ve got Velvet Goldmine.
Directed by Todd Haynes, the film accompanies the story of Glam Rock star Brian Slade, from his origins to his “death” (or disappearance, but i’m not going to spoil it for you), following the timeline encountered by journalist Arthur Stuart (played by Christian Bale), an old-time fanboy in his pursuit for the truth about his ex-idol’s death for a piece on a newspaper.
The character of Brian Slade is said to be largely based off David Bowie’s trajectory, and during the film that becomes very clear, without being biographical or boring. Anyone familiar with Ziggy Stardust will marvel at the wonders of an incredibly well-constructed, almost alien like character, shown on screen surrounded by the most bizarre (yet wonderful) scenarios.
Much like the subcultural 70s in England, the film doesn’t appeal much to those who are not completely immersed in the concept of it. With a variation of concepts and of demonstrations of different characters during a same period of time, it is a torrent of information and of amazing visuals and sounds. It gives the viewer a strange inside to what was the feeling of the time for young people, without telling any true, or specific story.
A cult classic, this film redefined my way to perceive makeup, dress and character, as well as rekindling my love for subcultural style and study, every single time I watch it.
(Oh yeah, and if you’re a Placebo fan, they have a few cameos!)