Posted on June 22, 2012
My Favorite Movies: Velvet Goldmine
This post is for the 2012 Queer Film Blogathon. This is also the first entry in hopefully what will become a recurring topic, my all time favorite movies.
“An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.”–Oscar Wilde
(I first heard this quote in the film)
I thought about just writing a movie review of the film but that seemed impossible. It’s not like I’ve only seen this film once or even a dozen times. There is no way that I could count how many times I’ve seen it and it means so much to me. There was a time (I call in 11th grade) that was particularly bad so I chose one favorite movie every month and watched it every day because it somehow helped me. One of those was Velvet Goldmine. In fact, it would only be slightly dramatic to say that this film helped keep me alive in high school. I say this because for me high school was like prison, which is when the VHS was first released.
Well Velvet Goldmine is an amazing movie. The fact is that it pulls from so many amazing sources that once my fascination with the movie was in full swing I was able (via newsgroups, totally showing my age) to find out about all of influences that went into the movie. Many of these were by my now favorite writer, Oscar Wilde. Yes, I bought a paperback copy of the collected works of Oscar Wilde, fell for his words and carried it with me for the remainder of high school, rereading whatever was my fancy that day. This was quite lucky for me as when we did get to a play by Oscar Wilde in one of my academic English classes the teacher skipped the entire section it was in and when I asked why I was told that the teacher didn’t enjoy “those writers”.
What else did Velvet Goldmine introduce me to? Well of course, the magic of glam rock. You don’t know how many times listening to David Bowie and Iggy Pop have gotten me through a tough time.
It could be said that I love the film so much because it introduced me to so many wonderful artists, because it helped teach me that I am not the only woman who gets turned on by guy/guy action (or slash if you like fanfic, and yes, I did used to read my fair share), that sexuality is fluid or the theory that I was ostracized so I felt that I fit right in with these characters. Yes, one year I dressed as a glam rock star for Halloween (in high school, I know). This means that I wore shiny pants and a fairly ugly orange and yellow striped sweater with huge boots and no one knew what I was.
The fact is that it’s simply an amazing movie. Years later I would visit New York City and become even more impressed when I picked up Velvet Goldmine creator Christine Vachon’s Shooting to Kill at the now defunct Biography Bookshop and found out how little money it was produced on and despite that fact it looks amazing.
So finally let’s forget about me and talk about this aFUCKINGmazing movie! Velvet Goldmine is basically an homage to the Iggy Pop/David Bowie/Mick Jagger bisexual glam rock days. In the film a former fan but now writer gets to track down all of the people involved in the superstar, BRIAN SLADE‘s, life. What happened to him everyone wants to know? He went out on top. He faked his own death. Did he really die or who is he now? This is basically about how Bowie later distanced himself from his Ziggy Stardust past and went mainstream with Let’s Dance in the ’80s.
I don’t feel the need to tell you about the entire film because you need to experience it.
Instead here are some beautiful screencaps from a movie that saved and influenced my life many times over. Right click and then choose “view image” for the full sized photos which you can use as amazing backgrounds for your computers.
You may also enjoy:
Top Gay Movies on Netflix Instant Streaming-my entry for last year’s Queer Film Blogathon
Gay Boys Kissing-includes clips from Velvet Goldmine & more treasures
Shirtless Beefcakes of the 90s-includes Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor
Movie Quotes: I Love You Phillip Morris-starring Ewan McGregor
Sexy Shirtless Superheroes-includes Christian Bale