Talk:Velvet Goldmine

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Jobriath - And other people who aren't an influence on Velvet Goldmine[edit]

This article should mention, in some form, the similarities between Maxwell Demon and Jobriath, a connection which I've seen mentioned before but have not found time to research deeply enough. However, it is very obvious that the "naked" LP cover was directly modeled after a Jobriath LP cover, and the concept of taking a nobody and turning him into a pop star was certainly a parallel to Jobriath's early career.

Todd Vierling 05:32, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Is this original research? I've not seen references to this elsewhere. Cleduc 20:29, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Using only the internet, I am able to find (1) that the album cover is clearly a model just from looking at it for an image of the Maxwell Demon album cover in the film, (2) that more than one person has *claimed* that Haynes *denies* that Jobriath was a model for the story, and (3) I can find no evidence that #2 is true--I can't find any discussion of Jobriath in any interviews. I recall reading an interview (I can't recall where, probably in the published screenplay, which I don't have handy) in which Haynes said that he had done a ton of research for the look of the glam era--it's possible that the album cover similarity emerged from that. But I can't find any authority for the claim that the *narrative* parallels the life story of Jobriath. Haynes does say that the life story parallels (loosely) that of David Bowie, which is obvious enough. I don't know enough about the life of Jobriath to comment on whether the parallels are there.--Agent Cooper 23:09, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

the inside cover of MW's album resembles, to me, the inside of the Aladdin Sane album, which can be viewed here: http://www.davidbowie.se/img/album/as/2.gif I do agree about the outside of the album resembling the Jobriath album however, and it can easily be found on google. UnderPressure 11:22, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

There is something intrinsically wrong with an entry on Velvet Goldmine that has 6 mentions of Jobriath and only two of Oscar Wilde, and Jean Genet, none of Christopher Isherwood, Jack Smith or Little Richard.

Todd Haynes has never mentioned Jobriath in the many interviews where he has talked at length about all the influences on Velvet Goldmine.

Despite an attempt on some people's part to paint Jobriath as some tragically unappreciated glam pioneer, the fact is that Jobriath was seen as a mere copyist of Bowie by the press and the public; which other pop star claimed to be gay, from outer space and did mime? His first album was released in October '73, 15 months after the release of 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust' album and three months after Ziggy was retired by Bowie on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon. In America he premiered his gay space alien mime act on The Midnight Special on March 8, '74. Even American audiences who weren't all that knowledgeable about glam got to see Bowie on the same show 4 months earlier in November '73. Anyone watching Jobriath pulling off his costume would have been reminded of how Bowie did it better several months prior. Jobriath's barefoot prancing around the stage looked like a toddler playing dress-up whereas every second of Bowie's act had him slinking around the stage with sexual energy that captivated both his male and female fans. People can argue about Jobriath's musical talent but he did not radiate the sexual energy required to be a rock sensation.

Brian Slade is clearly based on Bowie (was a folkie, wore a dress, met his wife at a disco and asked her to jive, dropped his ineffectual manager for a brash American one, created a sensation on Top of the Tops, etc...) and Marc Bolan (the first to wear glitter make-up). It is Bowie who used the press successfully to create hype and became a household name. The press conference in which Slade declares he's gay directly quotes Bowie's infamous interviews with Melody Maker in January '72, a full two years before the first article about Jobriath appears in Melody Maker. Contrast the savvy of Tony DeFries' management of Bowie to Jobriath's manager Jerry Brandt rather stupidly refusing to allow the media to even interview Jobriath, claiming he was like Greta Garbo. Bowie/Slade boldly engages the press with headline creating remarks whereas Brandt speaks for Jobriath, calling him "a true fairy", further undermining his sex appeal.

Slade's album artwork is based on Bowie's Aladdin Sane as well as classic pin ups of nudes like Marilyn Monroe posing on red velvet. The only similarity to the Jobriath album cover is the color red, as his image is not a languid pin-up inviting teenage fantasies but a cold crumbling marble statue that failed to engage the public's curiosity despite appearing on a 41x43 foot billboard in Times Square and the sides of 250 buses.

The idea mentioned in this entry that people turned on Jobriath "at the height of his fame" has no merit as he was never famous. The "what ever happen to" aspect of the story cannot work when the subject was insufficiently famous to make that an interesting question. Brian Slade, like Oscar Wilde, was the toast of London before he was destroyed by a scandal that he pretty much brought upon himself. SwishPan (talk) 07:25, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

- Re the claim from previous edit -"the character "Jack Fairy" is an allusion to Klaus Nomi, whom was also androgynous and nonconventional, and perceived as a being from outerspace."

Klaus Nomi had nothing to do with Glam rock, his first appearance in New York was in 1978, after the Glam era. While a fabulous creation, it could not be said of Nomi, as Mandy says of Fairy, "Jack was truly the first of his kind. A true original, everybody stole from Jack." SwishPan (talk) 13:50, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Iggy Pop inspired by Jim Morrison[edit]

This is a bit quirky, but Brian Slade watching Curt Wilde (Iggy Pop) has to be based on Iggy Pop being inspired by Jim Morrison, right? Compare the scene from the movie with this quote from wikipedia page Iggy Pop "The seeds of Iggy Pop's stage persona were sown when he saw The Doors perform in 1967 at the University of Michigan and was amazed by the stage antics and antagonism displayed by singer Jim Morrison.[9] Morrison's extreme behavior, while performing in a popular band, inspired the young Pop to push the boundaries of stage performance.".

Should this be mentioned somehow in the article? I think it is portraying such a classic and important step in rock culture, it sure deserves to be in the list of "Connection to other works" (And that title should be changed as well, mydriasis is hardly a "work"). I'm not to comfortable writing in english, so maybe some one else could put it there?

Reply - This scene is more about Bowie (Brian) being inspired by Iggy (Curt), than Iggy being inspired by Morrison. While Iggy picked up on Morrison's contempt for his audience, he definitively went further than Morrison ever did, including taunting a guy into beating him up on stage. The Stooges often appeared at venues where they were not well received, so Iggy, anticipating a bad reception, would create an antagonistic relationship to fuel his act. Similarly Curt Wild also feeds off the negative energy of the audience in Velvet Goldmine. However, since Brian Slade is Bowie's fictional counterpart, his reaction is not the same as Curt's - after being jeered at while performing, Brian unsuccessfully tries to ignore the hecklers. In the tent afterward he is clearly humiliated and angry but he only has a brief complaint to his manager and walks out rather than argue further - he runs from confrontation, not the best strategy for an artist who tries to be shocking and innovative. Bowie's career languished in his Mod and earnest singer/songwriter incarnations before he shot to fame with his Ziggy Stardust persona. Similarly, after seeing Curt in on stage Brian learns that a better response might be to ignore what the audience thinks and not be so invested in wanting their praise. So he creates the aloof space alien persona of Maxwell Demon - who is not like Curt (or Iggy or Morrison) but more like the haughty queens he knows from the early Sombrero days. So while this is rock & roll history, your analogy is slightly misplaced to the wrong characters. SwishPan (talk) 19:20, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Mentioning 'Bend it like Beckham'[edit]

Is it usual to refer like this to a film made after the film under discussion?

"Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Bend It Like Beckham) had his feature debut playing the role of Brian Slade"

Njál 01:21, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

You're right - these extra film references are probably not necessary since the actors are linked - AKeen 20:24, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Citizen Kane[edit]

I've (twice) reverted the addition of this:

The narrative structure of the film is modeled on that of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.

We need to cite a source for this assertion. Though it may be similar, "modeled on" implies that the director intentionally structured it to resemble the other work. This smacks of original research to me. Cleduc 15:24, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I was the one who put it up the second time--I think I only put it up once, with good intentions. Being somewhat new to Wikipedia, I'm not sure what the standard approach to this sort of thing is. To me, the similarity between the two films was so detailed and obvious as to not require "proof." (I'm reminded of the dialogue in All the President's Men where Hoffman and Redford argue over what you can infer from a wet pavement). However, in the interests of scholarship, I poked around, and what I found was that while the Citizen Kane connection was mentioned by interviewers in questions directed at Haynes, he never responds to those questions bye making the affirmative statement "yes, what I was trying to do IN FOLLOWING CITIZEN KANE was X." Apart from that, almost every one of dozens upon dozens of reviews of the film comments on this aspect of the film, using phrases like "following," "modeled on" and even in one place "filched from." So if I understand the issue here, it seems like the right statement would be "Many reviewers have seen the narrative structure as closely resembling that of Citizen Kane"? That, at least, is an indisputable fact; a good example of it is in Roger Ebert's review, but I think there are dozens of others, which one can get via googling "Todd Haynes Citizen Kane".--Agent Cooper 21:48, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

That's cool, I just put it back with a likely source (one that quotes him). Citing sources is a good thing. Cheers, Cleduc 23:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I second Agent Cooper's statement -- there are scenes that are such exact parallels of Citizen Kane; to deny them would be to deny that American Idol were based on Pop Idol. UnderPressure 11:25, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Cool backatcha. Hope I didn't seem testy. When I was in law school, if you wrote "and on that morning, as the sun rose in the east" you'd get "no citation: what's your authority for saying that the sun rose in the east on that particular day?" But I can see how one can err in the other direction too: one man's obviousity is another man's controversial bogusiousity! --Agent Cooper 22:24, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Gay Scene[edit]

Was the gay sex scene real? http://worldofwonder.net/archives/2005/03/17/hes_just_not_that_into_you/ Avenged Evanfold 12:00, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Fixed the link. Not sure what you mean by "Was the gay sex scene real?" In interviews both Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale have told humorous stories of shooting the scene, both pretending to be slighted that the other hasn't kept in touch. SwishPan (talk) 14:05, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I just watched this for the second time and I just read that interview, but I have to ask, what scene? McGregor and Bale's characters do have a few erotic scenes together, but I did not see an actual sex scene, let alone an unsimulated one. I'm very confused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.9.131.171 (talk) 16:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The scene indicated is that up on the roof at night, the very shot where Bale and McGregor are seen in a long shot and the camera is slowly panning out, away from them, and a lot of glitter is raining from above, only to fade into the glitter in front of a window in the opera-like set for Brian Slade's next music video. In that shot, Bale and McGregor appear to be simulating anal intercourse in doggy style, with McGregor in the top and Bale in the bottom position...or are they really only simulating? That's the question people are asking here. --37.81.20.39 (talk) 23:31, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Kurt Cobain[edit]

Odd that there isn't a mention of the character Curt Wild's partial inspiration being - obviously - Kurt Cobain. McGregor's performance is certainly more Kurt Cobain than Iggy Pop. By a mile. And it's no secret. It's right there in the character's name. This is one more note of surreality in the film, taking it out of the implication of simply being a remix of early 1970's glam figures. MistySpock (talk) 01:50, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

The character is named after Kurt Weill, who wrote musical theatre songs with Bertol Brecht (who was an influence on David Bowie) and whose "Alabama Song" was covered by Bowie. I believe people involved in the film (not sure who) have denied any intentional resemblance to or inspiration from Kurt Cobain. (Sorry for the lack of specifics.) The fact is, Kurt Cobain took inspiration from rock figures such as Iggy Pop, and therein lies the resemblance. --sdream93 (talk) 06:18, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 02:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Soundtrack Listing?[edit]

Is there any reason why the soundtrack "Track Listing" is band first, while the "Film Soundtrack Listing" is song name first? I find it hard to find songs scanning down the first section ("Track Listing") and I propose to change it to song name first, like the other section. It won't be hard (for me) to do. Any objections? --sdream93 (talk) 06:13, 2 June 2016 (UTC)