Velvet Goldmine (1998) Directed by Todd Haynes
We should all trust our instincts and judgements. Sometimes the memory plays games on you and you remember things much better than they really were. The problem was I always thought Velvet Goldmine was rubbish and yet there I was on the sofa telling Astrid it would be nice to watch it again. I mean, you never know, right? Velvet Goldmine, over the passing of years may have transformed itself into something genuinely interesting and with some great points to make about gender, sexuality, duality, homosexuality – well any fucking uality you can think of. I saw this movie when I'd just arrived in Helsinki all those years ago, in some pokey cinema, the film was recommended to me by Uncut magazine as something worth my while. And Todd Haynes, although hit and miss, usually sustains enough quality across a picture, no? All you can really say is that the start of Velvet Goldmine holds some promise, early Brian Eno blaring, the youth running in platforms down the street. This scene holds some memory for me, going to the Saturday Morning Pictures in Staines with my sister who at the time was a huge Bolan/Bay City Rollers fan. I remember the tartan flares and sparkly platforms, there was a genuine high street revolution that involved both sexes.
|Ewan McGregor embarrasses himself as Lou/Iggy hybrid Curt Wild|
|Jonathan Rhys Meyers (right) plays the Bowie aping Brian Slade|
Today, the first of four holidays, I've spent going through papers, diaries, photos and other saved memorabilia in our cupboards. Therefore I've been living the past. I have managed to organize things better and to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff that got stored because of hasty packing. I have also had time to peek at some old photos and some old writing of mine. Looking at some journal entries from when I was 12, I must say I agree with Nora Ephron's mother: "everything is copy". Yes. And often the saddest little details from the past can seem funny or even hilarious 22 years later. For me Velvet Goldmine is from that personal past. I'm not sure if I saw it straight away when it came out into the cinema, or later from TV or at someone's house. Nevertheless, I remember feeling that it was a film made for me. I got it. In that way that is particularly possible for a teenager devoted to pop music. Later I got many other Todd Haynes directed films. I'm still a fan of his aesthetic.
|Velvet Goldmine (1998)|
|Juliette Binoche in Blue|