For me it is anyway, its his most playful set within the time of Glam Rock and unlike his other music based film I’m Not There, which over-rated for me, it seems to have been ignored as one of the best music films around. Many critics at the time i think made the mistake of literally wishing it was about David Bowie’s life, yes there are hints but it wasn’t attended to be accurate. Yes the story can get a bit complexed, but its a film you must watch a few times to really get the whole effect. Its a fun film not to be taken really seriously and has wonderful performances from Ewan McGregor, pre fame Christian Bale and a wonderful Jonathan rhys Meyers. If you haven’t seen it, go buy it cause its a great film.
I consider that film to be hateful and spiteful. Did not enjoy it at all. Good photography, though.
“Hateful and spiteful”? I have no idea what your’e talking about.
I can sort of see where Fransisco is coming from. I find Velvet Goldmine to be much too cold and calculated, and Rhys-Meyers really is no match against Cate Blanchett. I’m Not There and Velvet Goldmine are very similar in content, but I just found I’m Not There to be much more involving and exciting to watch. But I still think it’s a solid film, surely one of the most overlooked of the 1990’s.
Far From Heaven may be his most critically well-received movie, but once I again I couldn’t help but watch the movie with a layer of detachment: the pervasive “1950’s melodrama” aesthetic made it impossible to give any emotional investment in these characters. You could say that this is the point, but I’ll take the “I Want You” sequence in I’m Not There over the entirety of Far From Heaven.
By the way, does anyway else think that Criterion should release Velvet Goldmine and Safe? Those are two movies screaming for a release.
Yes they should release Safe and Velvet. I don’t even think Velvet is anamorphic. Velvet Goldmine screams out for special features. A doc about the soundtrack alone would be mind blowing. The soundtrack to that film has a life all to itself.
having only seen two of his films, this being one of him, i can honestly say No. Hell No. really? No…no no no no no.
loved I’m Not There though. =oD
of course it is, yes.
Jessica, we’ll have to agree to disagree then.
i challenge you to a deul! or better yet, a drinking contest! i choose whiskey at dawn—er, midnight. i won’t be up at dawn, but i’ll gladly stay up that late.
…did i spell deul right? duel? yea, Duel. DUEL!
where was i?
Marq i understand you don’t like Velvet goldmine, its very much a love hate movie. I liked I’m not There especially with cath Blachett as she was the best thing about it for me. But Velvet Goldmine just has that spark for me with the way its shot and the performances overall. Especially with the great thom yorke singing a Roxy music song on the Soundtrack.
i know i could stand to re-watch the film, but the first time i saw it i thought it was pointless and dull. its been about four years since i saw it though, and i’ve changed a bit i suppose. I’m Not There was watched-and loved-whilst inebriated, so who’s to say i’d feel the same about it sober? both films need a rewatch, though for different reasosns. but, i did love the Bob Dylan flick, and thought it was amazing and well-deserved of its praise, Cate Blanchett especially.
Safe anatomizes America’s foggy therapeutic ideologies – all of them – better than any other film I’ve ever seen—it’s absolutely perfect. And Velvet Goldmine can’t touch I’m Not There, I think.
Haynes’ best work is ahead of him, I think. I’m Not There is his most mature and completely realized film. There’s something slightly cutesy and precious and willfully lightweight about his other work. I always want to love his films more than I actually do. Having said that, Velvet Goldmine has distinct pleasures for lovers of the art/glam rock era, like me. Too bad Bowie didn’t get on board because the only thing missing was his songs. But Haynes did come up with creative solutions for that — the soundtrack wasn’t bad.
I get the feeling I’M NOT THERE was the movie Haynes intended to make about Bowie when he conceived of VELVET GOLDMINE. Bowie’s another perfectly chameleonic stage and recording persona. But when Bowie didn’t want to cooperate by providing a ton of cuts from his catalog, the movie had to veer into a different direction about glam-rock in general as opposed to a single rock star. I agree that I’M NOT THERE is better than VELVET GOLDMINE, but can’t help but dream about what the results would have been if the explicitly Bowie project had been realized.
SAFE > VELVET GOLDMINE > OTHER HAYNES
Velvet Goldmine is the one Hayes film I didn’t really care for at all.
i hate i’m not there so much that I don’t even care to describe the reasons. It is a tripe piece of crap that is embarrassing to watch. Todd majored in Semiotics at Brown, and i saw him speak and give an advanced screening of Safe when i was at NYU. he’s a smart guy. i think safe is a great film too, but velvet goldmine is the one film of his where the tone of affect and dandyism and self consciousness is just perfectly, seemlessly executed.
I’m not There was an embarassment. I almost walked out three times over.
and Marq-in terms of your comments- i forfeit the drinking contest because i don’t drink. That said, i’m confident that if i still drank i would kick your ass. Not that i would want to, i’ve never played a drinking contest, as they are retarded and primarily reserved for either lame people or sick people. If you’re sick, it’s not your fault-aa.org or na.org can help.
If Todd weren’t otherwise engaged I’d marry him in a naosecond.
“’“Hateful and spiteful”? I have no idea what your’e talking about.”’
The fact that he hates David Bowie’s guts- It is really boring to watch a whole movie about that.
Yeah, it is amazing how good the recreations of glam-era songs are as well as the original compositions created as glam pastiche. The music remains my favorite part of VELVET GOLDMINE, even if the film seems less coherent with each passing viewing…
Francisco – huh? The whole film is a love letter to the liberating power of Bowie’s Ziggy-era music and the risks that fans had to run just to admit to liking him. You have to see the film through Christian Bale’s eyes — unable to restrain his gayness, yet deeply ashamed. Haynes takes Bowie to task for becoming more conservative in the 80s, but he also touches on something that can never be overestimated in terns of Bowie’s becoming a shade of his former self — the murder of his friend John Lennon. I don’t think Bowie has ever been able to fully process this senseless act — as witness the best and most honest songs on Heathen.
To Ben…. I agree the film does seem very incoherent at parts. I have a feeling that there is a longer cut out there. Such is always the case when working with Harvey and Bob. Hopefully on day will get a good re release on dvd or blu ray.
I was a Freshman in college when I saw “Velvet Goldmine” for the first time, and fell in love with it. The soundtrack is amazing, and the performances are fantastic. Love it all the way around.
Safe is one of the best films ever made (I actually think it outdoes any film Antonioni has ever done at his own game), but everything else from Haynes is remarkably unimpressive.
Agree. Safe is the equivalent to Red Desert except that I think it is much better. Red Desert has not aged very well for my taste. The stereotype of the engineer as a man of science which has no taste for art, love, or anything humane is a bit heavy and it reveals more of Antonioni disdain for upper middle class than anything else. I found Safe to be a much more compassionate movie. I also enjoyed Far from Heaven a lot.
Velvet Goldmine is a fun movie but I don’t think is any more than that. I am not there I have some mixed feelings…
ok, I prefer I’m Not There but Velvet Goldmine was very good too. I had so much fun!! It’s a great tribute to Bowie and Iggy and Lou and Wilde and somehow I felt like for Curt too, even if he’s not from that rock age… It’s not a masterpiece, it’s actually a bit stupid and not truly complex, but it’s made the exact way how a glam rock tribute movie should be made. It involves and lives the line and grips of glam rock and transforms it on the screen. Some quotes, as I read mostly from Wilde, contributed a big deal to the impression that the movie leaves, just like the mixture of genres did. And did I mentioned how fun it was?!
Safe is Haynes’ best one. I don’t understand why it isn’t available on DVD.
Todd’s hatred of David Bowie is utterly compelling.
Bowie’s a manipulative bitch.
he will never surpass the Karen Carpenter Story
tho his knowledge of the period is pretty good
Ehh, Velvet Goldmine doesn’t really summon up any strong emotion for me either way – sort of like Haynes entire filmography. I’ll have to watch it again because it’s been awhile, but yeah, didn’t impress me. Had a nice look to it though, but emotionally vacuous – rather like the rest of Haynes’ work.
“Bowie’s a manipulative bitch.”
And you can qualify that how? Or is this just a personal supposition based on something entirely irrelevant?
EDIT: And what’s the relation between Safe and the Red Desert? I don’t see any relation at all there personally, unless it’s some vague concept of isolation.
Safe is his masterpiece by a mile, though Far From Heaven is one of the most perfect films of the past decade. Both of those are crying out for the most decadent Criterion treatment possible. I wish he’d collaborate properly with Julianne Moore again.
Velvet Goldmine is sexy and good fun, has an excellent look and soundtrack and a high re-watchability factor (I must have seen it 7 or 8 times now), but it’s kinda like candyfloss compared to those two films.