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Velvet Goldmine Details


At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, American independent director Todd Haynes (Todd Haynes) received the "Artistic Achievement" award for this re-creation of the UK glam rock scene of the early '70s. Glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who does a character named Maxwell Demon, predicts his own death onstage. As per his prediction, this happens, but when the killing is exposed as a hoax, it marks the end of Slade's stardom. A decade later, in 1984, Brit reporter and former Slade fan Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale), who witnesses the hoax murder, gets the assignment to do a "Whatever Happened To..?" article, and the film's plot suddenly goes into a prismatic Christian Bale mode, reflecting various angles on Slade's life and career. Arthur visits the wheelchair-bound Cecil (Michael Feast), who discovered Slade, and then tracks Slade through his early life and his initial encounter with outrageous, maniacal American singer Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor). Slade's rise begins as manager Jerry Divine (Brit comedian Eddie Izzard) moves in to take over the performer's career. Ex-wife Mandy Slade (Toni Collette), interviewed by Arthur in a dimly lit nightclub, has memories going back to their initial 1969 Sombrero Club encounter. Their marriage paralleled his Bowie-like ascent to fame as an innovative, bisexual rock star pushing the limits. Idolized by teens, Slade teamed up for a while with the drug-addicted Wild. Eventually, the marriage of Mandy and Slade comes to an end, and she hasn't seen him in seven years when she's interviewed by Arthur. The soundtrack features vintage music by Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed and Brian Eno, plus new tunes. Some background on the making of Velvet Goldmine is documented in producer Christine Vachon's book Christine Vachon (Avon, 1998) by Vachon with Vachon film critic David Edelstein. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

  • Release date:October 26, 1998


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Maryse Alberti Best Cinematography 1998 Winner
Cannes Film Festival Todd Haynes Prize for Best Artistic Contribution 1998 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Todd Haynes Best Director 1998 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sandy Powell Best Costume Design 1998 Nominee


Todd Haynes
Christine Vachon
Todd Haynes
Screen Story
Todd Haynes
James Lyons
Screen Story
Maryse Alberti
Randall Poster
Musical Direction/Supervision
Lou Reed
Featured Music
Brian Eno
Featured Music
Carter Burwell
Composer (Music Score)
Bryan Ferry
Featured Music
James Lyons
Andrew Munro
Art Director
Olivia Stewart
Michael Stipe
Executive Producer
Sandy Stern
Executive Producer
Scott Meek
Executive Producer
William Tyrer
Executive Producer
Chris J. Ball
Executive Producer
Sandy Powell
Costume Designer
Waldo Roeg
First Assistant Director
Susie Figgis
Laura Rosenthal
Paul Soucek
Sound Editor
Eliza Paley
Sound Editor