Velvet Goldmine Essay

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Velvet Goldmine is a 1998 drama film, directed by Todd Haynes. It is mainly about 1970s glam rock era, with the main protagonists, Brian Slade and Curt Wild, being loosely based on David Bowie and Iggy Pop/Lou Reed respectively. The music scene and overall atmosphere of the early 70s in revealed to the audience through a journalist, Arthur Stuart, who, ten years after the ‘death’ of glam rock is set to write an article on the fall of Brian Slade and his whereabouts, whilst constantly being reminded of his youth. The scene starts with Slade’s manager, Jerry Devine, smoking a cigar whilst on an elevation, showing his importance, wealth and drawing viewers’ attention to him. As a long shot, it establishes the current location, which is the headquarters …show more content…

The scene is followed by an unbalanced medium shot of Brian moving towards the camera. The lack of balance, which is even more emphasised by the lighting, connotes that he is clueless about the news Jerry has received. An over the shoulder shot shows Jerry looking at the assistants, despite talking to Brian, suggesting that a big part of his personality is an act, a mask. Parallels can be drawn between him and Brian, who is constantly changing and adapting his stage persona in order to be more commercial and is slowly losing himself in the process. The manager, who is asking Slade who would he like to meet in America, finally looks at Brian as he finishes speaking, putting an emphasis on the final word. So far, the only American character the viewers have been introduced to is Curt Wild, therefore they can already guess Brian’s answer. As the assistants are loudly discussing who’d they like to meet, the camera slowly moves towards Mandy, Brian’s wife, whose voice has been heard as the off-screen sound, enquiring about Brian’s answer. This accentuates the fact that she hadn’t been involved in the conversation – showing that she might think of herself as someone

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