Glam’s Velvet Goldmine Marks End of McCarren’s Film Season
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine
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Velvet Goldmine, director Todd Haynes’ 1998 cult classic, is androgyny at its most glamorous. Based on the rumored romance between Iggy Pop and David Bowie in the 1970s, the film explores the meteoric rise and faked death of glam-rock singer Brian Slade (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers and loosely based on Bowie). Gritty American singer and object of Slade’s affection, Curt Wild (Goldmine’s rendition of Pop), is played by Ewan McGregor. In reality, plot plays second to the musical numbers in the film—think “Bowie” from Flight of the Conchords but more dramatic than comedic. The over-the-top costumes and dark lighting throughout create a fantastical world where even a straight and narrow actor like Christian Bale, who plays a reporter covering Slade’s death, can jump head first into the counter culture. McCarren Park Pool, a venue known for great music itself, provides the perfect setting for watching a movie lamenting the death of an era as its own final season comes to an end.