Sunday, January 29, 2012

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

This is a great film. It deals with a David Bowie-like character who leads the rise and fall of glam rock. Velvet Goldmine is visually stunning and well put together. Jonathon Rhys Meyes is just beautiful, Ewan McGregor is sexy, Christian Bale is adorable, and Toni Collette is charming.

The music is wonderful, including glam rock standards, covers, and original pieces that fit right in with the ambiance. Beautiful clothing and set design add to the glamour and decadence.

The film is very academic. One of my favorite details is the green gem that gets passed from character to character. It supposedly belonged to Oscar Wilde, a pioneering dandy and the first pop star. Oscar Wilde quotations abound in Velvet Goldmine, and his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray features prominently in the beginning. It works perfectly to introduce the themes of eternal youth, vanity, decadence, and bisexuality.

The one issue I have is the implication that David Bowie completely sold out in the 1980s. Give the man a break, he couldn't be Ziggy Stardust forever.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Raquel Welch

I just watched a Raquel Welch interview on the Dick Cavett show. The effect she had on everyone (especially the men) was amazing.

I've never seen any of them, but it seems like most of her movies weren't very good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Jewelry

Wearing some rather large rings has led me to wonder: how did Elizabeth Taylor ever wear gloves?

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Today is David Bowie's birthday! He's 65 I believe.


When I was a kid he used to scare the shit out of me. My Dad played the Best of Bowie CD in his car and I liked the music so I looked him up. Then I read a bit about the guy and saw some pictures and completely freaked out. I couldn't even think about David Bowie for a few years. Then when I was about 16 I heard Suffragette City in a Gilmore Girls episode and it BLEW MY MIND. I've since been an avid fan.


David Bowie's got some great personae. I think my favorite is The Thin White Duke, although strangely I'm mostly unimpressed with his music from that period. It's interesting, some of his songs I absolutely love, but there are also a whole bunch that do nothing for me.

Some of my favorite Bowie songs:

Kooks: So beautiful and sweet. I know it was probably crazy living with Daddy David Bowie, but this is the best hymn to unconventional parenthood. 
Changes (of course) 
Suffragette City: What the HELL is this about? I've heard it's heroin, a wild liberated woman, Clockwork Orange... I'd say it deals with blowing off one love (whatever or whoever that might be) for another that is more exciting. Although somewhat incomprehensible, the lyrics are great. 
Rebel Rebel: This gave me some solace as I walked in misery into the depths of my soul-sucking high school.
Modern Love: it gets me to the church on time 
Life on Mars?: Nothing better to help you study for an astronomy exam. Also, I love Bowie's phantasmagorical take on getting lost in meaningless movie cliches. 
Starman: He's waiting in the sky... 
I Got You Babe: This one is kind of strange. As far as I know it hasn't even been released on any official album. But David Bowie did a weird duet of this Sonny and Cher classic with Marianne Faithfull in his 1980 Floor Show (which actually occurred in 1973). Marianne is brilliantly dressed as a nun, but she is way out of it. Bowie actually does an amazing job. These two give an edge to what before sounded just simple and sweet. The original just bores me now that I've heard their version. Bowie's performance is engaging and just hilarious.

And these are because I find it hard to do a post without mentioning Mick Jagger:

What was the scenario that prompted him to wear a bathrobe?