Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Movies about records that will never get old.

This past year saw a definite 180 in my opinion of Todd Haynes. "I'm Not There" had me seeing red at first; whence comes these transgressions about iconography of icons? But that didn't last long. It starts to make sense when you see the machinery turning in all his features. "Far From Heaven," "I'm Not There," "Velvet Goldmine:" they all take a pastiche of a monumental time or thing, throw it into a blender, and pour out the essence of it all.

It's on mind after seeing "Velvet Goldmine" at McCarren Pool tonight. Part Citizen Kane, part glam, the time gets spent picking apart the different threads in Ewan McGregor's and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers's characters. It's not just the individuals - Bowie, Eno, Iggy Pop - all screwed up with each other, but the different times and places. The mythologies are boiled down, distilled, and poured out over the perfect superficies.

An experiential note: there was probably no better venue than McCarren Pool at dusk to watch "Velvet Goldmine." It's the kind of communal experience that brings out something fresh from sometimes familiar material and venues. The rumor mill has it that the Pool will once again become a pool after this summer, which is a real shame. There aren't many such places as characters like it.

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