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PRINT October 1998

ALL THAT GLITTERS: TODD HAYNES’ VELVET GOLDMINE

Next month Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes’ cinematic secret history of glam rock, opens in theaters across the country. The most substantial production to date from the director of films including the cult classic Superstar and more recently Safe, Haynes’ new feature reimagines the moment in recent pop history as a libertine fantasy turned ’70s morality play dense with allusions, both musical and literary. Craig Seligman measures the returns against the ambition.

Velvet Goldmine takes the history of glam rock—that brief, early-’70s burst of glitter that gave the world David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and a flock of other mascaraed musicians who seemed to want to be drag queens—and does a makeover on it. It’s a delectable idea, even if the thirty-seven-year-old writer and director Todd Haynes, a semiotician by training and a cool drink of water by temperament, isn’t the most likely filmmaker to have

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