Movie Article

A velvet goldmine! Five must-see glam-rock DVDs

David Bowie | TAE BOWIE Aerobic exercise, glam-style, as seen in the ''Ziggy Stardust'' DVD
Image credit: David Bowie: Ilpo Musto/London Features
TAE BOWIE Aerobic exercise, glam-style, as seen in the ''Ziggy Stardust'' DVD


Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Released more than 25 years after the British boys began bedazzling themselves, Todd Haynes' surreal, fractured fairy tale is a twisted example of historical fiction: It distills the movement's outrageous experimentation and major figures into a candy-colored fever dream that is based on — but not really set in — reality. (Read the EW review)

New York Doll (2005; on DVD April 4)
What happens to a glam rock star after the fishnets and sequins have been tossed away? This documentary is the heartbreaking story of New York Doll bassist Arthur ''Killer'' Kane, who ended up as a destitute alcoholic-turned-Mormon librarian in Los Angeles after the Dolls flamed out. (Read the EW review)

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture (1973)
The sound and image quality is far from perfect, but D.A. Pennebaker's film of David Bowie's last concert as Ziggy Stardust is a vivid document of this amazing band, complete with hysterical screaming teens and some backstage footage of Bowie applying the ''leper messiah'' makeup before the show. Still, it leaves one question unanswered: How the hell did guitarist Mick Ronson shred so nastily in 6-inch platform heels? (Read the EW review)

T. Rex: Born to Boogie (1972)
That this flick — a smattering of killer live clips culled from two back-to-back shows, sprinkled with some truly odd surrealist vignettes — bears resemblance to A Hard Day's Night should come as no surprise: During this time of ''T. Rextasy,'' frontman Marc Bolan and his band were billed as the ''second coming of the Beatles,'' and even one of T. Rex's Fab Four-bears bought the hype. Ringo Starr not only directed and produced Boogie, but also found some time for an on-camera jam alongside Bolan and a thicker-haired Elton John.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Those songs! Those wigs! That inch! A triumph of masterful musicality and glitter-bomb visuals, John Cameron Mitchell's rousing tale of The Little Tranny That Could is a late-era glam-rock landmark. (Read the EW review)


Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Sort of Hedwig's cinematic father, Paradise makes it clear that while glam makes for great music, it doesn't necessarily provide for scintillating movie-watching. Who knows what Brian De Palma was thinking when he wrote and directed this coked-up variant of the classic Phantom tale — or why he cast elfin composer Paul Williams as his Faustian lead? — but we'd sell our soul to the devil if he'd spare us a second viewing.

Originally posted Feb 16, 2006

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