Music Video Monday: Brian Slade

by robinhardwick

“The Ballad of Maxwell Demon” by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (as Brian Slade)

A Music Video Monday first: a video by a fictional artist. Brian Slade, of course, is the mysterious glam singer from the masterpiece and Robin’s gay man fantasy Velvet Goldmine. Still, this is a music video within the movie, so it counts! The hommges in the film are a-plenty, and Slade channels David Bowie, Liberace, and Jobriath in this video. I even believe the blue demon f*cking the blow-up dolls is taken from the threesome scene from A Clockwork Orange.


Here;s a confession: when I first saw this film in 1998, I didn’t really get it.  Visually, I was into it, and the soundtrack is phenomenal. It wasn’t until later watching with my cinephile eye that I got all the allusions to space and identity and Christian Bale’s romp with the Iggy Pop/Mick Jagger/Lou Reed/Kurt Cobain stand-in Curt Wild, played by Ewan MacGregor and his penis.

On the soundtrack, this song is performed by Shudder To Think, who are great, but in the movie Rhys-Meyers does his own singing. I was obsessed with JRM after this film, and eagerly awaited him becoming a huge star. But perhaps it was his choices of roles, he never really impressed me after this.

This film also introduced me to the filmmaker Todd Haynes, who I am really trying to appreciate. It takes some effort.