Resemblance is purely coincidental Accident: Director Todd Haynes said he never meant for a character in his film 'Velvet Goldmine' to represent the late Kurt Cobain

Film

November 20, 1998|By Chris Kaltenbach The hills are alive

Yes, Todd Haynes realizes that Curt Wild, one of the main characters in his paean to the glam rock era, "Velvet Goldmine," is a dead ringer for Kurt Cobain.

And no, that's not an effect he was going for -- the character was modeled after Iggy Pop.

"It was completely an accident," Haynes insists (as was the happenstance that his character and the late Nirvana lead singer share the same first name). "It just so happens that Ewan [McGregor, who plays Wild] resembles Kurt Cobain more than he does Iggy Pop in the face."

Not that the resemblance should come as a total shock. "In fact, Cobain dyed his hair silver because of Iggy Pop," Haynes adds. "It's so funny, we were so busy doing what we were doing, I didn't even notice it until we were in the editing room."

While the Wild/Cobain resemblance helps tie together two very different rock and roll eras, Haynes says the idea behind "Velvet Goldmine" is not to bridge the decades, but rather to rescue a period of music he feels has been unjustly neglected.

"The music is really what propelled me and the realization that it had been so overlooked, or at least not reflected on the way punk and grunge and almost every period of music has been.

"It was one of the last really progressive periods, politically and culturally, both in the states and in the U.K. We've never been quite as open since then."

Haynes populates "Velvet Goldmine" with characters that should bring to mind glam rockers from David Bowie to Bryan Ferry, Mick Ronson to Brian Eno.

"It's all in there," he says. " They're meant to represent all of the key elements that were at play during that period." The film does not, however, represent Haynes' own musical tastes as a youngster.

"I wish I was a little older, so I could have had that experience, but I was only 10 or 11 at the time," says Haynes, 37. "As far as the glam era goes, Elton John is about as close as I came."

"Velvet Goldmine" is now showing at Loews Greenspring. Baltimoreans voted "The Sound of Music," the 1965 Rogers and Hammerstein musical starring Julie Andrews, among their top five favorite movies of all time, and now they can see it on the big screen. The Senator Theatre will show the family musical Saturday at noon, with an introduction by Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria von Trapp, who Andrews portrays. Tickets are $5 and go on sale at 11: 15 a.m. The Senator is at 5904 York Road. Call 410-435-1440.

Ann Hornaday

Angelou film at Charles

Cinema Sundays at the Charles will feature "Down in the Delta," poet Maya Angelou's directorial debut, starring Alfre Woodard as a Chicago woman who finds her roots in the rural South. Writer and critic extraordinaire Mike Giuliano will lead the discussion of the film, which will open in Baltimore in December.

Memberships to Cinema Sundays are still available for the series' three remaining programs. Non-members can join for $50. Members may re-join for $45. Single tickets may be purchased for $15 when the doors open at 9: 45 a.m., if seating allows. The screening will begin at 10: 30 a.m.; as always, bagels and coffee will be served before the show. Don't miss this chance to see a much buzzed-about movie with Baltimore's smartest cinephiles. Call 410-727-3464.

Ann Hornaday

'Star Wars' trailer is here

The trailer for the "Star Wars" prequel finally hits mainstream release today, so fans who didn't catch it at screenings a week ago can get their first look at villain Darth Maul, a younger Yoda and stars including Ewan McGregor and Samuel L. Jackson.

The trailer for "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" will run before the films "Meet Joe Black," "The Waterboy" and "The Siege." And The Senator will also show it before its glorious dye-transfer print of "The Wizard of Oz," which will be playing at least one more week.

Chris Kridler

Movies in Maryland

With the Maryland-filmed "Enemy of the State" in theaters and "Liberty Heights" and "The Runaway Bride" being filmed in and around Baltimore, it's difficult to keep up with what's going on in the film world of Maryland. Luckily "CineMaryland," the HCC-TV series about the state's burgeoning film industry, has expanded to Central Maryland and now can be seen on eight channels.

NTC Co-produced by the Senator Theatre's Rebecca Jessop, who also serves as host, the series focuses on Maryland artists, productions in the area and people involved in the movie industry behind the scenes. "CineMaryland" will now air every month in Harford, Carroll, Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties. "CineMaryland" can be seen in Baltimore on TCI's channel 8 and the Office of Cable and Communication's channel 21. For more information on where to find "CineMaryland," call 410-772-4838.

Ann Hornaday

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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