Research Article


DOI :10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004   IUP :10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004    Full Text (PDF)

An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine

Eda Yetim

This study examines how Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine (1998) allows for a re-reading of the history of AIDS and homosexuality by excluding bodies, temporalities, and spatialities from being assigned to any fixed identity. This study focuses on the relationship between fictional reality and the film’s intertextual links with the historical period from Oscar Wilde’s birth in 1854 to the present day. The intertextual links between some pioneering figures from the real-life 1970s glam-rock music scene and some fictional characters from the prominent subcultural queer literary and film history are also included in the study. Velvet Goldmine achieves inevitable transitions between real-life characters and other fictional characters by undermining the stabilised categories and the constructed monolithic identities imposed on bodies, temporalities and spatialities, thereby making the monolithic identities and categories impossible to maintain their stances. In this respect, the study argues that the film makes space for new alternative narratives of the body, temporality, and spatiality that can establish transversal networks in the legitimate and official history; and in doing so, these narratives can undermine the linearity of the monolithic historical reality in favour of more diverse and morally inclusive assemblages and multiple potentials.

DOI :10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004   IUP :10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004    Full Text (PDF)

Norm Ötesine Metinlerarası İlmek Atmak: Velvet Goldmine’da Gerçeklik-Kurgu Dikotomisinin Altüst Edilişi ve Alternatif Zaman-Mekân Olanakları

Eda Yetim

Bu çalışma, Todd Haynes’in Velvet Goldmine (1998) isimli filminin beden, zaman ve mekâna tektipleştirici herhangi bir kimlik atamasını imkânsızlaştırarak AIDS’i ve eşcinsellik tarihini yeniden okumayı nasıl mümkün kıldığını araştırmaktadır. Bu doğrultuda, çalışma filmin kurgusal gerçekliğinin Oscar Wilde’ın 1854’teki doğumundan günümüze kadar geçen tarihsel süreçle kurduğu metinlerarası bağlantılara odaklanmaktadır. Altkültürel queer edebiyat ve sinema tarihinin öne çıkan bazı kurgusal karakterleri ile 1970’lerin gerçek hayat düzlemindeki glamrock müzik sahnesinden bazı öncü isimler arasındaki metinlerarası bağlantılar da çalışmaya dahil edilmiştir. Velvet Goldmine, beden, zaman ve mekân üzerindeki sabit kimlik kategorilerini aşındırarak gerçek hayat düzlemindeki kişilerle edebiyat ve sinemadaki kurgusal karakterler arasında geçişliliğe olanak vermekte, böylece de kimlik ve kategorilerin tektipleştirilmesini imkânsız hale getirmektedir. Bu bağlamda çalışma, filmin meşrû ve resmî tarih içinde bazı çapraz ağlar kurabilen ve bunu yaparken de bu tarihsel gerçeklik içindeki tektipleştirici doğrusallığı altüst edebilen beden, zamansallık ve mekânsallığa ilişkin çeşitli ve kapsayıcı bir aradalıkları önceliklendiren yeni alternatif anlatılara alan açtığını ileri sürmektedir. 


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


This study focuses on Todd Haynes’s film Velvet Goldmine (1998), which establishes intertextual connections between fictional characters and real historical figures, as well as between fictional and real time-space. This study reveals the boundaries created in the ontological field by legitimate categories of identity based on various queer experiences and aims to explore, through the path opened up by the film’s narrative, the possibilities of re-reading the official history of real life, which is accepted as reality, by disrupting its stability through a wide variety of methods such as pastiche and bricolage.

In this respect, this study introduces some questions into current discussions. When fictional characters, cinematic time and space, are intertwined with real people, time and space, is erasing the boundaries between reality and fiction effective enough to imagine different ways of doing/perceiving things in our everyday lives, and thus to minimise the violence of ongoing practices against less privileged groups, given that they are always subjected to some degree of violence in legitimate historical narratives? Is this popular erasure of boundaries in any way related to consumer culture? Is it possible to reread the body, temporality, and spatiality with the emergence of new processes of meaning and the disruption of processes of identity acquisition to propose an alternative reading of history? Can it be said that cinema, as an art, has the power to transform existing social arrangements by offering different visions of life?

The significance of this study, unlike previous studies on the same topic, is twofold. First, it argues that the film, as an artistic expression, can provide space for discussions about expanding the boundaries of ontological fields that provide legitimate expression for less privileged social groups by creating an opportunity to reread history with different and multiple temporalities and spatialities, thus overturning the boundaries of monolithic fixed categories. Secondly, it underlines that the erasure of all boundaries can easily be abused in the consumerist capitalist culture of our increasingly globalised world. The need for a rapid and abundant production of meanings in this context can also lead to an equally rapid consumption of these meanings, robbing concepts of potentially emancipatory meanings and reducing them to a mere stagnant box. Therefore, in the process of seeking a solution to the violence suffered by less privileged social groups, it can, on the contrary, find itself as the main cause of this violence.

In this regard, the study first includes the history of queer cinema and the changes it has undergone until today, and then focuses on the film’s unique narrative language by touching on the places where the narratives of Todd Haynes’s cinema intersect with the history of queer cinema. The part of the study that is an intertextual analysis of Velvet Goldmine is framed and examined by the quote “Time, places, people, ... they’re all speeding up,” which the character Mandy Slade says to the film’s main character, Brian Slade, on the night of their wedding, in reference to the acceleration of time, places, and people in our everyday lives. The study does so to underline that some ‘strange’ people are chosen to cope with the ‘evolutionary paranoia’ of the age ‘through their art’, and emphasises that these people use their art to cope with such speed. The reason why the narrative of the film is expressed as queer is that when talking about a specific temporality in the film, it is not possible to talk about a single and clear time, and this also applies to people and places, so that it becomes increasingly difficult to fix, homogenise, and clarify any time, person, or place. Such a narrative, in which identities cannot find a certain fixed place for themselves, is queer. The discussion on queer theory and queer temporalities and spatialities beyond the normative time-space that this theory allows to emerge is also included in the second part of the study, to the extent that it interacts with the cinema of Todd Haynes.

This study uses an intertextual approach to analysis. In her work titled Revolution in Poetic Language, Kristeva (1985) examines the power of language to position and establish ontological domains, noting that existing social arrangements are established and maintained through language. She also emphasises that the stability of social arrangements can be overturned by the discovery of the destructive possibilities contained in language. Hebdige (2004) stresses that when the same signs are placed in a different whole from their current position or in different positions within the same whole, the relationship between the object and the meaning also changes. Kristeva makes such a shift possible with the concept of intertextuality, which she developed in the mid-1960s on the basis of the highly edifying ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure and Mikhail Bakhtin. 


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APA

Yetim, E. (2024). An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine. Filmvisio, 0(3), 71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


AMA

Yetim E. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine. Filmvisio. 2024;0(3):71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


ABNT

Yetim, E. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine. Filmvisio, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 3, p. 71-106, 2024.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Yetim, Eda,. 2024. “An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine.” Filmvisio 0, no. 3: 71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


Chicago: Humanities Style

Yetim, Eda,. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine.” Filmvisio 0, no. 3 (Jul. 2024): 71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


Harvard: Australian Style

Yetim, E 2024, 'An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine', Filmvisio, vol. 0, no. 3, pp. 71-106, viewed 25 Jul. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Yetim, E. (2024) ‘An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine’, Filmvisio, 0(3), pp. 71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004 (25 Jul. 2024).


MLA

Yetim, Eda,. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine.” Filmvisio, vol. 0, no. 3, 2024, pp. 71-106. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


Vancouver

Yetim E. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine. Filmvisio [Internet]. 25 Jul. 2024 [cited 25 Jul. 2024];0(3):71-106. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004 doi: 10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004


ISNAD

Yetim, Eda. An Intertextual Seam Beyond the Norm: Subversion of the Reality-Fiction Dichotomy and Alternative Time-Space Possibilities in Velvet Goldmine”. Filmvisio 0/3 (Jul. 2024): 71-106. https://doi.org/10.26650/Filmvisio.2024.0004



TIMELINE


Submitted29.03.2024
Accepted01.06.2024
Published Online08.07.2024

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