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Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:49 pm

By ABBIE BERNSTEIN / Contributing Writer
Posted: August 17th, 2011 / 07:30 AM
Ben Whishaw in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

In 1956 England, the BBC is trying out a different style of TV news program. News producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) doesn’t want to toe the government line about the rapidly heating-up Suez Canal crisis. Bel’s relationship with married anchorman Hector Madden (Dominic West) is likewise catching fire. Meanwhile, Bel’s chief researcher/best friend/genius Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) pines for her while investigating a pair of murders that seem linked to a sinister conspiracy.

Welcome to THE HOUR, the six-part period political thriller/murder mystery/newsroom drama premiering tonight on BBC America (it just aired in the U.K. on BBC2).

Series creator/executive producer Abi Morgan is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter in her native England; her script about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, THE IRON LADY, has just been filmed with Meryl Streep in the title role.

At a party thrown by BBC America for the Television Critics Association – where the poolside entertainment is a synchronized swimming troupe – Morgan talks about why she set her story in the past and in the world of TV news.

ASSIGNMENT X: Have you always been interested in the Fifties, or did you just think, “When’s the best era for an espionage story?”

ABI MORGAN: I didn’t particularly know the Fifties, if I’m honest. It was suggested to me to look at the Fifties as an interesting period, and then when I looked back at it, there was such an incredible moment of catalyst with the Suez crisis, so that really became the starting point for me, and it’s really exciting. I love the feeling that this was a decade where the country was on the moment of decline and collapse and out of that was coming this new world order, so it just felt like a great period. I think it’s a very British thing. Communism and the fear of Communism becomes a very big thing within the context of THE HOUR, but I think what we were dealing with was a certain post-war austerity and trying to rediscover our identity outside of the Empire.

AX: In the Fifties, people don’t have the staples of modern thrillers – computers, cell phones, tracking devices. Does that make it easier or harder to tell the story

MORGAN: I think that makes it a lot easier, because you can have a slow burn. You can’t just have someone saying, “Can you Google me this name,” or “Can you run a check on this number [license] plate.” I think that not only works in terms of it being a detective story, but I think it works in the emotional unraveling [of the characters]. People don’t meet and sleep with each other straight away, they don’t Facebook and they don’t Twitter. They take time to get to know each other and they spend time and they’re not constantly on their phones. So I think it’s a very, very different society that we’re looking at. And it allows them to investigate. They have to actually do the work – they don’t just Google.

AX: Are there any thriller movies that you find especially exciting?

MORGAN: I love a lot of the Eighties thrillers – I love JAGGED EDGE, I love films that have a twist at the end, thrillers that have a twist at the end. I think in Britain we’ve made some inspirational political thrillers like STATE OF PLAY, THE STATE WITHIN, so I think I was very influenced by that. I was quite interested in political thrillers – ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, which is a reworking of the Nixon Watergate case. I love the idea that actually this [THE HOUR] is a thriller that has historical elements to it.
Dominic West in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

Dominic West in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

AX: You’ve worked for the BBC yourself as a writer and producer, albeit your work has been drama rather than news, and it’s decades after the period covered in THE HOUR. Are you bringing any of your own BBC experience to this, or is your experience so completely different because of the different eras that it doesn’t apply?

MORGAN: I think the only thing I bring to it is a sense of deadline and a sense of the pressure of getting a story out, and I think that’s really what I bring to it. In terms of the BBC, it’s interesting to me, because I’ve spoken to several people [who] have said, “How do you find the sexism and do you think you still experience that?” I haven’t, but I certainly know what it’s like to be a woman who’s trying to have it all. So there are probably certain parallels, but not with my BBC experience, no.

AX: We’re getting a lot of television shows now that are set in the past, where all the female characters are in subordinate roles, with the explanation that this was the case back then. But you have a female lead, Bel, who is the producer on the news show, and this is historically accurate.

MORGAN: Totally. What was inspiring for me was when I started researching this was that I hadn’t decided what Bel was going to be, I just knew that I wanted a female central character. Then I found Grace Wyndham Goldie, who was one of the [real-life] leading journalists at the time, but also, she was a producer, really, and she was at the forefront of broadcasting, and she set up shows like PANORAMA and TONIGHT, which were like SIXTY MINUTES. And so I found these women. And of course, predominantly at the BBC, the women were in the typing pool and in the makeup and hair departments, but actually, there were these inspirational women who were producing the shows, and so that was really the starting point for Bel.

AX: All of your three lead actors – Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw, Dominic West – have done a lot of work in feature films. Does this do anything for your production?

MORGAN: Well, I think it does a couple of things. I think you’ve just got actors who are very experienced in working on film and television, so they have an amazing vocabulary in just simply working in front of a camera. I think in terms of their names, I think what’s great is, they’re very eclectic and they’re very different in terms of the audience that they bring. Obviously, someone like Dominic has a huge following from THE WIRE, someone like Ben is an actor with such integrity and you look at the work he’s done with Jane Campion [BRIGHT STAR] and so much of his television work in the U.K. and you know it’s of quality. Romola Garai, she’s like my Lauren Bacall. I think she’s someone who is just absolutely exquisite. She’s just done ONE DAY, the Jim Sturgess movie, but at the same time, she’s done an amazing body of television work. So it was very exciting to get actors who move between two different mediums.

AX: Ben Whishaw’s character Freddie wants the anchor job and doesn’t get it, partly because he’s supposed to be less than photogenic. Of course, the actor is very photogenic …

MORGAN: Yeah, it’s tricky, I know. To be honest, it’s more in [the character’s] own mind. I think [Freddie] is the man who doesn’t realize how gorgeous he is, really. He’s someone who is oddly functioning and yet dysfunctional, and so I think his perception of himself is not actually what he is, which is, he’s a brilliant maverick and he’s clearly beautiful. [Whishaw] as an actor is a chameleon and I think he was brilliant at being able to kind of turn on a sixpence and be both someone who was infuriating and provocative, but also at the same time, I hope through the series you see [Freddie] grow up and develop into more of a man, really.
Joshua McGuire, Lisa Greenwood, Anna Chancellor, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Dominic West, Oona Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Anton Lesser in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

Joshua McGuire, Lisa Greenwood, Anna Chancellor, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Dominic West, Oona Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Anton Lesser in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

AX: If THE HOUR is picked up for a second season, when would it be set in relation to the current season?

MORGAN: I think nine months in the future, and that’s because when I decided to explore big historical events, I was really interested in the launch of Sputnik, the birth of CND [the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament], the anti-nuclear movement, and also the kind of racial tensions that were happening near ’58 in Notting Hill, so I liked the idea of a fusion of three very different sort of news stories of the time.

AX: When you get into the racial issues, is Bel going to have any kind of fellow feeling about, “These are people who, like me, are having a hard time getting ahead within the status quo”?

MORGAN: I think what I quite like about potentially going into an area of shifting [society], the arrival of a new culture, new immigrants, is that actually it sort of throws up what it feels like to be a minority and I think there are probably parallels with Bel’s story with that.

AX: Besides IRON LADY, do you have any other projects going on?

MORGAN: I’ve just worked on a couple of feature films. I wrote a film called SHAME with the director Steve McQueen, [starring] Michael Fassbender and Cary Mulligan, and I’ve just done an adaptation of BIRDSONG, which is the Sebastian Faulks novel, which is going to be aired on BBC1 in January.

AX: And you’d said you like things that have twist endings. Should we be looking for a twist at the end of this season of THE HOUR?

MORGAN: I think mainly it’s a thriller that resolves itself, and I hope it resolves itself in a satisfying and surprising way, so yeah

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Post by Admin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:38 am

Carey Mulligan, Michael Fassbender to Be Uncensored in Shame (video)
By TheImproper, September 5th, 2011

Carey Mulligan racy nude scenes in Steve McQueen’s provocative film “Shame,” won’t be cut when the film premieres in the United States. McQueen is refusing to bow to censors and will go with an NC-17 rating.

Both Mulligan and hearthrob lead actor Michael Fassbender will appear in several scenes full-frontal naked.

The sexually provocative scenes are enough to guarantee an NC-17 rating here in the United States, according to Deadline Hollywood.

But McQueen isn’t editing it even if skittish distributors want to water down the film to an “R” rating.

The difference is important because it could affect where the picture is shown and how many theaters carry it.

Fassbender plays Brendan, a New York office worker who is a compulsive sex addict.

“Courtship…is not crucial to Brendan’s sex life. He studies violent porn on his computers at home and at work,” writes Time’s Richard Corliss, who previewed the film at the Venice Film Festival.

“He masturbates in the shower and in the office men’s room; he enlists the services of call girls, pounding his manhood into them with expertise and, in the ferocity of his features, a hint of desperation.”

His lifestyle is upended when his needy sister, played by Mulligan, arrives and needs a place to stay.

Adds Deadline: “The first two showings of ‘Shame’ today were mixed. Some hated it and some appreciated it, but no seemed to be doing cartwheels except critics in Venice.

Beside “Shame,” Fassbender is also starring in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” opposite Kiera Knightley.

He plays Swiss doctor Carl Jung to Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud.

Check out this brief clip from “Shame,” and check out the newly released stills above.

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm

Friday, September 9 - 11:52 am ET
prev Previous Post | Next Post next
Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Fassbender Are Playing Sex Addicts in 12 Steps and Shame
2 days ago by Natalie Zutter

Big news: Sex addiction is now sexy, instead of sad! Instead of us turning away in embarrassment when David Duchovny goes to rehab, we’re eagerly waiting to see GOOP goddess Gwyneth Paltrow and our not-so-secret love Michael Fassbender playing folks who just can’t shake the habit. Sadly, they’re not in the same movie, because wouldn’t that make for just the screwiest rom-com! Gwyn’s in a support group in 12 Steps, whereas Michael’s journey is a lot grittier and lonelier in Shame. Let’s compare the two.

The Gory Details

What don’t we know about Michael’s intense role? His character Brendan watches violent porn at home and at work; pursues co-workers, strangers, and prostitutes; and masturbates anywhere he can, including the men’s room. TIME reports that the filmmakers didn’t seem to pull any punches, and the movie will probably garner an NC-17 rating.

On the other hand, we didn’t get a preview of Gwyneth’s indiscretions. We know only that she plays Phoebe, a businesswoman — wanna bet that her addiction will conflict with her professional life?

Support System

Brendan’s only two nonsexual relationships are shaky ones, with his boss who admires him for his Casanova life, and his suicidal singer sister Carey Mulligan. Phoebe, of course, has her actual support group, which counts among its ranks Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo; Joely Richardson also stars as Tim’s wife.

True Love?

Brendan tries to pursue a co-worker, but from the review it sounds like he has trouble getting off is the sex isn’t anonymous and in a public place. Alternatively, Phoebe copies Gwyn’s Country Strong character in falling for a fellow rehab member, Mark Ruffalo’s character.

Feel-Good Factor

Sharing is definitely being described as a “dramatic comedy”; it won’t be as irreverent as Chuck Palahniuk‘s Choke, but it’ll add some humor to the recovery tale. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Shame, which is definitely sexy but mostly bleak and desperate.

Both sound fantastic, and we’re really psyched to check ‘em out. Of course, it may be a while before we get to see naked Michael Fassbender screwing everything that moves (thanks to Shame‘s penchant for full-frontal nudity), which would be the cruelest fate of all. But as TresSugar points out, Hollywood itself has a bit of a sex addiction lately, greenlighting steamy movies like Michael’s other project A Dangerous Method: He plays Carl Jung and has a love triangle with Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and the woman who comes between them (Keira Knightley).

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Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:46 pm

MOVIE BLOG: Re-defining the NC-17 rating

By Naomi Creason, Sentinel Reporter, September 14, 2011 | Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:40 am

Actor Michael Fassbender holds his Best Actor award for his role in the film "Shame," during the award ceremony of the 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011.

When you hear that a movie is rated NC-17, classic cinema is likely not the first thing that comes to mind first.

The rating has been around for about 20 years, but it's mostly been associated with pornographic movies, even if those aren't the only ones that receive the rating. Recently, however, the rating has come under scrutiny by people in the film industry who think that the rating system needs to be redefined to reflect the movie that's being rated.

This came about last year when "Blue Valentine" was getting Oscar attention, but the MPAA had given it an NC-17 rating for one scene in the movie - though it did later drop it to an R rating. This year, "Shame" is also making waves with critics and while it hasn't received a rating yet, everyone who's seen it can guess what the result will be - NC-17.

Both "Blue Valentine" and "Shame" tackle the higher-rated scenes with a frankness of a dramatic film, but where the studio was able to argue down the rating for "Blue Valentine" without changing it, it's doubtful the same could happen for "Shame." "Blue Valentine" focused on the deteriorating relationship of a married couple, but "Shame" puts sexuality at the forefront of the film, focusing on a man's inability to form sustaining relationships because of the prevalence of accessible pornography and general sexual excess in Western society. The movie has plenty of instances that would warrant an NC-17 rating, and director Steve McQueen is more of an auteur director and unlikely to cut anything out to match an R rating from the MPAA.

And unfortunately for "Shame," getting that NC-17 rating may be a death sentence.

Because no one under 17 can see it and "NC-17" is seen as a non-family oriented rating, a movie with that rating is heavily limited in where it can be shown and who can carry it. According to the Guardian, newspapers and TV stations won't feature ads for the movie (which makes marketing the film almost non-existent), many theaters will not show a movie with that kind of rating, and Blockbuster and Walmart refuse to stock NC-17 movies on their shelves.

The rating may also affect a movie's chances at the Academy Awards. No NC-17 rated film has ever won an Academy Award in a major category, and like "Blue Valentine," that poses a threat to "Shame," especially since Michael Fassbender who stars as the lead in the film picked up the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend for his role.

"Shame" was picked up by Fox Searchlight, but now the studio and crew are waiting to see what the MPAA will give the film that could be a contender at this year's Oscars race.

Given that movies like these two are coming out and are pushing the boundaries of what people usually see on screen in a way that is important to the story (or vital to it as in the case of "Shame"), I think that maybe this is another reason why the MPAA might consider how it rates its movies, and maybe a reason why businesses that deal with selling and marketing movies should reconsider their stance on a once controversial rating.

What do you think of the NC-17 rating? Should the MPAA reconsider how they give the rating? Should movies that get it still adhere to the limitations given to all NC-17 rated movies? Leave a comment or email me at

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:24 am

Tue., Sep. 13, 2011, 8:10am PT
Alta takes 'Shame' in Spain
Michael Fassbender starrer screens at San Sebastian
By Emiliano De Pablos

MADRID -- Spain's top arthouse/crossover distributor Alta Films has bought local distribution rights to Steve McQueen's tale of sexual addiction "Shame," whose lede thesp Michael Fassbender won the best actor nod at the Venice festival on Saturday.

Execs at Alta and London-based sales company Hanway Films negotiated the deal at the Toronto festival.

Shame's" Spanish premiere will take place Sept. 21 at the San Sebastian festival, where pic screens as part of the main Zabaltegi-Pearls sidebar.

Spanish distribbery sources confirmed that McQueen and Fassbender will attend the San Sebastian screening.

Madrid-based distrib-exhibitor Alta will have a strong presence at this year's San Sebastian edition, which kicks off Friday.

Sarah Polley-directed extramarital affair drama "Take this Waltz," an Alta pickup, contends in Competition.

Other Spanish premieres by Alta-handled movies at San Sebastian include Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes hit "The Artist," and Nadine Labaki's comedy "Where Do We Go Now?," with both titles also screening in Zabaltegi-Pearls.

Contact the Variety newsroom at

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:47 am

“Shame” Director Will Not Cut Anything to Avoid NC-17 Rating
09/12/11 4:36pm Roger Friedman 1

Two big movies at the Toronto Film Festival: “Shame” starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan; and “Albert Nobbs,” with Glenn Close and Janet McTeer. Full frontal nudity for everyone! Fassbender goes the full monty a few times, also masturbates, and gets orally satisfied in a gay bar. “Shame” is from English director Steve McQueen (whose parents obviously were not “Bullit” fans.)

Fox Searchlight picked it up, and it’s going to be NC-17 because while it’s not exactly titillating, it is full of graphic sex. Fassbender goes on the shortlist for Best Actor, Mulligan for Best Supporting Actress. The film and director are serious contenders for awards, too. This is a film about a sex and porn addict who is unrepentant. You will not be watching this movie with your parents or your kids. But it is riveting. Fassbender is the new “it” guy. He is also here with David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method.” He’s suave, handsome, sexy and smart. Go back and watch him in “Inglourious Basterds.” He’s part of the famous bar scene.

Director McQueen told me the other night that he will cut any part of this film to get an R rating. Not the three way sex, the gay sex, the self pleasuring, the prostitute, Mulligan and Fassbender–as brother and sister–naked on top of each other or Mulligan quite bloody. So this will be problematic as newspapers and TV will not take ads for NC-17 movies.

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Post by Admin on Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:30 pm

Steve McQueen's Shame: Part 2

Alot of what Shame is, is the torture of sex addiction. Like in Hunger, Fassbender starved himself literally to convince us he was Bobby Sands. Now as Brandon he is romping around Manhattan in very gritty and despondent scenes. People are focusing on the sex and who can blame them? Fassbender had me convinced that he was Connor and I disliked him. Had I known he was Magneto I would have never seen X-Men. I knew his face and later his name. Now as Brandon those who will be introduced to him in Shame will associated him as this gallivanting man who scores around Manhattan while not winning over his addiction.

Older fans in the UK saw him in roles that varied as his star rose. American audiences versus European ones have a strange taboo relationship with alcohol and sex. So the response on different sides of the Atlantic will be interesting to see observe. If I thought Fassbender was Connor people who didn’t see Hunger or Fish Tank could think he is Brandon. Fortunately, A Dangerous Method will be released in the US before Shame. Those who see the Cronenberg film first may associate him with Dr. Jung and may make the connection to Shame via the S&M scenes with Sabina. All this could mean that Fassbender may win over a different kind of fan now.

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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:39 am

What's The Worst First-Date Movie?

Posted on Thursday October 20, 2011, 10:47 by Helen O'Hara in Empire States
What's The Worst First-Date Movie?

Myself and a few of my colleagues went to see Shame last night, the new Steve McQueen film starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Now it's an excellent film and highly recommended, with one caveat: on NO account go see it with a date who you do not know well. It may, with its depiction of meaningless sex and desperate loneliness, be the worst first-date film we've ever seen - certainly the worst which is also a very good film.

This dubious distinction puts it alongside the likes of David Cronenberg's Crash (might make an unwary date think you're a weirdo) or The Human Centipede (will make them think you're a twisted perv) on the list of films that could scupper a relationship before it even starts. But what else would you nominate for the same category?

Understand, we're not saying that these are necessarily bad films, just films that risk making you look like a bad person. And the problem is identifying which ones they are. For example, during a Twitter discussion of this point the lovely @merazad mentioned Deep Blue Sea as a terrible first date movie, since, she said, it's a terrible movie. But the gentleman who accompanied her ended up loving it while she rooted for the sharks to eat the cast. Actually, I'd beg to disagree there: I think that's not a bad result. At least you know immediately that your movie tastes are not compatible. In the same way, the date I went on to see Fight Club proved most productive: he didn't like it, and I immediately knew that it wasn't going to work. Ultimately, first-date movies that one of you loves and the other loathes may not be a bad indicator of compatibility.

In contrast, the upcoming Terrence Davies film The Deep Blue Sea (Rachel Weisz, not smart sharks; quality, not cheese) is probably a bad first date movie because of its focus on disastrous romances and generally rather downbeat / realistic (delete according to your natural levels of cynicism) mood onscreen. It doesn't exactly create an optimistic mood for the thrumming of heartstrings afterwards, and might additionally cramp your style if you're just after a quick fling, since the film doesn't paint that as a cure for the world's ills either.

I'm not saying, by the way, that the cinema's an ideal first date: the whole sitting-in-the-dark-not-talking thing isn't the most time-efficient way of getting to know someone, after all. But if you do go, it's worth putting a little time and effort into the choice of film. Romantic dramas and the more serious sort of character piece are generally a bad idea; cheesy over-the-top action might divide you, and even epicly cool David Fincher classics aren't beloved by everyone (go figure). A crime thriller's probably a safe choice, as are most blockbusters, but beyond that, it's a minefield.

Basically, until you know one another well, choose with care. But what can you recommend or disrecommend as dating options? Do you go for something divisive early on, on the basis that you might as well know? Or do you try to ease 'em in gently?

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Post by Admin on Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:28 pm

Men's Lives
Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, big-screen male nudity—Will Ferrell's butt, anyone?—was played for laughs. This is no longer true. Don't believe us—try watching True Blood without seeing naked-vampire man parts. It seems that sexual objectification has gone testicular. One woman explains why it's just not working for her
by Julieanne Smolinski
November 2011

If you've been to the movies at all this year, or if you own a TV, you have probably been accosted by Ryan Gosling's nipples (in Crazy Stupid Love).

Or Justin Timberlake's dimpled, shapely ass (Friends with Benefits). Or Alexander Skarsgård's long, fatless Swedish vampire everything (on True Blood, where the man couldn't keep his pants on with a staple gun). And get ready, if you care for serious films about sex addiction and creative oral sex, to spend an hour and a half staring at Michael Fassbender's admirable junk. The sort of thing most men avoid directly looking at even while safely at home watching YouPorn can now be seen in mixed company while eating Jujyfruits. A girl could be excused for believing a kind of ballcentric sexual devolution was afoot.

I think it has something to do with the arrival of the era of the female gross-out comedy. Since women are now finally allowed to make fart jokes (thank you, Bridesmaids!), studios must believe that it's high time to start letting men play sex objects. It would only seem logical. We've heard for years that we're living in an age of unprecedented male vanity, when men freely get eyebrow waxes and Matthew McConaughey foists his upper torso on all of us—not to mention that right now you're reading a magazine that dedicates four pages to telling you how to look hot while camping. That Hollywood would like to cash in on our new comfort with the male body should hardly be surprising—they probably believe it won't be long before The Bucket List 2 looks more like 300. The only question is whether there's an audience out there for it.

As just one female voice, I would like to say: not yet.

Part of the problem is vestigial. We're conditioned to see male nudity and think: funny! Like, say, Will Ferrell's butt. Or all those naked people in The Full Monty. Our discomfort with the male member has long been mined to make us laugh—Graham Chapman's penis was actually the first one I'd ever seen. (I'm not counting Mark Wahlberg's in Boogie Nights, which is really closer in spirit to a Muppet than to a sexual part.) That is, in my opinion, the sole advantage the male apparatus has over the female: Our junk just isn't as funny. It's not as kinetic. It will probably never make anyone laugh, nor would it be medically possible to watch a woman's genitals flop around while she cries, like Jason Segel's did so memorably in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Even aside from the actual cock shot, it's hard for me to process, let alone get turned on by, all the general eye-f#%@#&! of the newly bare male form. When the camera lingers on Justin's bare-butt musculature, I might as well be trying to get turned on by a Michelangelo sculpture.

Actors in cock socks are people, too. Here's what four famously nude men have said about undressing on-screen.—Lauren Bans

Ewan McGregor
(Young Adam)
"I try not to limit myself in all respects. Sexuality is just one of them. I could understand saying, 'I would never do gratuitous nudity.' Wait—no. I probably would. I'd probably be quite happy to. I remember getting a kind of rush out of [going full-frontal] that first time, a slight feeling of power about it, you know?"

Thomas Jane
"I now know what it's like to be a woman, because I now have to say during a conversation, 'Hey, my eyes are up here!' "

Jason Segel
(Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
"Judd [Apatow] is a male-nudity enthusiast. He's been undressing me slowly on-camera over the past ten years."

Alexander Skarsgåd
(True Blood)
"I'm not a prude at all. I shot a very graphic scene with a man. I am from Sweden, and it's different there. If it makes sense, I'll just do it. So far, it's made sense every single time I've got naked or made out on the show."

And then there's the problem of the male erection. Women's sex bits lack the mood-ring quality of the penis, which makes them much more versatile, acting-wise. When you see a penis on-screen, you can't help but wonder about its mood. And what got it in that mood in the first place. Or what didn't. Gee, he doesn't seem to be that excited to be naked with Mila Kunis. (Because, of course, the boner is the last frontier: It's now the only thing that separates HBO from Vivid Video.) And women, being more prone to compassion, will start wondering if it's being treated well. Was the Humane Society on-set to make sure no dogs were embarrassed? Who's applying the makeup to ensure a perfectly matte scrotum? How was the walk from the trailer, and did a set full of teamsters watch? if the thing looks especially bashful, you can't help but worry, "Poor Viggo! He looks cold."

Finally, we must confront the patent appearance of the stuff itself. An actress showing her breasts is something that can be done tastefully and artfully. I don't know if that can or will ever be said for balls. I'm not going to lie and say I wouldn't enjoy stumbling upon Alexander Skarsgåd without clothes at, say, one of those natural Swedish hot springs. But I just can't ever conceive of seeing his coin purse on TV covered in white vampire makeup and not wanting to cover my face with my hands.

Maybe all my trepidation will disappear with time. Maybe all it requires for me to see a scrotum and think, Delish! I'd like to watch that for five minutes, is a few years of desensitization. A few years in which watching the camera slow-motion-molest naked actors becomes as commonplace in mainstream cinema as it is in, say, French yogurt commercials. Until that happens, though, I'll remain unaroused, spending the nude scenes contemplating whether that old trope about the camera adding ten pounds has finally been to someone's advantage.

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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:27 pm

SHAME on Fox Searchlight
(Monday, 24 October 2011 20:20)

By David Outten, Production Editor

Fox Searchlight Pictures, a subsidiary of News Corp., has purchased the US. rights to distribute the movie SHAME about sex addiction and incest. The movie is so offensive it is fully expected to receive an NC-17 rating. Nevertheless, Fox Searchlight is planning to mount a campaign to get the movie nominated for a best actor and best picture Academy Award.

Steve Gilula, president of Fox Searchlight, said, "I think NC-17 is a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter. We believe it is time for the rating to become usable in a serious manner."

Fox Searchlight released the highly offensive movie BLACK SWAN last year which did receive Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing . Movieguide summarized the movie this way: "BLACK SWAN details the violent descent into madness of a ballerina named Nina who has screaming fights with her overprotective mother. BLACK SWAN is an extremely unpleasant movie, packed with some of the most bizarrely unhinged, over-the-top and immoral behavior to be seen on the big screen in ages, including graphic sexual content and extreme violence."

At the very time Christian movies like COURAGEOUS are showing strength at the box-office, there are those in Hollywood intent on promoting and distributing ever more vulgar, violent and pornographic movies. These efforts are not reserved for a few art houses in New York and Los Angeles. By promoting these movies as possible Academy Award nominees they seek to make them available across America. With it's award nominations BLACK SWAN eventually made it into 2,407 and grossed $107 million in the US.

While overall Christian content is on the rise and the family film business is booming there are segments of the industry that push even the six major media companies deeper and deeper into immorality. 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are subsidiaries of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. In an open letter published on News Corp's website Murdoch writes:

"For more than a half century, News Corporation has shaped global media by ensuring the public’s needs are met and that our offerings are of the highest caliber. Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world trust us for the best quality and choice in news, sports and entertainment.

"This public trust is our Company’s most valuable asset: one earned every day through our scrupulous adherence to the principles of integrity and fair dealing."

SHAME does not fit with this statement. By releasing SHAME and promoting the exhibition of NC-17 movies in local American theaters News Corp breaks trust with people around the world. Murdoch risks losing what he calls his "most valuable asset."

It is not enough just to avoid going to filthy movies that come to your local theater. Christians are called to be salt and light in society. A petition calling on News Corp and Fox Searchlight not to release SHAME would help let Mr. Murdoch know that many thousands of Americans do care about the products he seeks to have shown in our communities, and that by releasing SHAME on America be breaks the public trust he claims to value.

Rupert Murdoch

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

News Corporation

1211 Avenue of Americas

New York, New York 10036

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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:00 pm

Section | Arts, Film, Film Features
Devil’s Advocate: The censors will watch rape all day long but for God’s sake don’t show them your penis

By Ross Jones-Morris | Last updated: 06:17, 03/11/2011
Devil’s Advocate: The censors will watch rape all day long but for God’s sake don’t show them your penis

When Michael Fassbender parades around your latest with his chap out you know you’re in for trouble. Alas, the artist (and now accomplished film director) Steve McQueen seems unfazed by such bother with his latest cinematic effort revelling in it’s realistic depiction of sex addiction, and as much as the American ratings board hates to see it, that inevitably includes some genitals. On screen genitals. Literal, on-screen, bodily genitals.

Now you may think that I’m overstating the presence of genitals here, but for the MPAA (the American censors) and to a lesser extent the BBFC they are a not inconsiderable sign of depraved horrendousness. Whilst The Hangover, The Life of Brian, The Inbetweeners Movie and Forgetting Sarah Marshall have easily passed through the ratings system by showing us the comical side of man’s silliest of endowments, when it comes to sexualising genitalia the MPAA often loses its sense of humour a little.

In the case of McQueen’s Shame the sexually explicit film has been awarded an NC-17 rating by the MPAA due to its extensive and one must assume sexualised depiction of its lead actor’s penis. In real terms this rating equates to the British ‘18’ rating but whilst over here such a classification raises no controversy whatsoever, the American equivalent is box-office poison.

Like a lingering disease cured only by cuts to the most nefarious bits of your running time, the NC-17 has long been the leper of US distribution. Many American cinema chains both refuse to promote and flat out refuse to show NC-17 rated films due to the institutionalised stigma that comes with them. Choked from screenings and public goodwill they often fall by the wayside and it is extremely rare for a film to not appeal against what is often considered a label of shame. With Shame however Fox Searchlight seeks to change all that by embracing the NC-17 as “a badge of honour, not a scarlet letter.” Their dogged promotion of the film and it’s likely candidacy for awards consideration come New Year may just be what is needed to break the taboo of the most divisive of classifications once and for all.

Though it may sound fair enough to award Shame what is functionally an ‘18’ rating, all the board requires of them to receive the generally acceptable R certificate is to cut out Fassbender’s explicit bits. But when a film treats its subject matter as maturely as Shame seems to and with an uncompromising artistry that is hard not to respect, why should the directors unflinching portrayal of sex have to get in the way of societally acceptable distribution in America? Genitals given the right context aren’t generally considered to be morally offensive or “liable to deprave or corrupt” so why is their sexualised depiction treated in the same leagues as sexual violence? Any matter of fact on-screen delivery of consentual sex is always going to be less disturbing than a rape scene or a graphic and realistically delivered murder, right? Anyway, anyone who is likely to be depraved or corrupted by the sight of a penis is probably as mad as a box of Von Trier’s to begin with.

One may see the problem here as being with the inherent stigma attached to the NC-17 by cinema chains and the public at large but the MPAA has a lot to answer for. When disturbing and sexually explicit films like Requiem for a Dream (even with its required cuts), Blue Valentine (after extensive appeals) and Last House on the Left (delivered with no shortage of rape, torture and murder) receive ‘R’ ratings it’s hard to see why a film like Shame should be unfairly maligned just because it’s lead actor literally couldn’t keep it in his pants. He’s playing a sex addict, what did they expect?

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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:05 pm

On orgasms
By Roger Ebert on November 15, 2011 3:15 PM |

yes_logo.pngThe two most important things that can happen to you in a mainstream movie are being killed and having an orgasm. Sometimes in facial close-ups it's hard to tell one from the other. When Pauline Kael saw that wall poster in Italy saying "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," she sensed she was onto something.

I've recently seen two movies centering on orgasms. The most intense is Steve McQueen's "Shame," starring Michael Fassbender as a sex addict. I think I'll save my observations about that one for my review. Hardly less intense was Louis Malle's "Damage" (1992), about an affair between a man and his son's bride-to-be. It made an impression on me at the time, and I was scouting it for a possible Great Movie review. It reminded me how important orgasms can be in the cinema.

Most movie orgasms are perfunctory. Often we start with an action movie, introduce a woman, and then it becomes semi-obligatory for the hero to have sex with the woman. Routine examples of this can be found in the Bond films. His sex must be devoid of emotional significance, or 007's eyes would be deep, sunken pits after sleepless nights spent recalling the 30 or so women who have lost their lives after sleeping with him. Often a Bond movie will close with Bond and one of the women relaxing on an idyllic isle, but at the start of the next film these promising relationships have not survived. Possibly there's something sexually flawed about James.


On the other hand, orgasm is very, very important in "Damage." It is almost all there is. Soon after the film opens, Dr. Stephen Fleming (Jeremy Irons) is at a social event with Anna Barton (Juliette Binoche). Their eyes lock across the room. Neither one breaks eye contact. Each holds the other's gaze for one interminable second after another, until so much time has passed that we, in the audience, realize we are holding our breath. There might have been a moment when they could have broken the spell, but they chose not to, continuing the moment far beyond the bounds of propriety or reason--particularly since Anna has just told Stephen that she is his son's fiancée.

This moment is followed by another that is remarkable for being so abrupt. Stephen sits at his desk. The telephone rings. A voice: "It's Anna." He replies: "Tell me where you are and I'll be there within an hour." And so begins their love affair, passionate and obsessive, reckless and heedless of harm to others. It is not that they want to hurt anyone, and it is not even that they want a sexual dalliance. This is something different. Indeed, they both love Martyn (Rupert Graves), Stephen's son, and plans for the marriage of Martyn and Anna continue uninterrupted.


What happens in "Damage," based on a best-selling novel by Josephine Hart, is open to much interpretation, mostly about her motives. About Stephen there can be no doubt. He is in the grip of erotomania. He must have orgasms with this woman. They betray his son, his wife, his marriage. They endanger his position, as a high official who has been mentioned to become a cabinet minister. They have sex together suddenly, passionately, recklessly, outside all prudence and care.

There is perhaps an insight here into why we read so frequently about politicians, executives, clerics and others putting their lives at risk for a few minutes of sex. Their jobs depend on exercising power over others. Why would the football coach Jerry Sandusky endanger his entire life by seeking an orgasm with a 10-year-old boy in a public place? I don't believe exhibitionism begins to explain it. I believe at that moment the compulsion to experience an orgasm became overwhelming. He was driven to express it by exercising his power over the helplessness of his victims. Calling it "horsing around," as the coach does, is pitiful. It is rape. There is a need for orgasm, and the occasion demands it. He's out of control. "Damage" and "Sandusky are not parallels, but both show men who are the instruments of their destructive needs.

An orgasm after all is no very big deal. We can have one in a dream. Masturbation is common in all societies. In the recent obituaries for Cynthia Myers, the famous Playmate who died at 61, many bloggers spoke frankly about how she inspired their private pleasures. "The time was November 1968," wrote a blogger named Steve Sullivan, "The 13-year old kid in Fairfax, Virginia had nervously purchased his first Playboy with the August issue at the People's Drug Store just a few blocks away, and upon discovering the forbidden world of fantasy females he was hooked for life. The December issue--with its bulging girth and the stunning brunette serving as a human Christmas tree on the cover-looked especially promising. His fumbling fingers made their way to the centerfold."


Later he met her, liked her, had dinner with her, and was eventually to write a memorial article about her. I knew Cynthia Myers, a sweet and gentle woman (she starred in "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"), and also, through working with Russ Meyer, I met many other famous pin-ups: Erica Gavin,Kitten Natividad, Tura Satana, Dolly Read, Uschi Digard, Shari Eubank, Raven de la Croix. Once Russ and I went to meet Kitten at the Other Ball, a strip club in the Valley. After her act, she joined us and introduced us to a little old man who had been applauding her. "This is my Number One Fan," she said, not without both humor and pride. "He never misses a single performance. He drives to every club I appear in. He brought me flowers today." She put her hand behind his neck and pulled him toward her to kiss the top of his bald head, to the delight of his nose.

If they want one, there is a lifelong career for women who have become famous as centerfolds, pinups or porn stars. It involves appearing at events held around the country, often at airport hotels, with names like GlamourCon. Each star sits behind her own table, sells glossy photos and DVDs, autographs them, and chats a little with her fans. Even when they are 70, some "idols" (as the Japanese call them) are still popular. Nobody says so, but these events are inspired by masturbation that took place years ago. The women know it, and are realistic. In a world which gives them little enough respect, here they are goddesses.

For most people of both sexes, masturbation provides a release. For some unlucky people, an actual physical act with another person must be involved. Here, too, such escape is easily had through prostitution. But some unlucky men (and some women) need more. They lock eyes with an object of obsession, and their attention narrows. From the moment Dr. Stephen Fleming locked eyes with Anna Barton across the room, one thing occupied his entire mind--and apparently hers we well. He had to have an orgasm with her.


I've never felt that strongly. Oh, I've felt lust in my heart, as Jimmy Carter confessed, but never an uncontrollable need. The tragedy for a man like Jerry Sandusky (if the charges are true) is that he had no controls. It was a much greater tragedy for his victims. The way he described his actions in the TV interview was chilling in its pathology. In his very choice of words ("horsing around") he was providing a glimpse of how he rationalized acts that were in direct contradiction to what he and his "Second Mile" foundation stood for. In his mind, he probably isn't guilty. The sinner always finds himself easiest to forgive. If you could probe deeply enough, you might get him to claim he acted out of love. He displaced his compulsions into denial.

Recently I've had been having a conversation with a friend of mine who mentioned the size of his socks in his blog. He received an email from a man offering him money for the socks. Deciding to satisfy his curiosity, he wrote back asking the man what it was about the socks that interested him. The man wrote back promptly and openly. He wanted to smell the socks, feel them, worship them. No doubt masturbation would have been involved. I don't understand this. The man understand it very well, and is willing to talk about it, because that's the way he is.


We are probably all hard-wired with our sexual desires. Most of them fall within the broad range of permitted human activities. Some do not, and those having them are very unfortunate indeed. From time to time a shoe fetishist will get into the news. There was a great film director, Luis Bunuel, who had that fetish for a lifetime, and often featured it in his films. As Catherine Deneuve is being dragged across a forest floor in "Belle de Jour" by a couple of coach drivers, Bunuel's tracking shot follows not her face, not her body, but her shoes. "That was a wonderful afternoon little Luis spent on the floor of his mother's closet," Pauline Kael wrote, "and he's been sharing it with us ever since."

All of this is by way of preface to my review of "Shame," which opens in Chicago on Dec. 2, and is one of those rare great films I would not be eager to see twice.

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Post by Admin on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:18 pm

Newswire || by S.T. VanAirsdale || 11 28 2011 1:50 PM
Movieline’s Interactive Shame Map: Explore NYC With Director Steve McQueen

Leader image for Movieline's Interactive Shame Map: Explore NYC With Director Steve McQueen

Among the most admired (and controversial) films of 2011 is also one of the most striking New York-set movies in years: Shame, director Steve McQueen’s unflinching glimpse inside the life of Manhattan professional Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) as he struggles with sex addiction and his reckless sibling Sissy (Carey Mulligan). The quotidian nature of Brandon’s routine — subway commutes, nondescript office work, late-night jogs — not only mask his emotional freefall, but belie the everyday tensions, pleasures, challenges and privileges associated with living in one of the world’s most intoxicating cities. Now you can tryst where Brandon trysts, drink where Brandon drinks, and brood where Brandon broods thanks to Movieline’s interactive Shame location map.

By coincidence, people talk about it being a ‘New York movie,’ but really, it was about his ritual. That was it.

McQueen, who first visited New York as a child in 1977, said his ensuing trips to the city commenced an enduring fascination with the its inhabitants and functions. “I remember Elvis dying and the blackout,” he recalled in a recent chat with Movieline. “But the thing about Brandon — and it was very meticulous — was where he would live, where he would work, how he would travel to work, what he would eat, where he would eat, take-out, where he would do his laundry… etcetera, etcetera. So that was, for me, very important to me. By coincidence, people talk about it being a ‘New York movie,’ but really, it was about his ritual. That was it.”

After developing international renown as both a visual artist and a feature filmmaker (his debut Hunger, also starring Fassbender, won the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera D’Or prize in 2008), McQueen returned to New York for his second film — but only after he was essentially rebuffed in his first choice of London.

“No one would talk to us,” McQueen said. “I think it was a time when sex addiction was very much in the media, and I think people just went underground. Of course, people very wary of the British media in London, and I think people thought we were a part of that, and that therefore they couldn’t talk to anyone. So it was myself and Abi Morgan who flew to New York and talked to two experts in the field who happened to live here. Then they in turn introduced us to people who had the addiction or were recovering from the addiction, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, why don’t we just shoot it in New York?’ And that was it.”

McQueen’s sense for the city only translated so far to its practical locations, however. Enter David Velasco, a veteran location manager and scout and native New Yorker.

“I’d already known of Steven off of Hunger,” Velasco explained. “I was a big fan of that film, and that immediately piqued my interest. And when he explained the subject matter, that extra-piqued my interest. So when I got the script, I gave it a read-through, and right after the first read, I called him back right away and was like, ‘I’d love to do this. What do you need me to do to get on this project?’”

Working in concert with McQueen, cinematographer Sean Bobbitt and production designer Judy Becker, Velasco helped pin down a list of sites to evoke not just Brandon’s story, but Brandon himself. In the tradition of our interactive Drive map from earlier this fall, click on the map below for more information on each Shame location, and see each in action when Shame rolls out this Friday, Dec. 2, in limited release.

(WARNING: Some spoilers follow.)

Brandon’s Apartment
Address: 9 West 31st Street, 15th Floor
McQueen: “Something that’s fascinating to me about New Yorkers is that they live and work in the sky. It’s amazing. They live and work in the sky. And what it does, of course, is [introduce] a situation where there’s always a huge bloody window. There’s always a huge vista on the city, and you’re always framed by the city. I think it’s kind of interesting, because being framed by the city, you’re always in perspective of the city — and your own perspective of the city. It can actually be quite lonely in a way — to have that view all the time and be in the frame of this huge metropolis. What are you within that metropolis? What am I? Who am I? You’re always questioning in this view.”

Velasco: “The apartment is actually an empty apartment that we scored in the building. It was a one-bedroom, empty, on the market. Luckily we came across it. It was one of those fluke things where it happened to be available. I immediately jumped in there and talked to management and was able to secure it and hold it for the span of a month, and luckily there was another apartment that freed up for logistical purposes to use as a staging space. As you can imagine, it was a super-tight location to shoot in.”

McQueen: “Logistically it’s helpful to have everything in the same location — less time-consuming, to be honest. But also, I don’t see the reason why you’d want to make it any different. It is his building. This is Brandon — this is a way we identify with him, get to know him. This is it. It’s integral to the film, the same way that music he picks to play — the Glenn Gould — is integral to Brandon, too. There’s no way around that. I’m not making a TV commercial; I’m making a movie.”

Velasco: “All the other units were occupied; there were people across the hall, down the hall… We were surrounded by people. [Did you encounter any problems?] I kid you not: Not one complaint from one neighbor the entire time we were there. If anything, people were super-curious. At that point, Michael was starting to get some serious press because of the upcoming X-Men movie that was coming out. If anything, people were starting to poke around and catch a glimpse; they heard, ‘Oh, Michael Fassbender’s in the bulding.’” ↑

28 St N/R
Address: Intersection of Broadway and West 28th Street
McQueen: “It’s like rituals — it’s like tai chi: You follow the movement, and wherever the movement leads you, you go to it. Some place we wound up shooting were very ugly — the lot where Brandon runs back to his apartment or wherever. But you work with it, because those kinds of limitations are beautiful to me because I have to work with that. Again, I am not making TV commercials about being in a beautiful spot, and ‘This is gorgeous,’ and, ‘Oh, isn’t this great?’ None of that. It is about how people move and operate in the city. Like the subway. He takes the subway. It is what it is. Do you know what I mean? And I love that because it’s limiting, but it gives me so much. That’s the thing: It gives you so much that you have to deal with. Sometimes it’s a huge problem to have to deal with it, but it’s like… No. It gives you s$#!.”

Velasco: “The interesting thing with Steve from the very beginning was that his whole thing was, because of the nature of the material, Michael’s character has to be relatable — real, authentic — for the audience to make a connection. So when we started to lock down this world — like when we picked his apartment for instance — that’s why that train got picked. Right away, Steven said, ‘Well, if Brandon lives in this neighborhood, what train would he take to get the work?’ And Judy and I are from New York; we know it inside and out. So we said, ‘Yeah, 28th Street. Totally.’ Or in the jogging scene: ‘What direction would he go jogging in?’ Well, he would go toward the Hudson River. The train wound up being closest to his apartment building.” ↑

Brandon’s office
Address: Citigroup Center, 601 Lexington Avenue
Velasco: “There was a floor controlled by a legal company, and Judy had actually shot something there in a corner office not that long ago, but she remembered there had been this whole other wing to the floor that she had been on that nobody had bothered to do anything with. So we went up there with Steve and checked it out — checked out the sightlines — and made a deal. If I’m not mistaken, a couple months after we started shooting there, the legal company that owned the floor was in the process of gutting it out. So what you see on the screen no longer exists. I believe that might have been on the 33rd floor.” ↑

The ordinary for me here is extraordinary. That’s what it was about.

Sissy’s performance/Brandon and Marianne’s tryst
Address: The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street
Velasco: “Steven had spent time at The Standard when visiting New York, so during the process of him writing the script with Abi Morgan, he had always pictured that scene with Carey being there. Originally we thought we’d think about The Standard, but maybe we’d go find something else. But as time went on, and the more discussions we had, we said, ‘Well, if The Standard is where you want to be, and it’s what you imagined when you wrote it, why don’t we just do it there?’ It took some finagling with the hotel; they’re very particular about who does what there. Most of what they’ve ever allowed at The Standard is photo shoots. I think the only thing other than Shame that ever shot there was a piece of an episode of Gossip Girl — and that was like two people in a corner booth somewhere. You never even knew it was The Standard; it was just like this throwaway thing. […] The only reason that even happened was because one of the higher-ups on the board at The Standard was a fan of Steven’s — not just his movie work, but his work as a visual artist. It was for that reason that the door was cracked open and we were able to slip in.”

McQueen: [Was the impulse again about being in the sky?] “I kept on being up in the sky. I had just come off this plane; I was stuck in the sky. New Yorkers tilt their head to one side and look at me and say, ‘Is this guy crazy?’ But the views — when you look out at that broken jetty from The Standard Hotel? It’s amazing. It’s like people: some submerged, some with their heads just above water. It was that. The ordinary for me here is extraordinary. That’s what it was about. But at the same time, I’m not going for shots. I’m looking at how people move.”

Velasco: [On The Standard’s reputation for guests having sex in the windows] “What’s interesting about all that is when Steven first wrote the script, and I met with him and his producer Iain [Canning], I casually mentioned, ‘It’s interesting reading these scenes, because that’s actually happened at The Standard.’ And they looked at me kind of confused at first and asked, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I literally Googled ‘Standard Hotel’ and some other configuration for images and said, ‘Yeah: People have actually had sex against the glass, and it’s caused problems with the city.’ They were unaware that was a situation with the hotel. [Did the hotel management have apprehensions about the scenes or the subject matter?] Talking to the hotel about it, it’s something they really can’t control. People will complain and call the city, but going into it we were very clear about laying out exactly the nature of what we were trying to do with regard to the script. We didn’t sugarcoat anything, but we also made a point of saying, ‘It’s not a gratuitous thing.’ […] Of all things, the one thing that got the hotel rep nervous was that moment where Fassbender does a line of cocaine. ‘Oh my God — he’s actually gonna do coke?’ And I was like, ‘The coke bothers you, but everything else is OK? All right; that’s interesting.’” ↑

Business drinks (and “Shots!”)
Address: Flatiron Lounge, 37 West 19th Street
McQueen: “David was a genius. I spoke to him about bars that people go to and what not. We talked about that, and that was it. He did his research. That bar was perfect — the first bar he goes to with his boss to pick up girls. It’s just one of those things where you walk in and say, ‘This is good; this makes sense.’”

Velasco: “We searched for that for a while. It needed to feel like the kind of place that Brandon and his boss would go to after work, so we looked at a lot of different options for that. We came across that right as we were going into our last two weeks of preproduction — it’s one of the last things we settled on. It has some interesting detail to it, interior-wise. I believe we were there for actually two days.” ↑

Broken pedestrian signal
Address: Corner of West 31st Street and 7th Avenue
Velasco: “That’s kind of an interesting story. When we arrived there that night to shoot that run — which wasn’t an easy thing to get the city to allow us to do, but they relented — there was a food cart guy on that corner. Obviously he was in the shot where we wanted Fassbender to land before he crosses Seventh Avenue. So we actually asked him, ‘Can you move your cart?’ And the guy was nice about it; he’s like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ But he was kind of flaky, because he backed his cart up into the post, and apparently broke the signal. It was just hanging there. But Steve liked it: ‘Hey, let’s just leave it there.’ ‘All right; it’s your movie.’”

McQueen: “We could have put it back, but I left it like that. It was perfect. It was gorgeous. He knocked it down, and was like, ‘The police…’ ‘No, no, leave it. It’s fantastic. Wonderful.’ It was hand-in-glove for us. Perfect for that moment when Brandon is jogging on the spot before he crosses. It was genius.” ↑

Brandon’s thinking spot
Address: Pier 54, Hudson River at West 13th Street
Velasco: “The pier where he’s at when he’s looking at New Jersey at night, that’s the one he goes back to during the day — the exact same spot as before. Basically, Steve wanted that because in the story, [Brandon]’s from New Jersey. So he’d go down there occasionally to look at where he grew up — for whatever reason. That’s why he ends up going back down there toward the end.”

McQueen: “The thing about Brandon — and it was very meticulous — was where he would live, where he would work, how he would travel to work, what he would eat, where he would eat, take-out, where he would do his laundry… etcetera, etcetera. So that was, for me, very important to me. By coincidence, people talk about it being a ‘New York movie,’ but really, it was about his ritual. That was it.” ↑

Address: 98 Rivington Street
Velasco: “Judy and Steven both liked the intimacy of the location for one; two, the neighborhood it was in felt right.” [The server is vaguely incompetent, but isn’t that place renowned for knowledgeable servers and sommeliers?] Well, as far as the whole waiter part of it… We scouted a lot in preproduction — it was myself, Steven, Sean and Judy in a minivan going all over the city looking at location options. And in the course of that, we would always trade stories, especially Judy and myself, about going out to dinner, or great waiters or terrible waiters. And apparently it made an impression, because the next thing you know we’re watching them play this scene out and seeing the waiter do his thing, and we just started to laugh. He would do that a lot: Ask us or pick our brains, because again, he always wanted to draw from something real.” ↑

Brandon’s beating
Address: Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston Street
Velasco: “It’s a great bar. They’ve got that pool table in the back. We were there for I think one day of shooting. I remember taking Steven there for the first time; the minute he looked at it, he said, ‘This is great; this is where we want to do it.’ So that worked out perfect. [Where does he get beaten up?] That’s the corner right outside. The camera is facing Houston; you’re actually right next to the bar. It’s right there as soon as you walk out.” ↑

The nightclub
Address: Quo (exterior), 511 West 28th Street; The Eagle (interior upstairs), 554 W. 28th Street; Le Trapeze (interior downstairs), 17 East 27th Street
Velasco: [What’s the club that shuts Brandon out?] “That’s not even a club; that’s just an industrial storage locker. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s just some random guy who stores propane tanks in there. That’s technically the club entrance. [And then he crosses the street to a place called Quo?] That was one of the only times we actually did a Frankenstein and just created a location. It was such a specific thing that Steven wanted. It didn’t even start out that way: The bar he winds up in is Quo, which was on 28th Street. But when he walks in — that blackened room he walks into with the neon and he’s following the guy? That’s a leather bar also on 28th called The Eagle. And then we cut to the inside of one of the last active sex clubs in New York City — a place called Le Trapeze. That’s where you find him going through that blood-red labyrinth. They have this hidden upstairs area; we didn’t even know it was there. We were just about to leave, and Judy noticed some spiral stairs. ‘Hey, what’s that?’ And we walk upstairs and go, ‘Oh, this is nuts.’ And then he winds up in that booth — that booth was actually the only thing we built on a stage. Judy built that to mirror the labyrinth that we saw. So really it’s four different pieces that made up that one location.” ↑

Also see:

Williamsburg Bridge
Address: Delancey Street at FDR Drive ↑

Delancey F/J/M/Z subway stop
Address: Intersection of Delancey Street at Essex Street ↑

Fulton St. Exchange
Address: Intersection of Fulton Street at William Street ↑

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Post by Admin on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:52 pm

29 November 2011 Last updated at 19:28 ET

Will Shame change the game for the NC-17 rating?
By Tim Masters Entertainment and arts correspondent, BBC News

As Steve McQueen's sex addiction film Shame gets its US release, will it be helped or hindered by its restrictive NC-17 rating?

With its full-frontal nudity and scenes of group sex, it is no surprise that Shame - a British, independent film - was awarded an NC-17 rating by the US censor for its "explicit sexual content".

More unusual is how the film's US distributor Fox Searchlight has embraced the rating - often seen as a commercial kiss of death - as part of its publicity drive.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

Whether you like it or not, it's going to create a certain amount of controversy and debate”

Iain Canning, Shame producer

"Fox Searchlight have been very clear that the NC-17 certificate is a 'badge of honour'," says Shame's producer Iain Canning. "Whether you like it or not, it's going to create a certain amount of controversy and debate."

The rating restricts anyone under the age of 18 from attending a film. It is not uncommon for films which receive it to appeal or re-edit down to an R-rating - meaning that children under 17 can attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Shame, which stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, might have been expected to take that path to capitalise on its increasingly high profile.

It is nominated in seven categories at the British Independent Film Awards, which take place in London on Sunday - and is on the shortlist for best international film at the US equivalent, the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Fassbender plays Brandon, a successful New Yorker who is struggling with an addiction to sex and pornography. Mulligan is the sister who turns up unannounced at his apartment.
Michael Fassbender and director and co-writer Steve McQueen on the set of SHAME It is Michael Fassbender's second collaboration with director Steve McQueen - they made arthouse hit Hunger together in 2008

The role, which strips Fassbender naked both physically and emotionally, won him the best actor award at this year's Venice film festival.

The film industry is closely watching Shame's US release on Friday for signs that the stigma surrounding an NC-17 rating is starting to fade.

"It was thought to be the kiss of death because none of the major cinema chains would book an NC-17 film," explains Mike Goodridge, editor of Screen International.

"A film like Shame it can easily get around that because all the independent circuits will play an NC-17 - especially a film that's come with this much hoopla and pedigree. Fox Searchlight can use it to their advantage because it wears its sexual content on its sleeve."

"An NC-17 is the equivalent to our 18, but we don't have any stigma attached to our ratings," says Goodridge.
'Extreme cinema'

The NC-17 rating was introduced in 1990 after the original X-rating had become associated with the pornography industry. Midnight Cowboy is the only X or NC-17 film ever to have won an Oscar for best picture.
Carey Mulligan as Sissy in Shame Carey Mulligan plays Brandon's sister Sissy, the only person he can relate to

The MPAA says that NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic", and should not be "construed as a negative judgment in any sense".

Says Canning: "Being a British producer I don't normally come across it, but it's the most restrictive rating you can have, so it's seen to be the most extreme cinema."

He adds: "It will be interesting to see whether the rating will allow us to think this is suitable for a certain age range, without thinking it's got content which is questionable in other senses.

"I would argue that even recently with Ang Lee's Lust, Caution there has been a refocusing of that certificate to be about cinema for adults."

National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) president John Fithian told the Associated Press that Shame "is potentially an important step in the legitimate use of the NC-17".

"There just aren't very many movies released in the NC-17 rating anymore. We get maybe one or two a year. Filmmakers and movie studios are inappropriately afraid of the rating," he says.

Last year, the MPAA changed the rating for Blue Valentine from NC-17 to R after an appeal by distributor Harvey Weinstein. No cuts were made.

The marital breakdown drama, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, was rated 15 in the UK.

"I think the MPAA made a mistake," director Derek Cianfrance told the BBC last year. "They were humble and generous to reverse their decision and I have a lot of respect for them for that.

"It's started a big discussion in America about why is sex taboo and why is violence okay. I think the MPAA has to re-evaluate its stance on things."

Shame has been rated 18 by the BBFC in the UK, where it will be released on 13 January 2012 in the same week as Steven Spielberg's War Horse.
Producer Iain Canning on arrival for the Gala screening of Shame at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood Iain Canning also co-produced this year's Oscar winner The King's Speech

Fox Searchlight acquired US rights to Shame following its world premiere in Venice. Meanwhile, the film's UK distributor Momentum is gearing up for an extensive Bafta campaign.

Canning, who admits that he was not convinced that Shame would even find a US distributor before its premiere, says that cutting the film to avoid an NC-17 rating was never an option.

"Normally, a producer's role is to try and bring in an element of compromise between the film maker and the business side in order to maximise the audience," he says.

"Given the subject of Shame, we would be doing a disservice to all of the people we researched and spoke to if we had compromised on the content."

With Shame about to open in the US, Goodridge predicts that it will build up a strong word-of-mouth buzz on the arthouse circuit. "It's a film that affects people very deeply. It don't think it's titillating in any way."

And he doesn't think the NC-17 rating will scupper its chances during awards season.

"I don't think the voters give two hoots," he says. "Midnight Cowboy was an X and broke many taboos sexually at the time, so it's not like the Academy is scared of grown-up themes.

"But it is an ageing group and quite how they'll accept Shame with its rather frank story of addiction is a different matter."

Shame is released in the US on Friday and in UK cinemas 13 January 2012.

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Post by Admin on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:30 am

Dec 3 2011 01:10 PM ET


Add 'Shame' to the list of films you likely shouldn't watch with your parents this holiday season
by Keith Staskiewicz

Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures/Everett Collection

Watching Shame — Steve McQueen’s elliptical sophomore effort about sex-addict Michael Fassbender fassbending every last woman in New York City — in an audience comprised almost entirely of AARP members was an experience I was not expecting. Seriously, the median age in my theater was hovering somewhere around 68, which made the whole thing a bit like watching the heavily sexual NC-17 film not just with my parents, but with an entire roomful of parents. It was a bit awkward at first, until the awesome old Jewish man to my left replaced embarrassment with hilarity by leaning over to his wife after yet another of the protagonist’s many conquests and whispering in an amused voice, “He’s shtupping everybody!” That phrase has now joined “I’m going to church, yo!” (yelled by a man running full-speed out of Paranormal Activity) as one of my favorite things I’ve ever overheard in a cinema.

Usually my typical reaction to explicit sex scenes in a public setting is to furrow my brow, stroke my chin, and essentially try to look like I couldn’t possibly be thinking about anything other than the metaphorical implications of the director’s staging or his choice of lighting. But Shame actually manages to make that reaction true, because there are few things less sexy than Fassbender’s continuous dead-eyed, mechanical shtupping. He’s like his X-Men: First Class character Magneto, except replace metal with sex partners.

I’d imagine that those going to Shame solely with the purpose of catching a glimpse of a nude Fassbender in an NC-17 flick will be a bit surprised to realize that there’s a whole lot more crippling emotional suffering to be had than titillation. But still, if this coming holiday, your mother innocently suggests that you and the family all go see “that new movie with the X-Man,” you should probably try to steer her toward something a little more upbeat and a little less sexual and soul-deadening. Like, say, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Oh wait

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Post by Admin on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:20 am

12/1/11 at 3:00 PM

How Gratuitous Is Michael Fassbender’s Nudity in Shame?

By Kyle Buchanan

Steve McQueen's sex addiction drama Shame comes out tomorrow, and much of the prerelease attention has centered on one unlikely but prominent co-star in the NC-17 film: Michael Fassbender's penis. "Some of us have them and most of the rest have seen them, so what's the big deal?" Fassbender griped to us earlier this month, but since Ewan McGregor in the nineties, few male stars have deigned to take it all off onscreen. Still, if there's one compelling reason to drop trou, it's for a hopeful awards season contender! And so, just as we did last year with the frequently unclothed Anne Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs, we've decided to supply helpful, artistic justifications for all seven instances of nudity in Shame. Be warned: Sexual spoilers are forthcoming.

One minute in: In the very first shot of the movie, a nude and glassy-eyed Fassbender lays splayed out on his bed, his lower half covered only by a haphazardly applied bedsheet. After a long beat, he climbs out of his bed, logging his first full-frontal moment.
What this means artistically: "Here it is, folks! Literally 60 seconds after a dancing popcorn and soda exhorted you to to go to the lobby, we have given you the famous Fassdong. Now, can we move on like mature viewers?"

Two minutes in: After having sex, Fassbender walks around his apartment and checks his answering machine messages (people still have those?) in a routine fashion. He remains full frontal throughout.
What this means artistically: "Though getting laid often and having a terrific body may seem like a blast, do you see the torment and sadness in Fassbender's expression? ... Eyes up here, audience. That's not where his expression is."

Four minutes in: Different day, same s$#!: A going-through-the-motions Fassbender once again strolls full-frontal out of his bedroom, checks his messages, and proceeds to the bathroom. This time, though, we watch him from behind as he takes an extended piss.
What this means artistically: "This movie is definitely not War Horse."

Twenty minutes in: Carey Mulligan makes her considerably less heralded nude entrance, and like Fassbender before her, she is full-frontal in her very first scene in the movie.
What this means artistically: "Shame is so daring that we got an Oscar-nominated English rose to completely disrobe and that's maybe the fifth most notable thing we have to offer!"

One hour and six minutes in: His attempts to masturbate thwarted by a nosy sister, Fassbender once again shows his ass while grappling with Mulligan.
What this means artistically: "He's naked with his sister, and they're acting like it's normal! What does it mean, and can you handle it? This is some Stephanie Seymour s$#! right here, folks!"

One hour and nine minutes in: Fassbender has a nude liaison in the Standard Hotel and suffers a significant emotional setback.
What this means artistically: "Pity this man, for he can only consort with beautiful naked women he barely knows. Oscar voters, you've been there, right?"

One hour and twenty-six minutes in: Break out the red-tinted sex club, ménage à trois, and cry-orgasming: It's time for the saddest sextravaganza this side of Pier Paolo Pasolini!
What this means artistically: "While Michael Fassbender and several gorgeous actresses are nude throughout — and wait, is that analingus? — the sex they're engaging in is self-destructive and soul-destroying, even if it will admittedly make for terrific screen captures on Mr. Skin."

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Post by Admin on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:03 am

Shame will reopen NC-17 film rating debate

Henry & June was the first movie to receive the dreaded NC-17 film rating.

Be Social

By Vinay Menon
Entertainment Reporter
Dec 01, 2011

It has generated festival buzz, critical praise and early Oscar whispers. And when Shame is released on Friday, it will also revive a scorched debate about a film rating known as “the kiss of death.”

Shame arrives in U.S. theatres with an NC-17 rating (No One 17 And Under Admitted), the American equivalent of R (Restricted) in Ontario. But NC-17, unlike R, remains a cultural bomb south of the border.

Directed by Britain’s Steve McQueen, Shame revolves around the life of Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a New York man saddled with demons and sexual addictions. The movie is a dark commentary on modern society. It also includes frontal nudity, graphic depictions of sex and more carnal scenes than any other mainstream film in recent memory.

As such, nobody is disputing the rare NC-17 rating.

“In the case of Shame, the rating is well deserved,” says Mark Slone, senior vice president at Alliance Films, the movie’s Canadian distributor. “The film is absolutely adult content. It’s also thematically not appropriate for kids. It explores very weighty issues.”

The question is: Can it rise above the challenges posed by NC-17?

Since 1990, when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) created NC-17 to replace X, the rating has invoked fear and loathing inside Hollywood. NC-17 was supposed to erase the stigma associated with X, a rating hijacked by pornographers in the 1970s and ’80s.

“The NC-17 was supposed to be much more neutral,” says Charlie Keil, director of the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. “But the problem is everybody understood it immediately to be a substitute for the X. So it just shoved the problem over to a new category.”

What filmmakers and studios soon realized was the new category was as treacherous as the old one, especially when it came to marketing and distribution. Certain newspapers and television stations — the traditional outlets for film promotion — would not accept ads for NC-17 films. Exhibitors in some markets balked at showing them. As for VCR and DVD sales, outlets such as Blockbuster and Wal-Mart refused to stock them.

The first NC-17 film was Henry & June in 1990. Released just days after the rating was created, the movie earned strong reviews. But it only grossed about $11 million (U.S.) and, almost immediately, the “kiss of death” spectre had emerged.

“A major Hollywood company is not going to release a big-budget film under that rating,” says film historian Jonathan Kuntz. “They’ve never figured out exactly how to market that kind of a film to a large audience.”

The only NC-17 film to earn even a modest $20 million in the U.S. was Showgirls, the widely ridiculed stripper melodrama from 1995. So with no track record of financial success — and with so many obstacles to overcome — most studios facing an NC-17 rating either appeal the decision (as with last year’s Blue Valentine) or make whatever cuts are necessary to garner an R. (In the States, R means children under 17 can attend if accompanied by an adult. It is similar to Ontario’s RA.)

Is NC-17 a box office killer? Or has it become a red herring, one that’s conveniently blamed when a film fails to reach an audience?

“It’s been used sort of as a whipping boy,” says Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research at the Washington-based National Association of Theatre Owners. “It makes for good stories about how the MPAA is censoring my movie. Well, nobody’s movie is being censored. You get to put in whatever you want in your movie. That’s one of the purposes of the ratings system.”

Kirby Dick, who directed This Film Is Not Yet Rated, a devastating expose of the ratings board, says the real problem with the MPAA is that it’s funded and controlled by the big studios.

Dick says an argument often made by rating insiders — that filmmakers are to blame for the NC-17 stigma since by avoiding the rating they have ghettoized it — is “ridiculous.”

“Most of the requirements for directors are to deliver an R-film,” Dick says. “Those are the studio requirements and the studios are the ones who run the MPAA. So most directors don’t even have an option of going to the NC-17 rating.”

Indeed, the list of films that avoided the rating — including Body of Evidence, Bruno, American Pie and Pulp Fiction — is vastly longer than the list of films that have embraced the rating, as Shame is now doing.

Dick believes the fuss created by NC-17 benefits the ratings board.

“That’s the thing people don’t understand,” he says. “They think the controversy is putting pressure on (the MPAA). No, it helps them because most people in the country who know nothing about this think they are taking out the extreme films.”

And in the U.S., “extreme” usually has to do with sexuality as opposed to violence.

As Slone observes: “The rule of thumb is Canadians come down harder on explicit violence and Americans come down harder on explicit nudity. It definitely speaks to a cultural difference between our countries.”

If Shame succeeds and is nominated for a major Academy Award, as many now predict, it will become the first NC-17 or X-rated film to do so since Midnight Cowboy in 1970. If this happens, and the film is relatively successful at the box office, the NC-17 stigma may finally begin to fade.

If not, those who believe NC-17 is a “kiss of death” will have a new victim to embrace.

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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:53 pm

The Artist,' 'Shame' Among Films Not Eligible for Writers Guild Awards
Published: December 05, 2011 @ 1:53 pm
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By Steve Pond

"The Artist," "Like Crazy," "Margin Call," "Shame" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" are among the films considered contenders for the two Oscar screenwriting awards – but they won't be in the running for the Writers Guild Awards, falling victim to the tighter qualifying rules that annually rule out a number of Oscar hopefuls.

The ArtistUnlike most Hollywood guilds, which allow nominations to go to those who aren't members and those whose films are not made under guild guidelines, the Writers Guild of America restricts its awards to its members, or to scripts written for productions that are signatories to the guild's Minimum Basic Agreement.

Although foreign movies made under the rules of five affiliated international guilds can also qualify, WGA requirements regularly disqualify a number of low-budget productions and films made outside the United States.

My Week With MarilynAlso read: 10 Burning Questions -- and Answers -- About This Year's Oscar Race

Very few films released by the Weinstein Co., for instance, ever qualify for the WGA Awards; last year's Oscar winner "The King's Speech" did not, and this year the company's releases "The Artist" (above), "The Iron Lady" and "My Week With Marilyn" (right) are all ineligible.

Other films that have failed to qualify include Fox Searchlight's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Shame" (though the company's "The Tree of Life" and "The Descendants" are in the running), and Sony Pictures Classics's "Carnage," "The Skin I Live In" and "Take Shelter."

Also out of the picture: "Albert Nobbs," "Beginners," "Drive," "The Iron Lady" and "Rango."

Also read: 'Take Shelter,' 'The Artist' Lead Indie Spirit Award Nominations

Even films that would qualify must submit entry forms to the guild to become eligible.

According to In Contention's Kris Tapley, who first obtained copies of the WGA ballots, only 33 films qualified for the WGA's adapted screenplay category, and 55 for original screenplay.

Typically, about one-third as many screenplays qualify for the WGA Awards as the Oscars.

Going by the Gurus of Gold chart at Movie City News, four of the Top 10 Oscar contenders in the Original Screenplay category, and six of the top 12, are ineligible. The Adapted Screenplay category takes less of a hit, with two of the top 10 ineligible.

Two years ago, only four of the 10 WGA nominees received Oscar writing nominations; last year, six out of the 10 guild nominees won Oscar nods.

But the only Oscar winner not to at least receive a WGA nomination during that time was David Seidler for "The King's Speech."

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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:54 pm

David Thomson on Films: Why Does This Movie Want Us to Feel So Miserable About Sex?

David Thomson
December 6, 2011 | 12:00 am

What do you expect from a film called Shame with an NC-17 rating? Right at the start we see Brandon awake in the pale blue sheets of his bed. He gets up, goes to the bathroom, and turns around. He has a penis, and I suppose it is Michael Fassbender’s. So many of the things an actor brings to a picture are his parts, and it is up to us and the whole project to decide whether they also belong to a credible and interesting fictional character.

Brandon exists alone in a Manhattan apartment with those bed sheets and his situation. He is obsessed with uninvolved sex: He picks up ten-minute stands in bars; he ravishes women on the subway just by looking at them; he has chat-room sex on the Internet and he is such a connoisseur of pornography his workplace computer has been taken away to be purged; so he goes to the men’s room at the office to masturbate. He can’t get enough, but it’s never enough. He suffers from that ominous word in the film’s title. So there’s not much fun in Brandon’s routine—unless watching is the secret to fun. But we are the watchers, aren’t we? Have we come to be ashamed or disgraced, or to get a look at Fassbender? Suppose the film had been called Pleasure? Aren’t we allowed a little of that in watching? Or are we meant to be downcast, too?

In short, Shame means to show us a lot of sexual activity with unusual candor or directness in a mainstream film (hence the rating), while asserting that Brandon’s urge is driving him to misery and ultimate collapse in the sad rain falling on a desolate city pier. Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt is meticulously harrowing in his deprived color scheme and the ordeal of New York. Quantities of Goldberg Variations mingle with the hiss of traffic so that you wish J. S. Bach still had an agent.

We never know much about Brandon, let alone why he has his situation. He says he came from Ireland to New Jersey as a teenager, but that’s no help. He cannot make a relationship with any of his women. (In his relentless pilgrimage, he even tries gay sex!) There would hardly be a movie without the arrival of his sister, Sissie (Carey Mulligan). She comes from Los Angeles, and says she is a singer. The film tries to support this by having her sing all of “New York, New York,” slowly, and Brandon sheds a tear over it (a tear by Faberge?), though I don’t think the “singer” status is proved. Sissie asks to stay with her brother, because she needs a place and wants to make contact with him. But Brandon is so fixedly alone, when poor Sissie creeps into his bed for sibling comfort he roars at her to get out.

If I sound despondent over this, I won’t apologize. Carey Mulligan is as touching as ever, though I wonder if her woeful look isn’t because she is weary of the pained roles she is getting. Michael Fassbender is clearly the actor of the moment, and he carries this film for 99 minutes on his commanding, ravaged looks and sheer courage. He is like a fallen god and a rising demon and could not be better—unless he smiled and enjoyed something.

This is a grave, if not pretentious film. It is directed by the Londoner, Steve McQueen, and he and Fassbender did Hunger before this, an intense study of a hunger-strike to the death by Bobby Sands of the I.R.A. McQueen and Abi Morgan wrote the script for Shame, and there is good talk, even if—as one hears—some of it was improvised.

The problem is the predictability hammering on the unhappiness. Brandon’s anguish and Sissie’s forlorn attempt to reach him are clear-cut very early. This is a movie that spoils its own ending. It is as fervently good-looking as those duck-egg bed sheets, but the look never gets past advertising and into insight. (The rumpled sheets are the film’s poster.) There are sequences less integrated in a drama than helplessly and artily observed. When Brandon jogs through the streets at night, it’s only exercise, not a revelation. The tracking shot that goes with him is elegant and McQueen does those things with deftness—the subway scene where Brandon, in silence, has virtual sex with a young woman (Lucy Walters) is worthy of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill. But that’s a warning recommendation if you think of the dead end that enveloped De Palma, no matter that he had more humor than interests McQueen.

Shame is part of a trend in which talented young filmmakers assume the cinema is a medium where we watch without understanding or sympathy. They have reasons for coming to that conclusion. For decades movies smothered themselves in sympathy and emphatic understanding so alienation has to have its turn. But that’s no justification for such pretty blankness and the hiring of Mr. Fassbender’s penis.

Of course, it’s his part to play with, and Fassbender is guaranteed several years of exceptional stardom. It’s not just that he’s intelligent and bold; he seems to have lived. He looks and feels more than thirty-four. But that means he has more to tell us about Brandon. This could have been a challenging experience if he’d enjoyed his pursuit and defended it against Sissie’s complaints. Just like Sissie, the movie begs for that conversation to be deepened. As it is, the film’s numb attitude assumes that Brandon’s problem is beyond reach or rescue. So why are we watching, except for high-tone misery and something close to pornography?

I wondered: Is Brandon descended from Brando? Nearly forty years ago, in Last Tango in Paris, Marlon Brando declined to let Bernardo Bertolucci film his penis because he felt that was misuse of an actor. Yet he never said anything about the prolonged display of his co-star Maria Schneider’s nakedness. Last Tango looks more awkward or embarrassed now. Shame has those feelings already. But Brando revealed so much when he talked about his character’s past. Equally, Brandon is at his sexiest when talking to a woman or just looking at her. The NC-17 action is not as essential as it needs to be. The couplings and the body parts feel like movie set-ups, obliged to hide or blur erogenous zones.

But why feel shame over sex? Once upon a time that regret sprang from repression and frustration, and now here’s a film where an angry Brandon puts the magazines, the porn tapes, and the computer in the trash like dirty or horrifying stuff. If McQueen thinks Brandon deserves to be ashamed, then he needs to examine his habit more closely. I don’t mean put a shrink in the film. But I do mean consider what a shrink hopes for from a subject—try to tell your story.


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Post by Admin on Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:42 am

11/30/11 at 12:50 PM

Polone: How Shame Gives Me Hope That Good Movies Can Be Made

By Gavin Polone

Michael Fassbender in Shame.

All too frequently, I get fed up with the business of producing movies and TV, feeling that I can’t make something great within the Hollywood system. But, right before I get to the point where I actually retire and make bitching on Vulture my full-time vocation, I always encounter a film that runs up against all of the constraints of the entertainment business and evidences the quality and originality that seem to be lacking in most every film released by the major media companies. In past years, I’ve been inspired and reinvigorated by such movies as Apocalypto, No Country for Old Men, and Let the Right One In. And this year, as I once again found myself thinking it's impossible to take risks and be original with a film that's not made on a micro-budget and only seen at film festivals, my hope was renewed. Though I find Thanksgiving, like all holidays, to be a perfunctory practice of false feeling, this year I did have reason to give thanks, and it was for Steve McQueen’s Shame, a film about a handsome and charming New York executive (played by Michael Fassbender) with a dark and overwhelming sex addiction, and his relationship with his unstable sister (Carey Mulligan).

The specialness of Shame (which opens this Friday in limited release) is evident in the many ways in which the film takes the opposite, less safe approach of most films. Specifically:

Full-Frontal Male Nudity: McQueen and Fassbender show what they need to show, given the subject matter. McQueen doesn't pan away from male genitals, or crop the frame to avoid it. Sure, we’ve all seen dicks in films, usually as a punch line — Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Ken Jeong in The Hangover — but the tone here is different and serious. Shying away from graphic content in a movie about a sex addict would lack integrity and remove the viewer, rather than making him or her feel the journey of the character. And because of this explicit but necessary choice, the violence-accepting and sex-eschewing Motion Picture Association of America has given this film an NC-17 rating. This will surely have a severe downward impact on potential profits for this film; some theater chains, like Cinemark, will not exhibit an NC-17 film, and the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart, among others, will not sell NC-17 DVDs. I hold Fox Searchlight in high esteem for deciding to pick up the film for U.S. distribution, knowing that the director had final cut and that it would certainly garner a rating that would prove a financial handicap.

Ambiguity: Unlike in most films, where exposition is blasted at the audience as soon as possible, we don’t get much more than a hint of how Shame's two leads were damaged prior to our meeting them. Several years ago I worked with David Mamet on a project, and he explained to me that the unmotivated offering of a character’s background was unreal and manipulative: After all, when you meet someone in real life, you don’t immediately learn why they are the way they are. In Shame, which takes place over a relatively short time span, it would be artificial to learn too much, too soon about these characters. And by organically imparting information about them, through the events and the film's real, if sometimes taciturn, dialogue, it draws the audience into the story and furthers a more engaged experience.

Uncompromising Acting Choices: Actors often receive praise for portraying diseased characters (John Hurt in The Elephant Man, Mathieu Almalric in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses), because their struggles are heroic and relatable. But while Fassbender and Mulligan's characters are diseased, they aren’t heroic and one may not even sympathize with them. Because we don’t know much of their backstory, there is no mitigating factor for their distasteful behavior. Many actors don't like to play unlikable characters; I’ve had conflicts with several over it. When actors portray someone engaging in distasteful behavior, they have to infuse some of themselves in that character to make it work; their reticence is understandable, as it would be inhuman to not be concerned with and personalize the audience's reaction to their creations. Further, in this film, Fassbender and Mulligan deliver completely un-self-conscious performances in circumstances where, as human beings, it would only be natural to want greater protection. Mulligan, when we first see her, is totally naked in very harsh light — not the kind of thing that someone concerned with their “movie star-ness” would feel comfortable doing. Fassbender is naked often and usually in sexual situations that quickly lose their sexiness and become somewhat ugly, because the character is quite obviously disconnected from his partner and only getting his fix.

One-ers: For me, most of the best films contain sequences with few or no cuts between different camera angles. Shame keeps the audience engaged not only through storytelling and acting, but also with long sequences made from just one long unbroken shot (a "one-er"), or very few. Some of the most lauded scenes in film history are one-ers, like the famous scene in Goodfellas where we follow Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco from the parking valet to their table at the Copacabana. And when you think about it, your experiences in life are long one-ers. Another benefit of an “unbroken scene” is that it forces the actors to absolutely nail their performance, as there will be no opportunity to build a scene in editing by blending and manipulating takes and angles. It also puts a lot of pressure on a director to think through the composition of the shot. With Shame, it often feels like we are looking at a painting, with everything that is in the frame having meaning and being used to accentuate the purpose of the scene. It takes confidence to limit a scene to one shot, but it is hard to imagine a great director not being confident. I think many filmmakers would love to reduce the number of angles they shoot, but film studios tend to push for more coverage, since it gives them comfort in knowing they can more easily demand changes to scenes after they are shot if there are more pieces with which to put together the puzzle.

One last thing that I like about Shame is something you can’t see onscreen and really shouldn’t be an issue: The director is a black man. It is still ridiculous how few black directors there are and, especially, ones who are not relegated to making films about some element of the black experience. There are many other aspects of the movie that I loved, but I don’t want to write about them, as they would force me to give away plot and incident, the surprise of which is something to be maintained.

So, knowing it is still possible to make a film as powerful and original as Shame, I may have to continue trying for a while longer. But given that the movie was funded by British film company Film4 and the British Film Institute, and was written and directed by an Englishman and stars European actors, I should probably consider relocating to London to allow myself a better chance at achieving my goal.

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Post by Admin on Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Newswire || by S.T. VanAirsdale || 12 09 2011 2:00 PM
It’s Almost Here: Movieline’s Walk of Shame Hits NYC on Saturday

You’ve seen the locations. You’ve (hopefully) seen the movie. And now, New Yorkers, you are invited to live out at least parts of Michael Fassbender’s acclaimed Manhattan odyssey on Saturday during Movieline’s Walk of Shame. [UPDATE: We’re livetweeting along the way! Read on for details…]

I cordially invite you to join me, West Coast editor Jen Yamato, and other special guests on Dec. 10 as we convene for drinks and holiday cheer at three of the bars featured in Steve McQueen’s celebrated new film. The festivities commence at the building where the film’s protagonist lives, proceeding onward to the Flatiron Lounge, the Standard Hotel and our terminus at the Parkside Lounge.

(Refresh your memory of the film’s locations with Movieline’s interactive Shame map of Manhattan).

More details are to follow in the days ahead, but for now, please consider saving the date and adding some or all of our Saturday itinerary to your own (all times EST):

5 p.m.: Meet first group of attendees at Brandon’s apartment building (9 W. 31st Street) for walk to Flatiron Lounge

5:30 p.m.: Arrive at Flatiron Lounge (37 W. 19th St)

6:30 p.m.: Depart for Standard Hotel

6:50-7:00 p.m.: Arrive at Standard Hotel (848 Washington St.); take elevator to top floor (The Boom Boom Room)

8:30 p.m.: Depart; break for dinner

10 p.m. - ?: Arrive at Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston St.) to close out evening.

We’ll be livetweeting the proceedings using the hashtag #walkofshame, which you can contribute to either as a participant or following along here at Movieline. Spread the word, New Yorkers, and be sure to introduce yourselves. We hope to see you along the way!

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Post by Admin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:09 pm

The Movie Shame and the Myth of Sexually Compulsive Gratification
Posted: 12/27/11 04:57 PM ET

By George N. Collins, M.A., with Andrew Adleman, M.A., authors of Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame

At a recent gathering, I was speaking with a man about my job as a sex addiction counselor. He had a dubious look. He didn't quite understand the need for sex addiction counseling. In his imagination, being a sex addict must be like being part of a nonstop orgy of pleasure, satisfaction, and fun. As we talked, he began to think about it as being an alcoholic. Most of the big drinkers he knew were not all that happy. As a recovering sex addict myself, I explained that being a sex addict was not fun. In fact, it was filled with loneliness, dissatisfaction, and suffering. If you, like the man I recently spoke with, are not sure whether to believe that sex addiction is filled with suffering, then see the new movie Shame.

Directed by British director Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender (who has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award), Shame, as the title implies, accurately portrays just how difficult and painful it is to be run by one's sexually compulsive behaviors. Because I am a recovering sex addict and work primarily with sexually compulsive clients in my counseling practice, I have both experienced and heard probably more than you ever want to know about the shame associated with sexually compulsive behavior.

If you still hold the belief that sex addiction is not really an addiction or even a true behavioral disorder, then imagine an alcoholic having an ongoing binge of which they remember little or nothing, behave badly, and feel remorse and shame until they start again. Now substitute sex addict for alcoholic, and meaningless sexual encounters for drinking binge, and you will have a rough approximation of what it's like being addicted to sexually compulsive behaviors. You get on that treadmill to orgasm, and it's not satiation that you are left with but shame. Wanting to rid yourself of that feeling of shame, you are onto the next fantasy, the next porn experience, the next massage parlor rendezvous, the next meaningless encounter, all of which typically occurs without any real connection with another human being. There is no intimacy in sex addiction. There is no true satisfaction. But there is shame.

At this point, some readers may be thinking of public figures such as Tiger Woods or Anthony Weiner, and, if you're a man, imagining wonderful, wild, uninhibited sexual indulgences of parties and pleasures. If you're a woman, you might believe that men just like to look at naked women and have sex. You might believe that sex addiction is a myth. Although you and I were most likely not present when these or other celebrities were playing out their sexually compulsive behaviors, the only part of our fantasies about their fantasies that might be true is that they were, in fact, playing out fantasies.

When we are sexually objectifying and acting on that objectification, there is no real connection. There is no intimacy. There is no actual exchange of love because the person being "sexed" with is not so much a person as the object of a fantasy. The movie Shame shows the truth, the desperation of being caught in the need to have a sexual release any way possible, over and over, and trying to get away from an inner pain and longing that the sexually addicted individual can never escape.

Similar to the character that Michael Fassbender portrays in Shame, the hundreds of men I've seen in my sex addiction counseling practice are good people. The essential nature of almost each and every man, or woman, is intact. However (and this is, of course, a generalization), often due to some aberrant and sometimes horrendous childhood experiences or traumas, they need to cope with specific fears, such as the fear of getting close to another human being in an open, emotional, vulnerable, intimate way. So the person may create a story about how to interact in a way that seems safer to them. It is that story that they play out in sexually compulsive behaviors.

Michael Fassbender portrayed how a sex addict can be living out a story rather than the truth of who the person really is. In fact, just as he was playing a part in the movie, most sex addicts are playing a role in the story that they have made up about who they are and how to live their lives. The story runs their lives and leads them to a dark, hopeless place of trying to find satisfaction in what can ultimately never satisfy them. They go round and round on a treadmill of compulsion, never arriving at a place of true satisfaction, and never being without shame.

Carey Mulligan, who plays the sister of Michael Fassbender's character, is also playing out a story in which she, like her brother, is living with the broken capacity to bond with another human being, leading to isolation, loneliness, and estrangement. The sister is not a sex addict, yet she has her own self-destructive coping mechanisms to deal with what shaped her in childhood. Although the movie does not define what in their childhoods provided the background for an inability to connect, the movie accurately depicts the heartbreak of not being able to delight in an intimate connection with another being.

Just as the movie Shame was a script, men and women exhibiting sexually addictive behaviors also have a script that they go by to play out the stories of their lives. Unlike watching a movie, men and women in real life have the possibility of rewriting their scripts so that, rather than living out a myth and chasing ultimately unsatisfying fantasies, they can change their ways of thinking, their ways of feeling, and their ways of acting.

If you happen to be a sex addict, one way to change your behavior is to see yourself in terms of what I call "What's Always True." What's always true is your Essential Self. You are not the story that your mind tells you about needing to look at porn, needing to find a sex partner, or needing to have a sexual release. Yes, most of us need to be sexual in some way. However, those of us who are or have been sexually compulsive need to be aware of when we are chasing a fantasy that will only lead to unhappiness and more shame. If you find yourself on that treadmill moving toward sexually compulsive behavior, you can mentally step back and see that you are, in fact, in a story, and you can remind yourself of the truth about yourself. You can get in touch with your Essential Nature that is not sexually compulsive. You can remember "what's always true."

Next, if you have "what's always true" as the basis for who you truly are -- your Essential Self -- in a moment when you are pulled toward sexually compulsive behavior, you can ask the second and most important question: "What else can I do right now besides this damaging sexually compulsive behavior?" "What else?" could be the beginning of your recovery and relief from shame and pain. "What else?"

George N. Collins, M.A. treats sexual addiction at his counseling center, Compulsion Solutions, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the co-author, with Andrew Adleman, of Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame (New Harbinger, 2011). He is also the co-author, with his wife Paldrom Collins, of A Couple's Guide to Sexual Addiction: A Step-by-Step Plan to Rebuild Trust and Restore Intimacy.

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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:38 pm

Today - SHAME, me and SLAA

(This could be triggering) Today I saw the film ‘Shame’ with Micheal Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, who play brother and sister. The film was incredibly well done. Triggering. Sad. Disturbing and in many ways, hopeless.

Both characters did fabulous jobs portraying two people craving love and intimacy, while simultaneously running from the parts of themselves, and one another, that they hate.

It is never explicitly mentioned, but the film explores sex (in some ways love as well) addiction - be it porn mags, internet porn, sex toys, women, or men in one instance, the film stays true to the profile of a sex/love addict.

In 2005, when I began my hospitalizations, medication, and general misery, my parents were kind and generous enough to send me to a dual diagnosis recovery center in So. Cal. I went specifically for depression, but left eight weeks later with clear notions of my addiction to marijuana, my misuse of alcohol, and my addiction to love and relationships. I also left with a 60 day sobriety chip in SLAA- Sex and Love Addicts Anonomous.

While in So. Cal. I got a sponsor in the SLAA program and began working the 12 steps like everyone else. It was challenging, but I felt excited at the prospect of living a cleaner life. I only got to Step 4.

I started out just listening to women and men tell their stories. Women who flipped out when their boyfriend left them, women who entered sex work just to get the rush on a regular basis, women who attempted suicide when someone left them, sleeping with stranger after stranger and being confused why the men didn’t want to stick around. The men had different stories. Graphic stories of pornography obsessions, fixations on neighbor girls, the inability to not control attraction to their children, multiple marital affairs. Sexual escapades with men when they were straight. The stories went on and on. And I began seeing myself in all of them and I began hearing my stories in their stories.

Confusing sex with love, sex with intimacy, sex with attraction, a fixation with sexual art, sex with men who didn’t know my name and men who I didn’t care about enough to want to know there name. I was a hunter at nightclubs and it became a big game of manipulation, looking for the first guy who paid attention to me to go home with, getting drunk, getting him home, hooking up with strangers, hooking up with friends of friends at universities, dancing and grabbing multiple bodies but not knowing their faces, then came married men, then came groups of friends. I cleared three roomates once in one weekend.

I felt like I was living partially as a man (hunting) and partly as a woman (sad when they left in the morning). And it confused me as it was happening cause I really WANTED to be like a guy and have some unattached fun. But thr woman (girl) in me wanted them to cuddle and cook breakfast and tell me how beautiful I was. I began to dread the sound of a zipper being pulled up. That meant - it was over.

Through the SLAA meetings I started to get a handle on the rush that came from the hunt, the obvious rush from the sex, and the rush that would slowly build up for the next guy. I targeted boyfriends of friends, roomates, a professor in my first year of college, car sales men, friends of roomates, the occassional girlfriend of my boyfriend’s friends, my sister’s friends (one reason I think she hates me), my brother’s friends….I didn’t have any boundaries, on any level. And I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I had started collecting art book of nudes, sexual practices, the psychology of sex, and my art that I painted slowly morphed into large beautiful naked women.

Once, a man I dated looked around my apartment and said ‘I’ve never met a woman who had to affirm her beauty through sex more than you’. I felt like crying…instead, I said ‘let’s affirm it right now’. It was all fun and games. But really, I had drown many years before (at 16, I knew I was really, exceptionally good at three things - writing, sex, and blow jobs/at 10, when I first learned to pleasure myself while reading Cosmopolitan - I knew this was my ticket to have total control over my body, no one could tell me what to do with my own body and with this thought - I felt freedom for the first time).

I also started to understand the love part, the need for control through a sex act, and the persistent desire to want to be the ‘one’ for someone. Admittedly, this parts a little harder to articulate.

Years later, I was still giving parts of myself (my body) away over and over again, many times thinking the man I was with liked me as much as I him…but it never ended up being true…and so I had nothing to fill myself up with…and I couldn’t sustain it. So I began dating men I never would have chosen, homeless, anger issues, verbally abusive, cheaters….and soon after I broke - I couldn’t get back any of myself I had given away. And I was so empty and vacant, I believe I filled up with anxiety and depression and self hatred.

According the the 12-step program SLAA - Sex and Love Addiction Anonomous, sex can involve a wide variety of practices. Sometimes an addict has trouble with just one unwanted behavior, sometimes with many. A large number of sex addicts say their unhealthy use of sex has been a progressive process.

The essence of all addiction is the addicts’ experience of powerlessness over a compulsive behavior, resulting in their lives becoming unmanageable. The addict is out of control and experiences tremendous shame, pain and self-loathing. The addict may wish to stop —- yet repeatedly fails to do so.

The unmanageability of addicts’ lives can be seen in the consequences they suffer: losing relationships, difficulties with work, arrests, financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem and despair.

Sexual preoccupation takes up tremendous amounts of energy. As this increases for the sex addict, a pattern of behavior (or rituals) follows, which usually leads to acting out (for some it is flirting, searching the net for pornography, or driving to the park.) When the acting out happens, there is a denial of feelings usually followed by despair and shame or a feeling of hopelessness and confusion.

In SLAA - addicts create bottom lines (instead of total abstainance as they be in a relationship) which represent the lines you will not cross. So with my sponsor, I created three 1) no married or attached men 2) no one night stands and 3) no sleeping with anyone unless we are in a committed, monogamous relationship. These are meant to be adjusted every few years based on relationship status, etc.

I would be celebrating my 5 year SLAA sobriety birthday on July 4, 2012 but I had a slip up in November - I actually had four slip-ups in a row. I didn’t even know one guys name. All I know is I was anxious, I wanted to feel the weight of a man’s body on me, I was incredibly lonely, and I wanted some good, hot, sweaty sex. And of course, the internet makes it extremely easy to find someone in a matter of hours so it wasn’t hard at all.

One guy came over, no names, sex, goes home. I feel high for a few hours than have a massive panic attack. Guy 2,3. - same thing. Guy 4 - the guy who I fell for but he didn’t for me….I can’t stop thinking about, ot emailing, or wondering why I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough (I know I’m sexy enough).

So here I am, starting all over but struggling to find that rush of excitement. Like all addiction, Sex and Love is complex as both things are in basic relationships.

So I’m gonna head back to some SLAA meetings. I’m going to write more about the Love part of this tomorrow.

If you have any questions - send me an ask.

And remember - safe sex, safe you, safe partner

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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:49 am

A Shame theory (trigger warning for child abuse).

This has probably already been thought of by someone more intelligent and eloquent than I, but f&#! it. I only saw the film again yesterday, it’s taken me a while to formulate theories.

The scene in the bar where Sissy is singing New York, New York got me thinking. One of the reviewers earlier this week complained about the way the film was vague, how this part annoyed her as she couldn’t figure out why it would make Brandon well up like that.

I don’t think it was sexual or physical abuse that they suffered. I think it was neglect.

When David asks Sissy about the scars on her arm, she says she was bored as a kid.

Brandon neglects to mention anything about his parents to Marianne, during their date.

Then you look at Brandon’s addiction, at Sissy’s desperation to have her ex, then David be with her. They need someone to show them the affection that wasn’t shown to them as children. They need to feel wanted, desired, loved in any way that they possibly can, which is what drives them into these self-destructive spirals.

When Brandon snaps, tells Sissy that she’s a burden, that could have reminded her of the way she was treated. The fact he continually ignores her, so she has to make the effort to insert herself in his life.

They’re dependent on one another as they didn’t have anyone else to look out for them when they were kids, which brings me to the song and the effect it had on them.

In my mind, when they were especially low as kids, Brandon would sing it to her. Tell her stories of New York, of this magical place where their dreams would come true. She’d be a star and everyone would adore her, he’d be important and people would care. It was meant to hit Brandon hard, it was meant to remind him that she was still there, that she didn’t want to be forgotten. It was meant to remind him that they were supposed to stick together and for a moment, he was taken back to that time when they were younger, when he promised her these things and showed him just how wrong everything had gone.

I don’t know, this is just a 2.30AM brainfart and like I said, has probably been said far more eloquently by far better people than I.

But that’s my personal headcanon for the film.

I’m glad we don’t know for sure though, sometimes can know too much.

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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:55 am


i still can’t believe that i finally saw shame

i thought i wouldn’t get to



the acting

fassbenders face everywhere

fassbenders p****

it was so depressing yet so great

all the awards

i’m a steve mcqueen stan

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