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Shame articles

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:27 pm

How I added sex noises to Shame

Actor John Moraitis was brought in to add both dialogue and sounds to sex scenes in Steve McQueen's explicit film

I'm an actor, and when I'm between roles, my bread-and-butter is something called ADR – additional dialogue recording – where I go to a studio and record background conversations for scenes from films in post-production. It's often a restaurant scene. You stand at the microphone with another actor, watch a video of the sequence, pick two characters at a table in the background and improvise.

Production year: 2011
Countries: UK, USA
Cert (UK): 18
Runtime: 99 mins
Directors: Steve McQueen
Cast: Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Michael Fassbender
More on this film

Last summer, I was invited to do ADR for Shame. At the time, we knew nothing about the film. My agent said: "It involves sexual sounds. Do you mind?" I said: "No, it's just a job. It's fine."

The sound engineer kept the sexual stuff till the end. There's a scene where Michael Fassbender's character goes to a gay club. At the back of some shots, couples were at it. So I stood at the microphone with another guy and we improvised. For example: "Yeah. YEAH. Go deeper, GO DEEPER." The sound engineer would say: "OK, a bit more intense, please." You came up with anything you could think of. "Who's your daddy?" Stuff like that.

One of the more entertaining moments came when we had to evoke the sound of a p**** entering an open mouth. The engineer was almost embarrassed but we found it amusing. None of us had done anything like that before, but it was a hoot. There was a kind of one-upmanship.

The art of ADR is to make the noises blend in, so when I saw the finished film, I couldn't make out my own voice. I thought the film was terrific. I'm not sure how much I cared about the main character, but it was beautifully acted. And the ADR was great.

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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:03 pm

FYC Booklets: Shame
DateSaturday, December 17, 2011 at 9:18PM

Ever since we shared that Harry Potter "Consider..." book, I've been meaning open to crack open the other FYC ads that have arrived. So let's do that starting with Shame.

Shame... Why didn't this one come in a black plastic or brown paper wrapping like porn? The cover blurb courtesy of New York magazine says

Michael Fassbender has arrived."

Where? We'll be right over!

We get the meaning but that happened with Hunger, thank you, and was immediately confirmed over and over again for the next year and change with the consecutive openings of Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre and X-Men First Class and so on. He's not only arrived, he's moved in.

More Shame and modest FYC proposals after the jump

"Time" gets the splash page quote beside that familiar image of Fassbender giving us the bedroom eyes on the subway:

Michael Fassbender is one of the most thrilling actors of his generation. His storm-cloud charisma, readiness for extreme physical transformation and melodic Irish lilt position him as an heir to Daniel Day-Lewis."

I don't quite get the qualifier "one of" when its more potent and true to just say "the". But "Storm-cloud charisma" is a great description so well done whomever at Time. The next page enlists four more magazines to collect eleven adjectives on Fassy & Shame's behalf which are: Brilliant (x2), Ferocious, Incredible, Devastating, Worthy, Scorching (x2), Best, Haunting, Stunning, Chilling, and Fascinating.

Oscary Name Dropping in this booklet: DDL, Midnight Cowboy, Leaving Las Vegas

The next fold out is all quotes for its Best Actor candidate again though Carey Mulligan's face sneaks in on the outer edges. Though Fassy remains clothed throughout the book these quotes make sure you know he gets starkers... "courage performance by a full-frontal Fassbender"... "completely unselfconscious about the full-frontal nudity and graphically simulated sex acts required of him...." What's perhaps most interesting beyond the frequent reminders of his trouser-dropping (which isn't a typical Oscar selling point since... ever) is that other Oscar-winners are name-checked:

Michael Fassbender's role, playing a Manhattan sex addict, is on par with Nicolas Cage's Oscar-winning turn as an alcoholic in 'Leaving Las Vegas'"

The next fold out is two imagines from the "New York New York" sequence with Brandon crying on one side and Sissy singing on the other. The adjective "Massive" is used and not in reference to Brandon's c***, but to the size of the acting.

Carey Mulligan gets the last fold out to herself and Variety gets the last word:

Carey Mulligan energizes the picture. Her character's musical solo is one of the many exquisite interludes that give this tough-minded picture a soul."

The back cover is a nightscape of the city and it only asks voters to consider it for Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress (in large type) and Director, Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography and Score nominations (in small type). That might seem for a tall order for a small controversial film like Shame but its completely modest compared to almost every other FYC ad out there. You should see the screeners! Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy asks you to consider 10 different men for Supporting Actor and Young Adult's screener even asks you to think about its visual effects! If by visual effects they mean Charlize Theron's impossible beauty, and how she can make it ugly with her moods, consider it considered!

Would you vote for Shame in any categories?

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Post by Admin on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:26 pm

Feb 6 2012 10:00 AM ET

Nominated for Nothing: Why 'Shame' should be recognized for more than the nude scenes
by Aly Semigran

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Persona, Breathless, Hoop Dreams, The Bourne Supremacy, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Shame, Steve McQueen’s haunting drama about a tortured New Yorker named Brandon Sullivan (a revelatory Michael Fassbender), a sex addict whose life begins to unravel even more when his equally self-destructive sister Sissy (a fragile Carey Mulligan) arrives in town. Yes, there are explicit sex scenes (plenty of them) and yes, there are shots of the breakout actor’s highly-publicized package (plenty of them), but it’s the harrowing story of a man struggling with his demons and an unforgivably snubbed performance by Fassbender that made it one of the most talked-about films of 2011.

Why it Wasn’t Nominated: While Oscar has never shied away from nominating performances in misery porn in the past (Closer, Requiem for a Dream, Revolutionary Road), Shame‘s literal misery porn proved to be too much for voters. The film is a bleak, joyless look into the life of someone who is bleak and joyless. But it wasn’t the chilly tone of the film or the excessive nudity or its tricky subject matter (which had been ineffectively tackled in the past by Hollywood with movies like Choke and Blades of Glory) that turned people off. And herein lies the problem with the major criticisms of Shame.

Oscars 2012: Get the latest news, photos, and more

One of the arguments that shrouded McQueen’s terrific, albeit depressing film with backlash was that Fassbender’s irrefutable handsomeness didn’t make him someone to feel sorry for. Rather, he was just a well-endowed, well-off Manhattanite with an enviable track record and an above-average sexual appetite. To insinuate that someone’s looks or wealth would make their addiction any less difficult is insulting enough as is, but Fassbender’s performance is one that you absolutely get lost in. His Brandon is a man of very few words, but we get close to a distant man when every twinge of doubt, regret, hopelessness, and fear flashes through his eyes. We know, thanks to Fassbender’s daring performance, that deep down, Brandon is not a bad man, just a terribly lost and conflicted one. As a viewer, you felt the urge to save him from himself, something we know only he could do and something he is simply incapable of. With all due respect to Mr. Dujardin and Mr. Clooney, this was a performance that sticks with you long after you see it.

Which brings up the other troublesome roadblock that kept many from giving Shame its proper credit: The mystery of Brandon and Sissy’s history. There’s no doubt that these two grew up in an environment that set the course for their tragic adult lives. Were they the children of addicts, doomed to repeat the cycle? Were they sexually abused? If we knew, would it have ultimately changed how we felt about them? Absolutely not. If anything, McQueen smartly chose to stay away from putting a convenient label on Brandon and Sissy to identify their behaviors. We couldn’t possibly change their past, but as an audience, we could certainly hope for their futures.

Shame was likely snubbed because it was a grim movie (even the moody, slow-burning score made you feel low) about sex that some argued was too stylish and sleek (I’d suggest the opposite, considering Brandon’s bare-bones apartment made Clooney’s Up in the Air digs seem downright homey) or too sexy for a decidedly un-sexy subject. (The sex scenes, particularly the threesome, were certainly beautifully orchestrated, but hardly arousing when you took into account how hollow it all was.)

Why History Will Remember It More Fondly Than Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: Shame is a great, though by no means perfect, film (the final act with Mulligan dangerously teeters on the brink of all-too-convenient), but there’s one big reason that this movie will stand the test of time and that’s Michael Fassbender’s… star-making performance. (Sorry. I know, I know.) Actors like Nicolas Cage and Jeff Bridges rightfully earned their Oscars for their roles in Leaving Las Vegas and Crazy Heart, respectfully, as damaged men overcome by their addictions. When McQueen’s Shame is one day heralded as the film that broke down the barriers of the taboos of sex addiction by not using it as a comedic plot device, it will be because of Fassbender’s honest, unflinching, and you guessed it — naked — portrayal.

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