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Shame previews

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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:52 pm

http://mooglemaniac.tumblr.com/post/11261767292/spoilers-brandon-recap-from-shame

10th October
2011
10

(SPOILERS) Brandon Recap from Shame

NOTE: Fixed. Got the Read More to work. Sorry, I hope the SPOILER tag had helped before =/

Since someone asked me specifically how Brandon deals with his sexual addiction, I figured I’d share it to the world. This is my own personal interpretation, so feel free to keep your own thoughts or formulate your own when Shame is released. It’s kind of rambles since this is more stream of thought and it’s getting late. Enjoy!

1. He’s never relaxed in this movie. Even in the beginning you get the sense that he’ll never unwind, there’s something constantly holding him back. His apartment is huge and immaculate but also impersonal like it could be a standard hotel room. At work he discovers his computer missing because it was recalled due to a virus. He’s subtly unhinged by this due to all the porn on it. He’ll smile with his boss and some coworkers but never offers anything personal or describe what he does really in his spare time.

2. When Sissy is around (he discovers her suddenly showing up), he’s pissed off about having her stay. He tries his best to cope, but he can’t adequately indulge in his addiction (interrupted because he hears her talking, getting walked in on, etc) and constantly wants her not there. She wants attention from him and keeps saying he never returns his calls, citing she’ll never see him if she walks out of his life. This has clearly happened before.

She’s the total opposite of him: clingy, leaves food and things everywhere, open about her emotions.

3. He displays emotion when he goes with his boss to see Sissy performing at a restaurant/club. He promises he’ll see her since he never had. He’s moved when she sings a slow, depressed rendition of “New York, New York” and cries a single tear. It clearly resonates with the whole “if I make it there, I’ll make it anywhere” theme of the song. Sissy looks uncomfortable and fore lorn singing it, giving it a desperate defeated tone. Brandon looks like he relates in the concept of the idea being a pipeline dream since they are originally from NJ. They’re outsiders in the city and never can and will make it.

4. Brandon’s married boss proceeds to hit on Sissy and ends up sleeping with her on Brandon’s bed. Brandon starts hitting things sparingly, sort of passive aggressive so they can hear him, and goes for a run to relieve stress/sexual tension (depending on how incestuous you want to interpret it) since you can hear the two having sex. He’s visually extremely upset and doesn’t need to say a word to convey this.

5. Later that night she comes back and crawls into bed with him and hugs him from behind. He repeats she needs to leave, the last time snarling at her with a booming voice that disorients the crowd since he’s so soft spoken. She leaves.

6. Sissy walks in on him masturbating in the bathroom. This is the crux of the problem of her being there: she’s invading his time where he can relieve himself, even if it never provides relief since he’s always looking to masturbating/having sex again. He gets annoyed and clipped and asking when she’ll move out. Having someone know about his habits, which he’s ashamed of, crosses a line for him.

7. He’s flirting and eventually goes on a date with coworker. At first date he laughs at the notion of marriage and she asks why is the idea crazy (she said she is recently separated). He says he can’t believe spending your life with just 1 person. (He clearly doesn’t care since the subway scene with the “chase” shows the woman with a wedding ring and he still pursues her… good scene showing how disconnected his actions are from reality since he’s not realizing what he’s doing). He admits to being in a relationship for only 4 months. They do have fun and make a connection.

8. One day he surprises her at work and tells her to take her stuff. They go to the Standard Hotel where he saw a couple f#%@#&! at the window previously. All the blinds are open and they proceed to get hot and heavy. However, he can’t go through with it. She had kept staring into his eyes periodically and that level of intimacy shuts him down. She leaves and he then proceeds to have sex with two random girls at different times. I think he can’t open himself up to that sort of meaningful connection. It could be because he doesn’t like himself and doesn’t think he deserves it or incapable of such a connection. It could be that he thinks she deserves better or how could she ever accept him since her ideologies heavily clash with his. It could be he likes the thrill of the hunt and by this point, it’s obvious the coworker likes him. Very open ended. It’s obvious that he’s disgusted with himself.

9. I forget when this happens, but Sissy comes back and he flips out. She checks his computer and sees the webcam girl. Brandon flips and yells at her to leave and proceeds to go bonkers throwing out all the porn and sex related materials and even the laptop into black bags. There was a TON of stuff that’d make you uncomfortable for how long that goes on for.

10. Oh yeah, Boss day after boning Sissy, calls Brandon into the office and says they found all this porn, listing all the kinds. Then he says it might be the intern so make sure it doesn’t happen again. This is to me a clear indication of a “I won’t mention this if you don’t mention this” scenario because an intern is NEVER depicted and Brandon never brings up the Sissy thing to him and the computer porn issue is dropped. He walks out disgusted with himself. (Every time someone says filthy and vile Brandon’s face gets slightly guarded, like he’s feeling guilty for being branded when they’re talking about something else entirely)

11. Brandon and Sissy have a TALK. He confronts her about his boss since he hears her calling him on her phone. Brandon basically says she’s a dependent and needs to grow up and not freeload off of him. She says they’re brother and sister and therefore family. He retorts it doesn’t matter to which she says it does because they’re supposed to look out for each other. (I’d bet I wouldn’t have wanted to visit their house for dinner when they were youngsters.) He says she needs to grow up once again and not depend on people. She retorts that being an adult means owning an apartment, big whoop and keeps repeating “I’m sorry.” Brandon says actions speak louder than words, which is also a stab at himself methinks. Anyway, he ends up grabbing her by her cheeks with one hand saying she needs to grow up. She says he’s not a great example either because he has no one despite the apartment and cites his sex life. I assume there’s an implied history, though you can think she connected two and two together during her stay as well. He blows up and leaves.

12. He basically oversexes. Gets beat up by guys at a bar for hitting on his girlfriend. Goes to a gay club to get the sexual release when he’s denied from going into a club because of his face. He goes to get into a threesome, but even when climaxing he grimaces and looks like he wants to cry, that this release isn’t release for him at all. Meanwhile, Sissy’s voicemail was playing saying they were still good people but make mistakes.

13. Brandon comes back early morning and finds Sissy in his bathroom with TONS of blood everywhere since she slit his wrists (it’s foreshadowed before because when the boss takes her hands he remarks on markings on her wrists which she then draws her arms back and claims they happened a long time ago). Brandon starts to understandably flip out, applying pressure to the wounds and calling 911, the first time initiating physical contact with Sissy and clutching her close. Crying, sobbing, I think he kisses her hair? Either way, it’s a jarring contrast to him constantly pushing her away.

14. Hospital scene. He inspects her arms and sees multiple markings. They’re across her arm instead of vertical, which I’m taking to interpret that she’s not actually trying to commit suicide but is more a desperate plea for help. Plus, cutters do it as a sense of control in their life much like anorexic people. The bandages are thick, so she might have slit them twice, and have fresh blood on them. She eventually awakens and calls him a Shithead.

15. He goes to Chelsea Piers and proceeds to break down, getting down on the pavement with an excellent shot of New Balance sneakers. He knows he’s f&%$#& up, and that Sissy could have died. Relief/anguish/shame, you decide.

16. Next scene you see the mark from when guys beat him up healed over. He sees the same woman from the initial subway scene. She doesn’t look as glamorous the first time (her hair isn’t as well groomed, etc), so maybe Brandon is seeing her for who she is instead of some glamorous or idealized object. He looks at her hand and sees no wedding band but a wedding ring. The movie ends with him looking down. Very open ended to if he’s improved, he’s relapsing, etc.
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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:55 pm

curare:
Shame (redux) - SPOILERS

Lol everyone should skip this post

First, the most important part of the film:

Yes, there is very little left to the imagination after this movie, lol. Yes, we see “it”, and it’s within the first 5 min of the film. After that it’s all about the ladies and for Michael it’s lot of face shots, thrusting, etc. Actually the peen scene (orz) was pretty gratuitous to me. He’s just walking around in front of the camera. (I estimated maybe 8”). Omg what is this post

Michael Fassbender is SKINNY AS HELL. He has broad shoulders, which taper down to a very narrow waist and hips. Damn, Charles is a lucky man. XD His boyfriend is hot.

The movie itself is SUCH A DEBBIE DOWNER. I kept expecting things to happen (OMG HE’S GONNA GET CAUGHT AT WORK, HE’S GONNA GET FIRED, HE’S GONNA JERK OFF TO HIS SISTER HAVING SEX, HE’S GONNA HAVE SEX/POSSIBLY RAPE HIS SISTER). But basically nothing happens. It’s a cruel, vicious cycle of meaningless sex and he’s never gonna get out of it because he is completely unable to connect to people emotionally. ZE END. OH, except maybe he finds someone just like him at the end. There was some mirroring action going on…

They did a pretty good job of showing how eerily f&%$#& UP he and his sister are. My friend said, he can’t connect to people and she has the exact opposite problem.

Oh, and WHAT MIRROR UNIVERSE NYC IS THIS. Why don’t men looking like Michael Fassbender ever pick me up on the subway? Lol at the jogging scene, though. My friend, again: “It was so unrealistic! He runs all those blocks and doesn’t need to stop at any intersection?”

The gay scene…was…so random..he gets beat up and goes to a, uh, sex..place………and some guy blows him off. LAME, I EXPECTED MORE

It was a pity it didn’t work out with his coworker. She was gorgeous, and nice. But he couldn’t get it up when he was with her bc of ~emoshunz

Oh, and I kept wondering about things like:

1) How many days has he not gone to work at the end?? Did he just stop going to work after the scene with his coworker??
2) OMG. HOW MUCH WAS HIS SISTER’S HOSPITAL BILL. And she probably doesn’t have insurance, either.
3) DUDE WEAR A CONDOM

Cutest scene: “Stop it!” “You have fluff on your shoulder.” “I like it there.” *puts fluff on her shoulder*

P.S. My friend, who saw Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein in London, said Fassy and Benedict C. were like two different ends of the spectrum. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN
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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:29 pm

http://newish.info/75851-shame-michael-fassbender-ashamed-to-be-a-sex-addict

October 14, 2011, 8:12 pm
Newish.Info
Shame: Michael Fassbender Ashamed To Be A Sex Addict

The actor must hide his addiction Carey Mulligan. First trailer for the film Shame event. In Hunger, Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2008, Steve McQueen put Michael Fassbender in the skin of an Irish political prisoners launched a hunger strike. Like the first film, Shame, whose trailer was published by The Guardian, already has a great critical success. Not for nothing that McQueen’s namesake is a symbol of the seventh art!

Another common, including the filmmaker uses the same main plot: the struggle of its protagonist. In this case, that of Brandon, this solitary figure whose lifestyle is seen messing with his sister Sissy (camped by Carey Mulligan), which will result in a difficult situation for it, forced to hide his addiction. A role that has at least inspired the actor won an acting award at the last Venice Film Festival.

The tandem Fassbender / McQueen seems to work well as a third feature film should be released, entitled 12 years a slave. However, there will not Fassbender the lead this time.

The film is scheduled on December 7, get covered!
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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:35 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/sep/04/shame-review-steve-mcqueen-venice

Shame – review

Steve McQueen's second feature of sex-addiction, self-harm and cheap thrills in New York is fluid, rigorous, serious cinema
4 out of 5
Xan Brooks
Xan Brooks in Venice
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 4 September 2011 08.00 EDT

Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan give dynamite performances in Shame, a terrific second feature from the British artist Steve McQueen. Fassbender is Brandon, a sex-addicted corporate drone, directing a radioactive stare at random women across the aisle on the New York subway. Mulligan plays Sissy, his sister, who sings for her supper, self-harms for kicks and is surely pointed towards disaster. "We're not bad people," Sissy assures her sibling. "We just come from a bad place."

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

Specifically this place is Manhattan, which McQueen depicts as a hell of sterile offices, anonymous apartments and desperate pick-up joints, though it may conceivably refer to the world at large. Outwardly charming and confident, Brandon is soon exposed as a casualty of a bull-market culture where sex has been traded so heavily, so easily and in so many exotic flavours that the consumer has gorged himself sick. Brandon, for instance, appears to score about once a day but it's not nearly enough because he's immediately off to masturbate in the shower. He has a vast porn stash concealed behind his blank cupboard doors and still more buried on the hard-drive at work. "Anals, double-anals," explains his bemused boss Dave (James Badge Dale), who has been charged with overseeing the investigation. "Cream pies … I don't even know what that is, exactly."

Not that Dave is any kind of angel himself. Brandon's boss cheerfully neglects his own family in order to hit on passing women and then promptly beds down with Sissy, who has recently landed at her brother's apartment. Disgusted – and perhaps even excited – by the noise coming through the wall, Brandon escapes for a jog through the nocturnal streets. McQueen traces his huffing, puffing odyssey with one of the most mesmerising extended tracking shots since Touch of Evil.

Shame feels less formal, less rooted in the language of the art installation than McQueen's previous film, Hunger, and is all the more satisfying for that. This is fluid, rigorous, serious cinema; the best kind of adult movie. There are glimmers of American Gigolo to its pristine sheen and echoes of Midnight Cowboy to the scratchy, mutual dependence of the damaged duo at the core. For her big showstopper at a downtown nightclub, Sissy takes the stage to croon her way through a haunting, little-girl-lost rendition of New York, New York, slowing the pace and milking the pathos. Brandon sits at the back, his jaw locked, his eyes welling. In the song's melting, dying fall, he catches a glimpse of the lie behind the tinsel and smells the inevitable death of all her dreams, and maybe his dreams as well.
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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:42 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2048962/French-Sienna-Miller-shes-picked-second-role.html

Watch out for...
Scorching performance: Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender, who gives a scorching performance in Shame, one of the year’s best films. Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, has two screenings at the BFI London Film Festival tonight and one tomorrow lunchtime.

Shame, set in New York, is about an advertising executive (Fassbender) who has sexual needs that leave the poor guy wretched and exhausted.

The film’s point is that his obsession renders him unable to make lasting, meaningful relationships. The film will shock your Aunt Ada — and it may even shock you — but this is a dangerous and important movie.

Ann Emery, who was in the original stage production of Billy Elliot. She’s returning to the long-running musical once again, playing Billy’s grandmother. Ms Emery joins new cast members Gillian Bevan as ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson and Deka Walmsley as Billy’s father. The 81-year-old actress took time out of Billy to appear in the sadly short-lived show Betty Blue Eyes. The new company will be at the Victoria Palace from November 14.
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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:10 am

http://shagneto.tumblr.com/post/11456931483/a-shame-opinion-post

A Shame opinion post.

Wow.

All the hype this film is getting, all the praise, totally deserved. It’s just an incredible piece of cinema. I was gripped from the very first frame (helped that the first frame was a shirtless Fassy). Joking aside, it’s not a film for simply admiring the nudity of Fassbender (though I’m not going to pretend I didn’t), anyone who does that is going to be shocked. It’s not one to be taken lightly, I had trouble watching it.

It’s very dark, very intense. I think the best film to compare it to in terms of how difficult it was to watch is Requiem for A Dream. The final half hour of both films are both nigh on impossible to watch, I was covering my eyes, looking away at points, it was nearly too much. (I hear one woman had to leave at a showing in the US because of the final half hour, not surprised). The sex in the film is sordid, there’s nothing romantic, nothing sexy or hot about it, it’s seedy and it’s dirty. It fits better with the film, if the sex had been romantic or what have you, it wouldn’t have worked. It’s just… ugh, it’s almost sickening at points.

Both Michael and Carey Mulligan are absolutely impeccable (why isn’t she getting more praise for this? She is also amazing, best supporting actress nomination please). I honestly want to see everyone in this film get Oscar nominations for something, best screenplay, director, actor, supporting actress, sound, everything. It is just flawless.

If you get the chance to see it, I’d love to recommend you just go but I can’t. It’s definitely not for everyone. It is a very adult film, it’s one that had people in my showing gasping in shock and like I said, had me looking away at times. But it is also an absolutely brilliant movie, so if you can handle something that will shock you to the core, then I’d say go.

SPOILERS FOR THE THINGS I HAD TO LOOK AWAY DURING.

The threesome scene was sickening, the way you could see Brandon wasn’t enjoying it, how it was just sex to get himself off because he needed that thrill. It just made me incredibly uncomfortable. When he started sobbing at the end of it as well, oh man.

Then the bit with the guy in the gay club as well, I couldn’t watch that. It’s not homophobia (obviously), it was just the fact that again it was just for the thrill, it was so depressing and uncomfortable to watch. But then it wasn’t even a thrill anymore, he was trying to reach the next high and he never did. Fassy in those scenes, Jesus, that man is such an incredible actor.

Finally when Sissy had slit her wrists, how they didn’t just cut away instantly, that whole scene with Brandon trying to stave the blood off and… my God, it was just so tough to watch.

Reblog / 9 notes.
Posted on October 15th at 1:36 AM
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Post by Admin on Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:56 pm

enternechoplex:
FNC Review of: Shame.

After the brilliant and extremely powerful film both Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender delivered in the form of Hunger, expectations were high for their follow-up. Most critics if not all agree that while different, Shame is the result of yet another brilliant and powerful collaboration.

In the film, Michael Fassbender plays a successful businessman in New York City named Brandon who also happens to have a sex addiction. He masturbates and watches all kinds of porn on a daily basis, and also has a lot of sex with numerous prostitutes. His life is meticulously controlled and arranged in such a way that he can maintain and satisfy his addiction. But it consequently gets disrupted when his estranged sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) drops by unannounced proclaiming she’ll stay indefinitely.

image

To say Shame is one of the most powerful films I have seen in a long time would be a huge understatement. Much like Steve McQueen did with Hunger, he goes full out with Shame showing the complete extent and increasingly self-destructive nature of sex addiction. McQueen presents this addiction in its rawest sense showcasing not only a lot of graphic sex and nudity, but also the personal toll it inflicts. His use of mostly long takes give the film a palpable sense of realism and intimacy that otherwise would not have been present with another director. McQueen handles it with care and honesty.

Fassbender again gives himself up completely to McQueen in Shame and delivers another truly remarkable, career-defining and Oscar-worthy performance. The opening shot is of Fassbender lying in bed looking upwards, and I’m not sure what is it exactly but there is something really haunting and endearing about his facial expression that I can’t get out of my head. It’s really impressive and at times mind-blowing how he inhabits the role so perfectly. He does it to such an extent that we completely forget about the actor and his charismatic persona. The character of Brandon is one filled with inner conflict and vulnerability, and Fassbender conveys those emotions and issues so well that sometimes it becomes difficult/uncomfortable to watch.

At the end of they day though, one has to stand up and cheer/cry at the level of commitment Fassbender brings to the role, especially the physicality of it. He has a lot of sex scenes in the film and what I found really interesting about them is the contrast between certain scenes. There’s a scene in which he attempts to have normal and emotive sex with a woman we all know he likes, but to see him fail because of his addiction is really sad. He is used to very depersonalized sex with women and he is unable to function in the face of genuine care or emotions. I really hope he gets an Oscar nomination for his performance here, he has truly earned it.

image

Similarly brilliant but to a lesser extent is the always magnificent Carey Mulligan. She has reached a new career high with her portrayal of Sissy. Much like Fassbender’s character, Sissy is also a highly conflicted person filled with never-ending issues but unlike him she does not hide her emotions. Sissy genuinely cares for his brother and is worried for him, which makes their difficult and clashing relationship that much more compelling and sad. I was also very impressed by how gritty and worn-down she looks in the film, it easily washes away her somewhat clean image. It will be a crime if Carey Mulligan doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, especially since her performance for last year’s Never Let Me Go was wrongfully overlooked.

Shame is a really great film that will grab a hold of your heart, tear it in a million pieces, and then stomp on them. The emotional toll that is watching these characters’ lives and interactions is astounding and overwhelming at times. It is a progressively bleak film with genuine portrayals of addiction and failure to connect with others. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan both give career defining, heart-breaking and powerhouse performances that need to be recognized and awarded. Steve McQueen has again delivered a powerful film and while in my opinion Shame is not the masterpiece or as poetic as Hunger is, it still is nevertheless a brilliant follow-up.

Verdict: ★★★★☆.
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Post by Admin on Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:09 pm

wildhorsesoffire:

Shame (London Film Festival #3)

Steve McQueen, 2011

It’s a bit pitiful that so much advance word about this film has centred around the fact that you get to see Michael Fassbender’s cock. I mean, what? I remember my mum’s outspoken friend Julie once having a rant about the inequality of t**s ’n’ minge being splashed around indiscriminatorily, but not men-parts, oh no. Of course, she was quite right. Equally though, while not as common, there’s plenty of films that buck that trend and, really; they’re just cocks. Move on. What ridiculous prudery is it that creates such a furore over something like this?!

More saliently, this indubitably reductive focus does an injustice to a serious and worthwhile piece of work - but also perhaps goes some way to explain why a full house turned out at nine in the morning for McQueen’s second feature (…no, not that McQueen - ho, ho), compared to the thirty or so who bothered with Hara-Kiri.

After Hunger – which I only saw recently, post-hype, but which was equally impressive – the story of sexually depraved Wall Street-er Brandon seemed a bit… well, unworthy, I suppose. However, hobnobbing with the editor of Film Quarterly afterward (get me!) put Fassbender’s roles as Bobby Sands and his character here in context, given their comparable capacity for self-destructive obsessiveness, so it’s hard not to see them as clear companionpieces.

Fassbender is as impressive here as you’d expect (…lengthy), but in terms of performance I was almost more taken aback by Carey Mulligan, mainly because I’ve never really liked her. Though without doubt playing an iteration of her wet-and-vulnerable persona (though less the prim head girl), this is sublimated somewhat in the part of Brandon’s f&%$#&-up but slightly ‘wild sister’; all the tics of the performance – a sort of false cutsiness – ring very true, and she’s not as hatefully priggish as in (the really not very good) An Education (for example).

Shame is, to my mind, indulgent in its weighty treatment of sex addiction – which undeniably begs the question, What is a ‘worthy’ topic for a film?, or, for that matter, any form of fiction - the answer undoubtedly being, anything that affects human beings. So, sex addiction; it’s not unworthy, but the remorseless heaviness of the film seems… inappropriate? Not that I imagined a pantomime, but the relentlessness of one tone always strikes me as odd – this doesn’t become misery-porn to an Iñárritu extent, or even to that of Hara-Kiri, yet it’s very much a film which takes place in its own Bleak Universe. Carey Mulligan’s fate is entirely appropriate to this tone, but just made me wonder, why couldn’t the film just as well end with someone winning the lottery, rather than ending up on the bathroom floor covered in blood?

I read something when Biutiful came out which pointed out that even in the direst situations humans still have a capacity for humour or irreverncy, yet a film like that resolutely displays none whatsoever and it somewhat weakens the suspension of disbelief that we are watching something taking place in the real world. Arguably McQueen avoids the trap of the relentlessly grim by leavening the tone with moments of humour (mainly courtesy of Brandon’s comically dreadful boss) – though, knowing how tonally distinct the same film can appear viewed in different contexts or with different audiences, I’m slightly torn about how much of what seemed funny in this screening would still appears so when viewed, say, alone at home.

There isn’t a ridiculous amount of sex (too much for the time of day according to the girl sitting next to me, but what does she know), although one section at the end succumbs to the general undertow of indulgence with a long cavalcade of out of focus fleshy pink. But don’t get excited; it’s all wildly, and laudably, unerotic. Not least when Fassbender’s come-face makes him look like a ravaged syphilitic cadaver (“a nice turn of phrase” – Film Quarterly ed.).

It’s a film of rare bravery, despite the weightiness of its treatment seeming so excessive (particularly in the almost biblically doom-laden strings), and manages to seem authentically ‘real’ without verging on a sort of self-consciously ‘verité’ approach… However, I’m going to hedge and say it probably requires some serious cogitation. But, hey, it does have Magneto’s cock in it!
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Post by Admin on Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:38 pm

http://www.netribution.co.uk/blogs/reviews/69/2070-lff-review-shame

LFF review: Shame

Written by Suchandrika Chakrabarti | 17 October 2011 |

Artist/director Steve McQueen's second feature (following 2008's Hunger), follows the unravelling New York existence of sex addict Brandon (Michael Fassbender). Living alone, he (seemingly) happily picks up girls in bars, orders prostitutes like takeout and masturbates in the work loos after watching porn on his computer. It's a tad compulsive, but his outward charm and ability to just about hold it together is keeping people fooled.

Then, his volatile, attention-seeking sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) turns up to stay in his apartment, and things slowly fall apart.





McQueen his co-writer, Abi Morgan, say that the film started out as a love story, and exploration of what drives sexuality. There’s a repetitiveness to the introductory scenes of Brandon’s life that suggests his compulsion isn’t just about fun – it’s trapping him. As he goes about his life, the camera, following his gaze, continually zeroes in on young, attractive women, leaving everything else blurred out in the background.

siser

Then, one evening, Sissy comes to stay, and their sibling relationship brings up a string of red flags. Something happened in their childhood that both cements them together and drives them apart - as Sissy says, "We're not bad people from a bad place," but, wow, can they treat each other badly.

Unsurprisingly, as with Hunger, the film is beautifully filmed, with painterly touches. Brandon is almost always wearing royal blue, and is often seen in white sterile environments involving lots of large glass windows. He is willing to be be an exhibitionist in some ways, but he won't have a proper conversation with his sister. As much as he seeks out sex, he can't handle intimacy, and he keeps his emotions hidden safely away.

sissysings

Sissy, in contrast, is often seen wearing gold, or bathed in a golden light. It should complement Brandon's blue, but it seems to overwhelm him instead. Accordingly, it's the drama of her inner life that forces Brandon into self-examination.

Shame doesn't offer any easy answers to the problems of sex addiction or the inability to show love. As McQueen put it, the themes, nudity and sexual acts in the film aren't there to scandalise, they're there to reflect life. You do come away from Shame feeling great sympathy for the damaged characters, and hoping that they manage to put themselves back together again.

The London Film Festival is running 12-27 October 2011. For more information, please go to http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/

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Post by Admin on Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:39 pm

http://www.frontrowreviews.co.uk/reviews/lff-review-shame/12146

LFF Review: Shame
By
Alex Rowland
Published: October 17, 2011
5/5

British director Steve McQueen is slowly working his way through the spectrum of human feelings. He began with Hunger, a film that gave cinematic life to the events within a prison where the hunger strike of IRA member Bobby Sands took place. And now McQueen has moved on to Shame, a haunting, lingering portrait of addiction that gives a snapshot into the life of a compulsive sex addict, Brandon, living in New York. It’s an elliptical film that unfolds limbo like, seemingly without beginning or end, and for this reason alone it exists as a remarkable achievement in painting the life of an addict. Layer over Brandon’s particularly interesting and contemporary addiction to f#%@#&! and it’s a recipe for a truly remarkable and impeccably filmed alchemical tour de force combination of performance, theme and direction.

Much like Coriolanus, also at the London Film Festival this year, Shame is a brilliant character study. It is a film urged along and told through catalysts, reactions, stimuli and fraught feelings and each ripples across the chiselled face of its captivating lead. Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, an individual that feels always one step away from unspeakable, grotesque actions. Despite his lithe, muscular physique (very openly on display throughout the film) he looks skeletal and feels truly like a drifting wound. He sleepwalks and flounders through life, f&#! to f&#!, and the unpredictability and uncontrollableness lent by the addiction infuses the entire film with a gut twisting dark tension, forever in apprehension of his could be actions. One particular post coital scene in a hotel room sees McQueen’s camera hold on a prostitute as she adjusts her bra in the mirror; the feeling that Brandon will appear reflected, seething and possessed, at any moment is overpowering.

Brandon’s sister Sissy (a heart-breaking Carey Mulligan) provides the impetus for change. Her crashing entrance snowballs events into a devastating climax. It also provides McQueen a fascinating opportunity to play with and explore the relationship between brother and sister. The sexual tension between the two, however incongruous with their relation, infects the film but there’s also some tender and beautiful moments which show the real weakness and vulnerability at the heart of both flawed characters. A shot of the two late in the film huddled watching cartoons really makes you wonder where these two have come from (as Mulligan asserts “We’re not bad people…we just come from a bad place”) and think how really neither of them has left their infancy. Brandon a boy obsessed with sex, masturbation and unable to control his urges and Sissy still inclined to play dress up and incapable of looking after herself.

Don’t be fooled by Shame’s subject matter and don’t go expecting some slyly sexy cinema entertainment. This is bleak filmmaking at its finest with Brandon’s sexual encounters nothing more than cold, clinical, unattractive fixes. Indeed the only sex scene that arouses any sense of heat or excitement is the genuine opportunity at redemption provided by a spontaneous hotel room escape with a co-worker. Its failure provides a change in tone and the beginning of a further shift downwards onto a new plain of experiential suffering for Brandon.

Shame’s inclusion of porn at key moments evokes a notion of the negative effect of the immediacy of pleasure and the ease with which sex is available. Subsequently Fassbender’s character rejects traditional norms of relationships and the beauty of discovering something even deeper than he usually goes. It’s a pointed critique of the erosion the modern world’s corrosive attitudes towards sex, gender and promiscuity are having on the traditional values of family and love. Not only this, McQueen’s gripes extend towards the entire gender of men. Brandon’s existence as a sex addict in an obvious way shows this. But other subtle suggestions take root also. The framing of a male toilet sign juxtaposed to a disabled sign explicitly reminds how much men are victims, slaves to the sexual wanting that plagues Brandon.

The critique of the modern continues in a feeling of disconnectivity that permeates the entire feature. In similar fashion to American Psycho a failure to notice or care inhibits those around Brandon from looking beyond the façade of the ‘fine’. Brandon’s nondescript corporate job and spartan flat provide the furnishings of normalcy that belay friend’s suspicions. Even Brandon’s best friend and boss – in a wryly humorous scene – wonders whether it may have been his intern that rammed his hard drive full of explicitly pornographic material. It’d take a sick-f&#! to do something like that but surely not Brandon though. Coupled with the faceless partygoers and featureless wasteland that make up McQueen’s vision of New York it’s clear that Brandon is a product of his environment; a beautiful veneer with a rotten underbelly.

The lowest point of Brandon’s sexual imprisonment surely comes upon his entrance into a gay nightclub and it’s to McQueen’s directorial credit that the accompanying feeling of shame etched across Brandon’s face doesn’t ever connect with the sexual preference of those inhabiting the orgy filled rooms. It’s simply that his addiction has finally overcome any boundaries or borders that defined him as a person – even his obvious love and adulation of the female form.

McQueen’s camerawork is steady, slow and elegant and he masters the use of long, captivating shots to enthral us in his work. A stunning rendition of Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York performed by Carey Mulligan and a quite hilarious dinner scene between Brandon and his one-time hope spring to mind as perfectly captured moments. Aided by sublime performances from his two key leads it has the effect of conveying an almost documentary feeling to the film – the notion that we are merely watching real events unspool from an arrestingly personal point of view.

Adjectives fail with a film this plain stunning and captivating. It is undoubtedly one of the best films to play at this year’s London Film Festival and is without doubt a front runner for awards glory suitably begun by Fassbender’s deserved win for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival.
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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:41 am

http://permanentplastichelmet.com/2011/10/17/pph-lff-adrift-in-new-york-a-review-of-shame/

PPH @ LFF: Adrift in New York – A review of Shame
Posted by Ashley Clark ⋅ October 17, 2011 ⋅

“The subway is a porno / The pavements, they are a mess / I know you’ve supported me for a long time / Somehow I’m not impressed” — ‘NYC’ – Interpol

“These little town blues are melting away / I’ll make a brand new start of it, in old New York” — ‘New York, New York’ – Liza Minelli

There is a scene in Steve McQueen’s searing drama in which Sissy (Carey Mulligan), the suicidal sister of sex-addicted Brandon (Michael Fassbender), brings a bar to a standstill and her brother to tears with a sombre rendition of the Liza Minelli showtune ‘New York, New York’. It turns out that McQueen has always read this ostensibly jaunty number as a blues; a tragic, ironic precursor to crushed dreams and being swallowed whole by an impersonal city that doesn’t care. This decidedly melancholy approach bleeds into every frame of Shame, an elegant, humane and explicit film about addiction, repression and the failure to connect. It could also be that very British McQueen has made one of the great New York – and specifically Manhattan – films; the famed borough a character in itself, with its glacial apartments, criss-crossing streets and after-hours bacchanalia framed with elegant precision, bearing down on its trapped, lost protagonist.

In recent times, for reasons of planning permission, logistics and finance, an increasing number of filmmakers have taken to filming in Toronto in place of New York. Shame – every inch a New York movie - could be set nowhere else. Although research for the film began in London, the filmmakers found that sex addiction was barely recognised in the UK, and in relocating to New York found a network of groups far more willing to divulge information and a confessional culture more in tune with ideas of self-help and therapy.

When we meet Brandon for the first time, he is far away from that stage of self-recognition. His story begins with the pursuit of anonymous sex on a subway, his shark eyes flickering with automated lust at a pretty girl sat across from him. The encounter has a fly-on-the-wall danger, and is shot with the rough and ready rawness of a of Bruce Davidson photograph.

Before long, we’re introduced to the corporate blandness of his work existence which recalls the sour milieu mined in Bret Easton Ellis’ ‘American Psycho’, with its yuppie jockeying and casual objectification of women. In another NY nod, Brandon’s self-destructive nocturnal impulses and addictive, repetitive behaviour also echo the protagonist of litearary enfant terrible Jay McInerney’s 1984 novel ’Bright Lights, Big City’. His numbing routine of porn-surfing, onanism and emotionless sexual encounters is established briskly by McQueen, so that within the opening five minutes, a shot of a closing cubicle door becomes visual shorthand for Brandon masturbating. In the scenes in which Brandon goes out on the town, the modernity of the era is subtly constrasted with an evocative feel for New York’s more outwardly sleazy past through the carefully selected soundtrack. Blondie’s ‘Rapture‘ and Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius of Love‘ hark back to the Lower East Side grime of the pre-gentrification early-80s. Later, in Brandon’s apartment, Chic’s propulsive ‘I Want Your Love‘ goes even further back to the late 70s and the exuberance and openness of the Midtown-focused pre-AIDS disco era.

Brandon and Sissy’s relationship is also framed and informed by geography; neither are native New Yorkers. Sissy is peripatetic, having wandered in from L.A., while Brandon reveals on a date that he was born in Ireland and relocated to New Jersey before coming to New York. These are the “bridge and tunnel” kids, a derisive term native New Yorkers reserve for those who come in from the suburbs. It’s a small detail, but underlines their outsider nature. “We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place”, says Sissy, the scars on her wrists testament to her turbulent past. McQueen and co-screenwriter Morgan are not given to over-exposition, refraining from providing anything so straightforward as “a cause” for Brandon’s – or indeed Sissy’s – behaviour. We don’t know the details of their upbringing; their emotional dislocation is simply amplified by their outsider nature.

The scenes between Mulligan and Fassbender carry an unsettling charge, enhanced considerably by their close proximity and McQueen’s intimately tight framing. Whilst never quite reaching the levels of incestuousness exhibited by Al Pacino’s Tony Montana toward his younger sister in Brian de Palma’s Scarface, one cannot help but make the unsavoury connection because sex is always on Brandon’s mind. The scene in which Brandon’s boss seduces Sissy in Brandon’s apartment, whilst Brandon listens in is a masterpiece of jittery, unresolved tension, and brilliantly acted by Fassbender.

In the astonishing sequence which follows, a furious Brandon goes for a late-night run to burn off energy. The camera tracks Brandon across at least five avenues from East to West, and is striking in its revelation between space and character. The neon ‘Landmark’ New York of Times Square and Manhattan Mall is teasingly relegated to the backdrop, reminiscent of the poetically realised London of Mike Leigh’s Naked. The camera leaves Brandon as he continues into the night, westward toward the Hudson which separates him from the Jersey of his past. Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt brings a steely, metallic gleam to everything he shoots, recalling David Cronenberg’s psycho-sexual odyssey Crash, and enhancing the film’s Ballardian psychogeography; Brandon’s mental state is inextricably linked to his environs.

Although McQueen’s style here is more conventional than in his film debut Hunger, he nevertheless remains a striking formalist, with repeated use of long takes (including a memorable, funny date scene shot with a near-static camera in real time; think arthouse Sex and the City) and exceptional framing, including the painterly opening shot of a contemplative Brandon partially wrapped in an electric blue blanket. Structurally, Shame plays as a series of city vignettes, as days blend into night and rote encounters unfold in the melancholy half-light that mirrors Brandon’s emotional dislocation. Late in the film, one bravura, disturbing sequence that signals Brandon’s sexual breaking point (and, with just a hint of moral prurience, nods toward William Friedkin’s gay S&M-themed Cruising) plays cunningly with chronology and would make a fine short on its own.

Indeed, in mainstream (studio) cinema, perhaps only Richard Brooks’ disturbing Looking For Mr Goodbar (still unavailable on DVD), in which a schoolteacher embarks on a ‘liberating’, doomed quest for anonymous sex, and the aforementioned Cruising, have matched McQueen’s film for adequately conveying the conflation of sex and danger inherent and seemingly interwoven in the city’s underbelly. New York is there for Brandon to use, and he takes advantage, compulsively; down low under bridges, up high in glassy apartments.

At heart, Shame is nothing less than a modern tragedy in which the commodification of sex is internalized, effecting a coruscating death of the soul. Whereas the LFF’s dismal opening film 360 made a facile nod to the “interconnectivity of the modern world” with startling revelations including: people use mobile phones, search engines and aeroplanes, Shame investigates, in explicitly honest fashion, how access inspires excess and spiritual remoteness within a vast metropolis. This in itself is not a revolutionary idea, yet the key is in the formulation of Brandon’s character. Neither swivel-eyed social malcontent nor buccaneering predator like his married boss (who peddles the yuppie lechery of ages), Brandon’s evident social skills and outward charisma underline the locked-in nature of his problem, and Fassbender’s extraordinary, chameleonic performance communicates sadness and, yes, shame with heartbreaking accuracy.

Although Shame is a bleak film, it’s not without hope as we can discern from a teasingly ambiguous coda that harks back to the opening scene. What is certain is that McQueen has coaxed a stunning performance from a third lead alongside Fassbender and Mulligan: New York itself, in all its angular, criss-crossing, sleazy, metallic glory. The city that never sleeps can be a lonely, lonely place.
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Post by Admin on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:17 am

soixantesix:
I saw Shame last night at the Philadelphia Film Festival.

And I must say that it was absolutely fantastic. Michael Fassbender’s performance as Brandon was outstanding; his performance chilled me to the bone. I came away a bit disturbed and freaked out because of how messed up Brandon’s life was, but I’m assuming that was the point of the whole movie. Not only were Brandon’s actions distressing, but so was his relationship with his sister, Sissy (played brilliantly by Carey Mulligan). The entire time I sat in the movie theater, I kept thinking about my own relationship with my brother (ironically his name is Brendan…but still) and how the things that went on between Brandon and Sissy-for those wondering, it’s not incest-would never happen in a normal relationship between brother and sister. But that’s the point; nothing in Brandon’s life is conventional, especially in the case with his sister. Brandon’s life is completely compartmentalized and once his sister comes into the mix, everything turns to s$#!. I cannot say that I completely enjoyed the film because it did leave me feeling very unsettled and a bit disturbed, but I was very impressed with Shame. Sure, there were some moments of the film that I felt were a bit unnecessary (case in point, the length of Sissy’s performance of New York, New York, which after the first minute or so began to make me feel uncomfortable), but I think that almost everything was done well, especially the ending. Spoiler Warning (skip to the next paragraph if you wish): In the final scenes of the film, where Brandon just completely looses control and 1) sticks his fingers in a woman’s vagina at a bar all while describing giving her cunnilingus and getting beat up by her boyfriend, 2) receives a blowjob from a man at a gay-sex-club-thing, and 3) subsequently has a threesome with two women, you can see him just completely falling apart at the seams. I will always have the image of Michael’s face at the end of the threesome, where he just cannot control his emotions anymore and begins sobbing, all the while experiencing orgasm, burned into my brain. It was truly heartbreaking and sickening at the same time.

tl;dr: In the end, I think that Shame was amazing for what it was; a plot-light, character study on a sex addict. Michael Fassbender gave an oscar-worthy performance, Carey Mulligan was wonderful, the score was perfect, and the cinematography was beautiful. 3.5 out of 4 Stars.
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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:13 am

http://m.austin360.com/360/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=uUMvgpo9&full=true#display

'Shame' stuns AFF crowd
By Charles Ealy
Posted: 10/23/2011 5:48 PM

“Shame” lived up to its pre-festival buzz late Saturday, as the harrowing movie starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mullgan played to a packed house at the Arbor.

Fassbender plays a lonely sex addict who has the uncanny ability of being sexual with lots of women, but he is never actually able to be with the women emotionally. It’s as though the sex act is the only goal, and that relationships are meaningless.

The movie opens with a naked Fassbender, as Brandon, walking around his apartment as he listens to voicemails from his sister Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan. It turns out that the sister is having romantic troubles and wants to crash at his apartment.

“Shame” has been controversial, in part, because of Fassbender’s full-frontal nudity in the opening scenes. But the nudity isn’t gratuitous. Instead, director Steve McQueen is steering us to the obvious conclusion that in Brandon’s world, the body and its parts are far more important than anything else.

Fassbender gives a harrowing performance as he manages to smile seductively and pick up various women, only to run if there’s any chance that the two might become emotionally close. A dating scene is particularly revelatory when Brandon is asked why he’s unable to sustain any relationship. He basically says that he doesn’t see the point.

As Sissy, Mulligan hints that the two siblings come from a rather broken and bizarre family, although nothing is ever explained. She has numerous scars on her wrists after multiple suicide attempts. And as a parallel to his sister, Brandon apparently is addicted to the so-called little deaths of orgasms.

McQueen, who previously directed Fassbender in the IRA prisoner tale “Hunger,” has a knack for pushing his actors to the limit. In “Hunger,” Fassbender went on a hunger strike and ended up looking like skin and bones, literally. And Fassbender, as well as Mulligan, seem more than willing to go where McQueen wishes. Mulligan has a full-frontal scene as well.

It’s obvious that the actors trust McQueen. Their trust is well-placed.

Both Fassbender and Mulligan could easily get Oscar nominations for their performances, but “Shame” is a small arthouse film, so nothing is guaranteed come awards time.

Regardless, the Austin crowd was stoked about the regional premiere. Far more people showed up for Saturday night’s screening at the Arbor than the theater could hold. And some people who were turned away were obviously upset. Representatives of the Austin Film Festival apologized.

So why didn’t “Shame” play in a larger venue? The distributor requested that “Shame” play in one of the festival’s smaller venues, and the festival complied.

This is becoming a common problem for local festivals. Sometimes movies with big buzz draw huge crowds but end up in smaller venues. (A similar situation occurred with “Winter’s Bone” at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2010.) This situation typically is not caused by festival organizers. Rather, distributors want to build buzz by agreeing to festival screenings but want to limit the theater size in order to maximize ticket sales for the eventual regular opening.

Perhaps that makes sense for distributors, but it doesn’t make the situation any less frustrating for festival-goers. Still, the Austin Film Festival is to be commended for bringing an early screening of “Shame” to town. And the American-Statesman will try to alert its readers to these types of potential problems at future festivals.
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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:44 pm

http://www.johnnymessias.com/2011/10/lff-2011-shame.html

Monday, 24 October 2011
LFF 2011: Shame

One of the only images from Shame we can show without age verification.

Michael Fassbender continues his unstoppable rise in Shame, an art film that is both hypnotic and brave even when it seems to dare you to look away. You'll come out wanting to scrub yourself with hand-gel but not in a Contagion way.

In director Steve McQueen’s second feature, Fassbender plays Brandon a young executive in New York. He is sharply dressed, handsome and seemingly successful at work; clinching deals in boardrooms with backslaps and s$#!-eating grins. He is also a sex addict.

If we smirked at celebrities who have claimed this addiction in the past, Shame shows you what that really means, day to day. For Brandon, it’s all chat rooms, f&#!-cams, and anonymous shags in back alleys. He cannot get through the working day without digitally relieving himself in a toilet cubicle and his office computer is crammed full of porn (he somehow gets away with that one).

We quickly understand the sex is the outward expression of a terrible loneliness and sense of alienation he feels. The arrival of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) brings this into sharp relief. She’s a session singer whose life is a mess. She needs her brother and the last thing he can do is relate to her and offer a shoulder to cry on. When she rocks up at his apartment, she invades his space and fuels his self-loathing. How can he continue his ordered life of porn, masturbation and microwave dinners with his sister just feet away from him? Between the siblings there is a hint of – well, incest is too strong a word – fraught intimacy.

It seems that Sissy being young and sexually active, and also wanting to hug her brother becomes an exquisite torture for him. It brings out violent tendencies and sends him into the streets of New York. In an memorable scene Sissy takes Brandon’s boss back to the apartment for sex and her brother is spewed out into Manhattan; as the camera follows his long-stride jogging for what seems like an extraordinarily long tracking shot through several NY blocks. Steve McQueen’s fluid camera move captures the moment beautifully, with the eye of an artist who work has included experimental films and sculpture.

Both actors are extraordinary. Fassbender delivers a performance that is alarmingly raw. He strips his character literally bare as Brandon gazes for what seems like an eternity into Steve McQueen’s cameras, in various stages of sexual release – and sadness. You cannot imagine a non-European actor, like contemporary rising star Ryan Gosling, taking on this role. Carey Mulligan also has that skill of revealing emotion on film and making it appear effortless. Both actors’ commitment to their craft includes frank nudity but these instances are true to the material and not glamourised in any sense. I mentioned this was an art film. By that I mean it felt true to life and hard to watch as opposed to reassuring. It is certainly not erotic and, for me anyway, seemed more revealing of its characters inner emotions than Michael Winterbottom's blow-jobs and concerts film, 9 Songs.

Shame seems to scratch away at some darkness in contemporary times, of people locked away in apartments in front of laptops, webcams and mobile phones, grinding away in despair. However, Steve MacQueen’s film has a formal beauty that demands to be seen, like Taxi Driver but in a different palette, different era.
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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:46 pm

http://johnheuer.tumblr.com/post/11785069347/short-review-shame

Short Review: ‘Shame’

‘Shame’ was a harrowing experience. It’s pretty light on plot but gives an excellent portrait of a man with a sex addiction, barely getting by in the world. His sister moves in with him and it conflicts with his very specific routines. He is unable to emote like a normal person. His sister has problems as well and one might assume they were both scared at some point in their childhood. The subject matter is pretty dark and the film does not shy away from any of it. A number of scenes get very explicit. It is really effective in being so matter-of-fact about his sex addiction because it drains the scenes of any eroticism to show how it is a compulsory activity. Steve McQueen tends to linger on scenes for uncomfortably long periods of time. Some will find that boring but I found it completely hypnotic. By focusing on more mundane details, the characters seem more fully realized and you have a more emotional investment in where these characters go over the course of the film. Fassbender deserves an Oscar, he delivered a bold and brave performance. While the style of the film could turn some people off, Fassbender’s performance is undeniable.

9/10
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Post by Admin on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:24 am

http://newincinema.com/2011/10/26/lff-day-five-a-dangerous-method-w-e-martha-marcy-may-marlene/

LFF: Day Five – A Dangerous Method, W.E, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Posted by Daniel Sarath on Oct 26, 2011 in Movie Review | 0 comments
LFF: Day Five – A Dangerous Method, W.E, Martha Marcy May Marlene

My final day at the London Film Festival was certainly the most eclectic day of the event so far taking me through a wide range of subjects from spanking and masochism to royalty and cults within the space of mere hours. First up, I had the press screening of Cronenberg’s newest effort A Dangerous Method before I cynically hit Madonna’s widely hated W.E. and ended the day with the chilling Martha Marcy May Marlene.

So, let’s begin…
A Dangerous Method (3/5)

Not quite the Method Man biopic I was hoping for.

David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortenson have been an almost flawless combination of director and actor. From A History Of Violence to Eastern Promises, their collaborations are among the best modern cinema has offered us. It was with high expectations, therefore, that I entered this morning’s press screening of their latest effort called A Dangerous Method.

Switching violence and blood for character and dialogue, the film studies the complex relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud at the birth of psychoanalysis. However, while the subject of Cronenberg’s newest release sounds fascinating, it’s actually a surprisingly bland affair.

His vision of a repressed turn-of-the-century society is compelling and moments of the screenplay offer interest, but A Dangerous Method is mostly akin to a long monotonous hum that at no point escalates into anything more. Characters talk and situations moderately unfold, but it never sparks in a way that manages to really grab the viewer. With drama that isn’t all that dramatic, characters that aren’t all that charismatic and a tragic lack of any real story to tell here, A Dangerous Method is unfortunately very flat.

Viggo Mortenson plays Freud with commendable wit and intelligence that makes him interesting to watch on screen while Fassbender’s interpretation of Jung is adequate. However, with few opportunities to really show off their skill, the performances are hardly remarkable. Keira Knightley’s masochistic patient who is the catalyst of this story, futhermore, is truly horrendous. Over-acted and theatrical, her baboon like facial expressions and shouted delivery is often laughable.

Seriously, they could have put some motion capture technology on her and given her a credit in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

A major disappointment, this is second tier filmmaking from Cronenberg who can and should do much better than this thin and unremarkable drama.

That, of course, didn’t stop me from attending the film’s press conference across the road to hear the director and two stars discuss the movie!

Mortenbender!

The highlight of this fantastic conference was a hilarious comeback from Cronenberg which you can listen to below:

David Cronenberg. Believe, foo
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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:40 pm

evantvmoviegames:
Shame - Movie Review

Steve McQueen’s Hunger ended up having a lot that worked for me but never came full circle. There were scenes of sheer brilliance, such as the ending moments of the film as well as Michael Fassbender’s great performance. But by the end of it it just felt like it was missing an important piece. In McQueen’s second film, Shame, he reunites with Fassbender and pushes the limits of what audiences would expect to see even further.

Sexual addiction is a topic that’s rarely explored in film or television, and if it is it’s in a joking manner. When Tiger Woods’ scandal broke, there were people questioning if sexual addiction was even such a thing. If anything that happens in Shame could happen in real life, I’m pretty sure you could list it as an addiction. The movie tells the story of Brandon (Fassbender) a man who enjoys his life, all while taking part in his sexual addiction. One day his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), shows up to his apartment and it ends up turning his world upside down.

We see Brandon struggle with his addiction in almost every moment of his life. Whether he’s at work or on the subway, the endgame for him always seems to be focused on that one thing. One can only imagine how terrifying it must be to have to need to indulge in this thing that you know if others found out about, would see you in a completely different light. It’s one of the reasons why Shame works so well. It asks these questions and gives the audiences time to respond while seeing what another person might do about it, and when you see the end result you don’t know what to think.

Fassbender has been on a role lately and along with Ryan Gosling he seems to be the man of the hour, and with good reason. Along with Michelle Williams, the three have been choosing brilliant films to work on and there hardly ever feels like a misstep in their work. In Shame he gives an utterly searing performance that’s unlike anything he’s done. He’s able to take this character and the audience on a roller coaster ride that you hope is going to end well but know it could change in a heartbeat. While he’s only been acting heavily in film for the last couple of years, it seems like Shame could get him the attention from the academy as well as audiences. Mulligan comes off her understated performance in Drive to end up really sinking her teeth into a tricky role. When you’re acting opposite a character like Brandon, odds are your character wont be as complex as him, but Mulligan is able to really dig into this person’s relationship with her brother and that part of the story ends up being one of the most deeply moving pieces that I’ve seen in film for awhile.

Written by McQueen and Abi Morgan (who also penned the upcoming film The Iron Lady), the two craft an extremely suspenseful movie, and that comes into play in the last quarter of the film which contains one of my favorite scenes in recent memory. It takes place over one night in Brandon’s life, a flashback from a few hours earlier. We come back to him on the subway and switch back and forth, we see him go to a bar and Fassbender’s performance here is really what should end up getting him an Oscar. If Hunger didn’t prove to you that McQueen is a director to watch, Shame definitely will. He incorporates those long, one shot scenes that were present in Hunger and that you would find in something like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days in a non-gimmicky way, but rather letting the scene unfold in front of you as if you were there just watching yourself.

To expand on that previously mentioned scene, Harry Escott’s score, while mostly set in the background for the film (minus the opening), is used brilliantly here. It is absolutely monstrous and it ended up being one of the loudest scenes that I’ve seen in a movie theater. The score is reminiscent of Hans Zimmer’s work on The Thin Red Line, but it’s easily its own piece. That particular scene reminded me of seeing Sigur Rós documentary Heima in the theater, one of my favorite film going experiences, and just having the music overtake you. That’s what Escott’s score is able to achieve in this 15 or so minute long segment of the film that’s fantastic and ends up accompanying one of the saddest scenes in recent memory.

Much has been made about Shame and its NC-17 rating. It comes around the same time a year earlier that The Weinstein Company was having to deal with Blue Valentine getting that same rating. The difference is Blue Valentine was never an NC-17 film, and Shame definitely earns it. Respect must be given to Fox Searchlight for allowing Shame to go out like this and not forcing McQueen to make cuts to an incredible work. Fassbender and Mulligan’s performance drive this behemoth of a movie that will most likely end up splitting audiences over its content, but will keep the ones that respect the craft and understand how much has gone into it. McQueen takes the audience to a place that one might never have expected to see mainstream actors in and it’s because of this, as well as many other things that make Shame one of the best films of 2011.

**** / ****

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op9iQiB_ANI

Shame opens in limited release on December 2, 2011.
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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:42 pm

http://www.jonathanlack.com/2011/11/sdff-review-michael-fassbender-stuns-in.html?spref=tw

Thursday, November 10, 2011
SDFF Review: Michael Fassbender stuns in "Shame," a dark, rewarding portrait of sexual addiction
Film Rating: A

I think I have an addiction.

I can’t control my hyperbole. In September, I vigorously declared Ryan Gosling’s turn in “Drive” as the best performance of the year, forgetting, of course, that we still had many months (and a film festival) to go. Then, in October, I changed my mind, this time calling Michael Shannon’s work in “Take Shelter” the best acting of 2011. Seeing Kirstin Dunst’s mesmerizing performance in “Melancholia” last week reminded me that in both cases, I really should have limited that hyperbole to “male performance” and added a “so far” to all my “best of the year” statements to give room for work like Dunst’s to come along. The night before seeing “Melancholia,” I declared that “Like Crazy” had the best acting of 2011, which was soundly bested 24 hours later. I began to realize my hyperbole problem when I sat down to write my “Melancholia” review, and tried to stop making broad statements about any of element being the best (though I was still content to call it the best film of the year so far). I was taking steps to heal myself.

But today, I’m going to relapse: Michael Fassbender’s crushingly brave performance in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is the best piece of acting to hit screens in 2011. With all due respect to Gosling, Shannon, Dunst, and all the other tremendous performances to come along this year, I don’t think anything even can come close to topping Fassbender’s work here (and that includes Fassbender’s own fine turns in 2011 movies such as “Jane Eyre” and “X-Men: First Class”). As a sex addict being consumed by his rampant desire, Fassbender bares his heart, soul, and much more for the world to see, but does so with restraint and nuance, making the character feel entirely palpable. Running the gambit from funny to natural to unsettling to frightening, while always remaining, if not likable, sympathetic, Fassbender is simply magnetic, and the film around him is absolutely up to snuff. “Shame” is a flawlessly constructed cinematic treasure that forces viewers to confront some dark, disturbing material; it is as unflinching as it is riveting, and – here I go again – it is one of the absolute best films of 2011. Read more after the jump...

The film deals with an addiction far more serious than my own: Fassbender plays Brandon, a corporate drone in the throws of an intense sexual addiction. Once upon a time Brandon may have used sex for pleasure, but at this point, sex is a distraction, something safe and familiar he retreats to for consistency. He isn’t picky about how he gets his fix, either; he tries seducing women, and is fairly adept at it, but failing that, he hires prostitutes, uses online sex chat rooms, and masturbates compulsively. Sometimes, all he needs is a visual stimulus, as in one scene where he watches porn on the computer as casually as most people would watch YouTube.

Clearly, Brandon has problems, and one of director/co-writer Steve McQueen’s best decisions is to never explicitly explain why Brandon needs sex or what he is running from; Fassbender isn’t given a climactic monologue to lay his psyche bare. Instead, McQueen trusts Fassbender to illustrate all of the character’s intricacies and the viewer to watch closely, to engage with the film and meaningfully dissect the character based on what we are given. I believe all the pieces are there; more than anything else, one must observe how Brandon moves through the world and how he interacts with others. He doesn’t have friends so much as acquaintances, work buddies at best, and one could argue he only hangs out with these men to create a semblance of normality as he tries seducing women. He doesn’t just shy away from meaningful contact, he runs from it, is terrified by it, and he fills these gaping holes in his life the only way he knows how.

The key conflict of “Shame,” then, is the arrival of his sister, Sissy (the wonderful Carey Mulligan), someone he loves but actively ignores precisely because his relationship with her is meaningful. Sissy has plenty of baggage of her own, and in many ways, she’s even more mysterious than Brandon. Mulligan handles the character’s darker side magnificently, suggesting volumes with a single glance, but that’s one her specialties. She’s unrecognizable in the role because, while she tends to play more reserved characters, Sissy is bursting at the seams with playful enthusiasm. She’s impossible not to love, and that’s something Brandon can’t ignore either. Early on, the pair have several casual, friendly scenes together that are as hilarious as they are charming; Fassbender and Mulligan have tremendous chemistry, and it doesn’t take long to establish what these two mean to each other. That’s precisely what scares Brandon so much, and though Mulligan only appears sparingly, Sissy’s impact is felt in every scene.

“Shame” isn’t so much a film about plot as it is about character, giving us a window into the lives of these people at a particularly tumultuous time. It doesn’t have the kind of narrative momentum we are used to, but instead relies on long character-driven scenes that could probably all work out of context as short films. Nevertheless, no moment is anything less than riveting, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. A big part is the acting; Fassbender is piercing and Mulligan is mesmerizing, but James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie also do some very nice, naturalistic work that keeps us engaged. Each of the scenarios the characters find themselves in are fascinating on one level or another; each explores Brandon’s tormented soul, and since Brandon is such a captivating character, it’s all endlessly intriguing.

The craftsmanship is a huge contributor to the film’s mesmeric quality. Dramas of this nature don’t often go for the wide, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and when they do, they tend to waste space: not so here. McQueen uses the large amount of space afforded to say so much about his characters; many lone shots of Brandon place him on one extreme end of the frame or another, expressing the space he inhabits as a loner. He is distanced from the world, and the width of the frame illustrates that remoteness. When he is centered in the frame, he seems uncomfortable, or at least out of his depth. When characters share the screen, they are expertly placed to imply relationships, to say things that are most powerfully expressed visually. There is usually space between Brandon and any other individual, unless that person is Sissy. He is allowed to be close to her; in fact, McQueen practically regards their bond as sacred, so much so that their two key exchanges are framed as close-ups on the back of their heads, giving them a semblance of privacy:


Even more impressive is McQueen’s use of long takes and judicial editing to ensure that the filmmaking never takes us out of the moment. There are some truly incredible extended takes here, including a long tracking shot of Brandon as he jogs through New York; many dialogue scenes contain no cuts, simply framing the actors as they deliver the entire sequence in one go. Even when not using long takes, McQueen cuts infrequently, letting each shot breathe. This isn’t groundbreaking; many older films did the same thing, but one rarely sees such careful, measured editing in modern filmmaking. It’s a real treat, a reminder that more editing doesn’t equate to better editing as so many filmmakers seem to believe these days.

And, of course, McQueen doesn’t flinch from graphic portrays of sex and nudity. “Shame” will be released in the United States with an NC-17 rating; relative to how the MPAA typically treats sexual content, this is sensible. Fassbender’s penis is the star of the opening sequence, Mulligan bares all, and there’s a sex scene near the end so graphic that I have to wonder how they faked it. But “Shame” isn’t pornography, the common connotation of the NC-17 rating. The sex isn’t there to get anyone aroused; it is mechanical, dirty, and more often than not, outright disturbing. It is treated very seriously, and is an integral part of the film’s power. In that sense, “Shame” certainly doesn’t deserve an NC-17 rating. It’s not a film for kids, but for the MPAA to say it’s okay if parents choose to take their little ones to “Saw 14” by rating it R while commercially banning “Shame” with an NC-17 is absolutely outrageous. I hope people see “Shame” for a variety of reasons, but I’d like to imagine it will start a discussion of how we rate films in this country, and why there’s a stigma on allowing filmmakers to deal with adult issues in adult ways.

“Shame” is adult; there’s no mistaking that. But it is also incredibly rewarding, a film where you will take away as much as you are willing to put into it. For some viewers, that will be hard, because “Shame” is not an easy movie to watch or digest; Brandon’s addiction holds a mirror to our own lives, to the destructive drives we all have to get ourselves through the day. It’s a challenging movie, but I was captivated from the very beginning and only grew increasingly engaged as the film spirals towards its impactful conclusion. For the sake of spoilers, I have many, many thoughts on the film I haven’t shared here; I hope readers will check out the film when and if it comes to a nearby theatre, and once a few months have passed, I’m definitely going to revisit this one, just as I have done with “Drive” and “The Tree of Life.” There’s a lot to discuss, and “Shame” isn’t the kind of movie that fades once the lights go up.

2011 hasn’t been a great, or even particularly good year for movies. But we’ve already had a handful of vast, rich experiences, and “Shame” is one of the most expansive. I’d rather take a few masterpieces like this over a whole year of good, solid films any day. I hope “Shame” reaches audiences everywhere, and I strongly urge viewers to check it out if it does.

“Shame” will go into limited release, starting with New York and Los Angeles, on December 2nd.
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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:58 pm

http://www.thewrap.com/awards/column-post/shame-shocks-afi-audience-nato-chief-calls-more-nc-17-films-32675

'Shame' Shocks AFI Audience, Theater Leader Calls for More NC-17 Films
Published: November 10, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

By Steve Pond

The darkest, toughest and most explicit awards contender of the year came to the AFI Fest on Wednesday night.

And after getting a look at "Shame" on the huge screen at Grauman's Chinese Theater, guests and festivalgoers were left shaking their heads at the grim mastery of director Steve McQueen's tale of sex addiction.

It also left them wondering about the commercial prospects for a work so unflinching.

Also read:'Shame' Shocks With Pitiless, NC-17 Sex

"I'll be going to therapy now," laughed "Anvil!" director Sacha Gervasi as he walked through the Chinese lobby after watching Michael Fassbender's character descend into a nightmarish dead end of empty relationships and frantic sex.

"Shame" has gotten most of its attention for its abundant sex scenes and its full-frontal nudity, mostly from Fassbender but also from co-star Carey Mulligan and a variety of others.

Also read: Michael Fassbender's 'Shame' Slapped With NC-17 Rating

The film was rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, just as distributor Fox Searchlight knew it would be when they picked it up this fall. But the studio is launching a full awards campaign and hoping to give the essentially moribund rating a shot of life – something that needs to be done, National Assn. of Theater Owners president John Fithian told TheWrap after the AFI screening.

Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen

"It would have destroyed this film to cut it down to an R rating," said Fithian. "Too many filmmakers and too many studios do that, and I applaud Steve McQueen (at right with Fassbender at the AFI Fest) and Fox Searchlight for sticking to their guns.

"This is the kind of film that the NC-17 is designed for, and I think we need more bold filmmakers and distributors to make content appropriate for the rating and release it that way."

The trouble, Fithian admitted, is that the rating has a stigma left over from the days when X, which used to be the most restrictive rating, was claimed by the porn industry. "The MPAA and NATO screwed up – we didn't get the X rating copyrighted, and the pornographers stole it," he said. "That shadow lingers, and so do myths about the NC-17."

The first myth, he said, is that theaters will not play movies with the rating.

"That's just not true," he said. "We've surveyed 100 of our members, and three of them said they would never play NC17s, just as a personal choice. So that myth is 97 percent false.

And the other myth is that you can't advertise movies that are rated NC-17. That's wrong, too. Fox Searchlight released a Bertolucci picture a while back called 'The Dreamers,' and [company president] Steve Gilula says they got it played where they wanted to get it played.

In terms of advertising, one newspaper in Utah wouldn’t take advertising for NC-17, and that was about it."

Of course, "The Dreamers" was a full nine years ago, and its total U.S. gross was barely more than $2.5 million. Since then, serious adult films have either been edited to get an R rating, or they've been released unrated by companies who are not MPAA signatories.

For "Shame" to turn things around and serve as the leader in the revival of the NC-17, the brilliant but chilly movie will have to generate a very large snowball effect.

"We've had conversations with other companies encouraging them to take this kind of chance," Fithian said. "We've had conversations with filmmakers encouraging them to take this kind of chance. And it takes a serious picture working, hopefully like this picture will, to get others to follow the lead."
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Post by Admin on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:31 am

http://www.jonathanlack.com/2011/11/sdff-review-michael-fassbender-stuns-in.html?spref=tw

Thursday, November 10, 2011
SDFF Review: Michael Fassbender stuns in "Shame," a dark, rewarding portrait of sexual addiction
Film Rating: A

I think I have an addiction.

I can’t control my hyperbole. In September, I vigorously declared Ryan Gosling’s turn in “Drive” as the best performance of the year, forgetting, of course, that we still had many months (and a film festival) to go. Then, in October, I changed my mind, this time calling Michael Shannon’s work in “Take Shelter” the best acting of 2011. Seeing Kirstin Dunst’s mesmerizing performance in “Melancholia” last week reminded me that in both cases, I really should have limited that hyperbole to “male performance” and added a “so far” to all my “best of the year” statements to give room for work like Dunst’s to come along. The night before seeing “Melancholia,” I declared that “Like Crazy” had the best acting of 2011, which was soundly bested 24 hours later. I began to realize my hyperbole problem when I sat down to write my “Melancholia” review, and tried to stop making broad statements about any of element being the best (though I was still content to call it the best film of the year so far). I was taking steps to heal myself.

But today, I’m going to relapse: Michael Fassbender’s crushingly brave performance in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is the best piece of acting to hit screens in 2011. With all due respect to Gosling, Shannon, Dunst, and all the other tremendous performances to come along this year, I don’t think anything even can come close to topping Fassbender’s work here (and that includes Fassbender’s own fine turns in 2011 movies such as “Jane Eyre” and “X-Men: First Class”). As a sex addict being consumed by his rampant desire, Fassbender bares his heart, soul, and much more for the world to see, but does so with restraint and nuance, making the character feel entirely palpable. Running the gambit from funny to natural to unsettling to frightening, while always remaining, if not likable, sympathetic, Fassbender is simply magnetic, and the film around him is absolutely up to snuff. “Shame” is a flawlessly constructed cinematic treasure that forces viewers to confront some dark, disturbing material; it is as unflinching as it is riveting, and – here I go again – it is one of the absolute best films of 2011. Read more after the jump...

The film deals with an addiction far more serious than my own: Fassbender plays Brandon, a corporate drone in the throws of an intense sexual addiction. Once upon a time Brandon may have used sex for pleasure, but at this point, sex is a distraction, something safe and familiar he retreats to for consistency. He isn’t picky about how he gets his fix, either; he tries seducing women, and is fairly adept at it, but failing that, he hires prostitutes, uses online sex chat rooms, and masturbates compulsively. Sometimes, all he needs is a visual stimulus, as in one scene where he watches porn on the computer as casually as most people would watch YouTube.

Clearly, Brandon has problems, and one of director/co-writer Steve McQueen’s best decisions is to never explicitly explain why Brandon needs sex or what he is running from; Fassbender isn’t given a climactic monologue to lay his psyche bare. Instead, McQueen trusts Fassbender to illustrate all of the character’s intricacies and the viewer to watch closely, to engage with the film and meaningfully dissect the character based on what we are given. I believe all the pieces are there; more than anything else, one must observe how Brandon moves through the world and how he interacts with others. He doesn’t have friends so much as acquaintances, work buddies at best, and one could argue he only hangs out with these men to create a semblance of normality as he tries seducing women. He doesn’t just shy away from meaningful contact, he runs from it, is terrified by it, and he fills these gaping holes in his life the only way he knows how.

The key conflict of “Shame,” then, is the arrival of his sister, Sissy (the wonderful Carey Mulligan), someone he loves but actively ignores precisely because his relationship with her is meaningful. Sissy has plenty of baggage of her own, and in many ways, she’s even more mysterious than Brandon. Mulligan handles the character’s darker side magnificently, suggesting volumes with a single glance, but that’s one her specialties. She’s unrecognizable in the role because, while she tends to play more reserved characters, Sissy is bursting at the seams with playful enthusiasm. She’s impossible not to love, and that’s something Brandon can’t ignore either. Early on, the pair have several casual, friendly scenes together that are as hilarious as they are charming; Fassbender and Mulligan have tremendous chemistry, and it doesn’t take long to establish what these two mean to each other. That’s precisely what scares Brandon so much, and though Mulligan only appears sparingly, Sissy’s impact is felt in every scene.

“Shame” isn’t so much a film about plot as it is about character, giving us a window into the lives of these people at a particularly tumultuous time. It doesn’t have the kind of narrative momentum we are used to, but instead relies on long character-driven scenes that could probably all work out of context as short films. Nevertheless, no moment is anything less than riveting, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. A big part is the acting; Fassbender is piercing and Mulligan is mesmerizing, but James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie also do some very nice, naturalistic work that keeps us engaged. Each of the scenarios the characters find themselves in are fascinating on one level or another; each explores Brandon’s tormented soul, and since Brandon is such a captivating character, it’s all endlessly intriguing.

The craftsmanship is a huge contributor to the film’s mesmeric quality. Dramas of this nature don’t often go for the wide, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and when they do, they tend to waste space: not so here. McQueen uses the large amount of space afforded to say so much about his characters; many lone shots of Brandon place him on one extreme end of the frame or another, expressing the space he inhabits as a loner. He is distanced from the world, and the width of the frame illustrates that remoteness. When he is centered in the frame, he seems uncomfortable, or at least out of his depth. When characters share the screen, they are expertly placed to imply relationships, to say things that are most powerfully expressed visually. There is usually space between Brandon and any other individual, unless that person is Sissy. He is allowed to be close to her; in fact, McQueen practically regards their bond as sacred, so much so that their two key exchanges are framed as close-ups on the back of their heads, giving them a semblance of privacy:


Even more impressive is McQueen’s use of long takes and judicial editing to ensure that the filmmaking never takes us out of the moment. There are some truly incredible extended takes here, including a long tracking shot of Brandon as he jogs through New York; many dialogue scenes contain no cuts, simply framing the actors as they deliver the entire sequence in one go. Even when not using long takes, McQueen cuts infrequently, letting each shot breathe. This isn’t groundbreaking; many older films did the same thing, but one rarely sees such careful, measured editing in modern filmmaking. It’s a real treat, a reminder that more editing doesn’t equate to better editing as so many filmmakers seem to believe these days.

And, of course, McQueen doesn’t flinch from graphic portrays of sex and nudity. “Shame” will be released in the United States with an NC-17 rating; relative to how the MPAA typically treats sexual content, this is sensible. Fassbender’s penis is the star of the opening sequence, Mulligan bares all, and there’s a sex scene near the end so graphic that I have to wonder how they faked it. But “Shame” isn’t pornography, the common connotation of the NC-17 rating. The sex isn’t there to get anyone aroused; it is mechanical, dirty, and more often than not, outright disturbing. It is treated very seriously, and is an integral part of the film’s power. In that sense, “Shame” certainly doesn’t deserve an NC-17 rating. It’s not a film for kids, but for the MPAA to say it’s okay if parents choose to take their little ones to “Saw 14” by rating it R while commercially banning “Shame” with an NC-17 is absolutely outrageous. I hope people see “Shame” for a variety of reasons, but I’d like to imagine it will start a discussion of how we rate films in this country, and why there’s a stigma on allowing filmmakers to deal with adult issues in adult ways.

“Shame” is adult; there’s no mistaking that. But it is also incredibly rewarding, a film where you will take away as much as you are willing to put into it. For some viewers, that will be hard, because “Shame” is not an easy movie to watch or digest; Brandon’s addiction holds a mirror to our own lives, to the destructive drives we all have to get ourselves through the day. It’s a challenging movie, but I was captivated from the very beginning and only grew increasingly engaged as the film spirals towards its impactful conclusion. For the sake of spoilers, I have many, many thoughts on the film I haven’t shared here; I hope readers will check out the film when and if it comes to a nearby theatre, and once a few months have passed, I’m definitely going to revisit this one, just as I have done with “Drive” and “The Tree of Life.” There’s a lot to discuss, and “Shame” isn’t the kind of movie that fades once the lights go up.

2011 hasn’t been a great, or even particularly good year for movies. But we’ve already had a handful of vast, rich experiences, and “Shame” is one of the most expansive. I’d rather take a few masterpieces like this over a whole year of good, solid films any day. I hope “Shame” reaches audiences everywhere, and I strongly urge viewers to check it out if it does.

“Shame” will go into limited release, starting with New York and Los Angeles, on December 2nd.
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Post by Admin on Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:00 pm

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/AFI-Fest-Review-Shame-Michael-Fassbender-Hit-Hard-27886.html

AFI Fest Review: Shame And Michael Fassbender Hit Hard
discussion2 Comments published: 2011-11-14 14:33:44 Author: Eric Eisenberg
AFI Fest Review: Shame And Michael Fassbender Hit Hard image
The United States was settled as a puritan nation and despite the fact that those origins were over 200 years ago, many of the values still hold steady in our society. One of the places where this is most notable is in the film industry. Every year there is controversy surrounding the amount of violence and sexuality in cinema and the way in which it is rated by the MPAA, the latter typically more harshly than the former. As a result, major studios tend to avoid material with more explicit sexual material, instead leaving those films to the independent world. If that system can regularly produce titles like Steve McQueen’s Shame, however, there’s no issue supporting the status quo.

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a middle-aged man living in New York with a serious sex addiction. While outwardly he appears normal, his apartment is littered with pornography, he hires prostitutes, and he masturbates at every opportunity. But when his sister (Carey Mulligan) arrives unannounced and tells him that she will be staying with him for an undisclosed amount of time, his entire carefully-constructed world begins to fall apart.

Walking away from the film, all you can think is, “Why has it taken this long to discover the true talents of Michael Fassbender?” who puts on a performance nothing short of breathtaking. Unlike the films that have brought him to stardom in recent years, like Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds or Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, Shame is truly Fassbender’s show and he makes the best of every minute. Tiptoeing on a high wire between restraint and pure rage, Fassbender’s Brandon is a man doing constant battle with his own id and what the actor does with it is nothing short of phenomenal. The tension between him and Mulligan (who is quite superb in her own right) is disturbingly palpable, as the mind is left to only imagine the origins of their fractured relationship. Because of the nature of the film as a character piece, left in the hands of a lesser performer it would have suffered as a whole. Fortunately McQueen had Michael Fassbender.

Aesthetically, Shame is stunning, in large part because of McQueen’s exceptional job capturing New York City. Playing perfectly into the movie’s themes of isolation and alienation, Brandon is often seen alone and surrounded by tall buildings, shots that succeed in accentuating the character’s loneliness. Contrasting those scenes are ones of extreme intimacy, which the director never shies away from. McQueen most definitely earns its NC-17 rating, but it’s never gratuitous or even erotic. The filmmaker understands that in order to understand Brandon and his weaknesses the audience must witness them, and in that sense Shame is unflinching.

I can’t help but fear that because of the film’s overt treatment of sexuality it will be ignored come awards season, simply because it deserves recognition. Michael Fassbender puts on one of the greatest, if not the greatest, performances you will see all year and McQueen’s director is magnificent. Bluntly, Shame is as courageous as filmmaking gets.
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Post by Admin on Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:03 pm

http://wearingunderwearsneveranoption.tumblr.com/post/13213722304/so-i-went-to-the-french-shame-premiere

So, I went to the french Shame premiere.

Don’t worry, there’s no spoiler behind the link.

I went with my lovely girls, hawkeye-barton and night-train. When we arrived at the theater, the red carpet and the poster were already there. We queued exactly where the photographers were during the photocall. By waiting, we’ve come to meet one of hawkeye-barton’s followers. Epic win.

The movie was supposed to start at 8pm and they opened the cinema at 7pm and since we were in the first, we sit in the 2d row. Fortunately, we had so much fun and laughes together that we didn’t feel time passing and totally forgot that we were supposed to meet Fassy for real two hours later.

About Shame, I won’t tell anything and preserve you from any spoiler. But this movie is a real slap in the head. I still can’t believe it’s only Steve’s second movie. It’s so perfect and controlled. Usually, I criticize directors pretty easily, but i’ve got no critics or negative words to tell about him. Carey is stunning. She really is. And she makes a good pair with Fassy. And Fassy, what can I tell ? This movie is totally his movie. His talent totally burst in the sunlight. His performance is breath-taking. And he totally deserves the ALL AWARDS things. I mean it. If he didn’t get nominated for Oscars and BAFTAs, I repudiate the cinema’s world.

It was pretty awkward when the closing credits appeared. For us, it was very difficult to not applaude. No one moved and we were the only one clapping our hands in a very shy way. Then finally, they decided to clap their hands too and we were so happy : we were the last to applaude. Hell yeah ! Then the presenter welcomed Nicole. My God, she’s so beautiful and gorgeous and flawless. I envy her so much. Seriously, I never heard of her before Shame, but she’s one of the most beautiful girl in the world. And her dress was amazing. It was the first time for her to visit Paris. She was pretty impressed.

Then … the presenter welcomes Fassy and Steve. As Nicole came very slowly because of her heels, Fassy literally ran to the stage and Steve nearly fell in the stairs. It was really funny to see them that way. And they just confirmed it : I love them so much. They need to stop to be perfect. Unfortunately, they didn’t stay a very long time. 5 minutes and i’m nice with them. So I was kinda disappointed on that but, they were exactly in front of us and it was so overwhelming to finally see them.

The presenter asked the reason why Steve wanted to make this movie. (you can find the video here). Then he asked Fassy if this project was different from the other. “Yes.” And that was nearly it. The very funny thing was that just after that, Fassy started to explain that it was something that he didn’t know a lot of things about. The entire room laughed, unbelieving, and a first girl screamed : “LIAR!” Steve asked who said that and a second girl yelled : “I second that!”. The audience burst into laughes, just like all the cast crew. Then Steve asked him why he brought all his girlfriends tonight?!

After that, it was very obvious that the presenter wanted to get closer to Nicole, if you know what I mean. They thanked us for coming and then left. We were really shocked : it was so fast. It was only 10pm after all …So we left.

I’ve learned that some fans could approached them and take pictures with them but I don’t know how, when or where. I just know that a lucky girl managed to go to the cocktail party with only guests. But that’s all. We lost stupidly our chance and we just have to cross our fingers for the BAFTAs now.

My pictures are kinda blurry and very dark because there was no light on them. I was lucky because near but i’m not sure that the audience in the back of the room could have seen them. MK2 is really not the best to organize premiere.
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Post by Admin on Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:00 pm

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/27/sex-addiction-and-the-city.html

Sex Addiction and the City
Nov 27, 2011 11:15 AM EST

Director Steve McQueen casts Manhattan as an erotic Disneyland in his latest film, Shame.

When Steve McQueen first heard of sex addiction as a phenomenon, the British director scoffed at the idea that sexaholics need sympathy, too. “Like most people, I just laughed,” McQueen recalled recently over tea in Beverly Hills.

But after speaking with sufferers and attending Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings in the name of research, the Turner Prize–winning visual artist turned filmmaker was convinced otherwise. “The stories we heard were so devastatingly sad,” said McQueen. “It’s not like alcoholism or drug addiction, where there’s some built-in sympathy. It’s almost like the AIDS epidemic in the early days. No one wants to deal with you. You’re weird. You’re a fiend. That stigma is still attached.”

McQueen set out to deal with a condition “right under our noses that we don’t see” on the big screen with the brilliant psychosexual drama Shame. He cast Michael Fassbender (the star of X-Men: First Class and Inglourious Basterds who also portrayed Irish Republican Army hunger striker Bobby Sands in the director’s explosive 2008 debut, Hunger) as Brandon, a corporate Manhattanite tortured by his compulsive pursuit of sex. Wholly incapable of emotional engagement, the character finds his sex-filled existence turned upside down when his younger sister, Sissy (played by Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan)—who, conversely, loves too much—moves in with him.

Shame has been gaining Oscar buzz since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, where the movie earned a 15-minute standing ovation. Fassbender collected the best-actor award for his fearlessly unzipped performance. “I wasn’t going into this vain,” says Fassbender. “I wanted [Brandon] to be vulnerable, childlike, repulsive in certain moments.”

Where Hunger follows an imprisoned man’s desperate effort to claim freedom by the only means available to him—starvation—Shame depicts a man with unlimited freedoms, thanks to good looks, money, and a New York that serves as his sexual Disneyland. But liberty ends up imprisoning him. “This movie has as much to do with sex as alcoholism has to do with being thirsty,” McQueen, 42, said. “It’s just an outlet. We drink or do drugs or have sex as a distraction. That’s because it’s hard to be a human being. Anything to numb the pain—that’s what we do.”
shame

Actor Michael Fassbender on the set of the film Shame., Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fassbender, 34, says he went to some “dark places” for the role, but feels gratified by the work. “Hopefully we can do something provocative enough to stir people’s imaginations, to make them ask more questions.
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Post by Admin on Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:39 pm

http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/theater/2011/11/shame-frank-look-sex-addict

‘Shame’ a frank look at sex addict
By: Jeffrey M. Anderson | 11/25/11 3:48 PM
Special to The Examiner
Courtesy photo
Provocative images: Actor Michael Fassbender, left, and director Steve McQueen say their erotic film “Shame” addresses universal themes.

Most movies are pitched for a childish mentality — chatty, with quick shots and lacking material that doesn’t move the plot forward. Most movies also ignore human sexuality.

“Shame,” an extraordinary new film directed by Steve McQueen starring Michael Fassbender, is the opposite.

Opening Friday, “Shame” deals frankly with sex addiction. It tells its story with long, unbroken shots, a minimum of information and dialogue, and an emphasis on daily routine in the life of a sex addict named Brandon and his sister (played by Carey Mulligan). The result is remarkably revealing.

The busy Fassbender — who also appeared this year in “Jane Eyre,” “X-Men: First Class” and “A Dangerous Method” — and McQueen, who directed the 2008 critical hit “Hunger,” also featuring Fassbender, recently visited The City to talk about their new venture.

Fassbender, 34, who doesn’t seem overly concerned about his participation in the film’s graphic sex scenes, does wonder about why everyone is so curious about his personal life, and about his “brand.”

“My job is to go to places that are uncomfortable for the benefit of telling the story,” he says. “It’s going to make my job more difficult, and the audience’s job more difficult, if they’re more concerned about Michael Fassbender than Brandon.”

With its NC-17 rating, the filmmakers must have considered how audiences would react to such provocative images.

But McQueen, 42, says no, matter-of-factly: “I suppose what I’m after is that I want people to care for this person called Brandon. That’s as much as I can ask for.”

“Shame” doesn’t have a specific opinion on sex addiction, good or bad, the filmmakers say. But it reflects emotions that audiences of many kinds can understand.

“Steve and I feel lost and confused and are searching for some answers in the world,” Fassbender says. “Is anyone else feeling the same thing? And then you send it out there and realize that, yes, we’re pretty much all the same.”

To that end, McQueen’s writing process is so much about exploring and asking questions that he routinely begins writing without an ending in mind.

“You have to find it, through writing,” he says.

IF YOU GO
Shame


Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Written by Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen
Directed by Steve McQueen
Rated NC-17
Running time 1 hour, 41 minutes
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Post by Admin on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:01 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/review-fassbender-lays-himself-bare-shame-214346536.html;_ylt=AvBqcZeU9O_L3Y8AWz7N9OSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTRkdW1nbGR0BG1pdANTZWN0aW9uTGlzdCBGUCBFbnRlcnRhaW5tZW50BHBrZwMxZTU4MjhlMy1mOWQ4LTMxMDgtYmI3MS1mMjkwMmIyMzFiZWEEcG9zAzIEc2VjA01lZGlhU2VjdGlvbkxpc3QEdmVyAzZmNmMxYTEwLTFhZDQtMTFlMS1iZmRiLWZlY2ZhY2U3ZjFlZQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Review: Fassbender lays himself bare in 'Shame'
By CHRISTY LEMIRE | AP – 2 hrs 49 mins ago

Despite the ado about its NC-17 rating, "Shame" is the least-sexy movie about sex you will ever see.

Michael Fassbender lays himself bare, literally and metaphorically, as a sex addict prowling an increasingly dark and dangerous New York City; one of the first shots is of his character, Brandon, walking naked through his chicly sparse bachelor pad in the unforgiving morning light. But there's nothing titillating about the often graphic interludes in which Brandon engages; they grow more desperate, animalistic and unsatisfying — for everyone involved — as the film spirals toward its overwhelming conclusion.

Fassbender reunites with Steve McQueen, the British artist-turned-filmmaker who directed him in his breakthrough role, 2008's "Hunger," in which he starred as Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands. The two seem to push each other to their extremes in a collaboration that's as challenging as it is creatively liberating. Fassbender's performance here is riveting, haunting. He immerses himself and makes you feel as if you're truly watching a man hell-bent on exorcising his demons through compulsive self-destruction.

On the exterior, though, Brandon is stylish, polished and confident; McQueen lures us in and builds tension through impressively extended tracking shots and long static shots that linger on Fassbender's chiseled facial features, his hard, blue eyes and his lean, muscular frame. But Brandon's impulses betray him. He'll hold the glance of a pretty, married woman on the subway for far too long, and expensive escorts slip in and out of his high-rise apartment day and night. Later, his overly garrulous boss (James Badge Dale) at his nondescript corporate job will inform him that his computer is filthy with porn, and that the techs had to scrub it clean.

He finds his routine disrupted with the unannounced arrival of his younger sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), a wayward lounge singer just in from Los Angeles with nowhere else to go. The two have an unspecified history of family damage which makes it impossible for either of them to develop a loving, stable romance. (Some viewers have suggested that they shared an incestuous relationship as children; I don't see it and McQueen wisely leaves it open for interpretation.) Mulligan is also quite powerful here in a vast departure from the more reserved roles we've seen her in before ("An Education," ''Never Let Me Go"). There's always something that's just a little off in the way Brandon and Sissy regard each other, even in quiet moments on the couch, and that volatility crackles.

Brandon makes a feeble stab at normalcy by dumping his prodigious porn collection and asking out a beautiful, intelligent co-worker (Nicole Baharie). McQueen stages their dinner date in one, long take, pushing in ever so gradually as they awkwardly get to know each other. It's a rare moment of pure intimacy, and it'll make you hold your breath wondering how long it can last.

But as is true of many addicts, whether they're hooked on alcohol, pills or any other substance, Brandon must hit bottom before he can begin to ponder the possibility of redemption. His descent has its shocking moments but it ultimately feels tedious and self-indulgent, which turns "Shame" into a cross between "American Psycho" and "Eyes Wide Shut." The cool precision of the film's earlier scenes gives way to melodrama and leaves you feeling pummeled. Perhaps that was the point, but it's off-putting.

Fassbender always finds subtlety within the character regardless of the situation, though. And between this, "A Dangerous Method" and "Jane Eyre," he's proven in one year alone that he can do pretty much anything, and do it with startling masculine grace.

"Shame," a Fox Searchlight release, is rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content. Running time: 99 minutes. Three stars out of four.

___

Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:

G — General audiences. All ages admitted.

PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 — Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 — No one under 17 admitted.
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