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Fassbender reigns supreme at Venice

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Fassbender reigns supreme at Venice Empty Fassbender reigns supreme at Venice

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:56 pm

Fassbender reigns supreme at Venice

Reuters Tags : Michael Fassbender, Steve McQueen Posted: Fri Sep 16 2011, 16:34 hrs

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Michael Fassbender’s turn as a sex-obsessed New Yorker has impressed critics and audiences alike at the recently-concluded Venice film festival. Reviewers hailed the 34-year-old Irishman’s act as a breakthrough performance of the year. Fassbender had already impressed film critics with his interpretation of one of the fathers of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung, in A Dangerous Method, that was also in competition at the Venice movie showcase. But it was his performance in Steve McQueen's Shame, as a handsome executive living comfortably in Manhattan who can only escape his existential angst by seeking casual sex, that made him the talk of the festival.

“He’s a guy who is trying to feel something and then at the same time can’t involve himself emotionally with anybody,” Fassbender said in an interview. “He has this obsession with physical encounters that are pretty joyless and definitely non-emotional, and he is abusing himself. After these acts, there is a lot of shame and self-loathing, so he goes out and has to do it again, to get rid of that feeling, and after that, there is double the shame, so there is a cyclical pattern going on.”

Shame is Fassbender’s second film with British video-artist McQueen, whom he credited with changing his life by casting him as hunger striker and IRA member Bobby Sands in Hunger (2008), another acclaimed movie.

It is peppered with graphic sex scenes and Fassbender is often shown naked, something he said should be a welcome change for female viewers. “For women it must be sort of refreshing to not always have to see women parading around naked while the guy always has his pants on,” he said.

“I also find amazing how films get those ratings, you can take a cheese cutter and take somebody’s head off or riddle somebody with 50 bullets but God forbid if you show a penis and f#%@#&! on seems a bit bizarre to me.”


Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Trade publication Variety called him extraordinary.

“It’s amazing that it has taken him this long to be fully recognised, as he's got it all: looks, authority, physicality, command of the screen, great vocal articulation, a certain chameleon quality and the ability to suggest a great deal within while maintaining outward composure,” wrote Hollywood Reporter.

“Whether he becomes a real movie star is another matter but, when it comes to pure acting skill and potential, it’s possible that Daniel Day-Lewis now has a young challenger.”

Fassbender says he is flattered but does not like to be told he has finally made it.

This year he also starred in the X-Men: First Class blockbuster and there have been rumours he could be the next James Bond after Daniel Craig.

“People always like to have this sort of label. I have been trying to break through since 2000. I really just think ... ‘OK, what am I going to work on next?’ and for the moment I am not going to do anything until the end of the year, I am going to take time out because I have been going 20 months,” he said.

“It just happened that the script came and I thought ‘God, I have to do this’, and then the next one and so on. I just keep it very simple with things like what people say and what do you think about Hollywood — it’s not going to get me anywhere to dwell on these things and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

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