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Shame reviews

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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:04 am

ohtbl:
Four lovely highlights of this weekend

My first weekend back in London was very self-indulgent indeed and I shall begin with the two great restaurants I had dinner at. On Saturday it was Terroirs, a perfect French resto that serves exquisite wine, delicious charcuterie and a selection of cheese that words fail to describe. Without further ado, book in advance and enjoy a parisian dinner in Covent Garden.

Today it was The Troubadour in West Brompton. Aside from the great food, what I loved about this bistro was the interior design and decorations. Small, wooden round tables with vases of roses on each, tall candles, beautiful china and wall decorations. They also have a wine shop, private room hire, live music and an art gallery to rent. Another French venue that I strongly recommend as très très lovely.

On the cultural side, it was the premiere of Shame, a movie that set my expectations very high. And I wasn’t deceived. Steve McQueen’s cinematography is pure art and this movie’s brilliance doesn’t lie in the story but in the details. The perfect soundtrack- I had no idea Bach goes so well with sex addiction, and the majestic performance that both Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan give. I admit, Shame is not easy to watch and the pace is rather annoying. But that’s the whole point, to make you angry and annoyed, to make you feel the shame and despise the characters because you cannot identify with them. The sex scenes are raw, powerful and somewhat difficult to watch but beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:04 am

loveandskinnyjeans:
Shame

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So I went to see the film “Shame”, featuring Micheal Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Shame is based on the issue of sex addiction and allows the audience to realise how it feeds into every aspect of life, just like any other addiction. Intense and uncontrollable, a film directed by Steve McQueen.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:05 am

mostvaluablepoet:

Last night I went to go see Shame at the Cornerhouse and it is safe to say that the latest McQueen piece is nothing short of brilliant. Although it contains more sexual content than probably most pornography, it equally tells the story of unique and poignant pain. Its hard to explain but I found my self tearing up at things that weren’t sad, just because the relationship between brother and sister was so strained and obviously built on a terrible past, and afterward we all felt a bit vulnerable and shocked, one girl said she felt like she’d just had sex herself and felt overwhelmed by it all.

Anyway, go watch it! Its really worth it, brilliant acting on both Fassbenders and Mulligans part, and after Hunger and Never Let Me Go I wouldn’t expect anything less from either party.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:07 am

onemessymoomin:
Shame

I just came back from watching this film, and I’m not entirely sure what to think.

The score itself is wonderful and so moving in parts I was almost in tears, the cinematography is fantastic, the relationship between the two main characters, Brandon (Fassbender) and his sister Sissy (Mulligan) is full of tension when she disturbs his perfectly constructed life.

It was sad to see how someone basically arranged their whole life around sex, and then when that was disturbed for him to realize that there is nothing really, purposeful in his life.

Also, I was expecting there to be sex in this film.. but not as much as there was and I’m kind of thankful I went to this on my own as with any of my friends it would have been awkward.

Still the film was very good and I recommend it highly.

PS. Fassy goes full frontal in this and I was not disappointed. Smile
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:08 am

lilykeira:
“I’ve just seen Shame…It’s an amazing film! Raw, real, astonishing….Michael Fassbender is simply perfect playing Brandon’s pain and sex dipendence…and Carey Mulligan is gorgeous. Her Sissy is fragile, hurt and wonderful….And their relationship is so incestuous, morbid and ambiguous….
A wonderful, wonderful movie!”
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:08 am

melancholyellie:

who doesn’t love a movie date night?

i went to see shame on friday night, and i was not disappointed.

michael fassbender was phenomenal, and completely unabashed in his performance; bared all, shared all. generally just flawless.

the relationship between him (brandon) and carey mulligan, (sissy) is brilliant; and so tense. really quite unsettling at times too if i’m honest - yet there’s a part of me that envies the openness of their relationship.

yes, there’s a lot of sex. but i think there’s an equal amount of pain. this perfect balance, the sincerity of the performances and the godamn TONES throughout the movie have made it one of my all time favourites. top twenty status. and definitely within the top five fassbender performances.

would highly recommend.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:08 am

nathankeil:

This was a very powerful and provocative film. I only recommend it if you think you can handle it and truly know what it is about. However, Carey Mulligan sings this version of New York, New York in one of my favorite scenes from the film and absolutely kills it. I recommend everyone listens to this rendition of a wonderful classic.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:10 am

scissorsmadeofglitter:
So i saw Shame with my brother yesterday

had to practically drag him.

Basically it was porn and pain. And about porn and pain.

So beautifully acted, especially the relationship between Fassy and Carey Mulligan, which was at first cute, and then unsettling. Especially as i was with my own brother, watching two siblings with their tension.

I cried a little too.

But in all seriousness it was insanely graphic, (my brother stated afterwards ‘i’ve seen porn with less sex in it than that’). Fassy even went full frontal. Fassy didn’t disappoint. At all.

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Can’t say i liked the ending though, i hate all endings of that nature.

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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:10 am

life-on-the-geek-side:
Guys! So I finally manned up, and had the balls (tee hee) to go watch Shame..

So, me and my good friend went to watch Shame yesterday. First of all, only movie I have ever been asked for Id when I got into the theatres. (I know I look young but.. let me see the god damn movie!) Second, all I can say is wow.

(Spoilers abound!)

NOW, before heading into this film, I’ll be honest..

I was slightly weary over the topic, and the graphic content. In fact, I was probably much like this:

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HOWEVER, my interest was more peaked, and my inner film enthusiast won out.Can I say that it was nothing out of the ordinary, the content isn’t something you wouldn’t see from staying up flipping channels into the wee hours of the morning.

(If you’re into that sort of thing)

Anyways, so my friend and I and our 2 other movie patrons(I’m looking at you creepy dude who sat right behind us in an empty theatre)

(Yes,a grand total of 4 of us, shocking I know) were Mr McQueen’s only viewers. Right from the beginning we’re well aware that something isn’t quiet right about Brandon (Fassbender), as we’re given small but impacting glimpses into his life, like every good director Mcqueen doesn’t give away his all his secrets at once, and some secrets, not at all.

Mcqueen’s style of an almost slow, lumbering progression in his films is NOT for everyone, one must be patient. For example, while most movies are well aware that humans need to simple tasks of eating,sleeping and using the facilities, McQueen through Brandon follows him through everything and captures it all.

The one scene in particular, that gave me shivers in the directors syle of filming was Sissy (Brandon’s sister, Carey Muligan) slow renditon of “New York, New York.” The soft tingling of the piano and her voice mixed with Brandon’s solitary tears, carried some hidden sadness that seemed to be boiling under the surface between these siblings.

(side note: For the Fassbender fans out there, the elusive single tear, is seen here, similarly shed in X men first class, and Hex, etc, et Smile

Sissy, is seen to be too, far from perfect looking for attention and affection wherever she can find it. I thought it was a strong performance by Carey Mulligan as you can sense that mentally, she’s not fully “there”.

Now, on to Brandon. First off, let me say that I’m not just saying that Fassbender’s performance was fantastic because Iam a fan. (As a film enthusiast, I have no problem expressing movies that were not my favorite by actors). What struck me about Fassbender’s performance is the nature he brought to the character, from Brandon’s predator like stalking of women the subway, the way he examines them, in almost too much detail for it to be normal. The way he simply moves through his addiction as simply as a man breathes, not giving it much thought, occasionally being broken by dash of society

(his bosses harsh comment over what sort of “sick” individual would watch the many videos on his work computer).

Th rest of the time, Brandon seems to be wearing a mask. playing the normal guy, the hard working employee, that enjoys jokes and drinks with his co workers.

Until, Sissy arrives, and it seems the she holds up a mirror to Brandon, though he is unwillingly to admit it . He can find the faults in her easily and points them out. but inwardly, it can be seen it disturbs him, as her faults give more light to his own. Reflected through the way he rejects simple affection such as a hug,or refuses to answer her questions or becomes angry with her when caught in the act.

You can feel Brandon’s inner struggle with his demons, as he interacts with others, like his co worker Marianne. Where he admits to having 4 months be his longest relationship. Around her, for a fleeting moment, he seem to be his genuine self when he walks her home, later, he can’t follow through with sex, possibly for the fact that there is emotion tied to this women, this isn’t someone he just picked up, so he’s torn.

As a result through a glimpse into Brandon’s life the viewer is given an insight into a difficult life hidden from everyone, that’s filled with hardships and frustrations that can’t be conquered alone. As Brandon duly learns when he receives quiet the shock to his system.

As a viewer one is left to ponder, what will become of his life? will it continue the same way? and with most things in life, Only time will tell.

over all rating: 8/10

most striking line: “We’re not bad, people, we just come from a bad place.”- Sissy
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:12 am

jamesthecinephile:
3. Shame (2012)

The shame, but different

I’d had my eye on this film for a while, because it had the Oscar-nominated thingy from Doctor Who in it. When an offer in the local paper in Brighton came up for a free screening I took it up - free stuff is always good! This is rated 18 for good reason - it centres around Fassbender’s character’s sexual addiction and inability to form meaningful relationships with people, and how that has a light shon on it when his sister (Mulligan) comes to stay. She has her own problems - relying on other people too much, to the point of forming intense emotional bonds with people who just use her for sex.

There is a lot of nudity in this film. In fact, I’ve seen more of Fassbender than I have of several ex-girlfriends. Unlike Sleeping Beauty, it has a decent storyline with character development and an ending - though these don’t appear until the last 20 minutes. There’s a clever fake-out that signifies the beginning of the wrap-up. It’s a good film, it’ll feature prominently in the awards, but it left me feeling somewhat uneasy. I’ll probably get it on DVD at some point. 9/10
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:13 am

letussmugglecandy:
CSA n. 10: Shame

CSA Communiqué no. 10
Shame
Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
Chelsea Clearview
Candies: Welch’s Gummies (TC)*, Haribo Gummi Bears (CM), Dove Chocolate Minis (LZ- guest Smuggler)

*To be fair, I also had Ricola, which both Charlie and Lee contend is not candy. Hey, if it looks like candy and tastes like candy…. I say.

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I found Shame to be a sad film. Brandon’s (Michael Fassbender) life is carefully constructed in order to indulge his sexual addiction, until it is disrupted by an unannounced and open-ended visit from his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan).

Obviously a sex addict has problems, but I found it so disturbing and sad how Brandon’s entire life revolves around sex. He has no real friends, seems to have nothing in his life he enjoys (other than sex), and doesn’t feel anything… ever. The only emotion we see until the very end is a single tear running down his cheek as his sister sings in a nightclub. Why does her singing strike through his cold heart?

There is a whole back-story which we are not privy to, but is hinted at a couple of times throughout the film. I am intrigued as to what the writer had in mind, but I also appreciate that it’s not really necessary to know. I like not being spoon-fed a story and, as I have said before, I think it is often scarier to leave it up to the viewer’s imagination.

Fassbender was very good in this—at times strikingly handsome and then almost grotesque in his icy demeanor. I liked the way this film was shot, I liked the long tracking shots and uncut scenes and my two favorite shots were the long tracking shot of him running down what I think must have been 31st Street and the shot of him at the end of Pier 54 in the rain. I also really liked the music, which I thought was a nice juxtaposition to the emotionally stunted characters on screen.

This was a disturbing movie, for sure, but I also found parts to be slow and a bit boring. I am eagerly awaiting a film which deeply resonates with me. The only film I’ve seen so far this Oscar year which I would categorize as outstanding and unforgettable is The Skin I Live In. Is it me or, Hollywood, is it you? I’m leaning towards the latter. —CM

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The last scene where he re-encounters the red haired girl on the subway reminded me very much of the ending of Martha Marcy May Marlene. In that movie, the cultish hippies are chasing after her in a car and you feel like she will never quite be able to put that experience behind her. They will always be after her. In this movie, he runs into a failed conquest, but this time she does not appear eager to run away. He’s got to make a decision as the movie ends: go back to his old ways and chase the girl or head off a relapse and let her get out without following her. Same idea: the protagonists in both movies will continue to face their struggles even after the story we see on the screen ends. Feels like this type of ending is a little more prevalent these days. I was originally hesitant to embrace it, but now I kinda like it.

I did not understand the connection between the subway police investigation and his sudden urge to call the sister three times and then run back to the apartment. My first thought was that maybe the incident on the platform somehow spurred bad thoughts about what his sister might be doing or may have already done to herself, but my problem with that is that these sudden feelings have been more or less completely absent the entire movie. I mean that’s what the movie is about, right? He doesn’t feel anything because everything in his life is just about surface pleasures? After he chews the sister out on the couch, does he actually feel bad about it? How about when she catches him whacking off and then he jumps on her on the couch and shakes her and yells at her to tell him what she’s doing there? He doesn’t understand why she’s there because he can’t communicate with her or anyone else. Except, of course, through sex. He’s pretty good at that. Does the crime on the subway platform really make him think for the first time that his sister might hurt herself? Her suicide attempts are referenced earlier by the boss who takes her home after her singing performance because he notes the scars on her arms, so we know it’s come up before. We see the scars ourselves when she’s in the hospital. And by the way, that building “downtown” was totally not believable. Tall building like that is more likely north of Union Square. [Note: we determined that the “tall building” in question may have been Trump Soho. It’s always fun to piece together the locations of movies that are shot in New York City.]

What happens to him with the chick from work in the hotel room? Was that conversation in the restaurant really the only time anyone has ever challenged him about not being able to keep a relationship together? I find that hard to believe given his legendary prowess. We’re supposed to believe that he can’t perform because he’s thinking too much about this one particular girl? Did she really hit that close to home and is that why he needs to confront her and make out with her at the office? What’s the blow for, does he need to psych himself up? Is that a commonplace activity for him, or is this a special occurrence?

The scene in the club across the street came as a surprise, but as it unfolded I thought to myself, “This is almost definitely not the first time he’s done this.” He’s also probably been punched and kicked in the face before as well. Unless the story we’re watching is really a snapshot of a point in his life where things are beginning to fall apart, spurred and illustrated lustily by the scene in the bar where he’s hitting on the girl and throwing it right in the face of her boyfriend. If that’s really the story that’s being told, that’s cool.

But this was not how I originally viewed the movie. Either way is fine, I suppose. Over all, I really liked it. It’s not my favorite movie of the year, but it was solid. —LZ

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Sex addiction, man, it is a bitch. Any addiction is bad, I suppose, and most films that represent addiction (mostly of drug addiction or alcoholism) often resort to heavy-handed moralizing or an uplifting finale.

Shame is neither of these two types of addiction movies. In fact, as a film that’s about sex, it throws the viewer deep into the emptiness of the compulsive and irrational routines of a sex addict, Brandon, played masterfully by Michael Fassbender. This is not a rah-rah film. For a film about sex, it makes it seem alien, strange, disturbing, and boring. I marveled at the courage of Fassbender to fully immerse himself into his character. He literally bares it all—and then some. Carey Mulligan, who is also terrific, plays Sissy, Brandon’s equally damaged sister, whose sudden appearance into his closed life suddenly throws everything asunder.

Shame is also a contrast of two very different styles: there’s the cool, formal film that observes Brandon’s sexcapades with great distance; then there are small moments where the characters interact, between Brandon and Sissy, and between Brandon and a co-worker. With the former, McQueen showcases the incomprehensible banality and self-destructiveness of sex addiction with an elegant style that made the proceeding all the more disturbing. This dude is f#%@#&! like a maniac—with strangers in alleys, watching porn on his laptop, jerking off in the bathroom, having an orgy—and the scenes are composed with an artfulness and intelligence without casting judgment on his actions. In this a way, Shame asks the viewer to experience intimately sex addiction without making conclusions. (Hey, that pathetic orgy scene towards the end of the film was pathetic and messy but it was lovely, almost ethereal). Then there is that other film within Shame where the characters actually talk to one another. As Sissy presses on to reconnect with her brother or as Brandon woos a co-worker (with whom he might have an actually emotional and intellectual connection), Shame takes on another life: that this is a real person who has compartmentalized the pain of his life by pursuing sex singularly. And with this, as you piece together the puzzles of his story that aren’t necessarily divulged in entirety, the tragedy of Brandon emerges.

In the end, we are presented with a scene that mirrors the opening sequence where Brandon flirts openly with a married woman in the subway. It is not clear that anything has changed and the ambiguity left me impressed: we don’t ever know what goes on in the minds of others. We can observe (in film), we can empathize or be repulsed. But when a character doesn’t want anyone to know his secrets—his shame—it would be disingenuous for us to presume that we should know anything about him at all. —TC
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:14 am

perilous-realms:

SPOILER FOR SHAME!!!!!!

Just watched Shame and am all atwitter about the absolute perfection that is Fassbender. I would give one year of my life for an opportunity to sketch him from life. His body is THE perfect male body. If ever I need to sculpt or paint one I’m going to be trawling the internet for pictures of him. That body is the perfect culmination of good genes and exercise. Perfection itself. I just want to draw it, so freaking badly.

Anyway, moving on to the movie. Odd movie, to say the least though intensely enjoyable. But like many other lit students I always feel a terrible compulsion to discover the “true meaning of films”. It’s ridiculous, like all artwork secretly has some sort of encoded real meaning and we just have to decipher it like literary detectives. I know how stupid it is but I really can’t help doing it anyway. So here goes, what the hell was Shame about?

I think the easy and obvious answer would be that it’s about a man trying to deal with his unresolved incestuous feelings for his sister. Mulligan wanders around braless for much of the film and they have more half-naked wrestling matches than is entirely normal for siblings. The sexual tension is pretty blatant. Mulligan actually crawls into his bed at one point and tries to snuggle with him.

But I think Fassbender’s sex addiction is symptomatic of a larger societal problem. If the movie is about anything at all it is about the impossiblity of any real connection between men and women in a society where women are routinely objectified and dehumanised. Fassbender is incapable of having sex with women he hasn’t paid for in some way. He is also unable to connect with women in any way that isn’t purely carnal in the most bestial way possible. All of that culminates in his bizarrely sexual while simultaneously emotionally distanced relationship with his sister, the one female who actually has some claim on his love and affection.

Fassbender’s objectification of women is paralleled in the sexual antics of his Boss who goes about hitting on women and trying to have sex with them and eventually succeeds in f#%@#&! (there can be no other word really for what they do) Fassbender’s sister. It’s easy enough to understand Fassbender’s conflicted relationship with mulligan given everything he sees and everything he learns from society informs him that she is little more than an object.

Basically, good movie. Everything is left unreslved at the end a lot of people were upset by that but really a movie like this can’t be resolved. The problems are too big and too all-consuming.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:16 am

flashcatindustries:

#19 Shame (2011, dir. Steve McQueen) (Highly Recommended)

Brilliantly shot and fantastically acted, McQueen’s sophomore effort may not be quite as tight and masterful as his debut, but without the limitations that the nature of that film imposed, he is free to explore a greater variety of images and themes, and experiment more with location and content. Sometimes it seems a bit much (when presented with Fassbender’s gurning climax face for over 5 minutes its hard not to laugh) but if you just go with it, it works. Up there with the best of the year.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:17 am

ilovehotdogs:
You deserve a Golden Globe: Michael Fassbender in Shame (2011)

I saw Shame and it made me want to take a shower. I mean that as a huge compliment to director Steve McQueen as his film succeeds in making the viewer feel the sad, dirty depths to which one man will stoop. Shame is a meditation in sex addiction and the dysfunctional relationship between two distant siblings. Michael Fassbender (M. Fassy if you’re nasty) is fearless here as Brandon Sullivan, baring all (ladies read: all.nude.everything.) and diving headfirst into territory rarely seen on film. There are a million films about the downward spiral of drug and alcohol addiction yet very few about sex addiction. There’s a level of comfort here that Fassbender embodies in his sexual candor and lack of inhibition that goes past your standard movie “o” face. For a film called Shame, Fassy has none. And it’s incredible to watch.

If you close your eyes and imagine what a sex addict might look like your mind may picture a Ron Jeremy type of character. Not the handsome, charismatic, and successful Brandon. He floats through a series of empty encounters with prostitutes, strangers, webcam girls, and even desperately rubs one out in his office bathroom. We witness lots of sex, most of which isn’t what you would call sexy. And while tons of kudos belong to director Steve McQueen, Fassbender is the reason to see this uncomfortable (but beautifully shot!) film.

Brandon’s lonely existence is disrupted by the arrival of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan). Mulligan is not my favorite (true story!) and here she doesn’t completely win me over but she does try. Perhaps a little too hard. This role is an unflattering one, and not in the way where an actress gains eight pounds and says she is method. Camera close-ups, misguided costuming choices, and an unsexy nude scene ask her to give it all. And Mulligan does. The problem is she’s not strong enough to steal any scenes from Fassy. Their interactions are cold, and though there are glimpses of light it’s obvious they share a dark past. “We’re not bad people, we just come from a very dark place” Mulligan whispers into Brandon’s answering machine one night. And after seeing the affects of this dark place, you hope that you never have to go there.

12:41 pm • 13 January 2012
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:19 am

brod-ie:
Film Review: Shame

Shame is a film about addiction. It is not a film about overcoming addiction, or about the consequences of addiction: it is simply about a state of being. Even its characters are just lenses through which the nature of addiction is explored. The best way to think of it is something like a fictionalised documentary. But as such films go, Shame is near flawless.

The lenses in question are named Brandon (Michael Fassbender) and Cissy (Carey Mulligan). They are brother and sister and both addicts, not to drugs but to sex. Brandon is the more stable of the two. He has built something resembling a normal life with apartment and job, and manages to hold on to these despite his constant and compulsive masturbation, solicitation of prostitutes, watching of pornography, and all around sexual goings on. Cissy’s life by comparison is a chaotic mess. When she comes to stay, the chaos she brings with her threatens to destabilise Brandon’s entire existence.

Because the film is an exploration of addiction, Brandon, its lead, is ruled by it. He has a public face to wear, which is charming, in a somewhat predatory fashion, but this is just a shell. Inside he is nothing but compulsion. In conversation, whenever a normal person might reveal some facet of their personality, Brandon only reveals an insatiable desire for sex. And this is a cold desire. For Brandon, sex is purely functional and utterly devoid of emotion.

Cissy is exactly Brandon’s opposite. Though still ruled by addiction, for her, emotion is inescapable. Where Brandon craves release, Cissy craves intimacy, a craving that often leaves her used and broken. The film is at its most harrowing when the two addictions come into conflict. Again and again we see Cissy seek intimacy from a brother who incapable of it and for whom all the physical signifiers of intimacy mean something very different.

The complexity of these characters is testament to the skill of writers Abi Morgan and Steve McQueen (who also directs the film), and a sizeable challenge for Mulligan and Fassbender. Good thing it’s a challenge they rise to meet. With the character of Magneto under his belt, being coolly reserved is child’s play for Fassbender. However when revealing Brandon’s anguish at how trapped he is by his addiction, he does not skimp on emotion. Hell in one scene, he manages to convey ecstasy and misery simultaneously. Meanwhile Mulligan is pure fragility. Her best scene, where she delivers a slow, quavering rendition of New York, New York, beautifully conveys the emptiness at the heart of her character.

Speaking of beauty, Harry Escott’s score is note-perfect, his music the source of Shame’s compellingly dark tone. The film is visually powerful as well, with McQueen’s lingering camera giving scenes an almost gravitational attraction. Shame’s immersion is the kind that sneaks up on you, but is all the more powerful for being surreptitious.

All this makes Shame an excellent exploration of addiction. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t make for is good drama. But then, that’s not the point. McQueen and Morgan are looking to convey reality through fiction. The problem with reality though, is that it’s somewhat devoid of endings and simple causes, and so is Shame. We leave Brandon as trapped as we first found him, and we never learn why he and Cissy are addicts. In part, this makes the exploration of their condition more effective. By not making addiction subject to easy explanations or quick fixes, the issue is treated with the seriousness it deserves. Unfortunately, this also makes for a film that leaves the viewer without the comfort of resolutions. It’s not a problem exactly, but an issue that may obstruct enjoyment.

Regardless, Shame remains a deeply compelling film. It is dark and hopeless, but not oppressively so and even has a few blackly comic moments here and there. The acting is good, the score is great, and, if that fails to interest, the film earns its 18 rating with a vast amount of nudity. Hell, Fassbender’s arse is almost a character in its own right. And amongst all this, Shame is a film that treats sexual addiction with the respect the condition deserves. If nothing else it should be lauded for that.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:21 am

theprinceobjects:

I saw Steve McQueen’s Shame today, and this letter from Marx to Ruge kept ringing in my head. Ashamed of the atonicity of life. Ashamed of bodies and languages. Ashamed of democratic materialism. I feel something like a formal negation watching this. A new film would be a dialectical negation, materialist dialectics vs democratic materialism.

“That, too, is a revelation, although one of the opposite kind. It is a truth which, at least, teaches us to recognise the emptiness of our patriotism and the abnormity of our state system, and makes us hide our faces in shame. You look at me with a smile and ask: What is gained by that? No revolution is made out of shame. I reply: Shame is already revolution of a kind; shame is actually the victory of the French Revolution over the German patriotism that defeated it in 1813. Shame is a kind of anger which is turned inward. And if a whole nation really experienced a sense of shame, it would be like a lion, crouching ready to spring. I admit that in Germany even shame is not yet felt; on the contrary, these miserable people are still patriots. But what system is capable of knocking the patriotism out of them if not this ridiculous system of the new cavalier [Frederick William IV]? The comedy of despotism that is being played out with us is just as dangerous for him, as the tragedy once was for the Stuarts and Bourbons. And even if for a long time this comedy were not to be looked upon as the thing it actually is, it would still amount to a revolution. The state is too serious a thing to be turned into a kind of harlequinade. A ship full of fools could perhaps be allowed to drift for quite a time at the mercy of the wind, but it would be driven to meet its fate precisely because the fools would not believe this. This fate is the impending revolution.”

Letters from the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher
M. to R.
Marx to Ruge On the canal-boat going to D.,
March 1843
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:24 am

http://www.avclub.com/articles/shame-and-snickering,67473/

Shame and snickering
by Glenn Kenny January 12, 2012
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Shame
Steve McQueen And Michael Fassbender

Around the time Steve McQueen’s Shame was about to screen at the New York Film Festival, word that the film would feature copious amounts of unfettered nudity from its star, ruggedly handsome It Fella Michael Fassbender—in the context of his portrayal of a sex addict, yet—set tongues and Twitter thumbs a-wagging. A-wagging mostly with a spate of sophomoric d*** jokes. I don’t consider myself a prig, and I have nothing against a good d*** joke, but, you know, the ones I heard/read were nothing like good d*** jokes. But trying to tell people to grow up (or even come up with funnier jokes), in person or in social media, is a bit of a mug’s game.

Still, I do remain a little confused, if not genuinely agitated, at the what-seems-to-be outright hostility that Shame generates in some quarters. Now, I don’t think that the movie is anything like an unalloyed masterpiece, and I found some of the artier touches—let’s call them “alienation effects”—that director/co-writer McQueen uses curious at least. I didn’t so much mind his unstuck-in-time depiction of Manhattan, in which characters who have very up-to-date cell phones hang out in bars that play old Blondie songs and get around on subway cars that might not have seemed out of place in the graffiti doc Style Wars. But in my review of the movie for MSN Movies, I raised some objections to the odd scene in which an ostensibly professional nightclub singer played by Carey Mulligan—the similarly unstable sister to Fassbender’s compulsive satyr-o-maniac Brandon—“entertains” her audience with a rendition of “New York, New York” that “gives Nico a very expert run for her money in the slow-and-lachrymose singing department.” I also remarked that the scene as whole might not have seemed out of place in the risibly stiff sci-fi Z movie The Creation Of The Humanoids. (It is perhaps no accident that The Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film cites the latter as Andy Warhol’s favorite movie, FYI.)

But my personal, one might say “gut,” reaction to the scene in which Brandon, in a paroxysm of self-loathing and an attempt to forestall what appears to be some kind of inevitable bottom, frantically cleans house and ditches all of the print and DVD porn that he’s accumulated over an untold period, was to tighten in my seat and grit my teeth. It did not make me think, “How charmingly retro! A guy who still buys porno magazines!” as it apparently did The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane. Similarly, the scene in which Brandon stands in the rain crying, absorbing the disaster that ensues after he checks out completely on someone who actually needed him, did not make me think, “And that’s what happens to naughty boys,” which was Lane’s “up yours” to the image, as if the film’s title was some sort of finger-wag at the audience and the lead character. No, I took the title as a description of the state Brandon walks around in, whether consciously or not. And that moved me.

I know what you’re thinking right now: “Oh my God this guy is about to ‘come out’ as a ‘sex addict.’ Please, please, please don’t put that mental image in my head.” Fear not. Certain items on my CV notwithstanding, that’s not my problem. My problem is, alas, less novel, and now’s as good a point as any for me to cite this pertinent quote from the so-called “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Bottles were only a symbol.” (Italics in original.) I noted in my review that the trashing of the porn stash could just as well have been emptying a vial into a toilet, or of a bottle of Scotch, expensive or not, down the sink. (Near the end of my own drinking days, it was expensive, because I was a connoisseur, and connoisseurs can’t be “drunks.” But down the sink it would go anyway. Brandon doesn’t seem to have possessed any copies of Richardson magazine, incidentally.)

While the more self-conscious touches of Shame may grate or confuse, its actual depictions of destructive, can’t-stop/won’t-stop behavior are acutely and messily accurate. That goes not just for Brandon but for his sister Sissy who, right after intruding on Brandon’s solitary cave, falls in bed with her brother’s married horndog boss (played with discomfiting edge by James Badge Dale). This whole thing just didn’t play with critic Andrew Tracy, who, writing in Cinema Scope, disdains this “ridiculously unlikely scenario” as “an offensively stupid turn of events.” I don’t want to get all “you don’t know” on Tracy, but I have to say that more than a few folks of my acquaintance might envy Tracy’s relatively charmed existence. Movies may indeed function as Rorschach tests for their viewers, but I can’t speculate, for instance, as to what motivates David Denby—who once wrote frankly about his own misadventures with adult content on the Internet—to dismiss Shame as being “about the hell—the utter hell—of being a young, good-looking, well-employed, straight single man in New York.” Apparently the point that Brandon’s mental and spiritual condition may tend to undermine all the physical/material trappings of his existence is lost on Denby.

And I think that’s maybe pertinent to the risk that McQueen’s taking. “Addiction is addiction,” he’s said in an interview, and today, I have to agree. (It’s also worth noting that Brandon’s various sexual exertions are often accompanied by not-insubstantial substance abuse.) Yeah, I used to scoff at the notion of “sex addiction” myself. And while sobriety has kept what I believe to be my bullshit detector somewhat intact (to a fault, even), there are some things that I’m not so reflexive to dismiss anymore. As frustrating as one might find the film’s withholding of an ultimate “answer” to the question of why Brandon and Sissy are so screwed up, a lot of addicts might tell you that while root causes and their explorations are all well and good, their uncovering and resolution is not a make-everything-better cure. (Not for nothing did David Foster Wallace give one of the AA groups in his novel Infinite Jest the name “Tough s$#! But You Still Can’t Drink.”)

Nor, for that matter, do I believe that the scene near the end, featuring Brandon’s foray into a gay sex club, is meant to shock audiences in some kind of “can you believe he’s sunk so low that he’s doing this with another man?” way. If you’re paying attention, it’s pretty clear this venue is not unfamiliar to Brandon. What the character is doing is bingeing, and an addict’s binge is a little different from a normal user’s binge. Actually, if one is truly a normal drinker, one does not binge, but hey, I’m not going to take your inventory here—let’s say maybe a “reactive user’s” binge. In any event, one of the most horrifying realizations a blackout drinker can have is that he or she actually wanted to black out. More horrifying is going out and doing it again and again after that realization.

What registered most strongly, for me, in the rictus of Brandon/Fassbender’s orgasmic grimace during the film’s already notorious three-way sex-scene, is that the escape Brandon is so ferocious in pursuing is no escape at all. Not only that, but Fassbender is such an uncanny actor, so skilled at conveying, or seeming to convey, actual thought, that I could almost sense Brandon’s innate knowledge that it’s no use anymore… even as he throws himself in, as it were, and throws himself away. He may as well be a blackout drinker, chasing oblivion again. (In a review of Shame that displays what I think is an acute sensitivity to its theme, The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday savvily reminds the reader that the French call the orgasm “the little death.”) It’s arguable that the particular despair an active addict suffers is only comprehensible to other addicts; but in the moments that for some represent Shame’s most deplorable excesses, I was convinced that both Fassbender and McQueen, neither of whom is an addict as far as I know, do in fact “get it,” and, more importantly, put it across.

Aristotle argued for catharsis as art’s ultimate goal; it could very well be that we postmodern folk are too sophisticated to have any consumable contrivance work that way on us. Shame, in its most unaffected moments, asks for empathy, and I felt that—and also a scary affinity. Because the film vividly brought me back to places I never want to revisit in my actual life. I couldn’t have laughed if I tried.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:25 am

fuckyeahtalkies:

Recently watched: Shame

Give me a minute, just recalling how speechless I was when the credits began to roll after this film.

Astonishing. Out of all of the films I saw at the festival, this was the one I knew the least about and easily the one that surprised me the most as a result.

All I had heard about the film was ‘man with a sex addiction has his carefully organised daily routine disrupted by the arrival of his sister’ - not exactly the sort of synopsis that would send me running to the nearest cinema..but then I heard three names: McQueen, Mulligan, Fassbender.. and I grabbed my running shoes.

The brutal honestly in this film is astounding, Mcqueen and Co-writer Abi Morgan went to great lengths in researching and writing this film; such depth and understanding is only too evident in the resulting screenplay.

What’s beautiful about this film in particular though, is the way McQueen and his impeccable cast display this to us just as much through the film’s many moments without dialogue. I mention the honesty being brutal, which it is, there is no where to hide in the film, we quite simply see everything yet McQueen & Fassbender steer the film’s potentially gratuitous moments away from voyeurism with sensitivity and grace.

Don’t be put off by the strong sexual content, the scenes are important and unavoidable, never exploitative or intrusive - there is no attempt to deliberately shock the audience - McQueen is too sophisticated for that. Many of the films best moments undoubtedly lay in the interactions between Fassbender and Mulligan’s characters. Their relationship is so intense and realistic, it is near impossible to tear your eyes away from the screen when they are on, it is crystal clear that they have thrown everything into their roles and the result is two career-defining performances.
McQueen shoots these scenes in particular with parallel, career-best focus and passion, the framing of The Cartoon scene is pure genius, the simmering intensity displayed between Brandon & Sissy where just the sides of their heads are visible creates one of the films defining moments.

A special mention however has to go to one scene in particular. I honestly believe I held my breath for the duration, unable to blink as a tight close up presents Carey Mulligan’s live rendition of ‘New York, New York’. McQueen flickers away only momentarily to show us the resulting impact of this song on Fassbender’s face, linking them in an unspoken memory, a shared understanding.
In this one scene you are fortunate enough to witness the collaboration of a director and two actors at the top of their profession, one of the finest moments captured on film. A scene that, for me, represents everything that cinema can and should be.

Whilst the film is brutal, yes, and honest, yes, McQueen never falls into the trap of becoming a preacher -nothing is forced upon you, there is no spoon feeding every little detail. He lays what he wants in front of you and you take from it what you will, which is one of the films biggest strengths in dealing with its subject matter.
Having said this, McQueen also retains a sense of mystery behind his fully formed characters, there are telling moments, hints at a past trauma that are never fully explored. Then there’s his masterful bookend style beginning and end scenes, leaving us unsure of whether the journey we thought we shared with our protagonist was really a journey forward at all…


Rating: 5/5


(Shame opens in the UK tomorrow - Friday, 13th January)
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:26 am

amzieo:

I hate how lazy people are. They expect you to give them the answers to everything instead of thinking for themselves. For example, the movie Shame. I recently went to go see it with some friends. No one really liked it besides me. I feel like the only reason they didn’t like it was because they didn’t understand the movie. They were purely just looking at the sexual parts and expecting answers to be given to them directly about what is going on. If you just watch the movie and actually pay attention and think…everything makes sense. It is a very sad movie. When you dig deeper then the surface, you see this is a movie about an addict. A sex addict. Don’t be blinded by all the sexual scenes. Instead ask yourself why is this happening. When I saw the movie I saw a character that facing an extreme addiction. The addiction is somewhat managed at the beginning. But when Brandon’s sister comes into town and causes stress on him, his addiction gets out of control. He is desperate for sex. He doesn’t care for who. He just needs it. Brandon has reached his lowest point in his addiction. This sex addiction dictates his life. He is unable to have any real emotional attachment with anyone. He just purely wants sex. It is easy to get caught up in the sexual scenes of the movie. But you have to remember that these scenes always serve a purpose. Its not to sexually arose you but it wants you to think about what is going on and how it affects the main character. Why is the main character doing this? Do they do this because of something else, like added stress or frustration? Don’t just expect the answers to be given to you in movies. You gotta think about the situation and try to figure out why each scene is important. Each scene is always important because it reveals something about the characters that is important for you understanding of the movie. Once you understand a movie you will appreciate it more.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:26 am

kirstieemillar:
Film Review: Shame

By Kirstie Millar

4/5 stars

Out Friday January 13th, 2012

‘Shame’ is the bleak and harrowing account of a sex addict. Directed by Steve McQueen and written by Abi Morgan, we are told the story of Brandon (Michael Fassbender), an attractive professional living and working in New York City.

As soon as the film begins we are introduced to Brandon’s lifestyle and the flat in which he lives. Empty, bleak and cold, lacking in any personality or emotion, much like him. We hear his sister on the answer phone; begging Brandon to take her call, but her cries go unanswered.

Brandon’s compact, clean and compulsive lifestyle is easily illustrated in the setting: the small, clinical spaces, modern buildings full of windows and intruding light. Lacking protection and privacy, it feels as if everyone is living in a large glass box, being examined and watched by those below. The claustrophobia is unrelenting. McQueen’s long shots create a tense feeling of unease and even despair, leaving the viewer feeling like they really don’t want to be there, much like Brandon himself.

It’s when his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) arrives in Brandon’s life, much to his annoyance, that the cracks start to show. Her rebellious, colourful and chaotic appearance looks alien in Brandon’s clean and minimal environment. We are soon able to see that the two, although obviously coming from the same damaged background, handle their emotions differently. While Sissy, handles hers very outwardly, Brandon bottles everything up, channelling them internally.

It’s when Brandon tries to pursue a healthy relationship with Marianne (Nicole Beharie), one of his colleagues; we are able to see just how deep his addiction lies. In one scene, perhaps the most honest and touching in the entire film, shows the two out for a meal. We are given the chance to see Brandon as a real, natural, awkward human being, not the robotic addict we have only so far encountered. But it’s when the relationship turns intimate Brandon is unable to commit, reminding us again that his addiction is damaging and ever present.

Director Steve McQueen comes into directing with a background in art, throughout the film this is very apparent. Each shot is beautiful and elegant, but never fails to continue to narrate and support the story being told. Every beautiful shot of the city feels like gasping, coming up for air, before being quickly forced back down into the dark abyss that is Brandon’s life.

Fassbender is an intense actor, playing a role so mentally and physically demanding could be damaging, but McQueen stated that Fassbender has the ability to turn on and off. Although dialogue was sparse, Fassbender was compelling and demanding on screen.

Mulligan also delivered a shocking performance; her character Sissy was multilayered, damaged and complex. But never once did the actress falter, she was unwavering, as was her beautiful and heartbreaking performance of “New York, New York”. A scene that gave the audience so much insight into the heartbreak the brother and sister had shared, by saying so little but meaning so much.

Throughout the film Brandon rarely speaks or outwardly shows any emotion whatsoever. The two female characters in his life, Sissy and Marianne, are a gateway into Brandon’s disease and trauma. Without these two vital characters, the audience wouldn’t have much of a chance to see the damaging effect this disease is having.

As Morgan and McQueen both discussed the film in a live Q & A after the preview, Morgan claimed to have based the film in NYC purely by accident. Unsurprisingly, she and McQueen said to have found it difficult for people in England to discuss sex addiction but found it much easier to get people in America talking.

When asked about the roles of Sissy and Brandon forcing the actors to break their boundaries, McQueen became passionate, stating that actors shouldn’t have boundaries; that’s why they are actors. He claimed to not be interested in movie stars, stating he only wanted to work with actors. Watching the two discuss the film so passionately and seeing a writer and director work so intimately on a film as powerful as ‘Shame’ was truly a refreshing thing to watch. It’s obvious that McQueen and Morgan make a powerful duo, and take an honest, no nonsense approach to filmmaking.

While ‘Shame’ is not a comfortable film to watch, it is an important film. Addiction is something that lies close to all of us. While alcohol and drugs are something the human race can live without, sex is part of a healthy life and vital to our existence. Perhaps this is why sex addiction is a taboo subject, something so intimate and private is difficult for us to discuss openly and understand. When in reality sex addiction is a disease, and it’s something people live and deal with everyday. People just like Brandon and Sissy, people just like you and me.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:27 am

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/12/shame-sex-addiction

Our Shame: sex addiction is not a dirty secret

The film Shame highlights the nightmare of sex addiction – as a recovering addict, I know it's time to recognise this illness

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caspar
Caspar Walsh
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 12 January 2012 10.00 EST
Article history

Still from the film shame
Michael Fassbender as Brandon in Shame, a film about sex addiction. Photograph: c.FoxSearch/Everett / Rex Featur

Sex addiction is a dirty phrase in the UK. And yet the acceptable promise of no-strings sex constantly sells papers, TV shows, cars, houses, food and anything remotely linked to half-clad beauties offering us the world – and all we end up with is a lust for more. The general attitude to sex addiction is that of a dirty joke, an issue that is not treated as a serious problem. Despite the evidence of an epidemic of sex-related diseases, societal problems, marriage breakdowns and family dysfunction, we prefer to take the stiff upper-lip approach; to keep calm and carry on.

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

I have been recovering from cross addiction, including sex addiction, for more than 23 years. It took many years to unravel and heal, and I needed a lot of support and love and understanding. The biggest hurdle for any addict to overcome is the debilitating and highly destructive state of denial. The inability of individuals to face up to their addiction to sex stops them from realising they actually have a problem. In the course of my journey, I have experienced and witnessed massive emotional dysfunction, the loss of jobs, relationships, family breakdown and imprisonment. This is painfully and brilliantly portrayed by Michael Fassbender's character, Brandon, in Shame.

I've been trying to raise awareness of the sheer scale of sex addiction in this country for many years. It's taken Shame, a powerfully bleak and unremitting film by acclaimed director Steve McQueen, to finally put it on the media map.

McQueen and Abi Morgan (writer of The Iron Lady and BBC2's The Hour) co-wrote Shame after McQueen's realisation that this was a story that deserved an audience. In an interview with McQueen this week he said: "No one was talking about it. It was a story screaming to be told. It is an extraordinarily important issue."

Unfortunately, McQueen came across the same blocks as I had in this country and was forced to do his research in New York, where the film is set. It seems that in England the core emotion at the root of sex addiction – the debilitating feeling of shame – was preventing people from talking about it.

Sex addiction is adding an untold burden to the NHS, police and social service budgets all dealing with its knock-on effects – crime and societal breakdown. It is said that $89 per second is spent on porn. Some may argue that looking at pornography does not immediately qualify you as a sex addict. Maybe not, but I have yet to meet anyone who puts across a convincing argument for the safe and harmless use of porn. Simply put, engaging in porn is about stimulating an otherwise empty or lacklustre sex life; it's about dissatisfaction and a soulless triggering of adrenaline to feed the need for more. If you consume porn, you are already buying into and supporting a multibillion dollar addiction industry that perpetuates the abuse, victimisation and objectification of vulnerable individuals. Surely this alone indicates a serious, behind-closed-doors problem of epidemic proportions, whether an individual believes they are addicted or not?

Alcoholism and drug addiction are now recognised worldwide as illnesses that can be treated. Sex addiction is different in only one respect; we can live as functioning healthy human beings without drugs and alcohol, but most of us need to engage in sex at some level to live as healthy adults in a relationship. But for those of us who struggle with "normal" sex lives, attitudes to sex addiction today are where they were for alcoholism 50 years ago, with health professionals attempting to deny the existence of sex as an addiction to boot. David Ley, a psychologist writing in the Sunday Telegraph, holds the single-minded view that there simply isn't a problem. As McQueen succinctly puts it: "People saying that there is no such thing as sex addiction is like saying the world is flat. It's a nonsense."

The pornification of so much of today's media is a clear indicator of how out of control the problem is. The fully clothed housewife that sold household products in the 60s has been overshadowed by the images of semi-naked sensual gods offering us a world of sex. As multimedia platforms push boundaries further and further, we have sadly been drawn to want more and more sex, buying a lifestyle that is damaging society.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:22 pm

mrcinephile:
Shame by Steve McQueen *NC-17

image

Shame is the most sexually intense film I have come across of all the movies I’ve seen and its not just the imagery, it has that element of sexuality that coincide with the emotions that cannot be explained verbally and almost every guy has experienced it at one point or another. Have you ever heard people explaining/justifying sex by saying “..all the animals including human beings have sexual needs..”, this arguments has been questioned in a way that Steve McQueen didn’t just simply showed the true meaning behind this phrase but also explored some new territory based on it.

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is young professional living in New York City who’s sexual urges and frustration are the main theme of the movie, his life is turned around when his sister Sissy (Carrie Mulligen) comes to stay with him indefinitely.

Steve McQueen explored and presented a new dimension of sexuality of an urban male in today’s world. The general plot of the movie is very flat but McQueen used it as a general premise for his exploration of the topic. The movie has various ‘Stanley Kubrik’ moments in the way it has been shot and is giving out deep meanings in the way each and individual scenes have been pictured.

To mention few scenes that stood out and were a perfect combination of raw imaginary and provided authentication to act of intercourse was the opening scene, where few moments are shown of Brandon (Michael Fassbender) after he had sex which also included showing him pee for about 30sec. For me it stood out because sex is shown in numerous occasions in movies including porn but the real emotions are the before and after which are never captured so authentically.

Another scene that captured my attention was the very first encounter between Brandon (Michael Fassbender) and his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligen), that moment of confusion on his face when he sees his sister in shower naked captures the essence of the movie. I wish McQueen had taken a full facial shot in that frame.

There are numerous other scenes and details that showed the true depth of the creator of this art and its something very vital and missing from today’s cinema.

This movies whole credit goes to the Director/Producer/Writer and the person who came up with the concept, Steve McQueen. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligen gave some very emotionally intense and powerful performances, and not all actors/actroresses can perform at this level. I can see this movie going to Oscars in Acting, Actress, Director, Screenplay and Best Picture category and it should grab 1-2 of them.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:22 pm

circumswoop:
I Find You Inconsolable

2011 was the year of no feelings. NYMag exposed the raw nerves of pornalia with the full Ridgemont High treatment. Frank Ocean wrote an r&b black comedy and called it Novacane. Abel Tesfaye and a circle of Ativan’d party sluts had it all in an empire of dirt. Joe Buck had a fun night. Ryan Gosling drove. Men who were not Drake got suddenly madly vocal about the true extent of their dissociative tendencies. Women, on the other hand, didn’t need to say anything, because they’ve been saying that s$#! for years.

Even though the new year dropped before I got to see it, Shame feels like the way 2011 should end. Our co-most relevant actor lets it all hang literally out and finds himself bewildered by the awkwardness of a plausible sex scene. IRL and in movies, I sometimes wonder how they block those. My arm goes how? Your mouth goes where? This is why the best sex scene ever in a movie was the one from Boogie Nights, co-directed by Dirk Diggler. Half the time these positions with another person are illogical, and we are right to feel ashamed.

I was afraid to watch Shame because I was afraid I might like it, as it were. Like Nate Fisher going to a sex-addict group out of earnest curiosity, I thought it might apply. W/o going into specifics, if my emotional life were a convention at the Radisson, people would have a habit of not pre-registering and then having to pay full price. It’s not their fault, and all manner of half-ironic self-diagnosis from Asperger’s to adult ADD to Pete Campbell sociopathology hasn’t made me a better boyfriend or doubles partner.

In the movie, Michael Fassbender is kind of the Steve Jobs of sex. He’s not really interesting personally or intellectually and even though he has a copy of The Greatest American Novel on his dismally modern shelf he is in possession of only one discussible gift, and I don’t mean a big swinging d***. Which he’s got, by the way. Brandon, as he’s called as though there aren’t enough Bret Easton Ellis vibes already, has discovered there is no sexual door he can’t or won’t open, and it doesn’t matter if he’s a good lover technically or not. All he has is unlimited access.

Brandon’s sex addiction is undiagnosed, because officially there is no such thing, and it exists mostly off-script. The movie is almost all nadir but if you didn’t already know the premise you wouldn’t necessarily know this guy has a problem. Which is why the movie’s important: what the internet did is give everyone a sexual security clearance and we’re all up to our pleasure centers in classified documents. Most of the time Brandon isn’t a monster, he’s intensely relatable. He is a victim of access, and that’s the one thing money doesn’t have to buy anymore.

James Badge Dale, as Brandon’s douchebag boss, finds his, Brandon’s, hard drive overflowing with porn. “Hos sluts anal double anal interracial facial penetration creampie I don’t even know what that is” is the perfect aria he delivers. In a movie where the dialogue’s pretty scarce, there’s your f#%@#&! eulogy. Brandon is for all intents and purposes dead, and he didn’t feel a thing. It was over before he knew it.

Seen at an angle, Dale’s foil character is more instructive than Fassbender’s lead. He only knows how to talk to women by complimenting them way over the top. Trying to buy tequila shots with Genius Of Love on the s/t or insisting Carey Mulligan is too Carey Mulligan-y to use public transit, he comes off way less respectful of women than Brandon, not to mention way more of a predator. Another reason Brandon’s such a weird patient; he doesn’t look sick compared to that guy everybody knows who hits on every girl walking by, confident the hint of desperation is not perceptible. But the everlasting weirdness of addicts is that they’re all essentially killing themselves with cure.

In Brandon’s case he gets with people without really trying; he has so thoroughly breached what Neil Gaiman called the threshold of desire that it wouldn’t even occur to him to put forth much actual effort, to hit on someone who wasn’t a hooker or a webcam slut. Call me a freak but there’s something nice about saving yourself in this way.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:23 pm

http://feed-me-a-stray-cat.blogspot.com/2012/01/were-not-bad-people.html

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
We're Not Bad People.
SHAME (2011)
Here's a challenge: how do you make sex with two beautiful actors look repulsive and ugly on screen? The repetition. The uncomfortable expressions on the actors faces. All the quiet little details that give the scene the edge of unease it needs to make the audience squirm in their seats...and not in a good way. Shame follows the life of Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender)--the man all the girls want and all the guys want to be. He's a successful business man and attractive bachelor with no emotional commitments to weigh him down. He's also a sex addict of the ADD generation whose inner demons rear their ugly heads when his down-and-out sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him and upsets the delicate balance of his sanity.

One of the real accomplishments of Shame is that director Steve McQueen manages to take the very temptations that Hollywood so often uses to draw people to the box office--sex, beautiful women, attractive actors--and twists in it on its head. The magic of this subtle yet brilliant little trick is the fact that instead of buying into a "time is money" feel, McQueen lingers in every scene. We have long, fleshed out gazes into Brandon's life instead of brief snippets and highlights. At one point, Brandon goes on a date, and we get the first ten minutes of the date in a single shot, getting everything from what food they order to the way they awkwardly stumble from topic to topic with nervous first date smiles. By dragging the scene out without any snappy cuts and breaks, we've ceased to become movie-watchers and instead become voyeurs, hooked on watching these characters bear themselves bit by bit.

McQueen doesn't bother with trying to explain why Brandon is the way he is or what led him and his sister to lead such self-destructive lives with distracting flashbacks and forced exposition; instead, he holds us in every second of the painful present and doesn't let go. As Michael Fassbender said, "There is no place to hide in this whole script." Between the fearless acting, the solid script, and the unflinching eye of Steve McQueen, Shame is, if nothing else, the most courageous film of the year. The characters bare themselves (literally and figuratively) again and again, yet, like Brandon, when the film tempts us with "Want to play?", we find ourselves unable to look away.
Posted by M. Hufstader at 3:52 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:26 pm

doktahdonna:
Shame (2011)

Shame (trailer) is a film about Brandon (Fassbender) and his increasing sex addiction. When his sister Sissy (Mulligan) moves in unexpectedly, things go down hill even faster.

This movie didn’t blow me out of the water, but it was very good. They managed to tell an entire story with minimal dialog. Some scenes ran on a bit too long for my taste (his jog through the city), making me lose my attention. The beginning was pretty slow, but once his sister showed up the pace of the film picked up.

The scene where Sissy sings “New York, New York” (watch a small piece of the scene on youtube) in the restaurant is absolutley stunning. Carey Mulligan is beautiful and such a talented actress.

This was my first NC17 film, and the sex scenes did not disappoint. Although there was the awkward moments when I was completely turned on but also confused on how to feel because Brandon was crying during the sex. Michael Fassbender is also a pro at eye f#%@#&!, so be prepared to be turned on even when he’e just staring at the girl sitting across from him in the subway.

I would give Shame 4/5 stars and I recommend that everyone ever watches it.
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