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Shame reviews

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:27 pm

http://heralding.tumblr.com/post/15642169163/five-things-i-learned-from-shame

/ Posted on January 11, 2012 at 12:02am with 4 notes
#Carey Mulligan #Michael Fassbender #Shame #Steve McQueen #cinema #writing
Five Things I Learned From Shame

New York can be bleak, too.

New York has a reputation for being a city where anything is possible (I’m looking at you, Jay-Z) and all too often films set in the city are relentlessly optimistic, following characters that live already wonderful lives pining after something they already have and don’t realise or that they don’t really need anyway. New York-based films tend to ignore its darker side, as a city full of people struggling to make it, dealing with a sense of failure or hopelessness, or they go too far. Shame is very far from a love letter to New York - in fact the setting is almost irrelevant to the story, again, something rare in films which take place in the Big Apple.

McQueen himself denies it is a ‘New York’ film, and the fact that we don’t see any lingering shots of the Brooklyn Bridge or the Empire State Building is testament to this. In fact, you don’t see much of the city at all, at least in the day time. Brandon (Fassbender) seems to inhabit a city of wire fencing and boarded-up windows, not glistening shop windows and fancy restaurants. He transgresses the boundary between smooth, corporate New York and the more seedy side of the city, and his fancy modern apartment is more of a trap than a home. The film which it resembled most, in my opinion, is not a New York film at all, or even an urban film - it was American Beauty, with its depiction of what goes on behind closed doors, and the shame of the things you would never, can never, admit to your colleagues or neighbours.

Michael Fassbender is a very, very good looking guy.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Obviously, right? How could you not know that? Did it really take a whole 101 minutes of half-naked Fassbender for you to realise his (considerable) aesthetic appeal? Well, no, of course not. But hey, apparently it’s the done thing to comment on an actor’s appearance before, and usually instead of, their talent, so who am I to rock the boat?

Okay, I’m being facetious. My point stands - he’s a very handsome guy - but perhaps what I should really say is that Michael Fassbender is a truly fearless actor. In the Q+A with Steve McQueen afterwards the interviewer raised the point that Fassbender goes pretty far in this film, and that another actor might not be comfortable with the things he was asked to do. McQueen said that he thought there should be nothing an actor wasn’t willing to do, which was an interesting point, but still didn’t diminish Michael Fassbender’s own extraordinary dedication to his craft. If you weren’t already convinced of this by his dramatic weight loss in Hunger - to play hunger striker Bobby Sands - and his difficult-to-watch sex scene with a sixteen-year-old in Fishtank, then Shame should surely do it: he has to have a whole conversation about oral sex in a tone that is at once desperate and seductive. He nails it.

You probably think more about his films than Steve McQueen does.

He’s quite a character, is Steve McQueen. In the Q+A he is almost scornful, seemingly surprised that people can ask such questions of him, and his film. But it is probably because he doesn’t put much thought into his films that he is so bemused when others do. That isn’t to say he doesn’t put effort into his films, that he doesn’t craft them - he does, and beautifully. But he confesses he doesn’t use a storyboard, that he doesn’t think about message, or have an opinion on, for example, whether the film is suggesting modern technology can keep us apart more than it brings us together.

The moments of genius in the film are almost entirely coincidental. The scene where Sissy (Mulligan) sings ‘New York, New York’ in the swanky bar was conceived while McQueen and writer Abi Morgan (also at the Q+A) were drinking in that very bar, and came up of the most obvious New York song they could. There is a scene when Brandon goes for a run through several blocks in the middle of the night and stops at a crossing with a broken stop sign, the red hand askew and all the more obvious for it. The placement of the sign is an accident, caused by a hot-dog cart which they asked to move while they were filming. But it is perfect. And this is what happens on McQueen films - some sort of magic. Just don’t ask him whether the end is hopeful, or if Sissy and Brandon have an incestuous relationship, or if the film is meant to be real. Because the answer will be ‘I don’t know’ - and, almost certainly, ‘I don’t care’.

Carey Mulligan can play any character she wants.

Again, this is possibly fairly obvious. But even though I’d seen Carey act in a few things - Northanger Abbey, An Education, Never Let Me Go - and been impressed each time, there is something very similar about the characters she’s played that made me wonder if I’d find her hard to believe as Brandon’s wild, New Jersey-born sister. Her previous roles have all been very British, and somewhere on the spectrum between prim and not-so-prim, all very pretty and proper. But her role in this film is a huge departure from this. She’s extroverted, troubled, vulnerable all at once, naked (not just in the literal sense). Her accent was spot on, too. Just more evidence that she’s one of the most exciting young actresses in Hollywood.

Bach is the music of choice for the sex addict.

The music in the film is perfect. A haunting jazz-piano version of ‘Favourite Things’ was my personal highlight, but there is a lot of classical too and Sissy’s rendition of ‘New York, New York’ is captivating. It’s interesting how the music is used to define character - Sissy’s presence in Brandon’s flat is announced by ‘I Want Your Love’ by Chic, whereas Brandon himself listens only to pristine, almost clinical Bach. Harry Escott does a superlative job with the original pieces he composed for the soundtrack, and the piano track which played over the end credits is exquisite, with each single resonant note played slightly longer than the last.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:47 pm

http://superstarmagazine.com/film/review-shame.html

Review: Shame****

Posted by Lisa Giles-Keddie on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 · Leave a Comment

You are here: Home » Film » Reviews » Drama » Review: Shame****

Steve McQueen said the reason his latest drama isn’t based in the UK is trying to get sex addicts over here to open up proved nigh impossible during the research into the film. Sex addiction is still a dirty, sleazy subject, with connotations of men in rain macs lurking precariously in dark corners waiting for favours that it’s hardly surprising. So, it’s a bold topic to tackle by McQueen, with an even bolder full frontal shot within the first 5-10 minutes of his muse and star ‘addict’ Michael Fassbender as Brandon Sullivan – an ‘eye’ opener that makes no compromise for what lies ahead.

In New York City, successful executive Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life — which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction — is disrupted when his continually troubled sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay. Her presence forces Brandon to confront his addiction as he begins to lose control.

McQueen has cultivated a disturbing and consistently dangerous environment to witness, not one necessarily of harm brought by another third party, but harm against oneself. His carefully ambivalent unravelling of Brandon’s existence is alarming as both character and viewer try to grasp the given situation, leaving you in no doubt as to the complexities and psychological terror that such an addiction can bring. In fact, McQueen presents almost ambiguous characters that invite interpretation as to the way they tick, or what could have happened in their past to explain present events, like lost souls with which we reflect our own opinions and prejudices off.

There is a distinct air of American Psycho sociopathy to the whole affair, in its coolness and calculated gain that ultimately requires an unexpected trigger for the story to change pace and evoke emotions, and hence, defence mechanisms. After Hunger, Fassbender gives a near faultless performance again at the hands of McQueen’s directing, and is utterly enthralling as Brandon as he deals with his demons, accumulating in a deeply felt outpouring of grief at the end that still leaves a question mark as to his imposed ‘road to recovery’. Mulligan as Sissy is beguiling in both a bittersweet and catastrophic sense, and after Drive, continues to demonstrate a compelling new angle for playing abused personalities with spirited determination, rather than the headstrong ones of past films.

McQueen’s Shame – aptly titled after one reoccurring word uttered by his sex addict interviewees – is harrowing without overtly trying to be, merely allowing its main players to act out their desires and face their consequences in an often claustrophobic environment, and without a sense of satisfactory closure. It also invites us to confront our own perceptions, and in doing so, interacts with them as to how the ending is subjectively taken. In this sense, it is the artist in McQueen engaging us in his filmic canvas of human suffering, without presuming to give us answers that others might arrogantly attempt to.

4/5 stars

By Lisa Giles-Keddie
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:48 pm

http://filmjam.weebly.com/shame-review.html

Shame Is Startling, Provocative & Unyielding
By Michelle McGlynn
Picture
Director Steve McQueen’s second feature Shame sees him pair up with Michael Fassbender once again. The duo worked together on McQueen’s directorial debut Hunger in 2008. For a second time they have produced a controversial piece of cinema. More than this, they have managed to infuse Shame with the same harsh, unflinching veracity as was found in Hunger.

Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender) is what can loosely be described as a sex addict. Sullivan’s daily routine seems to inevitably follow the same path: a constant pursuit for moments of orgasm. He lives alone in his Manhattan apartment and works in a high-tech firm, his social life consists of occasionally going to bars with colleagues. Whether in his apartment, at work or out at a bar Sullivan’s location is of no real relevance to him. Sullivan is completely disconnected from his surroundings, his company and perhaps most especially, himself. Sullivan achieves orgasm through masturbation, pornography, encounters with women he meets and prostitutes. Yet, at no point does he feel pleasure. He doesn’t even seem to experience a moment of relief from his self-destruction. Sullivan’s solitary routine is disturbed when his sister Sissy comes to stay with him. Sissy is, in most ways, the opposite of her brother but she is equally haunted and attempts to find escape in forms of self-harm. McQueen does not attempt to provide the audience with a back story, there is no effort to give reason for Sullivan’s behaviour. There is only an illusion to a shared past which has affected brother and sister deeply. “We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place” states Sissy. Sissy’s presence sees the usually calm, unaffected Sullivan spiral rapidly downward climaxing in a night of utter excess.

Michael Fassbender’s performance is provocative, intense and commanding. McQueen knows when to give him free reign. Brandon is not a particularly sympathetic character but somehow Fassbender pulls you in. The most haunting and disturbing scenes are often those in which there is not one word uttered. Fassbender has the ability to communicate so much with a look or an expression.

Carey Mulligan is brilliant as Sissy. Sissy provides a passion, and an urgency which is otherwise missing. Mulligan is also credited with one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. Mulligan performs the well known song “New York, New York” in a bar, but never has the song sounded so haunting, so desperately lonely. The scene lasts for just short of five minutes and Mulligan is mesmerizing from start to finish.
Shame is intense and at times difficult to watch. Once again, McQueen provides audiences with a startling, provocative and unyielding film which stays with you long after leaving the theatre.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:48 pm

alittlechallenge:
#002 (146) // Shame [2011]

image

watched: 09/01/2012

Nothing for those of us who like the physical acts between two people to be shown in a subtle light, this portrays the life of a sex addict without addressing it as such. Regardless the powerful performances from both Fassbender and Mulligan, as well as the artful camera work, this wasn’t quite as striking as some critics made it out to be. Still, a solid film. 6/10
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:49 pm

hespacesamidlove:

Aww, you’re really sweet. Smile Let me just say sorry ahead of time though, for this messy and unfocused train of thought that’s ahead, about the movie, which you may or may not read. (No major spoilers here)

First off, I have so many mixed feelings about Shame. The first thing that came to mind when I got out of the theater was not looking at anybody else that I sat in that theater with, because during lots of scenes it was just like we were watching porn together. I was really glad I drove there, because I did not want to take the bus back to my apartment, with other people, at all. It was obvious why this movie was rated NC-17. This could not, in any way, shape, or form, have been edited to a lower rating without completely destroying the entire plot or meaning.

The cinematography was amazing. I’m still trying to understand this one scene where Brandon (Michael Fassbender) was running, and there was a broken walk sign that was hanging on it’s side, and he’s waiting for the light but he starts running again once the sign has the red “stop” hand on it. Like the shots and the colors were beautiful and off putting, sometimes disturbing, but excellent. The music was beautiful too, all classical, and Sissy (Carey Mulligan) singing New York, New York in a very soft but moving way. It went perfectly with the film, with the random bursts of house music and silence too. Seriously, the work put into this movie is so obvious and thorough, and that effort really paid off.

But really, I just need to say that I was really really weird about all the nudity and sex. Nudity is one thing - I was okay with just seeing Fassbender and Mulligan standing or walking around naked, but it was an altogether different thing to watch people have like every kind of sex that I can think of. Personally, I was so awkward about it, and it was stranger since everyone was sitting behind me and I had no idea what their reactions were at all. I mean, I understand how obsessed and engrossed Brandon was with sex, and how everything changed once his sister came, (which is basically just what the synopsis said), but I’d rather not see it. Yet this movie really isn’t about sex and porn so much as it is about addiction and relationships.

I can’t really say much more without giving away the plot, but I would recommend it if you were more comfortable with seeing sex and nudity. Like, I would never ever let my parents see this movie, but I know some of my friends who would love it. As for me, I knew there would be some going in, it was just a lot more than expected. But really, Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan were so good in this movie, and I could believe in their characters, no matter what they did.

A Dangerous Method will seem so calm after seeing Fassbender in this movie.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:50 pm

thebarkingcat:

In Steve McQueen’s new film, Shame, there is (specifically) a scene where the main character, Brandon (a sex addict) is running. The shot is long, drawn out, borderline boring. While running, Brandon is accompanied by Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E Minor; this particular recording was performed by Glenn Gould. I absolutely love that McQueen used music which is so steady, even, meticulous, yet played by a total crazy. Glenn Gould was infamous for only using a particular chair [made by his father] while he played, which would wobble as he constantly rotated his body in a circular motion. Similarly, Brandon is perceived by others as a composed individual. He is handsome, neat and essentially put together well. My point? I was excited to make this connection while watching the film and even more excited that McQueen executed this with grace.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:52 pm

http://fancykraken.tumblr.com/post/15586458689/thinky-shame-review-thoughts-spoilers

thinky Shame review/thoughts (SPOILERS)

[I’m just copying what I wrote in my LJ]

So. Shame. Probably one of the most emotional, raw, and brilliant films I have seen in a long, long time. This movie would not have worked even a fraction as well as it did without Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan in it. I think Steve McQueen has outdone himself on this one or at least I feel like he has. For him to get his actors to go that far is something you don’t see all that often.


Okay, I’ll get this out of the way first: p****. p****. p****. p****.

The way the media has set it up it is like he’s walking around full frontal the entire thing, which is untrue. You get maybe a minute, if that, full frontal/side/behind whatever and half of that is in shadow and just him taking a piss. Honestly, I like to fangirl and poke fun at Fassbender’s nekkid body (although I must say that he is *cough* very well endowed), but when it comes down to it in the movie and to serve the story it’s really not that big of a deal. I am afraid when (or if) the movie ever leaks because I can just picture tumblr and the internet now.

On to not p**** related things. Michael Fassbender deserves an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Unicorns, and Praise from the Gods themselves, because his performance in this just blew me away. Yes, I am in love with the guy and am in the middle of planning our wedding, but even if I wasn’t I wouldn’t deny the fact this was one hell of a performance. All the praise he’s been getting in the media and from people about it? All true and well deserved. He has so little dialogue, but his eyes and face and actions say it all. He’s the real deal, man. He can act and he can accomplish what not a lot of actors on screen can. I think that his performance is definitely in part to his trust and friendship with Steve McQueen, because some of those things on screen were not easy to watch, so I cannot imagine what it would be like for him to act.

Carey Mulligan was great as well. Again, people are going on about her nude scene, but really isn’t all that. People are putting too much stuff about all the nudity in this. Anyway, she did a beautiful job with Sissy and her fragility and childlike qualities. Her singing was haunting and beautiful. You can see the pain in Sissy while she sings that just as much as Brandon. She’s obviously desperate for Brandon to care about her or to have some kind of comfort from him. You know something happened to them as kids. Whether they were both abused sexually, physically, emotionally or it was just her abused isn’t clear, but it’s obvious that something had to have happened them for her to cut herself and then try and kill herself (more than once?). Brandon’s abuse on himself isn’t seen on himself as clearly as Sissy’s, but it’s there. He can’t connect with people, particularly women, on an intimate and loving level like most of us can. He can’t connect with his own sister like brothers and sisters should, this addiction takes over every part of his life. He’s definitely ashamed of himself (hence the movie title) for his lifestyle and/or what happened to him as a kid. You can definitely feel/see some kind of tension between Sissy and him during the movie. When he surprises Sissy in the shower she’s standing there completely naked it’s like something like this has happened before or is the norm. Most brothers and sisters would freak out and try to cover themselves or run, but something about this just lingers and the way she doesn’t cover herself completely when he throws the towel at her gave me the impression that there’s something more. Also when Brandon looks around his apartment after he finds her in his bathroom and smells her scarf like a lover would. It reminded me at the end of Brokeback Mountains when Ennis smells Jack’s shirt. Or I could completely be reading into all this too much or the wrong way.

One of my favourite scenes of the movie was them on the subway platform and she picks the fluff off his coat. You can see they do love each other and it’s a small interaction that makes does show that brother and sister bond. It also feels like the most ‘normal’ interaction between them, something that any of us would do if a loved one was pushing our buttons.

Brandon’s spiral out of control was painful to watch. He’s trying so hard to keep himself under control and look the part of a ‘normal’ person and it keeps being picked at until he just starts to shatter. He’s got a sense of OCD about him where all the exterior is perfect, but the interior is a chaotic mess. When his boss tells him his computer is filthy and suspects it’s his intern, the sheer look of panic and relief in Brandon’s eyes is evident. He can’t stand himself and his addiction, but he can’t stop. The shame he has when he can’t preform with Marianne and then after the fight with Sissy… oh, those were hard to watch. The bit in the leaked script where he was talking to the girl in the bar about how he’d go down on her, it wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t a turn on, it was painful to watch because you can see he is going down a path of destruction. And when he went into the gay club… I wanted to cry. Yes, I was surprised when he started kissing the guy, even though I read the script and knew what would happen, it wasn’t any less jarring. But the hardest, I found, was the three way scene and the look on his face as all this was happening. He was just so sad and disgusted with himself, it broke my heart. I just wanted to go into the movie and help him in someway. Then coming home to Sissy and her laying in a pool of her own blood, that was just horrible. I knew it would happen, but there were people in the audience who actually gasped out loud when he found her. I think he finally had a realization at the end in the hospital when he was looking at all the scars on her wrist and seeing that he wasn’t the only one hurting. I felt like he kind had this thing lifted that was in front of his eyes the whole time.

Holy s$#! this has gotten long.

Steve McQueen’s attention to detail was brilliant as always and the way he sets everything up. The long drawn out shots/takes, the minimal dialogue and the awkwardness of the situations. I thought the date scene was amazing because it was full of that nervous energy of a first date and the awkward pauses and hesitation to share things about yourself. It all has this real, human quality to it. Steve McQueen wanted to depict an addiction that is not often made public or ‘glorified’ and he certainly accomplished that on many levels. The way he just shows us Brandon’s life without glossing over anything is uncomfortable and real.

Again I have to say that Michael Fassbender’s performance in this is beyond anything that I’ve seen. All the awards is an understatement.

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:53 pm

mrsteddyburton:

366 day movie challenge | #7 Shame | ★★★★ +

Shame is a porno film about Brandon who has an extremely private private life which lets him play on his sexual addiction, played by Michael Fassbender the most handsome shark man on the planet at this very moment, we experience Brandon in probably the hardest period in his life as his addiction is interupted by his sister Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan.

This film leaves nothing to the imagination, Steve McQueen literally strips his actors to their bare skin which is neccessary in certain scenes but I do think that there are certain scenes that I would have been able to live without I do not want to see Fassy pee or eat someone’s ass. It is a very graphic film which can probably be classed as soft porn, and I must say that it was not at all what I imagined.

Fassy’s performance is brilliant, I will be shocked if he doesn’t get an Academy Award nomination because seriously this is probably his best performance, and it’s incredible.

I must say that the last scenes are probably the strongest in the whole film, and this is not saying that the rest is crap because it’s not, it’s just the character development of Brandon really takes a huge step within the last 5-10 minutes and it’s amazing to see Fassy do that change.

Steve McQueen’s way of setting up the scenes is quite fassynating as he lets the scene run in one single shot for almost all of the scene, and it gives you a more realness in the film.

Watch it because it’s brilliant.

Also, it gets a 4+ and not a 5 because some of the nakedness had me cringing.

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:53 pm

glum-bumble:
Just some thoughts on Shame

I finally saw Shame today!

I don’t know why everyone, or many people, have reduced the film to “p****”. You also see Carey Mulligan completely naked and I don’t see anyone going “aaaaah she’s naked!” (not that I want anyone to do that either). Why? Because it’s so normal to see women naked, all the time. All the female nudity there was in the movie, and all people are talking about is Fassbender’s p****. Like it’s some sort of extra terrestrial thing and no one on Earth has ever seen one. It’s because men aren’t shown naked like that in movies that it’s so shocking or whatever to people. So let’s get more male actors to get naked so we can all be equal. Otherwise just cover EVERYONE up. Or. I don’t know. The film was so much more than “oh look he’s walking around completely naked in his apartment”. In most interviews with Michael Fassbender for this film or Ewan McGregor for other films where he’s been shown like that people ask if it was difficult for them to get completely naked. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ask that question to any actress who went topless, or even completely naked, in a movie. I think I’m mostly talking about European actors here because I can’t recall the last time I saw female nudity in an American film. There is more nudity in French cinema and that’s not something we ever hear actors talking about because it seems so normal.

Anyway. Carey Mulligan was great, I didn’t really like her before this film but now I guess she’s ok. The colours in the film were great and particularly in the last scene.

And I don’t know what to say about the film otherwise without sounding either hypochondriac (“please get those beauty marks regularly seen by a dermatologist Michael Fassbender, melanomaaaa”) or talking about all the things that were good or bad and just rambling on and revealing the whole thing…I don’t know. It was difficult to watch at times and I’m not just talking about the sex scenes, I’m talking about how much he looks like he’s suffering. AND THE END. AAARGH. Michael Fassbender can scare you when he’s shouting stuff and being Magneto or asking Sissy to get out of the room but then the end of the film…wow. All the vulnerability!

So. I had expected to be more disturbed by the film but it appears that I am ok (except that I was really hungry but then had no appetite when I left the theatre).

Oh and don’t watch it online. It’s like…A Single Man? You need to be in a cinema and focus on the screen and forget about other things because it’s the sort of film where you will not predict where the story goes, there isn’t thaaat much dialogue, there’s lots of shots of “he’s running in the city and nothing really happens” or “he’s at home and eating but we’ll keep the camera focused on the living room, when he’s in the kitchen”. Which I am not saying is bad, I am saying it’s not something we’re used to in films now because there’s always something going on and everything is usually related to the story, so there’s nothing “useless”, so you’ll have figured out where it was going before the end.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:06 am

femgarden:

Just watched: Shame

Great! Should have gotten Oscar nods at least for Michael Fassbender (I kept hearing about his p**** but it really doesn’t show it all that much), Carey Mulligan, and for the score (which really heightened it for me), and of the movies I saw last year, it would definitely be top 10. What did it get? Nothing. Because the Academy is dumb and I hate them.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:15 am

baronjamie:

3. Shame

As soon as I saw this trailer on the big screen, I was counting down the days until Steve McQueen’s follow up to Hunger was released.

The plot centres around the life of Brandon (Fassbender), a thirty something executive living in New York City who has been steadily creating a life which allows him to indulge in his sex addiction successfully, that is until his sister Sissy (Mulligan) arrives to stay with him for a few weeks.

As we drop into Brandon’s slick apartment while he walks around completely naked, you cannot help but feel like a voyeur sneaking looks for our own guilty pleasure, which is just how McQueen wants us to feel. McQueen really pushes the boundaries when it comes to what we think can be shown on screen, especially sexually and to his eternal credit he doesn’t pull any punches. In fact he hits us repeatedly with knock out punch after knock out punch of savage and graphic film making.

We are shown another human being at his most open and at his most vulnerable. McQueen, almost forces us to watch this person struggle with something that he cannot control, reminiscent of Trainspotting or Requiem for a dream, it’s is harrowing and simply put, really tough to watch.

Our perspective as voyeur increases throughout the film, we see him at work, conversing and brokering deals for his firm, appearing normal and trying to keep his addiction manageable and secret, even though he is having to masturbate in the company toilets and watch copious amounts of porn on his company computer mere feet from his co-workers. We watch Brandon interact with people and we see him work hard to show no signs of his addiction. McQueen uses a lot of unbroken shots to illustrate this cancer in Brandon’s life, including multiple long shots which serve to separate us from Brandon just enough so we don’t start to feel the shame as well.

The score expertly uses strings to really add poignancy and weight to the soundtrack and the use of music overlapping the sounds of what we see forces us to focus harder on Brandon’s face as we see him ache for intimacy, it’s an awkward process but one which engages you throughout.

With the arrival of Sissy, Brandon’s sister, we see how strained the dynamic and relationship between the two are. The story doesn’t probe into this, leaving a mystery as to why Brandon doesn’t want her around or can cut her out of his life for long periods at a time, which is probably the only downside to the film. Carey Mulligan delivers and connects with Fassbender, their relationship is believable and gripping, when the two of them are on screen together it is almost difficult to discern which one should receive more of your attention.

As the film progresses we see Brandon’s life unravelling with his inability to suppress his growing addiction. We watch from just out of arms reach as Brandon takes a co-worker to a hotel and is unable to perform with her sexually as she tries to be intimate with him. She leaves and then we are taken back to the hotel to see Brandon performing with a hooker. We watch as Brandon goes out and tries to seduce a girl with a boyfriend, leading him to being assaulted by her lover. We follow him on his search for his fix into a gay club where we realise that his addiction is to the act of sex and ones sexuality doesn’t dictate where his fix comes from, he kisses a man and forces his head down to receive head from this stranger, the camera never leaves Brandon’s face as we truly see the shame he feels. He leaves the club and arranges a meeting with two prostitutes, the film, like his addiction is unrelenting. We watch on as he fucks one of the hookers and once again we are focused by McQueen on nothing but the face of Brandon as he breaks down during an intimate act which he spends all of his time thinking about and pursuing, yet he cannot feel anything other than a quick hedonistic high.

Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Brandon is simply put, captivating. His sheer embodiment of the character slowly and somewhat ironically pulls us closer to him than he could ever feel to us. His raw emotion and power whenever he is on screen deserves any accolades that are bestowed on him.

Baron Jamie gives this: 5/5 Mesmerising, powerful and harrowing, a daring film from McQueen and a stunning performance from Michael Fassbender.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:16 am

1forty:

Like an arduous marathon, Shame was not made for enjoyment or ease of viewing but for the pursuit of excellence and achievement. An endurance to watch is by no means an understatement; as the portrayal of a sex addict shows, without hesitance, how desperation can fuel even the most disturbing of actions. McQueen’s representation of addiction could have failed with a reliance on gratuitous imagery or the softening of the subject matter. Instead he shows that whether drugs, alcohol or sex an addiction is all consuming. Contrast is found with a younger sibling who’s need to be loved is so ardent that she often stumbles in life, succumbing to bad choices and self harm. Mulligan’s rendition of New York, New York could not have been a more perfect choice as lines such as “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere” are sung with such candour that you come to realise that a city that so many run to as a means of escape actually acts as a catalyst for the behaviours they run away from. Forcing the characters to come to terms with their actions and to seek solace, not in the material or artificial, but in what remains tangible and truly meaningful to one’s life.

- Great
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:27 am

tfreeman7898:

Shame (2011)

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon’s insular life spirals out of control.

I saw this last night, and I’m still coming down from the intensity. Afterwards, all that my friend and I could say was “Holy s$#!…that was…f&#!!” It’s easy to label the film as about a sex-addict, but it’s more about how warped our view of sex is and how prevalent that issue is. Michael Fassbender and Carrey Mulligan are brilliant as two people trying to overcome a very troubled childhood in very different ways. Anchored by great direction, very strong performances, and a though-provoking concept, Shame is a relentlessly dark but insightful look at the downside of humanity. “We’re not bad people; we just come from a bad place.”
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:30 am

http://journal3.tumblr.com/post/16632831697/tate-screening-of-shame

28 January 2012

A couple of weeks ago marked the wide release (in the UK) of Shame, the newest film from former Turner Prize Winner Steve McQueen. The film features lead performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. It is McQueen’s second feature length film after his debut Hunger (2008). Last month I had the opportunity to see a preview screening at Tate Modern; both McQueen and Fassbender were present for a post-screening Q & A.

The film is a very affecting portrayal and exploration of the emotional trauma of addiction. This exploration is built around the feelings of a particular sort of emotional isolation, an urban ennui. Fassbender’s and Mulligan’s characters, Brandon and Sissy, both pivot from their respective points of isolation. Sissy inserts herself in the midst of Brandon’s ritualized life uninvited creating a tension that shapes both characters. Her presence forces Brandon to open up his life to someone he actually cares for and causes a rift in his ability to function as an addict while she is confronted with the desperate longing she has for personal connection. Fassbender’s and Mulligan’s performances are nicely rendered; the relationship is dealt with in an honest way that is both beautiful and caring but also dark and mean. While there is depth to the two characters it takes some searching and is revealed almost always through manner rather than any sort of specific exposition. “Emptiness is a detail,” said McQueen and for the most part it works for him. The result is that while the characters do not have a specific emotional core (only what can generally be inferred from their actions, a purposeful point of “mystery” McQueen said) they do act as viable projections for the audience’s psyche to examine their feelings and behaviour through the lens of addiction and isolation.

Because of this choice, the embrace of the unsaid, it is a contemplative film and in its way a quiet one. The lack of exposition and the lingering camera aid in creating an atmosphere of emotional tension that seems to reach out into the audience and pull you inside the troubling world of the film. The nature of the addiction depicted is part of the impact; sex and love are more relatable as compared to say alcoholism or heroin, other addictions mined over and over for the screen. Everyone, even those untouched by substance abuse, can look through their personal lens and question the healthy limits of sex and love.

The newness of sex as an area of addiction makes it uncomfortable territory for many. In the UK, McQueen and screenwriter Abi Morgan could not find any addicts willing to discuss their experiences, forcing them to the United States where it has become more prominent due to some celebrity cases. The question of recognition is still up for debate (The American Psychiatric Association still has not fully recognized it in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) but there is growing public awareness that the pathology of addiction applies to sexual behaviour even if not exactly to the manual’s strict definition. Fassbender and McQueen both pointed out the disproportionate circumstances of occurrence in that you have to be from a certain strata of society to be a sex addict because you can then afford the care to be labeled as such (to shop around for a psychiatrist with a renegade streak regarding his association’s manual). This area of study, made salacious in the tabloids is approached with an understanding and objective touch by McQueen, more focused on the personal impact than any larger social debate or titillating exposure. At its heart what the film is about is the inability of an individual to connect with the rest of humanity on a level everyone else seems to understand.

Drawn into this personal depiction is Brandon’s additional isolation through the urban environment and his use of the computer as an outlet for self satisfaction instead of deeper connectivity. “The key is projecting an image, a fantasy,” McQueen said, in discussing the isolation inherent in both sex addiction and the urban ennui that is worsened by our digital screen-oriented lives. Too much choice it suggests, superficial needs easily met in an instant, leads to a listlessness bordering on paralytic when it comes to the ability to engage in the additional meaningful aspects of a social relationship. Thinking here about some recent studies regarding pornography as it correlates to the sexual dysfunction of a segment of men suggests our sexual orientation is moving towards the screen. Brandon is in part a manifestation of the hyperaware and hypersexual focus on the individual; the extreme end of the constant privilege the self takes in our society. In it we see a cathartic narcissism that each can understand in his own way and thus rationalise as okay on some level, until it’s not—wherein it becomes the action of the addicted and the dysfunctional. It is the addiction that rules Brandon’s life, dominates his view of the world, and ritualizes his behaviour. It may be that our receptors are being tuned, as Brandon’s, when the physical is the only point.

Watching Shame where I did, at a special event screening in Tate Modern, impacted the contextual reception. It was primed as an Art event, and McQueen was approached more as an artist than as a commercial filmmaker, an understandable occurrence given the start to his career and prior associations with Tate. Film curator, Stuart Comer, provided some intertextual analysis between McQueen’s body of artistic work and his feature films noting specifically the theme of physicality. Comer referenced the work Bear (1993), from the Tate’s own collection, as an example of McQueen’s early fascination with the physicality of the body that has continued in Shame.

image via Frieze

For his part McQueen shrugged off these correlations in a self effacing way, pleading a lack of intent and a mindset shaped by doing film press interviews. “Let me try and put on my art head on,” he said, before eventually deciding to, “leave the critical nonsense to the critics.” There is often an awkward element during Q&A’s, artist talks, and other similar forums as the audience, curators, and critics attempt to validate their interpretations and connect a person to the work. Most artists I have seen speak are resistant, if not outright hostile, to the interpretative tactics of others and though meaning is a moving target it does create an uncomfortable exchange, leaving an audience to wonder where in what they have just seen does its creator take a stance.

-NM
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:31 am

aimtofass:
Shame review

So my Shame review.

Im going to be brutally honest I dont care if i get knocked down or what its a free world.

I dont really see anything WRONG or OFFENSIVE with this film…really.

Oh my god you see a man naked! :O how many god damn boobs asses and full front on women have we seen in our time!? And sex…something we ALL do and ALL are functioned too? come on people!

Yes the addiction part of it IS very sad. Whether its sex alcohol or drugs when a person cannot stop taking/having these YES it is a disaster! But I found the releationship between Sissy and Brandon MORE upsetting!

Sissy was trying to reach out to her own brother, her older brother who was there from the beginning, and maybe thats part of the problem when they were younger he was there…but he wasnt in times of pain which you can also clearly see in the movie!

I argue over the hoo har of this movie when theres crap out ther elike the sick August Undergound movies and the human centipede and a serbian film and salo! Im sorry these films are ok but Shame isnt? im completely puzzled in 8485633902903289437847575 pieces as to why! just because they are different topics…its the CONTENT of films not who is in them or what its about.

I will argue to the day i die that sex is not discusting unless someone is getting hurt.It is what the human race does just like sleeping eating and breathing!

And the drawn out long shots? um yeah ok. I guess some people just watch movies these days for “entertainment” and not to learn or see something. What are the next generations going to do!?

To me this was just another movie. A GOOD movie! And McQueen needs to KEEP on making “real life problem” movies!
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:33 am

http://gassyfassy.tumblr.com/post/16623418803/all-my-shame-feels


22 hours ago | 0 notes
All my Shame feels.

~*~Spoilers under the cut~*~

Now that I’ve seen, I understand why so many people are enraged that Michael didn’t get an Oscar nod.
It wasn’t the best performance I’ve ever seen, but he deserves to get more recognition for it. He was f#%@#&! bold to do a role like that, and I honestly can’t see anyone else being able to do it.
Four for you, Fassy Coco. Four for you.
It was just a really intense and powerful movie. It was odd at times, but Steve is the real f#%@#&! deal.
It made me mostly depressed and at times uncomfortable, but I walked out not really knowing how I’m supposed to feel.
The sex scenes weren’t really all that sexy. So if you’re going to see the movie just to see naked Michael and sex scenes, I wouldn’t really recommend it.
The only scene that I got stirred by was the scene in the hotel with Marianne.
But obviously that all went downhill, and alas, my heart was once again twisting uncomfortably.
Carey Mulligan was incredible. Her singing New York, New York just gave me the chills. /repeats on Itunes for the rest of forever
Obviously, I wish we knew what really happened to Sissy and Brandon, but I like endings where you can use your own imagination to where you think they ended up.
I’d like to think that Brandon finally faced his addiction at the end since there was nowhere else to go when he hit rock bottom. He looked at the girl on the subway differently than before.
fbgdfkjgkl i don’t even know
I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELS AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW.
/gross sobbing
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:37 am

http://salanderins.tumblr.com/post/16611360437/i-finished-watching-shame-last-night

I finished watching Shame last night

it gave me all these feelings

and also, george clooney was not lying about the golf thing.

first of all, there is so much sex. i mean, i knew there was a lot of sex, but i guess i wasn’t expecting such explicit scenes! that being said, i didn’t feel that any of the sex scenes were solely for titillation. Brandon’s need, his hunger is palpable— sex is what excites him— the pure physical act of sex (and nothing more). and yet, i don’t think we ever see him truly happy, even while in the throes of ecstasy. in the final threesome, the look on his face is euphoric, but it’s heartbreaking at the same time. he needs sex, and he hates himself for needing it so much.

i think one of more subtle sad parts of the movie was when he tried to engage in a more loving, affectionate kind of sex, with his co-worker. he wanted so badly to be ‘normal’, to like the amalgamation of a physical and emotional bond. but it’s just not who he is. he’s sitting there, dejected, hating himself, beating himself up. and then the next shot is of him reverting back to his usual ways, and it’s wonderful for him.

but he’s always alone. the girl will always leave. the only girl who insists on staying is Cissy, played by the ever-brilliant and ever-changing Carey Mulligan. the relationship between her and Brandon is also not quite normal— at times, it seems borderline incestuous. but when it comes down to it, they love each other, they care about each other, each is the only one the other has. when Brandon finds Cissy in the bathroom, i had to keep averting my gaze, not only because of the blood, but his desperation was so painful to watch.

Michael Fassbender. i’ve seen him in 3 films now (X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre, Shame), and i’ve been impressed every time. i really don’t understand why he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, because he was incredible. he conveyed Brandon’s raw need, his self-loathing, and his desperation exquisitely.

I really liked how the movie ended, almost exactly like it began. will he follow her? she thinks he will. i’m left wondering.
1 day ago
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:39 am

emilybefree:

shame (2011)

i saw this movie earlier this week, so i’ve had a few days to mull it over, and i’m still not sure what to say about it. is it the sex movie that’s not at all about sex? absolutely. i went into the movie prepared for that; however, i wasn’t ready for how utterly sad and hopeless this movie made me feel. shame is full of brazen, graphic nudity and sexual content, but all of that just makes the subtle nuances of fassbender’s performance (one of the best of 2011) all the more poignant and moving.

4/5
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:41 am

chroniccinephilia:
Review-A-Day: Shame (2011)

image

★★★★

Shame is one hell of a movie. And I shall get this out of the way right now: It’s a crime and a shame (hah) that Shame has been snubbed for the academy awards.

Directed by Steve McQueen (No, not that one) and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, Shame is a film about a successful, attractive man in New York. He has a nice apartment, a good job and people like him.

Of course, there’s some sort of dark side to him, some sort of vice and bad habit, and in Shame, this would be his sexual addiction. Brandon, played by a fantastic Fassbender, moves from meaningless sexual relationship to meaningless sexual relationship. He has an ungodly amount of porn on his computer and around his house and he travels around looking for each new orgasm.

Shame follows how this horrible addiction reaches a crescendo with Brandon, and with the added addition of his world being rocked thanks for a visit from his sister, Sissy (Played by an as always talented Carey Mulligan)

The movie is brutal on Brandon, and the script written by Abi Morgan and Steve McQueen is a harsh representation of Brandon and his condition. The rise in situations add stress on Fassbender’s character and is brought to breaking point many a time. Even when he tries to reform himself, he can never truly escape who he is.

Mulligan does well in a supporting role, especially when she performs a song that is so beautifully shot and performed. She also brings a nice energy and dynamic to play off with Fassbender, as they fight and interact as brother and sister.

But of course, Fassbender is the real highlight here. He has the confidence to put all on display here, and I’m not just talking about the nudity and explicit sex scenes. The level of emotions and the *range* of emotions Fassbender can play and show across his face is phenomenal.

McQueen chooses smartly to implement close-ups on Fassbender when in these sexual encounters and you can see the pleasure, and the frustration and the pain and the sheer emotion coming out as he has sex or masturbates or something similar.

There is also the smart move to have some scenes evoke a sense of voyeurism, as if we are peeking in on people’s private business. Like in a scene where Brandon spies a couple having sex against a window, we are placed with a similar gaze upwards, like we too are voyeur. And then it is interesting to see Brandon thrust (hah) into a similar situation, and we the audience are very much put in the same way, the voyeurs, as Brandon attempts yet another successful conquest.

The story is so well written and it has a nice mirroring effect between the two halves of the movie, the direction is stellar, the camera framing is so beautiful, the editing is pitch perfect and the performances can blow you out of the water.

It is such a huge mystery why Shame did not garner the appreciation from the Academy as one would think. Because this movie is such a brilliant example of a human exploration that’s harsh, real, and on the money. No punches are pulled here, and Fassbender, McQueen and company go the whole mile.

Four stars out of four.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:54 am

himynameiselli:

Shame
Dir. Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale

“We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place. ”

This is a film that I have been scrambling to see ever since I failed to get tickets for the Premium screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, last September. It is only now that I found a theatre that is playing this film.

If you may not know already, Shame is the story Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a thirtysomething New Yorker, who is addicted to sex. Just the opening 10 minutes of the film, we discover the darkest corners of Brandon’s addiction and how it simply takes over his every day routine, blinding his judgement.

The film is a portrait of one man’s inability to forge relationships and his denial of his weaknesses. When his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) crashes at his apartment, the downward spiral of Brandon’s reclusive life begins to take a turn for the worst.

Steve McQueen’s second major feature, is nothing short of brilliant and I truly recommend this to anyone willing to watch this emotional film. It is extremely graphic in nudity and sexual content, receiving a NC-17 rating in the US, which is the highest rating a movie can receive due to its content. In comparison, Blue Valentine originally had the same rating due to an oral sex scene, but in Shame, the prolonged sequences of sexuality and nudity is deserving of the rating, second only to soft core porn films.

Technically, the film is beautiful - the New York City lifestyle juxtaposed with the enclosed life of our protagonist. Intimate and extended scenes lead the audience to feel trapped between conversations and moments that truly drive the film. My only downside to the film would be in a scene with Brandon and an intern, who skip their work day for somewhere to “escape” to. There is a moment in that scene, which pretty much lose ground from the content and tone to the film and Brandon’s character.

The film is painful and emotionally exhausting, as distant as we may be with Brandon, McQueen’s directing as well as the powerhouse performances of Fassbender and Mulligan truly transport us as intimately as an audience can be to the darkest corners of the human condition.

Shame will depress you and without a doubt, make you feel ashamed of Brandon’s actions and emotions. You will get frustrated at the filth, and possibly cry at his despair and longing for hope. Extremely difficult to watch -though, a knockout.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:56 am

itsanidiom:

Shame

Review by Ali Taylor

Finally ‘Shame’ was playing in ONE THEATER in Vancouver, so I got to watch it last night.

It thought it was brilliant. The plot was flawless. It didn’t give me that punched-in-the-gut feeling that Steve McQueen’s film ‘Hunger’ (also starring Michael Fassbender) gave me. It felt very real, while still keeping the audience at a distance that left us unscathed.

It didn’t feel like anything I’ve seen described here by others who saw it. The cinematography was done in an extremely tasteful manner, especially for a movie on a subject that is considered such a Taboo in todays society. I couldn’t help but realizing that all the things McQueen and Fassbender have been saying about the industry accepting violence over sex is very true. Had this film been about a serial killer rather than a sex addict, it would have been perfectly normal (an example of this could be seen in the popularity of shows like Dexter).

Michael Fassbender has been described as a chameleon of an actor, and after seeing this film I can say that that is very true. He plays stoic, hiding his secret from his co-workers and friends perfectly. I want to keep this spoiler free so I won’t mention the scenes, but every emotion he portrays hits rock hard; from contentment he seems to have in his life nearer to the beginning of the film to the earth shattering hopelessness at the end.

Finally, I thought of a question I’d want to ask Steve McQueen; It’s never revealed so, what did you feel was the horrible aspect of Brandon and Sissy’s childhood? The audience just assumes something horrible happened to them as children, but at one point Brandon fondly remembers a moment with his cousin. So his ability to go back to that time of his life without stress seems to suggest he’s either repressed something or his childhood wasn’t as bad as one would think.

A/N: I think this is one of the first proper reviews I’ve written about a film. Feel free to tell me if you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said. I’d love to see what other people thought of the film!
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:57 am

nuncaenjoymovie:

The 365 Films Challenge

Shame

2011

Steve McQueen

It’s a kind of a weird movie but I think it show a real issue in our world: Sex obsession. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a sex addict, his life is only around sex. When his sister (Carey Mulligan) shows up in his appartment, he’s ashame of his life and tries to keep it secret. They both have a weird relationship together, they act like they’re not brother and sister. Michael Fassbender is really great in this movie, every feelings are shown in his face, we can feel his pain! It’s the first time I see Carey Mulligan in this kind of character. She’s brilliant in this suicidal girl who is totally lost in her life!!
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:58 am

juliusmkanore:

sooo. saw shame today. what a movie. it is unlike any film we have ever seen. the structure of the scenes is artistically done, and we left the theater feeling haunted. no regrets though! it is a powerful, thought-provoking film, that raises questions one doesn’t normally consider. the effects are still sinking in, and our minds are still tormented by the ambiguous ending, but overall, we are glad we saw it.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:59 am

deirdreannb:

“Themes brought up are: powerlessness, family systems, arrested development, boundaries, abuse, cultural pervasiveness of sex addiction, the denial of the addict, the relationship of money and sexuality, intimacy disorders, codependence, infidelity, secrecy, prostitution, print and video pornography at home and work, discovery of sex addiction by others, and of course, addiction as a coping method for trauma and uncomfortable feelings, namely shame. The movie has received critical acclaim for its brutally realistic and extremely sensitive depiction of a sophisticated, urbane man in the throes of powerlessness.”

This movie, you guys. Just wow. I loved it. Totally gritty, but the cinematography is so gorgeous that makes the rawest, most explicit scenes less graphic and even somewhat beautiful. Loved the score, the subtle symbolism throughout the film, and the general f&%$#&-upness of the plot and interaction of characters. More than anything though, (and forgive me for being ambiguous) it was fascinating to watch simply because it shows just how deeply our choices affect us.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:59 am

fuckyeahgirlcrush:
Shame was honestly so fantastic.

I think I’ll do an actual review for tomorrow, but I just have to say that.

I mean, s$#!, I’ve been waiting to see that movie since it was announced. I read the script and everything. So, of course, I was kind of expecting to be let down (after all, when you put so much time and expectation into something, you’re almost always let down). But it was actually better than I could have possibly imagined.

Possible favorite of 2011 (even though I technically saw it in 2012). Definitely in the top five.
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