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Shame reviews

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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:25 pm

http://magnifikat.tumblr.com/post/16574633619/so-we-watched-shame

So we watched Shame…

I don’t knowwww.

It felt a bit pointless? dskfjas, like the story wasn’t resolved. It was more just… a really, really, really depressing look into a hard point in his life. DD: It felt pretty vague, too, and the lack of character development took me out of it - but maybe this is all because I’ve heard so many stuffy critics talking it up to something amazing. D:

It was incredibly pretentious, though. And the music, oh goddd. It was awfuuull. :c

Michael was amazing, and so was Carey. I think with any other actors and I probably wouldn’t have liked it. It’s not my kind of movieee. The ending did make me cry - when he came home to find her in the bathroom. dskjfhdks. But all movies make me cry so that might be invalid. Very Happy

I almost wished I’d seen it alone though, it seems like that kind of movie. We were all just sitting there giggling through that threesome, which ruined the scene, completely. Because I imagine it must be very poignant?

ANYWAY, go see it? I don’t want to feel like the only person who thinks it’s incredibly average. D:
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:26 pm

burnbehindabrokenframe:
Shame thoughts.

Completely devastating.What an amazing movie and performance by Michael.Even if is the main topic when people talk about this movie,Brandon problem is not only sex addiction but intimacy,he can’t have a normal relationship and it’s heartbreaking to witness all his demons,the despressed and distrurbed atmosphere he lives in.

It’s amazing how he can communicate with his eyes.Michael is going to be a legend,I can tell you that.What a terrific and brave performance.I can’t remember the last time I felt this way about a character or an actor’s performance.I have to say that even if i’m not a Carey Mulligan fan,she’s great as Cece,her scenes with Michael are astonishing.

I had a hard time trying to fall sleep,cause I couldn’t stop thinking about the movie and Brandon.Again,brilliant.You’re incredible Steve McQueen.
#Michael Fassbender
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:27 pm

theredhairing:

Shame

#18/365

My reaction as I was watching the movie:

Wow. This is slow… p****… Is he peeing for real???… OMG. What is he doing. Stop… His sister is here! Yay!… Wait… Why is this happening. This relationship is weird. They ARE brother and sister, right?… Ooh, Carey Mulligan. No. Just no. NY, NY was never meant to sound like that… He’s just LETTING them do that. On his bed… Why is he sitting on top of her naked. Okay, this is not okay. Seriously… Jogging… More jogging… Holy geez, these people are boring… Now he’s having sex against a window… Wait, don’t go in there! NOOOOOOOO!!!… This is just sad. This is sad sex… Wait, he’s sticking his face into her crack. That is definitely unhygenic… Okay, ow. Really, that’s all. Ow… Noooooo! It’s your fault! It’s all your fault… Wait. No! NO! NOOOOOO! You have got to be kidding me.

Over all it was pretty good. But Lawd, was it bleak.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:29 pm

rebeccasthought:
Shame.

My god, I myself feel shame. I will admit I just wanted to see this movie at first because of the Fassbender full frontal. Now that I have seen it, I was in tears at one point. This man, going through such great lengths to feed this addiction that he himself doesn’t want. It’s hell, and you really feel for him. Only one other person in his life and she is just as f&%$#& up as he is, she can’t even help herself let alone help him. This movie has made me feel things I havn’t felt for in a movie for ages. It taps in to every emotion you have so you feel yourself apart of the movie. It is movie magic.

And to all those other movies who believe they’re apart of movie magic because they sparkle, have 3-D, greenscreen, or poor taste in “hot” people. I urge you to pick a different profession, because you have no idea what you are really doing.

Steve McQueen, my kudos to you. I havn’t seen a movie like this for a very long time and I do hope for more to follow in what you have done.

… full frontal was amazing fyi lol.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:33 pm

screenfreak:
Movie Review 15

Shame: What can I say about this movie. Okay… Michael Fassbenderr was hot and I will say that yes he has a donkey d***, that while you can’t really see it when he is walking straight into camera because it is shot in shadow, when he goes to the bathroom it is hanging between his legs about 3-5 inches…not erect.

But the movie is not about his d***, it is about a man who has been so damaged by something in his past, though touch upon never revealed, that he can only have sexual encounters that are devoid of all emotion and true connection. While he is a sex addict, having sex with anyone (and I mean anyone) that will give him some kind of release, he CANNOT connect to anyone, even his sister who is as screwed up and he is.

He plays the part of a normal well adjusted person, but in his private moments when he is alone, he is broken.

It is a dark film that doesn’t end in any kind of happiness. All in all… Good, not great, rent it so you can stop it if it gets to disturbing for you.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:36 pm

luthi69:
Just watched "Shame"

And I found a couple of small reviews that explain the reason why I loved it.

“What is shocking about Shame is the male vulnerability, the male weakness, the abject male misery we see onscreen. Movies simply don’t do this. Movies protect the male ego…” (MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher)

“No one will fail to find, in this strange, disturbing jewel, some reflecting facet of himself or herself.” (Nigel Andrews, Financial Times)

And I’m rambling and I don’t care.

Watch it.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:37 pm

relations101:
Shame

I’m left with many unanswered questions, but I took all the holes and kind of filled them into what I thought it was. So Brandon is a 30 something sex-addict. It sounds all fun and games until he participates in homosexual acts even to fill his desires. I loved the fact that Brandon was still a social person. I know a lot of people think people with issues or addictions are somewhat isolated. They are isolated, but within themselves. I could totally relate to his date with the lady from the office. Things go well in general conversation,but then you have to decide how much do you really want to give to this person. Rule one is you never let them know the real you. If someone knows the real you than the secret is out, the problem is on the table, and you have to deal with it. Brandon never says how he feels because also when you say how you feel your talking out loud making the issue real instead of imaging it.

What was frustrating about the movie was the lack of information about his past that made him that way. I could only guess some kind of trauma both him and his sister experienced. Also they were rather close, like I felt sexual energy between the two.

People always find different ways to deal with past abuse. Whether its a sex addiction, drug addiction, porn addiction, shopping addiction, dating the wrong men addiction. There is always a way to cope. We all go about our lives differently but the one thing that we all share is: the inability to form healthy and lasting relationships.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:38 pm

dendriablog:
I just saw "Shame"...

…and it really was a traumatizing and beautiful film with a simply but deftly controlled focus. Steve McQueen pushes sex on the viewer until it is all that can be seen, until cracks begin to appear and we start to glimpse the reality hidden behind. Michael Fassbender is relentless and helpless. The dialogue is very natural, in sweet and welcome relief against the gritty, banal nature of the film’s subject.

A difficult but worthy film.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:15 pm

http://rvanews.com/features/shame-the-least-sexy-sex-movie-ever/55775

Shame: the least sexy sex movie ever

by Ross Catrow

January 25, 2012
4.5

What’s the last NC-17 movie you saw? The one that I remember actually making its way into Richmond theatres was 1995′s Kids–which, looking back, seems fairly tame compared to some of the R-rated movies I’ve seen in the last decade. That was 17 years ago, so when I found out that Movieland was showing Steve McQueen’s1 NC-17-rated Shame, I was pretty excited. This is a rare occurrence, people! It was my duty to review this film. Duty I say!

But guys, it’s is an NC-17-rated movie called Shame about sex. As you can probably hilariously imagine, this lead to lots of meta-shame during my movie going experience. Buying one ticket2 to an NC-17 movie on a Friday night, when the theatre is filled with couples and teenagers, makes you feel–guess what–shameful! For whatever reason! Not only that, but Movieland has stashed this film in Theatre 10, which is adjacent to the concessions, giving everyone a good long look at the sketchy guy getting his ID checked before heading in (alone) to the sex movie.

Anyway. Shame follows Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), a man who has an irresistible, all-consuming, and constant compulsion for sex/orgasms. While Fassbender is quite the looker, nothing about his sexual encounters (and they are many and varied) is attractive. This movie is not hott. Sure, he looks like a successful young dude, but it’s all a micro-thin veneer hiding his terrible sexmonster. Sullivan floats through his life distracted until the next time he can call a prostitute, pick up a random woman at a bar, or sadly masturbate in the bathroom stall at work. He manages to keep it all together, keep all the balls in the air, until Sissy (Carey Mulligan) shows up. From there, the veneer begins to crack, and Sullivan’s life–I guess you could call it a life–begins to fall apart.

Fassbender absolutely kills it in this movie. He’s basically playing sex-addict Batman, and he does it really freaking well. By day he’s a mild mannered, even-keeled philanderer, but by night he’s an emotional addict that’s constantly hounded by his addiction. There’s a scene towards the end of the movie where Sullivan is having sex with two prostitutes. The camera pans to his face and zooms in as he climaxes…and it’s terrifying. His face is distorted and disgusted, expressing the frustrations and shame from the film’s previous 90 minutes, as he succumbs–yet again–to his compulsion. It’s intense, way intense. That scene, while easily the most NC-17est part of the movie, might be worth the price of admission.

Carey Mulligan (who’s slated to play Daisy in the upcoming The Great Gatsby movie!!) is no slouch either. Sissy and Sullivan’s relationship is complicated, filled with tension, and at times violent; it’s a relationship that’s played out in few words but lots of excruciating moments. And honestly, sometimes they’re (purposefully, I’d guess) too dang awkward. At one point Sissy, who’s mostly transient but has landed a gig singing at a bar, does a slowjazzy rendition of Sinatra’s “New York, New York”–the entire thing.3 It’s several, painful minutes long.

But this, these awkward and overly long scenes, is one of McQueen’s things. His 2008 film, Hunger (also starring Fassbender), features a single shot of a man sweeping a loooooong hallway for what seems like an eternity and another single shot–17-minutes long–of a conversation between two men. It’s something that defines his style and might be off-putting (or distracting, like it is for me) to some.

So. The big question: why did Shame get the NC-17 kiss of death?

Well, it is a movie about a guy who simply cannot stop having sex, so you can imagine there are quite a few sex scenes. There’s lots of female full frontal and lots of Fassbender’s ding-a-ling flopping about. There’s the aforementioned threesome with prostitutes, and at one point Sullivan describes some sex acts in an explicit fashion.

The people in charge of rating films say that the NC-17 rating is for “some explicit sexual content.” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, is rated R for “brutal violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language.” Seriously? I mean come on! No one will ever convince me that Michael Fassbender’s p**** is worse for people under eighteen to see than the absolutely awful rape scene in Dragon Tattoo. For whatever reason, we’re totally cool with blood, guts, rape, torture, and violence towards women, but throw a wang in the works and it is just too much.4

— ∮∮∮ —
Why you should see this movie

Do you love (painfully) slow and methodical movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? Do you love Steve McQueen? Do you love schadenfreude? DO YOU LOVE (100% unappealing) BOOBS AND WEENZ?
Why you should stay at home

The aforementioned boobs and weenz are blatant, plentiful, and totally unavoidable. If that’s not your cup of tea, avoid. Also, Shame‘s pacing is slow, especially in the first half. I happen to think this works to the movie’s favor, but would totally accept it if that wasn’t your scene.

— ∮∮∮ —
Footnotes

Unfortunately, it’s not that Steve McQueen. ↩
Maybe I’m paranoid, but I swear after I bought my ticket the cashier said “I hope you enjoy your movie…” in a way that made me want to respond “Oh. No. Like, I’ve got to see this for work? I work at a place? And I have to watch this! Seriously!” ↩
You can watch a short clip of the scene here. No doubt the song is beautiful, but it goes on forever. While writing this review, I wonder if there is something going on with this facial close up and Sullivan’s later in the movie. If only I were smarter! ↩
There is an entire movie on this topic. ↩

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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:18 pm

jacqueling35:

The 365 Films Challenge
Day 14 - Shame
Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Okay let me tell you WHY I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars.
This is another Steve McQueen movie, directed Hunger, so it’s a kind of movie that will be dragged out. Like, from what I’m getting from Hunger, Steve McQueen does artsy movies. He captures the characters’ emotions, leaves long pauses with tension and music, and will make drastic transitions. You can take this a good way or a bad way of directing films, I seriously think it depends if you want to understand different ways of directing films and you might need to be in the mood to watch these kind of films.
Shame is a movie about a sex addiction and 2 siblings that have problems. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are great in this, very emotional. The film is sad and a bit breath taking in a surprising and depressing way. I mean the climax to this film was when Michael Fassbender’s character went on a date and found out the crab at the restaurant was cooked with the shell on it. Compared to Hunger, there was a lot more dialogue and more interesting scenes in this movie, I’m not just talking about the sex scenes either. This was also rated NC-17, if you don’t understand this rating it means for each scene it’s 17 minutes long, that what it seems haha. I’m kidding, but really.
I really did appreciate this film even though it was pretty intense, or slow, or pretty sad. Just be prepared when you watch this.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:20 pm

setfire2rain:

Just watched “Shame” starring Michael Fassbender and his now infamous hyper used schlong.

The movie tells the story of Brandon Sullivan, an early thirty something year old, undiagnosed sex addict on the brink of an emotional and psychological breakdown. An untamed predator, who’s unable to control the perpetual hunger of his sexual gratifications. His desires overrun every aspect of his being, at times dragging him to the filthiest parts of NYC to get his next hit.

Co starring is Carey Mulligan (Sissy Sullivan) as the sister of Brandon; a beautiful suicidal singer who is just as troubled as her brother. Their dynamic is highly turbulent and driven by sexual undertones that kinda creep you out, as per most of their interactions.

The movie is awesome. Full of sex and debauchery…it’s something to def watch.

My only issue with this movie was the vagueness of the back story. They serve no explanation as to why these characters are the way they are. At one point, Sissy hints at the fact that they had a tough upbringing, but it’s quickly shunned and nothing is brought up again. Why tease and not fully explain? They should’ve just left it out completely if this is how they were going to handle it. It just gives confusion and false hopes to the viewers.

That being said, Fassbender was superb. The movie is great!!

In all its dirtiness, I dare you not to get turned on while watching this flick…it’s impossible!

ps: Fassbender was totally robbed from that Oscar nom!
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:23 pm

cadesnyder:
Shame

image

Shame
2011
Directed by Steve McQueen

Sex addiction is an issue that’s increasingly controversial and, thanks to the reach of the Internet age, thoroughly modern. While nobody questions the validity of drug addiction or alcohol addiction, many people still believe that sex addiction is a made-up malady, a trendy excuse given by philanderers who don’t want to take personal responsibility for their actions. There are, of course, plenty of legitimate reasons to believe sex addiction is real - the strongest being that sex can create chemical reactions in the brain similar to those that make drugs and alcohol so especially addictive, creating the same risk of dependency - but regardless, there is a level of shame associated with sex addiction that makes it a different beast than other addictions. That shame is what lies at the center of Shame, director Steve McQueen’s sophomore feature after the brilliant Irish prison period piece Hunger. McQueen again casts Michael Fassbender in the lead, this time as Brandon, a successful thirty-something in New York City, the perfect haven of temptation for a man with a compulsive sexual appetite and the good looks, suave demeanor, and healthy bank account needed to fuel that appetite. The unplanned arrival of his untethered, unemployed lounge-singing sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), asking to stay in his apartment for a while, complicates his sexual routine and brings feelings of guilt, anger, and, a-ha, shame to the surface of Brandon’s personality. McQueen’s use of color and texture made watching Hunger a decidedly visceral experience, and Shame follows that formula to similarly great effect. Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt lights Brandon’s New York in dingy yellow and his apartment in sterile hints of white and purple and compartmentalizes his actors in unusual frames that take all the eroticism out of sex and boil it down to the purest form of gratification and release (by the way, the film earns its NC-17 rating, so if you’re under 17, don’t watch this unless you want sex ruined for you forever). McQueen has a great knack for finding unique ways to place his actors in the frame, and also puts a lot of trust in his actors to at times carry scenes without depending on camera work or editing to keep the audience focused. One of the film’s most memorable visuals is a simple extended shot of Brandon on a date in a restaurant that pushes in at a pace so slow it’s hardly noticeable while Brandon and his date, a woman from his office (Nicole Beharie), make small talk, the length of the scene highlighting how unfamiliar and uncomfortable the situation is for Brandon. This scene is similar in appearance and execution to one in Hunger, where a shot of Fassbender’s character having a conversation with a priest goes uncut for 14 minutes. Really, much of Hunger’s winning formula is applied to Shame, the most important being Michael Fassbender, whose performance here is less physically demanding but just as powerful. Fassbender lets himself disappear completely into every character he plays in any of his films; here, that means that the nagging and overriding impulse to get off by any means necessary is always lurking behind every move and expression that Brandon makes and only intensifies as the story progresses. Along with that, there is a wealth of implied backstory and emotion in his interactions with Sissy, the way he looks at her and talks to her, how his body moves and reacts around her, that too inform nearly everything he does after she enters the plot, which is also true of Carey Mulligan’s performance. Even though sex addiction is the attention-grabbing crux of the plot, the film can only go so far depicting the various and increasingly-desperate means Brandon goes to for sexual release, so the story’s real strength resides in his relationship with Sissy. Before Sissy comes to his apartment, Brandon shows small hints of shame, but it’s after Sissy arrives that he truly falls into a varying pattern of self-loathing and denial and his emotions most run wild, particularly his anger. McQueen wisely keeps the nature of their relationship ambiguous, not even revealing that they’re siblings until some time after Sissy’s character is introduced. The ambiguity opens up a wide array of possibilities for interpreting their past, why Brandon reacts to Sissy so violently, why Sissy seems so lost in her life, and perhaps even why sex has become so predominant in Brandon’s life. Does he simply not like having Sissy around because she stifles his opportunities for fulfilling his addiction? Does he worry that she’ll find out the real extent of his addiction and force him to face it himself? Or does it get deeper and even more disturbing than that? The film strongly hints at an incestuous element between Brandon and Sissy, where either Brandon lusts for his sister and uses anger to fight his sexual urges, or Brandon and Sissy had an incestuous past already, which gives meaning to the “We’re not bad people” message Sissy leaves Brandon as well as Sissy’s actions following that message. All of this lies under the narrative, but McQueen leaves it to the viewer to piece together what the film’s hints actually say about what Brandon and Sissy mean to each other. Shame doesn’t address the controversies behind sex addiction; it never mentions the phrase “sex addiction”, no one but Brandon seems to know how compulsive his sexual habits are, and the film’s ending leaves open the question of whether Brandon can overcome his addiction or if he’ll continue to succumb to it. It does, however, give a sense of humanity and compassion to an illness most people associate with “whiny, self-possessed” celebrities, and, surprisingly for a European indie film, makes a rather conservatively-minded case for the dangers of sex unassociated with love or real emotion outside of pure lust. So, in other words, great first date movie.

Rating: ☀☀☀☀☀
Five out of five suns
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:26 pm

magnetictelepath:
Shame (IMO)

I…don’t think Shame was a very good movie.

Was Fassbender a great actor in it as Brandon? Yes. As was his sister, played by Carey Mulligan

But the pacing and script, I just could not get down with. I felt that they spent far too long on moments that they did not need to (the singing of NY, NY anyone? His nighttime jog? even the threesome) I felt like I got the gist of what the director was trying to say 15 minutes before those scenes actually ended. It almost felt as if he ran out of material. I liked the scene where he ended up not being able to be with his coworker because he had dated her first. I liked the weird sexual chemistry he had with his sister and how it made the audience feel sorry for him. But all in all I felt as if the author only had a few ideas that he wanted to explore, and had too much time to explore it. The movie felt tedious at parts, and I honestly cannot imagine voluntarily watching it again. It had its good scenes but I almost wanted to cut them out and put them like…in a movie with a plot.

A lot of the surprise at the fact that the awards disliked this movie actually surprised ME, because I quite agreed with them. It is possible to have an exceptional performance in a not so exceptional movie, and that’s what Fassbender brought to the table.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:28 pm

wontoofreefore:
Shame

The third movie of the day today was Steve McQueen’s “Shame”, after “The Descendants” and “Moneyball”, considerably lighter fare. While the earlier two films are very good - although I undoubtedly give the higher marks to Moneyball - lighter fare does not always satisfy every desire of the overactive film-goer. McQueen has the uncanny ability of simply presenting events as they unfold, being patient enough with little moments that they become movie-moments, you know - THOSE. From the 18 minute talkathon two-shot from “Hunger” 3 years ago, to entire sequences in “Shame”, he has earned his spot as the new generation’s king of the long take. Fassbender is at peak performance level in this (and every other release of 2011, it seems, which is not a bad thing in the least), as is Carey Mulligan as his train-wreck-of-a-different-color sister. The film’s semi-brisk 99 minute running time feels far longer, if only for the scope of the piece. The act of watching a man self destruct has been the subject of entire careers, let alone single films, but this is far more than some cheap melodrama or one note character study. This is a man’s life and it happens to be collapsing faster than he can rebuild it to keep up the illusion of prosperity and paradise on West 31st Street. The score by Harry Escott will not leave you alone after the film is over, and will play over and over if you happen to walk home from the theater after in any city. Sean Bobbit’s cinematography and Joe Walker’s editing are also top notch, making “Shame” feel found as is, not assembled through months of work. See it. Alone.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:29 pm

mikesgtr:
Just seen Shame

Absolutely amazing film, if you get chance to watch it do it (that is if you’re not coy about sex). I had my doubts about how far it would actually go in the first half (there were quite a few laughs in it and the whole sex addiction problem Brandon had (excellently played by Michael Fassbender by the way, can definitely see why he’s won a lot of awards for it) didn’t really make itself to be that much of a problem) but the second half more than made up for it. I won’t spoil it on here in case any of you reading this are interested in seeing it, but the closest film i can compare it to (pacing wise at least) would be Drive. A slow, unsure first half that sets the scene for the absolutely incredible second half. Go see it!
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:30 pm

http://fassbender-mcavoyobsessed.tumblr.com/post/16367748383/my-older-brother-went-to-see-shame-this-is-his

Text
January 23, 2012
7 notes
My older brother went to see Shame. This is his excellent review.

SHAME (2011) (101 mins.) Dir. Steve McQueen Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

There is a question from the film Adaptation (2002) that Nicholas Cage, playing Charlie Kaufman a struggling screenwriter, asks at a seminar hosted by Bob McKee, world renowned script doctor. He asks “What if I’m writing a film where nothing much happens? Kinda like real life.” Well Shame answers that question.

To begin with, this film is a character study first and a film a distant second. There is no core premise, either stated or unstated, in the film. And as a character study, it works quite effectively. Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) is a man driven by his sexual compulsions. I hesitate to call them addictions, because I’m not quite sure of where the line is, and the film doesn’t seem sure either. This lack of surety is reflected in the first sequence of the film: Brandon is observing a woman on the New York subway with a combination of predation, indifference and curiosity. This observation sequence is inter-cut with scenes of him preparing for the day, following a sexual encounter in the previous evening with a prostitute. He follows the woman off the subway, but loses her in the crowd just before entering the street. This sets the tone for the entire film as a character study of a man driven by the pursuit of sexual encounters who will go to any lengths to get them.

Where the film falls apart for me though (and where it works strongest as the character study that it ultimately is) is in the sequences with Brandon’s sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) beginning in the second act. The film wanders into the weird with the first sequence between the two of them where Sissy is completely naked in the shower in Brandon’s presence. Now I don’t know about you, but I have three sisters and the prospect of potentially seeing them naked in any context is both disturbing and revolting. But for Brandon, there’s a tense, underlying sexuality to this and other subsequent encounters—where Sissy is clothed inappropriately or behaves inappropriately—with his sister that is never fully explored in the context of a film arc. This would be the key to unlocking Brandon’s character and motivations, and providing some arc, or development for him as a construct, but McQueen never really goes there as a director and as the co-screenwriter with Abi Morgan.

Finally, we don’t really find out about Brandon’s past until he is on a date with a co-worker, Marianne (Nicole Beharie) and then he just brushes it off in hushed dialogue as if it doesn’t matter. Which I guess works because, for this character, his past is irrelevant. There seems to be no self-awareness in him, just the drive to pursue sexual encounters in all of their many varied forms. Sissy could give us some clues (and an unspoken potential history of sexual abuse/trauma lurks underneath their scenes together) but we never really get to that with her character either, even at the penultimate moment in the film where she commits to a shocking act of violence. It is an act that, in any other film with a strong, existent premise, would catapult Brandon to new development, new learning and toward potentially overcoming his own impulses, but this act seems to make not a dent in him, beyond the initial shock and outrage.

There are several good things about the film: Fassbender clearly is a good looking man and the camera loves every inch of him—both naked and clothed—without fail. He is well dressed and shot with loving care, even in cold light. Mulligan is becoming a powerhouse female actress and in this film plays the fragile, emotionally distraught Sissy to perfection. Following her turn in Drive, I am eager to see what she does with Daisy Buchanan in the Great Gatsby adaptation later this year. New York City serves as a backdrop to the overall action, but does not overwhelm the characters. This is not a New York character study. These people could exist anywhere in the contemporary, Western world of easy access to sex without love and pornography on demand. The dialogue is sparse and hushed, with McQueen daring his actors to emote silently while coldly examining and judging them for their predilections.

Overall, I think that as a character study McQueen and Morgan’s screenplay would not have worked 5-10 years ago. Only with the rise of parallel phenomenons (i.e. the easy avaliability of meaningless, sexual encounters on the Internet and the rise of young male single-hood among 25-34 year olds) could this character study have any significance or relevance. This significance is reflected in the interactions of Brandon and Marianne, both during their date and subsequently. This significance is also reflected in Brandon’s knee jerk response/decision in the third act to “purify” himself, only to descend further into his own abyss.

As a character study, I give Shame 4/5 stars for working merely as a reflection of contemporary, Western, 25-34 year old male compulsions taken to their logical extreme. As a film, however, I give it 2/5 stars. There isn’t enough here for a film of any substance and thus I have to refer back to McKee’s answer to the Charlie Kaufman character in Adaptation:

“Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your f#%@#&! mind? People are murdered every day. There’s genocide, war, corruption. Every f#%@#&! day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every f#%@#&! day, someone, somewhere takes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ’s sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can’t find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don’t know crap about life! And why the f&#! are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don’t have any use for it! I don’t have any bloody use for it!”

Sincerely-

Jesan S.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:32 pm

livinginthetheater:

It seems very rare to me that people get the opportunity to dive into the minds of others unlike them. This is one of the greatest aspects of art. Through cinema, an audience has the ability to understand and emphasize with characters suffering from personal issues on screen. In Shame, we get an up close look at a man suffering from a sex addiction he cannot escape, a craving highly overlooked in our society.

On the outside, Brandon seems like an average guy. Smart and good looking, Brandon has no problem charming women. However, Brandon has a constant and neverending craving for sex. His addiction operates in a cycle. It wakes him up in the morning when a hooker knocks on his door, and stays with him until he finishes up with a one night stand in an ally. But after each climax, guilt and disgust overwhelms him until a pretty girl winks at him on the subway, and the cycle begins again.

Brandon’s obsession is a routine until his sister shows up at his apartment banging on his door for a place to stay. Sissy longs to reconnect with the brother she lost touch with, but this is easier said than done. Nobody, not even his sister, knows about his addiction. Not only has Brandon shut out his sister from being apart of his life, but he has also isolated himself from all possibilities of forming any meaningful relationships with people, excluding people willing to quickly get him off.

Despite his desire to be isolated, Brandon takes a shot at breaking his routine and asks a coworker out on a date. Despite their opposite views on long term relationships, they oddly hit it off and we have hope that Brandon might give a relationship a try. This doesn’t last long. He comes so close to having a real connection with somebody, but Brandon can’t escape the cycle that has taken over his life.

Watching this movie feels like watching somebody’s reality. There is a strong sense of realism in Shame that is darkly fascinating and uncomfortable. This isn’t like watching a movie about somebody with an addiction; it is like being placed in somebody else’s life. Sometimes we follow him up close, like in his apartment. Other scenes feel as if we are across the bar, or at a corner table of the restaurant he takes a date on, etc. The audience doesn’t need to hear Brandon’s thoughts. They already know what he’s thinking. His pain, hunger, and guilt read subtly on his face.

Michael Fassbender’s performance was incredible. To mirror a person with such complexity is not an easy feat. His portrayal of Brandon could never be classified as a character because it was so painstakingly real to me. This goes for all of the actors, especially the girl who played Brandon’s coworker. The restaurant scene was so captivating because not only was it the first time that Brandon mentioned his preferred isolation from relationships to the audience, but it was so wonderfully acted that I felt like I was sitting at the table across listening. All of the actors had chemistry with one another, an important aspect in order for the audience to understand Brandon’s distant relationships with those around him. I don’t usually like Carey Mulligan, but she was great in her role. She subtly suggested a self-confidence issue that forewarned me of the film’s chilling end. Most importantly, her chemistry with Fassbender was very apparent.

The most painful aspect of Shame is that there is never any indication that Brandon’s addiction gets better. It is never clear whether he chooses to break from the cycle that consumed his life. This was a smart directing move for Steve McQueen because it left room for interpretation. It forced me to question if people can ever truly overcome addictions, or if it’s just a personality flaw.

Shame is a painful, realistically dark, and thought provoking look of a man drowning in his own guilt. The audience doesn’t simply watch the movie. They experience the suffering of a serious addiction alongside a man that appears normal to the average eye. Shame is definitely not for the sensitive or the weak at heart. The movie is rightfully so rated NC-17 for it’s explicit sexual content. But without this emphasis, a viewer wouldn’t feel fully transported into Brandon’s agonizing world. For those interested and open minded, Shame will leave audiences moved and deeply concerned.

8/10
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:34 pm

jameswerty:
My week in popular culture - Week 2

So, here goes, week two of letting-tumblr-know-what-I’ve-been-upto.

After months of anticipation, I finally got to see Shame, starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, and Michael Fassbender’s p****. The only time this was being shown was at 11:45, so, after a nap, I headed to an almost-empty screening. My god there’s a lot of sex and nudity in it, not one to see with the parents. It’s really quite a brutal film at times, but Fassbender and Mulligan are both excellent in it, and it’s shot beautifully. Fassbender walks a line between coming across quite cool, to being really, really creepy. With this and Drive, Mulligan’s been with probably the two most-prolific actors of the year. And what a lovely singing voice she has.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:35 pm

jkogay:

‘Shame’

To my great regret, so highly expected and highly rated film ‘Shame’ did not impress me much. The review link to which I provide later can give you more detailed explanation of my frustration and, although this review contains lots of spoilers, I would recommend you to read it before you decide to watch the movie. You will probably save extra two hours of your spare time.

However, despite the lack of logical narrative, overdose of cliched moments and general weakness of performing the so-called ‘shameless’ idea of the film (the topic is much more interestingly covered in Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘Dreamers’ for expamle) there is one scene that the reviewer did not mention but I found really interesting. The scene in the tube and a very close shot of two people’s hands holding one handrail (see picture). Very simple but sexually intense shot, much more intensed than any other NC17 scene in the film, I think its brilliant. There are also some good long-shots such as of Fassbender’s running scene, however, without a good story any perfect shot becomes just a professional technique.

Here’s the link to review:

Shame Review: Michael Fassbender Likes Sex. A Lot. That’s Pretty Much It.

Shame is overwrought and lacking in real story, but the Fasspenis deserves Best Actor If you just want the abridged Shame review, here it is: Michael Fassbender is a sex […] (c) Source: FilmDrunk
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:36 pm

minimanic:

Um

As an only child what I am getting here is: having siblings is hard especially when you are both smokin hot.

Really though the parts of this movie that were good were in some instances the best I’ve ever seen. On the other hand the parts that were not good were… really, distractingly not good.

And, ah, how do I put this, a certain detail of this film was greatly exaggerated by all who mentioned it. What I am trying to say here is clearly porn has ruined my expectations.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:39 pm

essentialsblog:

One of my favorite films of 2011. Incredibly powerful and unsettling, it invades your personal space like a mysterious stranger who sat a little too close to you in a train. You are afraid to stay, but you also wish you could rest your head on his shoulder. Michael Fassbender was so good I could hardly breathe. It’s a Shame if you like it, it’s a Shame if you don’t.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:40 pm

fleetingobsessions:
Finally Saw Shame

It definitely lived up to expectations. In fact, I liked it better than I had really expected since a lot of the reviews led me to believe that much of it was filmed in long shots, which I find really alienating. Luckily, that’s not actually the case and in fact the movie is something of a meditation on Fassbender’s face — which is a glorious thing to behold even when it is wracked with pain. He was seriously amazing in this movie and his performance is truly riveting.

I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t more sex in it, or more masturbating. The few times we see him watching porn he’s not jerking off. He’s just watching it. Which actually, is how I tend to watch it as well. I just like the heightened sense of arousal. But since I think Brandon is seeking something from the release, I was surprised that he didn’t masturbate a lot more.

Most of the scenes with Sissy really bothered me. I was probably relating to Brandon overly much there, having to deal with people who are just f#%@#&! emotional vampires like that and basically busting into his life and expanding her presence all over the place. Ugh.

Also, I have to add — the scene in the bar before he gets the s$#! kicked out of him, HOT, OMG HOT.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:40 pm

chelseacay:

I really, really loved this film. It was very different than I expected and turned out to be even better than I imagined. The first few minutes were particularly exciting (HELLO FASSY p****). I loved the soundtrack and the pacing of the film and just everything about it! Fassy really was astounding. Everything he did was captivating and he looks so gorgeous at every angle. I love this film. If he doesn’t get at least nominated for an Academy Award I will be severely disappointed.

Time to take a cold shower.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:41 pm

8. Overrated Movie—Do I loose my Fassbender harem card if I say Shame? I love his acting in it, and really have no problem with the nudity, but I just watch it and feel like Steve McQueen didn’t trust the audience. Or disliked us, I don’t know which. Carey Mulligan and Michael are so dynamic in it, but I feel like McQueen shortchanged them. I appreciate the film’s artistry, but it felt at times it came at the expense of its heart.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:43 pm

sakura59:
Shame - dir. Steve McQueen



Addiction is a subject which has been the topic of many many films before. Some films take the comedic route, while others play it out in a more dramatic fashion. Usually the protagonist realises they have an addiction after hitting “bottom”, and then we follow them as they seek help. Shame is not either of these films. Shame is not about redemption or seeking help. It’s about how addiction guts the lives of those trapped in its embrace, leaving them a cold and hollow existence.

Shame is centred on sex addict Brandon (Michael Fassbender) and his exhausting routine to feed his addiction. We see Brandon from first thing in the morning until late in the evening and quickly see the control his addiction has on him. From masturbating in the work bathrooms, to trying to pick up girls in the subway, his routine is intense and his addiction is clearly his master.

His routine is thrown into disarray with the arrival of his clearly disturbed sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), who comes to stay with him for a few days. These two obviously had an interesting childhood, as there relationship is not what you could call healthy. The presence of Sissy unbalances his routine, and we follow Brandon as he finds himself losing control of his carefully constructed life.

This film is absolutely exquisitely shot and masterfully edited. The blue/grey muted palate of a New York winter adds to the cold and desperate atmosphere of the film. The camera operators and editors must be praised for their careful editing of some rather graphic sex scenes. They manage to keep the bits they need to off-screen without resorting to too many cut away shots or fade outs. Those who have seen director Steve McQueen’s first film Hunger, will notice the similarities in the cinematography in this film. McQueen again employs the use of several long-shots (including a very impressive tracking shot of Brandon running), and uses the whole shot very carefully to frame his subjects.

Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan must be given enormous praise for their impressive performances in these extremely raw and challenging roles. Fassbender conveys the pain and hollowness of addiction in a way which will leave you cold. Respect must be given for the large number of sex scenes he was in. These were at times harrowing scenes, and only an actor of the highest calibre could have pulled them off. Mulligan is outstanding as the emotional and unstable sister. Her performance of ‘New York New York’ which could have been cheesy is in fact incredibly moving. Both actors give their all to these roles.

The sex scenes and full frontal nudity (both genders) may not be for everyone. They are graphic and at times uncomfortable. This is not a sexy film. This is a cold and hollow film which successfully portrays how addiction guts you to your very core, leaving you with nothing but pain and the need to find the next fix.

4.5/5

Shame opens in Australia on February 9th and in New Zealand on February 23.
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