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Shame reviews

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:45 pm

liberalshatefamilies:

Well, I’ve been waiting to see this movie for quite awhile, and it was certainly worth the wait, but I don’t think anything can prepare me for what I was in for. No matter how many reviews you read that say “This film will make you feel miserable and queasy” you say “Nah! I’ve sat through Irreversible!” But no. This is different. This film has gotten a lot of attention simply because it’s an NC-17 film, but I think the rating is much more warranted from how it makes its audience feel rather than the subject matter. LIke yes there is graphic sex scenes and yada yada but this is a painful adult film if I have ever seen one. It doesn’t shy away from extremely nauseating topics that are important to uncover. The revelation here is Michael Fassbender. I fear he won’t receive an oscar nomination simply because this film is rated NC-17, but he is more deserving than any other actor I’ve seen this year. Though his performance has violent verbal explosions and weeping, the treasures here are the moments of silence. The blank, almost inhuman stare he has on the subway. The tension and anxiety when he is listening to sex in another room. The resurgence of emotion in his eyes when he hears his sister sing in a bar. His ability to convey emotions wordlessly is truly masterful. Shame is a showcase of talent for the actors. The film is not transcendent in its writing or cinematography or anything else technical, but the raw, visceral effect of its portrayal of sex addiction never relents. It is not puritanical in its morals, but it shows how compassion and humanity can be lost in base, fatalistic desire. It’s a film that will undoubtedly make you feel sick to your stomach, but that’s why it’s brilliant.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:47 pm

http://girlwith-1-eye.blogspot.com/2012/01/shame-review.html

Saturday, January 21, 2012
SHAME – A review.


Shame, released in Ireland/The UK on the 13 January, is a film about a closet sex addict, Brandon, who is forced to face his secret addiction when his estranged little sister, Sissy, shows up to his apartment out of the blue on an extended and indefinite stay. It is directed by Steve McQueen and stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale.

The film follows Brandon from the beginning, where he was just about managing to maintain and conceal his addiction from others by undertaking a careful routine of furious sex, masturbation and porn. A routine he almost constantly adheres to whilst in the comfort and seclusion of his own home. But when his sister, Sissy, moves herself into his apartment, he is forced to confront his closet fixation. A task that sends him and his sister on a roller coaster ride of human emotion.

Certified 18+ for it's graphic sex scenes, it is not for the lighthearted. It's not a movie one would want to go to with their parents nor is it first date material. It's a thinker – It's not just about addiction. It's about our innermost desires, weakness and sexuality. It's about the human condition in general but also focuses specifically with an issue that is more prevalent in contemporary society than many care to admit.

The viewer is thrown into the story with essentially no contextualisation. As the plot thickens, there is still a real sense of vagueness. Has Brandon always been like this? What sparked his fixation? Where did Sissy's suicidal tendencies develop from? Where is the rest of their family? Is some kind of shared childhood experience to blame for their unstability? This vagueness prods the viewer to almost construct a more detailed narrative around the plot for themselves.

Steve McQueen has said that he draws his inspiration from various minimalist artists. A minimalism that's extremely evident in Shame. This simplicity in shooting provides a great contrast to the already powerful story-line. It's a subtle simplicity characterized by the use of long take shots and seamless editing. Dialogue is used sparingly, placing a greater emphasis on the actor's ability to communicate emotion through expression – a difficult task that Fassbender and Mulligan managed to excell in. The understated and tasteful approach allowed all the intricate and unfiltered raw emotions to shine through.

As Donald Clarke of The Irish Times so aptly said "it's the most wholesome film made about unwholesomeness since The Exorcist".

Although in many ways we're not left with any sense of finality when the film closes, we're left with a glimmer of hope. There is however, no concrete ending. Again, McQueen invites his audience to choose an ending as they see fit. Whether Fassbender's character breaks free of the vicious cycle or whether he is forever trapped within it depends on your interpretation of the film's final scenes. Many people may find that unfulfilling but there is no way that all of the story's loose threads could have been tied up and presented in a way that wouldn't infringe heavily on the movie's integrity.

I'd give Shame 3.5/5. If you like powerful and experimental movies like Requiem for a Dream, You may find this to your taste.

Shame is now playing in cinemas throughout the country. Please see Dublin cinema showtimes here.


Posted by Girl With 1 Eye. at 7:01 AM
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:49 pm

glitterazi-carolinevice:
Steve McQueen's Shame

Rather like Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender is not afraid to get his hands dirty for his art. There are few who would have the balls – literally – to play an ass and cock-bearing sex addict, especially during the prime of their career. But Michael is proving to be made of sterner stuff. Stuff that only comes along a couple of times a generation. Likewise, Steve McQueen is managing to prove himself as somewhat of a legend, despite only having released two films to date. Perhaps like Terence Malick, McQueen will be a man of gravity defying quality as opposed to quantity. This Brit – who won the Turner Prize in 1999 – has got the cranium and the creativity to rival Malick.

image

Shame - a work of art McQueen should be proud of

Fassbender has the acting ability (goes without saying) and the perfect physical appearance for the sex-addicted Brandon. A hard, slightly sinewy body devoid of fat. Rugged but well-kept features and those penetrating, Willem Dafo eyes. His body mirrors his character.

Steve McQueen’s long, long close ups on faces – few directors could get away with that without boring the hell out of audiences – means only the highest caliber of actor will do. I don’t think I have ever been able to read a person’s every thought and emotion before. But that is what I did as Brandon watches his sister singing a bone-chilling rendition of New York, New York.

One knows before watching the film that Carey Mulligan will do a faultless job. She’s saucy and ever so slightly slutty as Brandon’s kid sister Sissy – a side we have not yet seen of her – and demonstrates that she is in for a career without limits.

McQueen creates scenes so concentrated, detailed and powerful, it is as if we have read a book, not watched a series of flickering images. He wrings every fibre of truth out of A Picture Paints A Thousand Words. But he is also a master of the dialogue, every one of which is rich and succinct. No opportunity for actors to hide behind their lines. The conversations are so good you wish you had had them yourself.

He also gives us unadulterated bites of reality. So real you recognise them, and even remember them. The awkward-nervous start to a date: conversation on hiatus as Brandon and work-mate Alexa (played by the stunning Mari-Ange Ramirez) wait for the waiter to finish pouring out the wine. And then there is the foreplay and fumbling between Brandon and Alexa that comes with no background music to lighten things. Fassbender and Ramirez’s chemistry make the scene almost too real for comfort. McQueen turns the viewer into the voyeur.

Music is an essential ingredient that is used to drag you in emotionally that much more. Yet it is unobtrusive. Harry Escott’s classical score starts and finishes the film, with some funky Disco music and jazz in between, and a completely breath taking mix of pounding electronic music by Mark Loque played underneath Escott’s title score. What a soundtrack.

I had a post-mortem of the movie with one of my colleagues at work (I work in casting), someone who has years of experience in the film industry. Turns out I had failed to pick up on a HUGE elephant-in-the-room element of the storyline. What it was? Go see for yourselves!

Like an addict, I watched Shame alone and in secret, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week. I’m glad I did. There are few people I would have been comfortable enough with watching those prolonged close-ups on bums and writhing bodies and Fassbender’s face, locked in effort and vice and… shame.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:50 pm

fuckyeahitslucy:
"We're not bad people" - SHAME

Shame was so unbelievably good, I’m still in shock not going to lie. It’s very thought-provoking, beautifully shot and so, SO well acted. Michael Fassbender DESERVES to win Best Actor at the Oscars but I’ll be happy with a nod and I hope the Academy recognizes what a great actor he is. Carey Mulligan, my idol, as well for Supporting Actress… And should sing more often. “New York, New York” was breathtaking. Both actors portrayed such broken, lonely people and how they dealt with their own demons, director Steve McQueen made this film magnificent and I have to give props to the score as well. If you’re going to see it thinking “oh yes I’ll see Fassy naked!”, believe me when I say that I thought about that too but it’s so much more than that. There are many sex scenes, but it gets to a point where you won’t watch it to enjoy it, but you’re noticing how Brandon (Fassbender) uses sex as his gateway drug, he commits self-harm, kind of showing himself that after he’s done, there’s just loneliness, a feeling of emptiness that he tries to fill with sex but not even having sex multiple times a day satisfies him. I couldn’t help but feel for Brandon and if it wasn’t for Shame I would have never realize that such thing as a sex addiction is not just some “natural urge”, like there are some serious issues within having sex from one person, to the next one. “We’re not bad people” might have been something Sissy (Mulligan) said just because, but it resonated in my head because it said so much about her and her brother. It’s the feeling of dependency on someone, family values, finding someone who really loves you in this sex-driven society, those are questions I know have been asking myself and I left the theater 3 hours ago. You must, MUST see Shame. My friend and I had to drive for 1 hour to the theater that was playing it and it was SO worth it.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:00 am

http://ohmaegan.tumblr.com/post/16195652704/today-i-saw-shame

Today, I saw Shame.

This contains spoilers, so read at your own risk.

Shame: a film about something that seems to be extremely taboo even in the present - sex addiction.

First off, I’m going to be extremely immature and say there was a lot of sex in this film. A whole lot. Even a frontal nudity scene with stars Michael Fassbender (Yes, what George Clooney had to say at this year’s Golden Globes was very true…) and Carey Mulligan.

But the film, beyond the sex, is film about addiction. The struggles of demons that are still there. The struggle to stay sane. The struggle to find “a normal life.” Michael Fassbender was incredibly powerful but Carey Mulligan stole the show for me. Her character was beautiful yet incredibly broken.

There was a line in the movie that hit me - “We are not bad people. “

What does this mean? Was there some sort of trauma in the past? We will never know…

There are loose ends with the film. I’m not going to lie. My friend, who somehow read the original screenplay, said there was some pieces missing that can confuse people.

All and all, the movie was fantastic. See it.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:02 am

inmediaresonates:
We're not bad people.

Shame, 2011

Director - Steve McQueen

Screenplay - Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen

A lot has been said about Steve McQueen’s Shame, much of the talk stemming from the film’s NC-17 rating. Now that we are well into awards season, it is easy to see the impact that the film has had for reasons far beyond its racy rating.

Set in New York City, Shame follows Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who lives a an economically comfortable and ordered life, but struggles constantly with his sexual addiction, random encounters with partners (ranging from co-workers to escorts) feeding his appetite. His routine, however, is upset by the appearance of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) a troubled, struggling singer who arrives unexpectedly to stay with him for a few days.

Fassbender is remarkable. As Brandon, he expertly portrays a tormented soul attempting to satiate a desire that he likely knows he can never fulfill. Equally impressive is Mulligan’s performance as Sissy. Her scenes with Fassbender radiate a sibling relationship that bounces realistically between adoration and frustration, suggesting remnants of a troubled childhood that is never fully addressed.

McQueen clearly recognizes the talent of his leads and gives their performances room to breathe, letting the camera linger to the point where we, the audience, become voyeurs catching deeply personal glimpses of these characters’ lives. Particularly effective is Carey Mulligan’s quiet, shakily pretty rendition of the Sinatra staple, New York, New York, in which McQueen chooses to focus almost exclusively on Mulligan’s face, a tight close-up that holds on for nearly the duration of the number. Likewise, a lengthy segment toward the film’s conclusion follows Brandon as he goes for a nighttime jog. As he attempts to clear his head it is as if McQueen is inviting us to do the same, to contemplate everything we have just seen.

A startling, sometimes painful, but ultimately beautiful film, Shame is an emotional, angst-ridden study of the human condition and the relationships (be they familial, sexual, or otherwise) we choose to engage in.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:03 am

http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-cleveland/review-shame-deserves-more-buzz-than-it-s-getting#.TxncXiPwwgY.tumblr

Arts & Entertainment | January 19, 2012
Review: Shame Deserves More Buzz Than It's Getting
George Thomas
Cleveland Movie Examiner

Here is a quick assertion: if the film Shame were about an alcoholic fighting addiction a la Leaving Las Vegas, Oscar talk would abound.

No such luck for this flick primarily because it looks at addiction through the lens of sex. That, however, doesn’t mean that the film isn’t any less powerful than Nicolas Cage’s story of a man drinking himself to death in a performance that won him an Oscar.

Given the puritanical stance that many in this country hold with respect to sex, it’s of little surprise that this movie, which stars Brit Michael Fassbender isn’t getting more buzz.

It should because Fassbender delivers one of those must-see performances of awards season as Manhattan professional Brandon Sullivan in one of the most interesting and compelling films of the year.

Sullivan is a slave to his particular addiction – sex. His laptop is perpetually on assorted porn sites with live video chat operators. His work computer, which has been taken by his company’s I.T. department is filled with sexual images – so many that his boss has to tell him to knock it off. But more importantly, Brandon isn’t able to have a normal relationship because of his addiction.

“Traditional” sex holds little allure for him. As he begins a new relationship with a co-worker, the inevitable step into the bedroom ends in disappointment when he cannot achieve an erection. But just a day later he watches from the city street as two people have sex for Manhattan to see in a high rise’s window. In short order, he’s compelled to duplicate it.

But it’s moments such as those that offer little in the way of emotional connection and nothing in the way of a future.

Brandon is a guy bereft of emotion as can be witness in the alternately hot-and-cold relationship with his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan, who he wants little to do with and expresses his disdain for at every turn. It’s not difficult to see that there’s an underlying creepiness to their sibling interactions.

Director Steve McQueen is by no means interested in giving that information up, making it a far more intriguing experience. Nor does he shy away from the things that addiction can and will make people do. Binging on sex might seem like an improbability for some, but that would be a disingenuous assumption. McQueen, who also wrote the script, explores that aspect of Brandon’s problem in a graphic fashion that will likely prove psychologically unnerving for some. It’s not gratuitous. Nor is it especially shocking. It just is. It’s reality.

That’s what makes Shame so compelling. McQueen rips the taboo off of exploring such a subject and effectively paints a portrait of a guy who is as tortured as any other person suffering through an addiction.

Fassbender is brilliant as that person. He creates Brandon as an individual who is a mix of vulnerability, anger and powerlessness.

Movie: Shame

Director: Steve McQueen

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

Studio: Fox Searchlight

Rated: NC-17 (thematic elements, language, explicit sex)

Running time: 101 minutes

George’s rating: 4-of-5 stars

Playing exclusively at the Cedar-Lee Theatre, Cleveland Heights
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:04 am

sixteentons:
Shame

So we watched the movie Shame because of the obvious reasons. And I’m so impressed! I’ve not been so impressed in years. Michael Fassbender more or less naked for more or less 2 hours - and they managed to make that boring.

I learned that no strings attached sex = moral and mental decay. I’m sure they wanted to say more than that and make some sort of statement, but they never actually went beyond that equation.

I also learned that, apparently, Irish people can’t talk about emotions even to their closest family, they have a problematic view of sex and they’re prone to suicide and depression.

In other, cinematically groundbreaking news, bisexuality is the final depravity frontier. The lowest of low. Yeahh.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:04 am

ourbriefencounter:

I just got back from seeing Shame.

Spoilers.

This film will probably stay with me for a long time, and, even though I’ll undoubtedly end up adding it to my DVD collection on its day of release, I don’t know how long it would be before I want to watch it again, just because its power isn’t in what you see on the screen, but how you react to it as a consciousness. And that’s something I wouldn’t care to consider again and again.

It was nothing short of visionary. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Its directing was reminiscent of low-budget, natural romances (e.g. Blue Valentine, An Education), with a profundity in showing happenings to their full extent. The shots were long and enduring, witnessing each event from beginning to end, be it a journey on a train, an evening jog, a date, or even a sexual encounter. It draws focus to the character’s humanity, and, in turn, our likeness to him. He is a distinctly, thoroughly human character.

Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan both gave outstanding performances, and suited the roles perfectly. Their light-hearted superficial jovial attitudes become excruciating to watch as the audience becomes more and more conscious of an unmentioned, ominous, disturbed past. These two characters are both suffering, and their suffering pulls them apart. I had such an emotional investment in both of the characters by the end of the film. In fact, not only the characters themselves, but their relationship as whole. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I was desperate for a happy ending. Even though I know I loved the ending in how tragic it is, the fact is that, at the moment, I was so caught up in it that I wanted these two characters to reconcile, defeat their addictions, overcome their past… It was, as I said earlier, so overwhelmingly human.

Overall, it had a poignancy far beyond the vast majority of films. It penetrates further than I was expecting, forcing the audience to reflect and respond, contemplate on how their own life mirrors that of the character. It creates an experience that is difficult to stomach, or, at least, consider re-stomaching. I would recommend this to anybody who’s interested in something that really makes you think. Perhaps not even in a way that you want to think. But it is an experience worth having. And it’s worth having many times over.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:05 am

infinitybuttons:

365 Films in 2012

18. Shame (dir. Steve McQueen, UK/USA, 2011)

Sex-addict Brandon’s (Michael Fassbender) life of porn, prostitutes and pick-ups in interrupted by the arrival of his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan).

Shame is already winning awards, and for good reason. Everything about it is produced to the highest order, from great soundtrack to crisp visuals and the terrific lead performances of Fassbender and Mulligan. What keeps it from being really great, however, is McQueen’s lack of discipline (startling to see, when his first film, Hunger, was disciplined to a fault) in the last third. The final act could do with a rather stronger hand in the editing room, with a couple whole scenes which could (and probably should) have been left out, and more which needed to be sparser. Still; terrific.

Verdict: brilliant - difficult watch at times
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:07 am

freeasilleverbe:
SHAME.

Shame by Steve McQueen - Mr Fassbender you’ve shown one of the bravest & powerful performances out there right now and not because you put that cock out. Very complex, illuminating & raw too its finest, very rarely we’ve been exposed to so much sex in a cinematical without an ounce of eroticsm, its an addicion not some kinky fetish shown in a slow pace that makes you feel like an intruder.

The difference between a “want” and a “need” and a “need” and ” the road to self-destructiveness.“

Still processing it…
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:07 am

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11993/

Friday 20 January 2012

Tom Slater
What a Shame: taking sex addiction at face value

Steve McQueen’s latest film offers an unconvincing portrayal of a promiscuous yuppie at the mercy of his sexual urges.
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With celebrities ranging from Russell Brand to Tiger Woods claiming to be slaves to their carnal desires, sex addiction has made its way into the public consciousness. However, the validity of the condition is still very much disputed. Indeed, the labelling of promiscuity as a disorder seems like little more than a convenient means for celebrities to distance themselves from their depraved antics. It betrays a highly puritanical impulse to realign us with conservative notions of sexuality.

Hunger, Steve McQueen’s acclaimed debut about Bobby Sands and the 1981 IRA hunger strikes, approached a very contentious historical event with sober, apolitical portraiture. Yet in the opening scenes of his latest film, Shame, McQueen provides us with a very one-sided view of the sex addiction debate. We are introduced to Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a New York yuppie leading a double life. By day, he is just one of the guys (save the occasional unseemly visit to the men’s room), but by night he becomes an uncontrollable fiend, looking for sex wherever he can find it.

Brandon’s busy schedule of brothel visits, one-night stands and violent sessions of masturbation, is upset by the arrival of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), who, having landed a singing gig in New York City, needs somewhere to stay. She seems to serve as an uncomfortable reminder of their troubled childhood, which is hinted at but never explained. As a result, Brandon rejects her attempts to reconnect with him and casts her out. In this, McQueen attempts to explore the causes of Brandon’s errant behaviour, suggesting that a history of family turmoil has left him with little faith in emotional intimacy and forged the basis for his addiction.

However, despite McQueen’s penchant for naturalism, Brandon’s story is far from convincing. Not only does he seem to have an almost supernatural ability to attract beautiful women, but the scenes of violent masturbation and rampant sexual conquest are terribly cartoonish. For instance, during Brandon’s final spree, he partakes in a series of stereotypically debauched antics, beginning with lewdly chatting up women in bars, before heading to a gay sex club and rounding off the evening with a threesome in a brothel.

If anything, this less-than-sophisticated presentation of the supposed ‘realities’ of sex addiction leads one to think it isn’t about sex at all. All of his encounters seem pleasurable and consensual, if occasionally contractual, and if McQueen intends to underline their innate depravity he certainly doesn’t succeed. Brandon’s tendencies are admittedly a little self-destructive, but his true struggle seems to lie in his isolation and emotional separation from his family, rather than his sexual appetites.

Towards the end of the film, Brandon begins to see a colleague, Marianne (Nicole Beharie), and their first date is perhaps Shame’s most important scene, largely because it undermines all that has come before it. As they begin to talk about past relationships, Brandon is led to admit that he doesn’t believe in monogamy, or feel comfortable with long-term commitment. Marianne challenges him on it and they debate for the rest of the evening. Breaking from the narrative’s overarching agenda, this seems to be the sort of discussion the film should have staged in the first place; one that examines our culture’s sexual values without feeling the need to wag fingers.

While Shame aspires to paint a vivid picture of a person living through the supposed affliction of sex addiction, the result is a rather unconvincing caricature. Nevertheless, in its failure to depict sex addiction as anything other than a matter of appetite and sensibility, it may well have something important to say.

Tom Slater is spiked’s film reviewer. Visit his blog here.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:08 am

http://www.filmquarterly.org/2012/01/non-film-steve-mcqueens-shame/

Non-film: Steve McQueen’s “Shame”
Posted In Featured,Fisher reviews,Web Exclusives

Steve McQueen’s Shame, a study of sex addiction starring Michael Fassbender, is one of the talking-point films of the awards season. FQ Writer-at-Large MARK FISHER is impressed by its sense of emptiness.

Shame. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

In Shame, Steve McQueen transforms New York into a non-place. Marc Augé coined the term to refer to the anonymous and interchangeable zones of transit—retail parks, shopping malls, airports—which increasingly dominate contemporary culture. We learn that Shame’s lead character, sex addict Brandon (Michael Fassbender), was born in Ireland but grew up in New York, and his migration handily captures the transition between McQueen’s first feature, Hunger, which dealt with the 1981 hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, and the new film. McQueen has pointedly left behind the heavily coded, multiply overwritten territory of Northern Ireland’s Troubles in the 1980s for the bland vistas of upscale New York in the twenty-first century. These are quite clearly high-end non-places—the apartment in which Brandon lives, the office where he works, and the hotel where he takes a co-worker for a failed liaison have the unobtrusive minimalism which still connotes expensive taste. But they remain non-places: it’s sometimes difficult to know whether we’re in Brandon’s apartment or the hotel room. Shame’s New York is as lacking in temporal as spatial signifiers. At points, the film’s soundtrack pointedly calls up an older moment, when music could capture a particular time and place. The disco of Chic and the post-punk of Tom Tom Club and Blondie that Brandon hears in clubs and bars were once rooted in a specific New York era, but they’re now as “classic” in their own way as the Bach that Brandon prefers to listen to as he jogs through the city.

Shame. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Apart from his sex addiction, practically everything about Brandon is generic, depersonalized. His job, never fully specified, seems to be something in advertising or branding. This vagueness profoundly irritated Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: “every scene ladled with big dollops of cinema’s most respectable cop-out: ambiguity … Shame wears its emptiness like a badge of honor; McQueen is trying for banal blankness, and though he succeeds in that respect, you kind of wish that a filmmaker (and one with a background as an artist at that) would aspire to do more than just say nothing.” But far from being something that you might expect an artist to refrain from, isn’t compulsory ambiguity precisely a signature of so much contemporary art, which regards “saying something” as an unpardonable vulgarity, and which would far rather “raise questions” than make any kind of determinate statement? When McQueen does try to say something, Vishnevetsky complains, it is staggeringly clichéd: “’sex can be both a dehumanizing and transcendent experience’ (you don’t say!), ‘addiction can take over a person’s life’ (really?), ‘people are often motivated by past trauma’ (well, I’ll be!), and ‘we live in a culture that nourishes emotional isolation.’” At its worst, Shame comes off like a standard melodrama remade with arthouse ellipses, complete with what Rob White called “conventional therapy-speak psychology that holds childhood responsible for adult compulsions.” At its best, however, Shame isn’t “saying nothing” so much as it is telling something about nothing, about the non- of the non-place.

Shame. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Brandon himself seems to have been projected from the non-places which he inhabits. He is to post-crash Manhattan what Patrick Bateman (in American Psycho) was to boomtime New York: the city’s psychopathology rendered no longer as perversely humorous extravagance but as dour furtiveness, its traces to be found not in a mutilated corpse but on a soiled hard drive. Superficial charm covers over a terrifying nullity, and you suspect that Brandon’s sex addiction covers over a deeper impulse to flee from that central nothingness. The film is called Shame but shame is conspicuously lacking from it emotional palette, which is as subdued as the architecture on which McQueen’s camera lingers. Shame is dominated by such an overwhelming sense of affectlessness that it could be about depression as much as sex addiction. Even when Brandon clears out his porn hoard, there’s a sense of utilitarian purposiveness about his actions rather than a purgative self-disgust. Just as the office is barely distinguishable from the hotel room, so there’s a grim continuity between Brandon’s (vaguely defined) work and his addiction–compulsion, which is as lacking in affect as labor. The affect that does occasionally flare up in Shame—for instance when Brandon returns home to find his sister Sissy having sex with his boss, or when he fails to perform in the scene with the co-worker—is a kind of inarticulate frustration.

Shame. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Shame is at its most powerful when it explores the bleak phenomenology of Brandon’s loneliness. Carey Mulligan is fine as Sissy, yet the whole dynamic which Sissy’s character brings to the film introduces some of Shame’s weakest elements. The arrival of Sissy, inevitably, brings Brandon’s carefully controlled libidinal economy into crisis. Her equally inevitable act of self-harm, as well as her therapeutic editorializing—“We aren’t bad people; we’re just from a bad place”—relieve us of the disturbingly anonymous automatism which elsewhere governs the film, and throw us back into the well-formed causality familiar from “conventional therapy-speak.” This same therapeutic causality is invoked in the scene with the co-worker, with Brandon’s impotence implicitly explained by his desire to “retain control,” something McQueen has underlined in interviews about the film. Shame is most convincing—and most unsettling—as a kind of post-traumatic cinema. It’s post-traumatic not in the usual sense that it explores the impact of a trauma, but in the sense that it implies a situation in which trauma no longer plays a decisive role in explaining either behavior or psychology. Throughout most of Shame—everywhere, in fact, apart from in Sissy’s remarks—the old psychoanalytic relation between trauma and compulsion has been disarticulated. What survives is a blind compulsion, radically illegible, incapable of giving any account of itself; and this depthless compulsion might be the psychopathology—or rather the psycho-non-pathology—of the non-place.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:10 am

2. Shame (dir. Steve McQueen)

Shame is about a sex addict who lives in New York City. He’s very secretive with his addiction, and things gets difficult when his sister unexpectedly shows up to live with him. The fact that this movie is about a sex addict really has nothing to do with the movie. The movie is about isolation, pain, and grief. Him being a sex addict is just an easy way of showing those things. His sister is quite the opposite. She needs human interaction, love, and a sense of family that only her brother can provide, but of course, he can’t. The acting in Shame is amazing, Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan both do an amazing job. I don’t want to spoil anything by giving examples for people who haven’t seen this yet, but the cinematography is amazing as well. There are definitely two scenes from this that will now always come to my mind when I think of good cinematography. Shame is a very fascinating movie that really sticks with you long after it’s over. I see a lot of movies that I would consider “disturbing” but Shame is much more disturbing in a real way than anything else I think I have ever seen. Shame is an incredible movie.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:14 am

movieemporium:
Shame

Had a mixed experience with Shame last weekend.

The story centers around Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), a man suffering from a rather severe case of sex addiction. His existence is given a dramatic shakeup with the abrupt arrival of equally damaged sibling Sissy (Carey Mulligan). With his formally private place to feed his habit breached alongside dealing with a douchebag of a boss, Brandon quickly begins to unravel.

Although it looks stunning, the score is amazing and it’s filled with top notch performances Shame is, unsurprisingly given the subject matter a tough film to take any enjoyment from. Fassbender has said in interviews that he hoped to get across the message that his character doesn’t like himself very much. Job well done sir.

The opening scene for example finds us on the subway. Catching the eye of an attractive passenger, an awkward tension quickly wracks up as Brandon, eyes filled with a cold self loathing is helpless to look at her as anything but a fix. Condemning himself to a life of solitude, this is a man seemingly unwilling to accept or show affection. Relationships go as far as counting cash out for prostitutes, or punching credit card numbers in for web cam strippers. He doesn’t talk much either - Brandon always seems preoccupied with his addiction, only focusing it seems when there is the opportunity to satisfy his cravings demonstrating a clinical charm reminiscent of Dracula. His sister, harboring some sinister internal demons of her own is at the opposite end of the spectrum screaming out for affection. The scenes these two share are bubbling volcanoes waiting to explode, which invariably they do with dramatic consequences.

The unrelenting and draining weight of Brandon’s addiction never really lets up over the course of the film, however it is undeniably powerful and gives a brutal insight in to an addiction that is possibly misjudged by many (I know I had). Fassbender injects such a forlorn and desperate streak through his character, you genuinely hope he can find some form of recovery or salvation before the credits roll.

But, remember this is a McQueen/Fassbender film so don’t go in expecting gumdrops and rainbows…

JS
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:17 am

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-6531-muted-emotions.html


Muted Emotions
Sex and…more meaningless sex in Shame
David Riedel
Shame-Abbot-GenserMichael Fassbender in Shame. - Abbot Genser

As Shame presents it, sex addiction prevents the addict from having meaningful contact with another person. All conversations are perfunctory. In fact, all human contact is superficial. All business success is meaningless because everything comes down to this: How will I get laid next? How will that act keep everything at arm’s length? Sounds great, right?

See, Brandon (Michael Fassbender) seems as if he has it all together, but he’s silently suffering. He has no close relationships. He speaks to few people who aren’t potential sex partners and a quiet night at home for him is paying for a prostitute. He masturbates in the shower before work. He masturbates in the men’s room at work. His office computer is confiscated because he inadvertently downloads a virus while surfing for porn.

It sounds like an empty existence, but that’s the way Brandon prefers it. For whatever reason, he feels shame; the movie never fully addresses that issue, though it offers unsubtle hints. Sex with random partners quashes it. The one time Brandon tries to have a meaningful relationship with a woman, he can’t get it up (shocker). Moments later, we see him having sex with a different, unknown woman and then another.

As happens in the movies, Brandon’s quest to live without feelings is interrupted. His sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), shows up unannounced after leaving increasingly erratic messages on Brandon’s answering machine. Her mere presence throws his precarious equilibrium out of whack, and her behavior quickly pushes him to rage that he struggles to keep beneath the surface. An especially unpleasant altercation takes place after she walks in on him masturbating.

Sissy is Brandon’s opposite: loud, garrulous and needy. She attracts the wrong kind of men—including Brandon’s married boss, David (James Badge Dale), with whom she has a quick fling before he wants nothing to do with her. Together, Sissy and Brandon are two halves of a damaged whole.

When Sissy begins phone-stalking Brandon’s boss after their ill-advised tryst, Brandon nearly loses his mind. It’s at that point that his well-constructed, emotionless facade crumbles.

Shame is a good movie: well-made, well-acted. Its muted color palette reflects Brandon’s muted emotions. Its story is as simple as it sounds. Being enjoyable isn’t its goal. This is a character study of two wounded people. Mulligan is irritating as Sissy, but she’s intended to be. Fassbender, when he’s at his best (as he is here), registers emotion with the slightest quiver of his lip, the arch of an eyebrow, the hollowness of his gaze.

In one scene near the movie’s end, Brandon is having a raucous three-way, but is unable to keep his emotions tamped down with the sex. The chaos of Sissy’s visit has made him act out repeatedly, and though he tries to remain detached, something pulls him into the moment. All the anger, pain, sadness and guile of his existence floods his face at once. It’s unsettling and almost heartbreaking. The film’s end is perhaps inevitable, but it’s also marginally hopeful.

Shame’s NC-17 rating is well earned, though it’s difficult to imagine anyone under 17 wanting to see it. None of the sex in this movie is presented as remotely fun or carefree, just as alcohol is presented as a means of destruction in The Lost Weekend or Leaving Las Vegas. Shame is difficult at times to watch, but it will stay with you.


Shame

Directed by Steve McQueen

With Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale

UA DeVargas


101 min.


NC-17
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:17 am

magalis:

I saw Shame last night, and it was really good! I admit that I initially wanted to see it because of Michael Fassbender, but then it started getting a lot of buzz, which made me want to see it more. I know everyone keeps talking about how dark it is, but it was darker in a way that I wasn’t really expecting.

The cinematography was beautiful. All of the scenes that took place on the subway were really nicely done. I’m not at all a film student, so I’m going to just leave that discussion there. It was aesthetically pleasing, which is always good.

So many of the shots were really emotionally charged, and with very little dialogue. I don’t know. It’s difficult to explain. Probably because so much of why I liked it was the way it played on my emotions. Carey Mulligan surprised me, as did Michael Fassbender. They are both excellent actors, and they really shine in this (their characters have the weirdest sibling relationship I’ve ever seen though…).

If you have the chance I highly recommend seeing it (and not just for Michael Fassbender… although that’s a bonus. There’s quite a lot of full-frontal).
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:18 am

ofwintercreepingup:
"We're not bad people, We just come from a bad place."

image

I saw Shame last night in Greenwich with my friend Raj after gorging on Wagamamas, while putting the world to rights.

I knew it was Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender and that it was about the struggles of a sex addict, but I hadn’t actually read much about it.

It was a beautifully shot film, with a couple of impressive lengthy takes, and the use of the score / soundtrack only added to it’s beauty. The cinematography and often mostly silent performances by the small cast were what made it something I would buy to enjoy(?! I question this due to some of the more uncomfortable scenes, like that of the date with a co-worker whom I wanted to punch in the face) / experience again.

However it was pretty dark at times and the desperation put me off sex a little (for approx. 4 hours). It was graphic and unapologetic in it’s portrayal of the events, both sexual and psychological, in just a short period in the life of Brandon (Fassbender) and his equally (or more so) troubled sister (Mulligan).

The golden globe nomination I have since heard about is completely justified for Fassbender’s Brandon and a highlight was Carey Mulligan’s performance of New York, New York. You can hear it here, but it’s not quite the same as watching and feeling it in the actual scene.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:18 am

andywhiteshoes:
Shame

Last night I took in Steve McQueen’s latest offering - the much-discussed ‘Shame’. It had a lot to live up to in my world - his debut ‘Hunger’ being one of the most staggering pieces of cinema I’ve yet to witness, and a subject matter that, while not exactly close to home in it’s extremity, is something I feel a sense of association with. I suppose I’d term it a lack of emotional connection regarding intimacy.


It is, of course, framed beautifully from start to finish, while feeling much more of a conventional film than the clinical art-installation that was his first feature. It does very much feel like the work of an artist rather than director (if indeed the two disciplines appreciate being distinct in my mind).


I’d deliberately avoided press reviews of the film beforehand, of which there appear to have been many, but have to admit my overriding thoughts upon leaving the cinema concerned a lack of credibility in the characters. Each individual seems a blown-up caricature of itself - which I appreciate is how cinema as a whole operates, but when your central theme is the very nature of the human condition, exaggerating every component seems counter-productive. One is left with very little empathy for the protagonists, and while I doubt that was ever a concern for the filmmakers I personally tend to struggle with cinema that lacks characters one can feel any kind of concern for.


This all sounds very critical, borne most likely of sky-high hopes for whatever came next from Mr McQueen. It’s an excellent film – thought provoking and exquisitely beautiful in spite of the turmoil it is depicting. It also happens to be extremely funny in places, which was most unexpected and quite difficult to bear in light of the actions surrounding the humour – it serves almost to disarm or desensitise from the subsequent descent.


The level of press surrounding the film seems hugely encouraging, and my guess (whilst being an awful barometer of popular opinion) would be that this feature will cement the director’s standing well and ensure future projects are well-backed. For that, I’m certainly grateful and very much look forward to where he goes from here.


Is the elitist in me crying out at the loss of another niche interest, though? Ha. My reaction seems comparable to that of watching a breakthrough band take their first steps into professionalism and maturity. As my personal affinity diminishes, I can see and acknowledge the broader appeal as they blossom into something the wider world can appreciate. It’s genuinely heartening to see talented people break through and share their output with larger audiences, but the nature of that output inevitably changes as a result – something I’m often sad to lose.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:18 am

jonfaec:
Film Review: Shame (5/5)

Director Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender reunited last year for their second joint project since 2008’s Hunger. Their new collaboration, Shame, is an intense and unapologetically graphic examination of a sex addict and his insatiable obsession with his habit.

Fassbender plays Brandon, a man carefully maintaining and cultivating his straight-laced work image in order to disguise his one-a-day sex habit. He can’t understand relationships and his small talk is usually awkward, but he can talk the talk fast enough to introduce himself to women in the most personal way within minutes. He pursues married women on trains with the tiniest of smirks on his otherwise expressionless face, pays prostitutes on a regular basis, and masturbates furiously in the shower when no other option is available. Hardcore pornography does nothing, reducing him to nothing more than a bored stare.

His life is nothing but a repeating and astonishingly graphic montage, scored to a twinkling of piano and stretched, anguished strings arranged by Harry Escott. Words from his colleagues almost seem directed at him - “I find you disgusting. I find you inconsolable,” remarks a workmate, opening an unreleated presentation which nevertheless leaves Brandon briefly startled - and he bears the marks of his tiring, dehumanising pursuits, speaking in flat, dead tones, and energy drinks do little to hide the lines of tiredness that mark his face.

Brandon’s perfect balance of quietly besting his self-aggrandising workmates at hitting on the women of work socials and maintaining a steely vigour during the day is thrown out of balance by the arrival of Sissy (Carey Mulligan), his musically minded and emotionally fragmented sister. She breaks down the walls of his innate world, bringing him to tears with her singing, humanising him a little with sibling playfulness, to the point that Brandon finds himself in fits of rage, jogging down the drab grey streets of New York City and further consuming his personal habit in order to keep control.

Step by step, day by day, Sissy and Brandon’s relationship becomes more intense, played spectacularly off of Fassbender and Mulligan, each pivotal scene assisted by further twinklings of an otherwise non-existent score. She moulds Brandon, shapes him, turns his mind away from his obsession and almost, nearly, comes close to humanising him as his shame takes the rarest of holds on him. It’s a potent and powerful character transformation that will be one of the most memorable moments on screen this year.

Fassbender and McQueen’s partnership has produced a picture almost too overwhelming in its sensuality and uncompromising intensity, with the power of a navel-gazing study into the desires of one man accentuated by a charged and unflinching performance from Mulligan. The graphic energy of Brandon’s indulgences is uneasily compelling: you will want to look away, but the film - and even once, Fassbender, in a climactic end-game sequence - will hold your gaze throughout. It strikes emotional chords and strokes tension without the need for dramatics.

Shame is intense, prolonged in what it shows and unapologetic for what it will put you through - but it should be, must be, watched at least once, if only to say that you have. But don’t expect to leave without experiencing the intensity that Brandon’s personal conflict with his shame has to offer.

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:19 am

ralty:

Saw “Shame” tonight. I knew nothing about it going into it. It was a really well writen and beautifully acted movie. It’s about a sex addicted man and his stuggles in life in NY. It’s a heart renching story and it is wonderfully told. It’s chilling and disturbing because it’s so real. The movie leave NOTHING to the imagination which is appropriate to drive home the nature of the story but can become a little much to handle at times. Over all I highly recomened it to someone not afraid of graphic sex and heart renching movies that don’t make you feel happy by the end… (PS AWKWARD ON FIRST DATES…)
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:24 am

sarahfrancesyoung:

I watched Shame today, which I thought was excellent, although not for the faint-hearted (there is a lot of sex and a graphic bloody scene). The acting was superb; Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender were perfect for their roles. The movie was uniquely and interestingly shot, and the soundtrack was appropriately emotional and heavy.

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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:25 am

winbender:
I just came back from watching Shame...

Where to start? I’m totally thrilled.

I guess I just start with saying the train scene was more mesmerizing than ever in the short clips.

I was totally freaking out about Carey Mulligan, I mean I loved her since I first saw her in Pride & Prejudice, but I could’ve never imagine her in that kind of role and she just rocked that thing! Michael Fassbender did an amazing job as ever and I thought we would see a bit more of Nicole Beharie, but I guess I was wrong.

There is nothing erotic on that film, it was dark. So everyone who thinks they just want to see the film, because of the Fassbender sex scences (I don’t know if the people who are saying that are actually serious about that!?), is nuts. I always thought when Steve McQueen said: “I think this it’s pretty dark.”, he is just saying that, I bet it’s not that dark. Well, I was wrong again. It is dark, and in the middle of the film I was so shocked about the fact that there are people who are really have to fight against that kind of feelings. And Michael just made it all so real! What was it was Steve said about him? He can transport humanity? Something like that and that is so f#%@#&! true.

I don’t want to spoile anything for people who haven’t seen the film yet, so I don’t want to write too much. But there is one more thing I need to say, really there is, in my opinion, nothing sexual between Brandon and Sissy. The relationship between them is just really deep actually. I mean you can see that they have a lot issues, and they’re not like a fairy tale brother and sister, but they care about the other one and they need each other.

Thank you Steve McQueen, you did a great job!

Sorry for my crappy english, but I hope it is okay!
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:28 am

Shame

Having seen shame tonight I am completely in awe of it.

At first glance, and through the eyes of many people (particularly some noisy women sat behind me) it could be seen as almost a ‘soft porn’ film with no real structure and a wasted watch. I however found it completely thought provoking and it has left me pretty affected and with a far greater understanding of sex addiction.

I have been directly affected by different forms of addiction in the past (not mine but those close to me) and maybe this explains why the film affected me to the extent it did. I felt it truly showed the cold, hard, emotionless side of addiction. And for me as a victim of someone else’s addiction in the past it gave me a greater understanding of what an addict goes through.

A common view of sex addiction is that it is seen as a bit of a joke or just an excuse for bedding multiple partners, but I feel Shame excellently demonstrated just how damaging and life altering this infliction can be.

I also cannot praise Michael Fassbender enough for his excellent take on the role. He was completely captivating and believable throughout the entire film.

I really do urge everyone to give this film a chance. The only one thing I would say is don’t expect a structured story and absolutely go in with an open mind.
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Re: Shame reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:30 am

allyouneedismovies:
Shame (2011)

In this Steve McQueen film we see Michael Fassbender as Brandon who’s sex addiction is getting out of control, especially when his sister, played by Carey Mulligan, comes to New York to visit him. McQueen already worked with Fassbender in “Hunger” and is currently working with him and Brad Pitt on “Twelve Years a Slave”.

Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. And if you have no problem with nudity, you will enjoy this one. Fassbender’s performance is complex and truly believable.
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