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Shame reviews 2

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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:40 pm

http://www.flicktalkers.com/post/16776833370/shame-review

SHAME

Shame

Directed by: Steve McQueen

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale

It’s been some time since I have heard so many people pass opinion on a film which, for the most part, belongs in art-houses. The fact that these people range from the parents of friends to ‘gap yah’ bellends to overheard z-list celebrities is an even bigger shock, and when you then factor in that this is the story of someone suffering with a sex addiction and the constant darkness that this brings, then finally add that the film received none of the award buzz that can assist such films and it is surprising to find so many people having even seen it, let alone then feeling obliged to debate it’s merits in public. Unfortunately, I’m yet to hear any of them say that they enjoy it. This review disagrees with them.

From the opening scene and the extreme close-up of Fassbender’s junk, this is a movie which will shock in a way that makes you feel embarrassed for being shocked right up until it no longer shocks you and you just feel empty. It is unrelenting and it is cold and there is almost no release at all but boy is it engrossing and this is almost entirely due to Michael Fassbender.

Playing a successful man of business attempting to suppress his many obsessive compulsions in various sparse, bland environments, Fassbender gives a master class in how to act underneath the surface. It’s all simple nuances; controlled facial expressions hiding an abundance of past pain that is never really addressed, that is until he serves his sexual impulses and then you get to see this mix of power and guilt. He is a man who is a slave to routine in an attempt to hide his most shameful of obsessions and this largely works until his sister, played by Carey Mulligan, comes to stay with him.

I’m a fan of Carey Mulligan and, with the exception of one unnecessarily long rendition of ‘New York, New York’, she gives another excellent performance (one that I feel, combined with her performance in Drive surely deserved consideration for awards). As an equally damaged soul, she instead splashes her feelings and emotions all over the place, constantly feeling hurt by how the world doesn’t seem to take care of them and it’s in the challenge of her messy, haphazard way of life meeting his obsessive-compulsive that the film has its momentum.

The only negative, and I’m stretching the term ‘negative’ here, are the similarities with American Psycho. Successful, attractive middle class guys in New York with penchants for classic pop music attempt to keep their sordid sides from all of those around them until it starts to seep into all areas of their lives and push them to their limits. It really is that fundamentally close, and when you realise this you start to notice how much Shame is almost the same without the murdering and hatred of society.

I can see why so many people dislike Shame. Whether it be that the film has absolutely no upside or dudes not understanding why a guy would complain about being a sex addict, it’s a film that doesn’t give you a smile for your £8 admission fee. But I don’t agree with them. This is a beautifully bleak film with perfect performances throughout and balanced direction. It’s subversive and it’s grim but it’s worth watching just for Fassbender. Everything else he has or will be in is now essential viewing for me now and should be for you too.

Dan
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:45 pm

thetasteoffailure:
Shame



Pluvieuse après-midi que celle de ce dimanche. Je devais aller au cinéma samedi mais au lieu de ça j’ai retrouvé des amis et on a été voir les gars de Royal Deluxe qui catapultaient des pianos. Du coup j’y ai été le jour du seigneur, et j’ai la sensation que ce moment fut finalement le bon.

Steve McQueen II est un plasticien. Cela mérite d’être dit, au vu de certains aspects du film, notamment son parti-pris esthétique. Au-delà de ça, il s’agit ici de son deuxième film, le premier étant Hunger, dans lequel on retrouve également Michael Fassbender.

Brandon est un cadre new-yorkais branché, la trentaine. Son hobby: le sexe. Une addiction bien évidemment inavouée. Il assouvit chaque jour ses besoins, plusieurs fois, partout où il se trouve. L’arrivée à l’improviste de sa soeur vient alors perturber sa petite routine secrète.

La première séquence est simplement bluffante. Sur une sublime musique que l’on doit à Harry Escott, l’ordre quotidien de Brandon se révèle: metro-boulot-sexe-dodo. Et ainsi de suite. En parallèle, une scène dans la rame: Brandon fixe une femme, celle-ci sourit. En principe, ça s’arrête là. Sauf qu’il continue à la reluquer. Progressivement, elle cède à l’inquiétude, qui se transforme en panique contenue. Elle se lève maladroitement et sort de la rame, et Brandon la suit, mais finit par la perdre.

Le jeu du regard est essentiel dans le film, aussi bien à ce moment-là que lors de la magnifique interprétation de New-York, New-York par Carey Mulligan. Aussi Fassbender porte le rôle à merveille. Celui du type qu’on aime bien, mais dont on ignore beaucoup de choses, charismatique sans être bruyant ou imposant. Ce qui n’est pas le cas de son boss David (campé par James Badge Dale) avec qui il passe des soirées plutôt animées dans les bars hype de NY. Mais chacun sait que les apparences sont trompeuses, c’est aussi le postulat du film de McQueen.

L’addiction au sexe est en ce sens singulière qu’elle peut être insondable chez quelqu’un. Il serait déplacé de dire que nous avons affaire à un pervers sexuel. Brandon souffre. Et il est la preuve que l’enfermement sur soi nous conduit irrémédiablement à exploser un jour ou l’autre. Impossible même de se livrer à sa propre soeur, avec qui il entretient des relations plus que distantes (du moins dans son sens). C’est à ce moment là que la gène se ressent. On sait pourquoi il se tient si loin de sa soeur, et ça met mal à l’aise.

En matière de mise en scène et d’esthétisme, le film est une leçon. Dans des décors volontairement sobres, Steve McQueen alterne entre des travelling mettant en valeur les limites de l’intimité d’une relation sexuelle et de longs plans-séquences fixes qui soulignent les nuances d’émotion des personnages. Mais c’est là que l’on s’aperçoit que malheureusement, Shame manque cruellement de rythme. Le spectateur lambda ne vient pas voir une installation ou une galerie d’art, ce que semble avoir oublié (ou volontairement mis en valeur) le réalisateur, qui n’a (faut-il vraiment le rappeler ?) aucun lien avec l’illustre interprète.

A noter que Michael Fassbender a été récompensé pour son rôle au festival de Venise. “You nailed it.”
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:53 pm

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/the-shame-syndrome-male-angst-turns-a-skin-flick-into-an-art-flick/249189/

The 'Shame' Syndrome: Male Angst Turns a Skin Flick Into an Art Flick
By Noah Berlatsky

Dec 2 2011, 10:01 AM ET 10

Empty sex on film gets called art, not porn, only when it focuses on brooding men

berlatsky shame 615.jpg

Fox Searchlight
Shame has lots of sex and a fair number of breasts and even a p**** or two, but it's not pornography. That's in part because pornography (at least in its straight male iterations) is a genre obsessed, as Linda Williams writes in her study Hard Core, with "visual evidence of female pleasure." Pornography has a (prurient, of course!) desire to know how women feel. It fetishizes and commodifies not only female bodies, but also female desires and female orgasms. What women think and what women feel is vitally important to porn. Steve McQueen's acclaimed new film Shame, on the other hand, is obsessed not with female pleasure but with male angst. Thus it gets called art, and has been granted the NC-17 rating and glowing reviews to prove it.

Male angst, disavowed female bodies, and art have all been an intimate ménage at least since Hamlet sent Ophelia to the nunnery, madness, and death. The trope hasn't worn out its welcome, though. Last Tango in Paris transmogrified steamy sex into meaningful art through the alchemy of Marlon Brando's method torment. More recently, the James Bond franchise reinvigorated itself critically as well as commercially by giving Daniel Craig a dead girlfriend to motivate his vengeful violence and empty womanizing. The American aesthetically justifies its female-full-frontal fan service and dopey genre plot by assuring us that George Clooney is really suffering. And, shifting mediums, Chester Brown's comic Paying For It presents scene after scene of sex as serious art by focusing exclusively on the male protagonist's inner life.

Wounded-male art films objectify women and then forget they're there

To be fair, Shame is art that is heavily influenced by porn. Even granted that Brandon (Michael Fassbender) has movie-star good looks and that he appears to pull down a decent salary, the readiness with which women are willing to abase themselves on the altar of his sex addiction remains impressively improbable. Peter North himself would raise an eyebrow (or whatever) at the bevy of bodies that get all lusty when Brandon glances at them across a crowded train, or correctly identifies their eye color at a bar, or pours sugar in his coffee in their presence, or (in the crudest advance in a film full of crude advances) just sticks his hand under their skirt. Brandon pays for sex too, but you do start to wonder why he bothers when all he's got to do is look at the object of his desire with that slightly furrowed brow and she'll immediately fall into his lap in whatever position he requires. As in porn, too, the majority of women receive little in the way of character development. They're just a clinical, often tedious, collection of bodies and positions—rear entry here, bare chest and an improbably enthusiastic come-on there, and, towards the end, an extended three-way that is basically indistinguishable from soft-core except that the production values are higher.

Of course, Brandon isn't really enjoying his Dionysian lifestyle, anymore than we in the audience are supposed to enjoy watching three attractive actors have sex. No, no, no. This isn't about the fan service, people. It's about the human drama. And the guarantor of the human drama is precisely that the surface sex is disavowed; there is assumed to be real emotion and deep feeling precisely as long as there is no connection between the participants. And so when Brandon starts to get too close to coworker Marianne (Nicole Beharie), he ends up with erectile dysfunction; when his sister (Carey Mulligan) suggests the two of them need to be closer, he rushes out to have anonymous sex with (gasp!) another man—clearly the ultimate degradation. Brandon's compulsive sex—whether with willing women, prostitutes, his computer, men, or (perhaps most meaningfully) with his own two hands—is validated precisely because it is solipsistic. Some hideous pain in his past has made him incapable of love—and simultaneously capable of taking his place at the center of a serious film.

Shame is, indeed, a perfect distillation of the suffering-guy archetype. Brandon is not so much wounded as a wound. There's really no there to him other than the fact that he's damaged. He's not charming, or funny, or thoughtful. When he takes a woman out to dinner he woos her by telling her that his longest-ever relationship was four months; his idea of witty repartee is telling a stranger he's just met how he wants to stick his tongue in her. Even the tried-and-true cinematic staple of giving him a best friend who is even more boorish than he is can't change the fact that besides his compulsive sex and flagrant pain, Brandon is utterly uninteresting. Not unlike a porn star, except that the money shots are tears.

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The person who elicits those tears most consistently is Brandon's aforementioned sister. Her name, if you can believe it, is Sissy, as if the filmmakers wanted to underscore that she's only in the movie at all in her capacity as sibling. She's onscreen not because we care about her feelings (that's for porn, remember?) but because she can make Brandon react. She finds him masturbating and he gets angry; she slides into bed with him for warmth and he gets angry; she sings a torch song with great feeling and he weeps quietly …and, finally, inevitably, she becomes the red meat of emotional catharsis, allowing him to weep copiously.

As I am far from the first to notice, the magic of film in a lot of ways is the voyeurism; the ability to see the hidden truth, whether it be women's pleasure or men's torment. In porn, repetitively, decade after decade, women moan to let us possess the depths of their pleasure. And in art, for just about as long, emotionally distant men moan a little bit to let us possess the depths of their pain. Together they are a matched pair of exculpatory slogans: she wants it, he doesn't. The secret joys and secret sorrows are revealed; gaze on them and be elevated.

The structural similarities are such that it would be easy to dismiss Shame as a kind of porn. But I think that would be unfair to porn. Typical straight male pornography objectifies women, but at least it is invested in the object that it's made. It's not an accident that female porn stars earn more than male porn stars. The industry is about the women, which isn't liberating or awesome or transgressive, but is at least an acknowledgement of their existence. Wounded-male art films, on the other hand, objectify women and then forget they're there. Women in Shame are only tangentially figures of lust; primarily they're emotional furniture, carefully arranged about the screen to help Brandon climb to his next orgasmic crescendo of self-pity. We're supposed to condemn his emptiness, obviously—but the condemnation become hollow when you realize that that emptiness is the main thing that keeps the film from being direct-to-video.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:01 pm

plnmttr:

Trois ans après Hunger, film magistral sur l’emblématique Bobby Sands et les grèves de la faim protestataires de l’IRA en 1981, Steve McQueen signe son grand retour sur les écrans avec Shame dont le sujet ferait rebrousser chemin aux plus prudes d’entres nous…

Avec ce film froid et poignant, McQueen réalise une réflexion sur ce thème résolument contemporain qu’est l’addiction au sexe. Michael Fassbender est magistral dans ce rôle de célibataire ténébreux, maniaque sexuel si charmant, un rôle se situant à l’opposé de celui de Sands mais qu’il incarne avec autant de hargne et de talent. Mention spéciale pour la petite soeur interprétée par Carey Mulligan.

Des scènes très crues mais filmées avec brio, un film cohérent et très bien mené, un brin moralisateur mais sans fausse note, à voir absolument!
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:06 pm

loveforablog:
Shame

image

Andre and I watched Shame tonight. I think it’s safe to say we both thoroughly enjoyed it very much. It’s funny because before we even watched it, we both kind of admitted that it will probably be a bit weird to watch together, but I honestly never felt that way throughout the entire film at all. The NC-17 rating did justice and honestly, it was all just very tastefully done. I still can’t believe we were able to even see this in the first place though. Like, I feel lucky that we were able to see it in theaters. I’m so glad for the Angelika and to be able to experience a beautiful film like this the right way. I walked out of the theater saying, “I love Michael Fassbender.” Andre thought it was a disturbing comment but really, I meant that I loved how fabulous he was. His character was anything but heroic or ideal, but he wasn’t supposed to be. He was, well, a disturbed man who was ashamed of everything in his life. I believe he did learn to deal with his addiction better by the end of the movie though. And Carey Mulligan was also great, as always. I admire her a lot and I just can’t imagine the day that I won’t.

Side note: while watching this, both Andre and I were reminded of Drive. The long, almost dragged-out scenes. The silent moments that were just as intense as anything else. Love.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:06 pm

b3nfriend:

Shame is in equal parts touching and completely disturbing. Michael Fassbender is totally compelling as a disaster of man trying to cope with his sex addiction, and seeing the world through his eyes is a pretty unforgettable experience. Now, if only the ending didn’t feel like a completely unnecessary dramatic push over the edge.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:08 pm

http://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/review-shame-2011-mcqueen/

11 Dec 2011 2 Comments

by Catherine in 2011, Film Review Tags: 2011, Carey Mulligan, Film, film review, Hunger, Michael Fassbender, movies, NC-17, Review, Sex Addiction, Shame, Steve McQueen






1 Vote

This review contains an open discussion of the film; spoilers follow.

Summary taken from IMDB: In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life — which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction — is disrupted when his sister Cissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.

There is a shot in director Steve McQueen’s second feature film that rivals any other from this year. A long montage depicting a ménage à trois weaves through many a suffocating flesh-filled close-up, eventually landing on our protagonist’s face. Michael Fassbender looks transformed here; his face is hauntingly gaunt and primal. There is no pleasure to be found in his expression; all we see is someone making a desperate life-or-death climb to the finish line. The shot took me to another place entirely; it showed me who this man is and the result gutted me.

There are undeniably only so many layers to Shame, which depicts the life of an affluent sex addict living in New York City. But with a subject matter that has rarely been explored with any degree of seriousness, not much in this case is more than enough. Those basic points are made with the degree of lucidity that McQueen provides. Along with the two performances by Fassbender and Mulligan, it is hard to argue against its somewhat rudimentary vision.

Brandon’s fixes and the likely meaningless chunks of time in-between are experienced with an equal perfunctory indifference. His sexual encounters feel more like a rush to get his satisfaction as opposed to something he entirely revels in. Brandon’s sexual exploits come at him in a multitude of ways, and he has established a routine methodical means that include but are not limited to hookers, web cam models, print and online pornography, a “filthy hard drive” at work and casual hookups. The Internet age allows him a bevy of backup options.

There are a lot of scenes that establish expected territory. Brandon does not comprehend the idea of marriage. Climaxing with the one woman he may have feelings for becomes impossible once intimacy rears its ugly head. His boss, whom Brandon tolerates, spends all night trying to hook up with a woman, only for Brandon to be the one that scores. He does not have one sustainable human connection, and that seems to suit him as long as he has the temporary and empty connections that provide his fix.

Shame really starts to resonate when Brandon’s life begins to unravel due to the presence of his clinging dependent waif of a little sister. Sissy (Carey Mulligan in an unhinged and unpredictable performance that ignites the screen) is an unwelcome presence in his life, but after ignoring her calls only to find her showering in his apartment one night, it is clear she plans on staying a while.

A lot can be said about Brandon and Sissy based on the way they share physical space and interact with one another. Brandon’s desired dismissal of her goes beyond the energy it takes to care for her; the past, whatever that may be, looms over the two in every scene. Sissy wants to make due on the connection they have as siblings who have weathered through a lot together, but Brandon wants none of it. The two are damaged and evidently defined by their likely tumultuous past. Sissy seeks consolation, but Brandon seeks the opposite from her. Having Sissy in his life is unquestionably too hard for him.

Some are taking issue with the film’s lack of backstory, but the film supplies so much rich substance in the scenes between the two, that it never becomes a question to feel cheated by its lack of explanation. In fact, the pivotal line as said by Sissy, “We’re not bad people; we just come from a bad place” provides all the confirmation and backstory people are finding absent. It is an explicit statement of past trauma that discards any purported hesitation we have towards throwing the word abuse around when discussing the source of their behavior. Whatever else that piece of dialogue is, it is far from ambiguous. It provides an orthodox cause-and-effect answer, and I am still trying to decide if I feel the line should have been in the film. Because it is not just the line; its placement and Sissy’s emotional state in that moment of audio provide the climax (no pun intended) of the film. It says a lot that the line is heard on top of Brandon’s unsettling self-destructive excursion; perhaps too much.

Sissy’s arrival does two things; first, it takes Brandon’s mind back to a place in time he does not want to be. Secondly, it takes away his privacy and thus, his ability to get off in the comfort of his own home. The combination of the two is the catalyst for Brandon coming apart at the seams in the film’s latter half. Shame’s purpose as a character study lies in Brandon’s eventual realization of how badly he needs sex once it is gradually deprived of him.

Brandon’s journey is bookended by two segments that set his exploits to moody tormented cello complete with the tick-tock passage of time. The first sequence opens the film and introduces Brandon as a walking calamity. His routine of traveling from high to high has been long established by the time we meet him. All that self-loathing is there but its familiarity allows it to barely register as the score hovers around unbeknownst to him.

By the time the second sequence of orchestral gloom comes along, Brandon has a heightened awareness of how desperate he has become. He cannot masturbate or interact with his laptop at home because of Sissy’s presence. Her being in his apartment is problematic for any number of reasons. He is indirectly called out on his hard drive stash by his boss. He is impotent with Marianne (Nicole Beharie), a woman he is legitimately drawn towards, throwing his sense of self into disarray. The routine that masked his crippling addiction has fallen out from under him; those strings are ringing louder and louder in his ear. Thus begins his bender where the hunt for release becomes fraught with increasingly disconcerting encounters. The notes follow him as he almost gleefully walks into a confrontation with the boyfriend of a woman he tries to pick up using graphically descriptive means, not to mention his hands. His lack of options leads him into an underground gay nightclub; his search for an outlet wrenchingly complete.

Watching Michael Fassbender dissolve right in front of us is quite the spectacle. This has been the year of Fassbender and we are all the better for it. He and Steve McQueen have established a working collaborative relationship, producing results that heighten the material through their partnership. Brandon is gritting through life, only out for his own base needs. The people he interacts with are meaningless, especially including the ones he sleeps with. Fassbender is an explosive force to be reckoned with as he completely gives himself over to the camera for observational purposes.

Mulligan is no less impressive introducing unbridled frenzy as Sissy who is much farther along the path to futility than Brandon is, or rather, is farther along the path precisely because she is aware of it. She deserves as much praise as her costar, hurtling off the screen with abandon. She takes a character that is mainly a plot device (the only similarity to her turn in Drive), but makes so much more of this role than the former because her character in Shame moves beyond her functional purpose. Props must go to Nicole Beharie as well for her lovely supporting turn; I cared about her immediately and was frustrated by my inability to tell her to abandon ship.

Steve McQueen has the confidence of a veteran; his vision is clear and he presents it with poise. Between this and Hunger, it is obvious that long takes are his strong suit. One more film from him and they will be a fully-fledged trademark. He risks distracting the audience but he does not; his lengthy observations make us more attentive, more aware of the physical space and of body language. They allow us to get a fuller sense of the performances and they enhance the notion of the audience observing Brandon through the glass-plate walls; he is a test subject. McQueen distances us with the sterile environment and cagey glass. He puts us up close when it counts, and when it becomes important to unsettle the audience. His methods set the methodical pace of a representative case study.

McQueen and cowriter Abi Morgan use Brandon as a representative for sex addiction, which may be disappointing to some and it is understandable. The decision forces Brandon into a broadly stroked corner. But McQueen knows what he wants to do and he does it with aplomb using Fassbender as his riveting translator. The director balances Brandon as cornerstone example with a sibling dynamic ripe for rich exploration. Brandon’s surprisingly conventional, but no less powerful, arc towards disintegration is tinted with more hope than one would expect. Shame is arresting cinema that loyally follows its self-loathing protagonist wherever he may go.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:10 pm

cinemathequefantastique:
Shame

Shame
Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan
Released December 9th, 2011 in Vancouver

Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a successful and handsome 30-something year old living in New York. On the surface, he seems to have his life together, but actually, he struggles to balance his crippling sexual addiction with the normalcy of everyday life. This becomes much more complicated for him when his sister Cissy moves into his already small apartment to live indefinitely. Fassbender and Mulligan are fearless in their roles, transforming totally into these broken and desolate people who are transfixing to watch. Beautifully shot and accompanied by breathtaking and stunning acting by Mulligan and Fassbender, this is a film I highly recommend.

Opening with a bird’s eye shot of Brandon tangled in his blue sheets, McQueen plunges the audience intimately into his life from the very beginning. In addition toshame, the audience also feels despair, disgust, and discomfort,as brilliantly portrayed by our two leads. The lack of cuts and the extreme closeups that McQueen utilizes simply adds to the uncomfortable subject matter and makes the audience feel as alienated and sick as Brandon and Cissy do.

From the very beginning, we are intimately acquainted with Brandon’s lifestyle and routine. He is lustful, eyeing a married woman on the subway. He is insatiable, masturbating while at work. He is voracious, engaging in a threesome. He is depressed and damaged, and it manifests itself in his sexual appetite. While his sister Cissy may share his bleak and broken outlook, she definitely does not combat it the same way he does. With hints of self-mutilation and massive clingyness, Cissy is quite possibly the polar opposite of Brandon. The actor’s raw performance enhance the desperation they feel, and truly tug at the heart strings.

When their tempestuous relationship finally explodes full throttle, Brandon and Cissy have a heart wrenching argument while watching tv. Shot from behind, the audience feels like a voyeur, watching as the action unfolds right before us. Fassbender is stone-cold here, as he tells Mulligan that she is a burden to him, that she is no use to him. As his words pierce through her, Cissy’s tears fall and roll off her face. We are left looking at their profiles, as the two stare at each other, inches apart. It is a powerful and moving scene.

The score is another character in itself. Subtly adding to the drama and the chaos of Brandon’s life, it accompanies every scene perfectly. There is a wonderful tracking scene with Fassbender, and the music is simply perfect. It is a gorgeous and technically triumphant shot that adds so much to the film’s undertone while allowing us a glimpse into Brandon’s psyche.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:13 pm

relaxitscinema:

Shame

Le Cinéma de Steve McQueen n’est pas, à proprement parler, un genre à part entière : ce sont des objets d’une pureté rare. S’attaquant au thème de la maladie, en l’occurence, l’addiction sexuelle, il représente Brandon, trentenaire métropolitain, vivant dans un New-york froid, nocturne, pluvieux, glaciale.

Mais Brandon a ce problème qu’il ne peut pas guérir, celui qu’il cache à tous, mais sait qu’il sera un jour approché. Ce jour est celui ou sa petite soeur, chanteuse, s’immiscera dans sa vie et commencera à gratter la couche honteuse qu’il essaie, tant bien que mal, de cacher.

Shame est un film sur la douleur, sur la volonté de vouloir survivre dans un monde contemporain dont le héros ne pourra jamais se faire comprendre. Le formalisme est oublié, et McQueen tient à saisir, avec une sobriété unique, la descente aux enfers de son personnage.

La solitude sera un temps oubliée, lors de cette “conversation” entre lui et sa soeur sur fond de “New-York New-York” comme pour se moquer du reste du monde, et de s’entraider fraternellement. Malheureusement, le monstre interieur de Brandon remontera à la surface, et l’espoir fera place à la peur pour l’autre, dans une des dernieres scènes (approchant alors un forme de rédemption sur les priorités), et la boucle se bouclera dans un hypnotique sentimentalisme.

Une oeuvre forte, d’une réalisation quasi-parfaite et d’une interprétation tellement maitrisée que tous les oscars, ours d’or, ou autres Bafta ne pourraient récompenser.

Un des meilleurs films de l’année .

10/10
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:14 pm

minervasowlrepairs:
Shame//

There was a full house last night for the BAFTA preview and Q&A of Steve McQueen’s hotly anticipated new film Shame at the Cornerhouse. His first feature length film Hunger, which examines the 1981 IRA hunger strike in the Maze prison, received great critical acclaim and a number of awards, and whilst the setting and topic of Shame could hardly be more different it shares the same uncompromising, intense and clear-eyed depiction of a topic that most would rather brush under the carpet.

The film explores the life of Brandon (played by Michael Fassbender who also took the lead role in Hunger) an outwardly successful, attractive and confident New Yorker who, we soon find out, is a highly functioning sex-addict. Able to control his life to the nth degree he builds up a complex system of ritual in order to feed his addiction and keep it hidden. The opening scenes of the film emphasise this repetition and ritual, showing his routine each morning - get up, play answerphone messages, get a drink of water, pee - and snippets of his daily life including sexual escapades. It is in these first scenes that we first encounter the disruptive presence of his sister Sissy (played by Carey Mulligan) who leaves a series of increasingly desperate messages on his answerphone.

Shortly afterwards she turns up at Brandon’s flat, having let herself in unbeknownst to him, and he bursts in on her taking a bath thinking there’s an intruder in his flat. This scene, which shows Sissy standing in front of Brandon dripping and naked whilst he wields a baseball bat, a tight knot of contained aggression, lays bare the essence of their relationship as we will see it played out throughout the film - she is open, needy and defenceless; he is cold, taut and full of pent up anger.

Brilliantly, the song that Sissy has chosen to play at full volume whilst she is having her bath is Chic’s I Want Your Love. Not only does it exquisitely express her desperate desire for her brother’s affection, but it is also perfect shorthand for the city of New York itself. Taken alongside the two other New York classics that are played in the first section of the film - Blondie’s Rapture and the Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love - it presents us with a picture of the city as alive with sexual possibilities, moving to its very own relentless beat.

This is contrasted to one of the tenderest, and simultaneously, most uncomfortable scenes of the film, which depicts Sissy singing a melancholy, drawn out version of the Frank Sinatra classic New York, New York in a downtown club, watched by her brother and his boss. This is one of the few scenes in the film where Brandon’s guard is let down and he exposes his vulnerable side. For Brandon and Sissy the city of New York is a painful mix of pleasure, possibility and desire.

In the Q&A after the film and in interviews elsewhere McQueen has played down the choice of New York, stating that it was only because they were better able to locate psychiatrists and recovering sex-addicts that were willing to talk to them in New York that the film ended up being set there. Initially McQueen and his co-writer, Abi Morgan, had tried to start their research in London. When you see the film, however, it’s hard to imagine that any other city could so perfectly have captured the sense of arrogant entitlement that defines our age of late capitalism, an era where we can access anything we want at the touch of a button, including prostitutes and hardcore porn.

Clearly, as with Hunger, this is not a film for the faint-hearted. There are numerous graphic sex scenes, as is appropriate for a film about sex addiction, and unlike many Hollywood films this is not a redemptive story where the central character’s trauma is laid bare, his psychological distress explained and thus anaesthetized. We are never told Brandon and Sissy’s back story, save for a few details - they moved to Jersey from Ireland when teenagers, and their childhood has self-evidently been a difficult one. As Sissy says “We’re not bad people, we just come from a bad place.” Crucially we learn most from what is not said. At no point in the film are Brandon and Sissy’s parents mentioned. Not once. Their past is that great unmentionable thing which now manifests itself in the present, shaping their lives in ways that are utterly beyond their control.

This holding back of information makes Shame a fascinating film and clearly differentiates it from the majority of other movies being made at the moment. This is coupled with uncompromising camerawork which captures the actors with a level of intense scrutiny. McQueen frequently lingers on uncomfortable scenes and brings the camera in close, using a great number of detailed head shots or extreme close-ups of parts of the body such as hands.

The scene where Sissy sings New York, New York is a perfect example. We stay with the scene for the duration of the full song, focused for the majority of it on Sissy herself, shown from the neck up. Towards the end of her performance we switch to Brandon, again showing only his head, allowing us to witness his reaction, made vulnerable for once and unable to prevent tears from welling up in his eyes. We then switch back to Sissy and see her also fighting back tears whilst she sings.

McQueen matches the intensity of the subject matter with an intensity of gaze that is both beautiful and repulsive. Mimicking Brandon’s cycle of sex-addiction, we are trapped in a circle of desire and disgust whilst watching this film. Shame is undeniably beautifully shot and incredibly alluring, but is also lays bare the shameful compulsion of addiction and its consequences. As McQueen said in the Q&A the film is “very now.” We live in an age where nothing is denied to us, and everything is desired. More than anything else McQueen has presented us with an unflinching psychopathology of western excess.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:15 pm

devillan:
“Shame keeps the audience engaged not only through storytelling and acting, but also with long sequences made from just one long unbroken shot (a “one-er”), or very few. Some of the most lauded scenes in film history are one-ers, like the famous scene in Goodfellas where we follow Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco from the parking valet to their table at the Copacabana. And when you think about it, your experiences in life are long one-ers. Another benefit of an “unbroken scene” is that it forces the actors to absolutely nail their performance, as there will be no opportunity to build a scene in editing by blending and manipulating takes and angles. It also puts a lot of pressure on a director to think through the composition of the shot. With Shame, it often feels like we are looking at a painting, with everything that is in the frame having meaning and being used to accentuate the purpose of the scene. It takes confidence to limit a scene to one shot, but it is hard to imagine a great director not being confident. I think many filmmakers would love to reduce the number of angles they shoot, but film studios tend to push for more coverage, since it gives them comfort in knowing they can more easily demand changes to scenes after they are shot if there are more pieces with which to put together the puzzle.”


Gavin Polone | How Shame Gives Me Hope That Good Movies Can Be Made [Vulture]
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:20 pm

http://mcavoyhasladyhips.tumblr.com/post/14002111693/shame-2011-amateur-review

Shame (2011) Amateur Review!

MAJOR SPOILERS abound, so if you plan on seeing this film (which you should!), I wouldn’t read this.

In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life — which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction — is disrupted when his sister Cissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.
Director:
Steve McQueen
Writers:
Abi Morgan (screenplay), Steve McQueen(screenplay)
Stars:
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale


Let me first be entirely immature and inappropriate, just to get it out of my system. -ahem- Good LORD, Fassbender has a beautiful body. He is well endowed. I honestly cannot even look at his photos of his FACE right now without blushing. Okay.
-ahem-
Steve McQueen begins the film with one of the most sweeping opening montage of scenes, starting with Brandon lying naked and alone on his bed, partially tangled in sheets. From Brandon’s well-lit and open apartment, to the subway train he rides, to the office he works in, the level of detail (and symbolic detail- for instance, the young married woman he flirts with on the subway has a sign behind her that says “Is This Even Possible?” Later, this role is reversed and there is more clever signage.) is staggering, and almost too much information to absorb at once. The first glimpse we get into Brandon’s sex life is the fleeting look of panic and guilt on his face when we hear his boss, David (off-screen) say “I find you offensive..I find you inconsolable..I find you invasive..”, and Brandon’s face schools back into one of amused stoicism when the speech continues and the camera pans back to reveal that he is addressing a room full of Brandon’s co-workers.
His work life is carefully orchestrated. His computer is a temporary one since the tech people have taken his in for virus cleaning. He observes everyone, but you can see clearly how his eyes linger on every female, focusing on little details that you know are just constant stimulation. Masturbation scenes, each one more uncomfortable than the last. Everything about this character screams compulsion- his body is no longer belongs to his mind, only impulse and the next opportunity to orgasm.
Brandon’s life is interrupted when Cissy (whose calls he has been ignoring, even listening to them play on the answering machine as he watches porn) is in his shower when he comes home one night from work. He thinks it’s an intruder and nearly attacks her, and she announces that she needs a place to stay for a while. From the first moment Fassbender and Mulligan interact, awkward and more than slightly boundary-pushing as it is, her unaffected by her own nudity in front of him and over-the-top physical contact, the two play off each other brilliantly, both creating unique and mysterious characters that become surprisingly easy to relate to, on some levels. They both just dive into their characters and lose themselves.
Brandon takes his boss out to hear Cissy perform at a restaurant. After the beautiful performance, Cissy joins Brandon and David at their table and David immediately begins to flirt with Cissy, at one point mentioning something on her arm, to which she replies “I was bored a lot when I was younger”, hastily pulling down her sleeves. The first thing I think the audience leaps to is self-mutilation, and the sibling’s history gets deeper. The three retire to Brandon’s apartment, where Cissy and David head straight for Brandon’s bed, even though David is married. Brandon is understandably furious and leaves.
He tries to really connect with a woman from his workplace, but after a delicate and revealing first date, an office kiss and a trip to a hotel, he is unable to perform due to his intimacy issues. (He has no trouble LATER with a hooker, however.)
Brandon’s struggle with both his relationship with his sister and his need for almost constant gratification is a torturously slow build, but climaxes (pardon the pun) deliciously when Brandon snaps at Cissy in anger and goes out for basically an all-night fuckfest, getting himself beat up for touching another man’s girl and finally getting a blowjob from a man in a skeevy club.
I won’t give away the ending, because it was heart-wrenching and exhilarating and I wasn’t quite expecting it, but it was the catalyst needed for Brandon to achieve some responsibility and sense of self-worth and astounding last-minute character change. I’ve never been so proud.
Every sound: panting breath, the rattle of the subway cars, the classical music records he plays in his apartment, the slap of bare skin and the wet smacks of mouths… the lighting, the red marks the bra straps leave behind when one of Brandon’s hook-ups removes her clothes, the glass windows, the colors of the stacks of porn magazines he throws into a black garbage bag, the white of the bathroom tiles, all of the environment just melds together seamlessly. Brandon himself looks compulsively clean, very put together, but tired and kind of old. Even in his element, in coitus, he doesn’t particularly look like he’s enjoying it. Honestly, everything just felt so exposed and raw and it was the least arousing thing I’ve ever seen.
***
Okay, so I think this turned into more of a plot-summary/half-assed analysis, but I tried. ^_^ I’m not sure what to say other than if you can, don’t miss your chance to see what might be one of the most important socio-psychological films of EVER.
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
12:07:00 am
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:21 pm

outlaw:
Partial list of astonishments in S. McQueen's SHAME

• Wordless, cyclical sequence — repeatedly toggling between the subway and Fassbender’s apartment — that opens the film

• Mulligan’s unvarnished vocal performance of “New York, New York,” calling to mind Ida Lupino’s husky crooning in the 1948 proto-feminist noir Road House

• Tracking shot of Fassbender’s nighttime jog, a fleeting vision of modern Manhattan in motion

• Unspoken traumatic history shared by the siblings; god bless McQueen for omitting needless exposition (“Backstory is bullshit” — David Mamet).

• Moment-to-moment vitality and vividness that overcomes questionable subject matter
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:24 pm

rkb:
Someone did not like Shame

“Not that Steve McQueen: Sex-Addict Movie is a Half Effort” by Cole Smithey, City Pulse:

For a film about a sex addict, “Shame” is an oddly stoic, preachy, and clinical affair. Fassbender plays Brandon, a hotshot businessman living and working in Manhattan. For all of Bandon’s nude parading around his chic high-rise apartment, and engaging in sex with a prostitute when he isn’t jerking off in whatever bathroom is handy, the character is not necessarily any more randy than your typical thirty something guy. He may be a tortured soul, but we never get enough insight into why.

The filmmaker states a heavy-handed theme line that gives the whole game away. Brandon’s friend/boss David (James Badge Dale), who just cheated on his wife with Brandon’s slutty houseguest sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) the night before, comments on “dirty” files found on Brandon’s computer. David runs down a laundry list of the types of porn found that includes things like interracial creampies. David passes judgment about the “sick” kind of person who would look at such images. The dialogue comes across as insultingly disingenuous considering the film’s context as an exploitation art movie. This naïve posturing seems pretentious and hypocritical.

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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:25 pm

mcavoyhasladyhips:
Shame

Saw the premiere of Steve McQueen’s “Shame” today in Dallas with Aaron.

I will write a proper spoilery, but appropriate summation later when I’ve fully digested everything, but for now I just had to say:

I loved it. It was gritty and real and the attention to detail was sublime. Shame was honest and the most unsexy, unarousing sex movie I’ve ever seen. However, Aaron and I disagreed over Fassbender’s performance.

While he thinks that the only emotions conveyed were boredom and sadness, and the film was only really improved by Carey Mulligan’s performance, I think that Brandon as a character meant to put on a mask of what came off as boredom, but was really a carefully orchestrated swirl of emotions. The ending wasn’t completely unexpected, but it wasn’t how I thought it would go, and I love how it was filmed.

Steve McQueen is brilliant and I honestly cannot wait to see what his next project will be. I’ll agree with Aaron that I hope he takes a different tone than this and Hunger were.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:30 pm

junbugmusings:
Clothing and "Shame"

I’ll be honest: I’ve never thought too highly of clothes. For me, the only reason why I even bother to buy clothes is because: 1) I don’t want to walk around naked, and 2) I’ve got to look somewhat decent for interviews and special ceremonies. Heck, I normally let my mom decide which T-shirts and such to buy for me (go on, laugh - my mom is still amazing)! With that being said, you can get a sense of what I think of people who drop bucketloads of money to buy articles of clothing. In short, I often equated buying more clothes than you need with, well, being materialistic.

But lately, I’ve been spending a good amount of money on shirts. Part of it is because my supervisor at my internship told me that I should (to paraphrase here) “dress for the job that you want”. Meaning, I should wear more sophisticated clothing than just a white T-shirt and shorts to work whenever I come in. So I took her advice by asking my hipster roommate to help me pick out some shirts. After a week of shopping/looking around, I personally dropped roughly $150 on four shirts and one pair of jeans. As I tried on these new outfits, the more I started to care about my own appearance. In other words, I began to start caring about clothes. For the first time in my life, clothes began to appear on my Christmas/birthday wish list. Scary, right?

But where does “Shame”, the new film directed by Steve McQueen (not the badass actor during the ’60s and ’70s) and starring Michael Fassbender, fit in here? First, allow me to offer my brief thoughts about the film.

“Shame” is, as of this moment, to me not just the best film of the year, it’s one of the few films that I’m rating a perfect 5/5 (I’ve only given 24 films this prestigious rating, with “The Social Network” being the last one and “Million Dollar Baby” the one before that). It’s essentially a film about sexual addiction, which Fassbender’s character has, and earns its NC-17 rating - full frontal nudity and graphic sex are unabashedly copious here. Fassbender is heartbreakingly superb and Carey Mulligan terrific - wait until you hear her sing a slow, poignant version of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. One thing that stuck out to me in the film is how McQueen films sex in a way that it’s not hot or sexy - here, sex is agonizing and painful. My roommate (the same hipster one) told me how at times, the sex scenes resembled two hunks of meat going at each other, and I have to agree. Also, it’s probably the most emotionally devastating and exhausting film I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely not a film that’s easy to watch, but I personally do feel that it’s a must-watch of the year. Rating: 5 out of 5

Now, back to clothes! You see, Fassbender wears a certain coat (and scarf) that makes him look pretty damn cool, and I really want one that’s somewhat similar to it. My roommate and I were visiting stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s to try to find a similar coat, while I think we came close, they were way out of my ideal price range; I never knew that coats can go up to $800…). In any case, a coat is on my Christmas/birthday wishlist.

Will I end up buying a good amount of clothes now? I imagine so. But whatever happens, I’m going to try and not buy more than I need.

Speaking of clothes, I just want to say something about uggs. Please don’t wear them. They’re hideous, and I personally believe that if you’re wearing uggs, you drop an entire level on your overall appearance rating. So please, avoid them like the plague. Especially you, ladies. Okay, end rant.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:30 pm

extraiceplease:
Shame

After all the wait, finally got to see Shame last night…and it did not disappoint. Surprising considering how stupidly high my expectations were. Loved it. There were some beautiful moments, there were also some awkward ones. It’s very aesthetically pleasing-no I’m not talking about Fassbender’s booty.
Sadly, I must now dislike Carey Mulligan, simply because she has gotten to play opposite both Gosling and Fassy in one year.
Go see it!
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:39 pm

theslyfox:
Shame

I was somewhat scared walking into Shame because of my mixed feelings about McQueen’s Hunger. It’s a great film, beautiful and breathtaking visuals, but there wasn’t much of a story for me to follow until about an hour in, with that incredible 18 minute dialogue between Bobby and the Priest. And only then did I really enjoy the film.

But I believe McQueen has outdone himself with Shame. Elegant and tasteful in such a corrupt, scandalous mind. Brandon is a great character, so conflicted and sorrowful and trying, alway trying… You hate him, but you love him, you want him to be okay, even though he puts himself in these situations. It’s not just his character, but what Fassbender really brings to the role. Fassbender, Fassbender- if you think you respect and adore him as actor and artist, you don’t even know what he’s cabale of until you watch him in this. I want to avoid cliches, but I was really blown away by his performance and elegance. And Mulligan, my sweet, perfect princess- she’s not a princess, she’s close to a monster. And you can’t help but love it. And together, they make the most sickening, heartbreaking and most in need of love siblings you could ever come across.

I really loved this film. And I think if you have any inkling of any interest in seeing it, the money/time you invest in traveling to a theater playing it and paying the ticket is one hundred percent worth it. And to not see it on a screen and just download is to your computer does yourself a dishonor and disservice and could really hamper the experience.

Guys, go see this film, no matter the distance.

And I expect many awards. Many awards.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:46 pm

britters:
Shame.

Couple thoughts on Shame, which I saw last night in at the AMC theatre on 68th street and Broadway. Same place where I saw Avatar and, ugh, multiple Harry Potters. So, mainstream as they come and probably just as filled with bedbugs.

I expected to enter a theatre with solitary audience members spread out with many seats between one another and a damp trench coat over each of their laps. And that was pretty much what I found, except one guy was eating nachos. This perplexed me. Maybe that’s just his go-to porn nosh it being so aqueous and sticky.

The film is beautiful, to be sure, and minimal so that you pay close f#%@#&! attention (as it were) to Fassbender and Mulligan’s subtleties. For all the full-frontal and supposedly debased adventures Fassbender’s Brandon gets into to lose himself in some semblance of intimacy, the most excruciating moment is when his sister Sissy (Mulligan) sings a slow, spare version of Sinatra’s usually show-boating standard “New York, New York.” McQueen holds the camera so close to her face you’re forced to examine her skin and ears and over-processed blonde curls. As her voice falters and finds its footing, you’re utterly, embarrassingly captivated. She’s laid bare and you as the audience member are asked to stare. In this moment I felt the truth of Brandon’s fear of intimacy. Because I had to do quite a lot not to turn away.

And so, you’re asking, what about the sex? Well, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Some mildly arousing, none repellent. At its core this film is about loneliness and how even in the midst of doing the one thing that supposedly brings human beings closer together — literally one inside of the other — one can still feel trapped and alone inside yourself. Duh, we all knew that before going in.

Given that I could probably hand-draw Michael Fassbender’s p**** from memory now, Shame does suffer from a lack of specificity. McQueen must have done this purposefully to avoid the typical tracing Brandon’s neurosis/addiction back to some childhood incident or bad family situation or sh*#&% break-up. Addiction is incidental to these, not sourced. It emerges from a cloud so attempting to tease out a string would be too simplistic. However, I could do with a little more than Sissy weeping to his voicemail, “We’re not bad people, we just come from a bad place.” Knowing only that they grew up in New Jersey, I mean, I understand, yes, that’s true, you do literally come from a bad place. But that’s probably not where the sex addiction comes from.

I just wanted McQueen to throw me a bone.

Instead I got like 17 boners.

ps. Even after all of this I’d still let Michael bend my fass.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:46 pm

gasstation:

James Franco on Michael Fassbender in ‘Shame’
SAG Preview 2011: Actors on Actors

“There is a heavy use of classic music to make the New York atmosphere feel heavier, the sets are generally pristine and sterile, and the lighting is dark and moody, but most of all, Michael Fassbender’s regal presence is at the center of everything in ‘Shame.’ That is the thing about Fassbender, he doesn’t quite fit into his movies, he jumps out, not because he can’t play his characters to perfection, matching behavior to milieu, but because he possesses something extra, something that we might call an aura. Like all his roles, Fassbender assumes this one with quiet authority; but where does this assurance come from, and why is there something more than just a believable performance? Marlon Brando made Stanley Kowalski explode because he was an extremely sensitive man trapped in the shell of an insensitive brute, shaped by the writing of the poetic hand of Tennessee Williams. In ‘Shame’ Fassbender is an emotionally charged being enlivening the shell of an emotionally detached character, in a story crafted by the artist Steve McQueen and his co-writer, Abi Morgan. Fassbender is able to articulate the emotional wrestling match that a man does with himself, an experience that usually is relegated to forms such as the novel and poetry because they can take the reader into the character’s inner thoughts. He makes this struggle palpable, he does what is often said can’t be done: He gives expression to the inner life of the character in a film, not through spoken language — films usually need to resort to characters saying how they feel — but through the depths of feeling that he lets emanate from his core.”
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:51 pm

deanslisters:

#57
Shame
Directed By: Steve McQueen
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
(Theater)

Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is an emotional dialogue between individuals and themselves. It tests human boundaries and how far someone can go with their internal problems and physical needs. The film follows Brandon, a software executive in his 30’s living a comfortable life in his expensive yet sterile apartment. His life is as monotonous as the white paint on his walls. It is routine and it’s uninterrupted. He is a sex addict. Random sex, masturbation, and porn are part of his daily occupation. He doesn’t seem to enjoy this lifestyle. He doesn’t take pleasure in what he obsessively endures in. It has become an unforgiving need.

On sight, Brandon is void of any emotions. The closest thing he has to real human contact outside of physical pleasure is when he flirts with women or works as an accessory to his boss’ illicit affairs. Early on, we learn the Brandon’s loneliness is concealed by his addiction to sex, a quick solution to his issues that mimics the effects of drugs and alcohol.

After incessantly avoiding his sister’s phone calls, he unexpectedly gets a visit from her. Sissy’s (Carey Mulligan) complexities root from her deteriorating relationships with her man, her job and her self. Her arrival is a scream for a need of love and affection.

As siblings, they both share personal turmoil that can’t be fixed by themselves. They’re both a constant downward spiral toward self-destruction and complete isolation from the world. Despite this jaded relationship, they are both aware that eventually, they need each other to survive.

Steve McQueen’s eloquent portrayal of the importance of human relationships is a brave and brutally honest one. We live in a world where unfortunate things happen, where we resort to dangerous addictions and incomprehensible behavior. With Brandon, we learn that he is ashamed to admit his problems, avoiding any external help as he believes that he will eventually heal himself. With Sissy, we learn that she admits to her problems and pleads for help. They are at opposite ends of an emotional spectrum that share the same need- love, or real human affection. They do say that if you can’t rely on your family, then who can you rely on.

The levity of the sexual images of Brandon’s addiction never comes off as malicious. Instead, it displays itself a depressing montage of a man who’s lost all control. There is a lot of nudity in this film. McQueen metaphorically presents these individuals to their rawest and most intense. Stripped of garments and the exterior world, we are left with individuals who share the same problems. It equates the individual and McQueen brilliantly narrates their story through these heartbreaking images.

There is a tender scene where Sissy sings “New York, New York” with just a piano, atop a building overlooking the city with his brother deeply affected. It was exceptionally shot and the revelation that both of them did feel something beneath their harrowing behaviors. Steve McQueen, who previously directed Fassbender in Hunger, gives the film a dark, grim persona that sits well with the emotionally deranged atmosphere of the movie. Mulligan’s performance was audacious. Her painful plea for help mixed with her heavy bag of outrageous emotions was sadly distressing. Carey Mulligan was moving and infectious. In contrast, Michael Fassbender dedicates himself to the character of Brandon. He daringly and unflinchingly dove in to Brandon’s addiction powerfully. His weathered face is often stoic and absent of any emotion. The transition he makes from the beginning of the film to the end where he admits to his problem was stunning. His devotion to the character, especially during the film’s deeply disturbing climax was fearless. It takes an actor of such loyalty to the role to give Brandon life on screen. Also much credit to the wonderful score, sleek editing and wonderful cinematography of the film. The music, pace and color added to the poetry of the film.

Shame defiantly eliminates all cinematic rules and gives a fibrous and compelling look into the emotionally surfeited lives of individuals.

**** (4 Stars)
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:56 pm

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December 7, 2011
graceehlers graceehlers
Filed Under: Shame

Michael Fassbender is likely in the next few months to become at the very least a major heartthrob, if not a major star. Unknowingly, I have seen him in two movies in the past two weeks, A Dangerous Mind, and now Steve McQueen’s Shame in which he completely outshines Carey Mulligan as a sex addict.

Almost a contemporary American Psycho without the blood lust, McQueen’s Shame is much sadder, and surprisingly connected to the city it is filmed in. Fassbender’s character contemplates his sex binge nights on his subway rides, and keeps up the Standard Hotel’s notoriety for its peep show floor to ceiling windows over the High Line. The most beautiful, touching part of the movie has Carey Mulligan’s character slowly, gently singing the city’s anthem, “New York, New York“ in a way that will break your heart; her lingering last verse “It’s up to you, New York, New York” conjures up the capability of the city to chew you up and spit you out, Fassbender’s character cries in in his seat, knowing this is true for him.

Fassbender, and Mulligan too, is exceptional in the pain he communicates in this movie. The whole of it seems related to the conservatism we often talk about associated with Ys at Trendera. It makes sense that McQueen (though not a Y himself) produces a sad story that centers around promiscuity turned sex addiction, showing a character who is starved for real human connection. A must see for those wanting some depth from their weekend movie choice.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:56 pm

nadioz:
My "Shame" Review

I rarely write reviews simply because I’m not very good at it but after saying Shame I needed to write a little something about it ! (with *spoilers*)

It could have been a film about addiction to alcohol or drugs, it’s the one to sex less known and recognized. Brandon suffers from this addiction, he has a malaise that he relieves with sex, and those scenes have nothing sexy about them they’re even sad and pathetic.

The film shows us how Brandon lives with the addiction, how far he’ll go to be satisfied (not that he has to try too hard) his natural charms make it easier for him to live this way without having the people around him noticing a thing.


When his sister arrives she messes up his habits and her presence brings an emotional connection that he’s always trying to avoid in his life, his sister also suffers from a malaise she tries to blur in a different way, and her presence also reveals that a dark part of their childhood might explain Brandon’s problems , a message from her sister left on his phone, “We are not bad people we just come from a bad place” their difference is that she needs to be with someone she needs that emotional connection he’s just the opposite.

Another scene shows us Brandon’s needs of emotional detachment and the only time where he’ll let some feelings get through is when he tries to fight his addiction by getting rid of all his pornographic content and invites a colleague from work to diner, (really nice chemistry between Fassbender and Nicole Beharie) not a situation in which he is used to be judging by his nervousness, he reveals during that diner his phobia for serious relationships and when one day he brings her to an hotel the feeling he has for her completely block him and he end up calling a partner he doesn’t know.


The film doesn’t really give us any answers, it doesn’t have to, it shows us in a visceral way a journey in the life of an addict, also the performances are probably the best part of the film, Brandon perfectly played by Michael Fassbender who reveals himself completely physically but also and most of all emotionally, he plays with his eyes, his face, his body, the scenes without any dialogues are very strong we see and feel all his pains, that’s how good he is, and (Sissy) Carey Mulligan is also really good in the role of the tortured sister she plays her with real passion.



I highly recommend it.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:11 pm

a-bittersweet-life:
Movie Choice: Shame



If Steve McQueen did not prove his control over cinematic art with Hunger, he most definitely does so with Shame. The film follows the story of Brandon and his sexual addiction that prevents him from having healthy human relationships and which spirals out of control when his sister Sissy reenters his life. Michael Fassbender shows that he truly is a brilliant actor, taking Brandon from highs to lows with ease, essentially bringing human life to the scripted character. Meanwhile, Carey Mulligan as Sissy adds her share to the compelling performances in the film.


McQueen, who started as a visual artist (watch his 41 second Deadpan here), knows how to utilize each frame in the film. He has the wisdom to feel where the camera should be placed, allowing his features to exemplify the qualities of fine visual storytelling. To add to this, he shot the film in 25 days (he shot Hunger in 24), and his response to the questioning of shooting a film within a short time: “I didn’t know it was short. I’m sort of new at this…I don’t know what fast is, I don’t know what slow is.” Awesome.


When asked what success is for him, the British filmmaker has stated, “Success for me is that by seeing the movie it provokes conversation…This is a serious issue…Sexual addiction is not about being promiscuous. It’s about being an addict.” Steve McQueen touches on the subject of sexual adduction in a visually-stunning and humanist approach with Shame, one of many reasons to why the film is necessary to see.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:15 pm

ikeynolikey:

Likeys: Michael Fassbender and this particular Shame poster.

No Likey: The film itself. Rex Reed said it best in his review (contains spoilers):

Shame builds a repellent and depressing picture of existence on the edge of insanity, but what the movie fails to do is tell you why these people are the way they are, or indeed, why their addictions are so unhealthy. It’s actually surprising how empty and boring nonstop sex can be. When it substitutes for plot, character, movement and emotional content, sex is just something that clogs up the hard drive on your office computer. Brandon is spiritually dead, Sissy is parasitic and totally lost. When they both hit rock bottom, he goes on a real binge and hits the gay bars in a gruesome and ferocious eruption of carnal violence, and she ends up in the hospital. It’s hard, zombie sex, without joy. This, of course, is the point. But patience wears thin. It’s the study of a man whose soul has been peeled away, like coring an apple. But I wouldn’t call it sexy—or entertaining. What does Brandon learn? What do we learn? Director McQueen shares no primal truths, offers no resolutions, and the movie seems pointless. It seems almost wicked to spread on all that enticement and titillation, and then throw the sandwich away.

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