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Shame reviews 2

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:56 pm

myownmuse:

Most certainly the most provocative film of the year. Michael Fassbender plays a character called Brandon - a very well paid business man living in his penthouse in the “city that never sleeps”. His sex addiction spirals out of control to the point where he begins to objectify every woman he comes across, ignores phone calls from his loved ones due to his love of privacy and it even leads him to engage in homosexual acts in a gay club even though he’s without a doubt straight. He confides in his laptop more than anyone or anything else.

Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan is Brandon’s sister, a young woman fighting for happiness in her love life. Furthermore, her singing career is pretty shabby regardless of how soothing her voice appears. The scene where she is crying frantically on the phone to the love of her life made me think, Brandon and Sissy have a lot in common - the main thing being that pleasure is not existent in their lives. As Fassbender describes in an interview:

‘As Brandon, i never ate. He had one container of Chinese food left in his fridge. All that sex and he didn’t have any pleasure. That sad container of noodles tells you more about Brandon than the nudity’.’

And believe me, there was A LOT of nudity. Fassbender must of been paid a large amount of money to practically have his manhood swinging around on camera all day.
I would definitely recommend you go and see this film with someone you’re completely comfortable with because the sex scenes are very long winded; especially the threesome at the end, which would appear a complete turn on to any guy, but its so strange how watching a 10 minute (estimation) threesome after a film full of explicit scenes can make you feel very sick, mentally exhausted and even pity Brandon. He looses all self control and is clearly having a breakdown.

I think SHAME is a really good film. But if you haven’t been exposed to sexual imagery before, you may find this film rather unsettling.

P.s. Great music!

Rating: 4/5
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:56 pm

breathingrain:

Shame - 2012

I saw this movie yesterday evening, it was just emotional and incomplete at the same time. Fassbender is such a great actor, he left this pain in my stomach and if I think about the film it just comes back and stays there. I suppose that this sensation it’s just frustration and unanswered questions, but it bothers me because it won’t go away.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:57 pm

glorioussunday:
“Shame: the saddest movie you’ll ever go home and masturbate to.”
— Annalee
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:58 pm

paleshadeofnothing:

I saw this with my friend this evening downtown. I’m not even gonna try to come up with some kind of hyperbole of how great it was, because no words could suffice. The utter mastery that Steve McQueen has over the art of film-making is astonishing. I saw so much of myself in Brandon, and some shades of myself in Sissy. Shame is a very appropriate title for this piece, and personally it is something that I’ve struggled with as a constant state of mind. It’s painful sometimes to see yourself reflected in art, especially in film, but I’m also always grateful for it. It let’s me know that I’m not alone.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:59 pm

soundslikegabe:
Shame

Sex in film is constantly blown out of proportion because it is seen only superficially as a mindless, casual act that. In this film, McQueen challenges this by showing us that there are layers underneath the superficiality of it. He shows us that there is a powerful impact resulting from this seemingly simple act. In this film, these deeper layers were Brandon’s (Fassbender) emotions underneath the pleasure and the ecstasy of his addiction. Sex in this particular film, was seen as a poisonous addiction in Brandon’s life. Lost in a seemingly hopeless struggle, it is Sissy (Mulligan) who is the only one to help him. In doing so she brings him to rock bottom.

The beginning shows Brandon’s life as almost a routine, getting out of bed and riding the subway. His routine is almost distracted by these women who innocently and unknowingly seduce him. The sad, but almost dangerous music during his introduction implies a helplessness that he has when he lays eyes on the woman on the train. He almost instinctively follows the woman as if he was looking for a fix. We learn that although he has a comfortable, successful life, he is suffering from an internal battle that is long past lost. The end result of this loss is him being this soulless being that endlessly feeds on his uncontrollable lust.

This routine however; is suddenly broken when Sissy unexpectedly tries to reconnect with him. Sissy was a catalyst that set the course for Brandon’s downfall. We never know the reason as to why their relationship is rocky, but then again it’s not really necessary for the main focus of the film. Sissy is very much like Brandon in that she has her own problems. A big difference is that she is much more outward with them than Brandon is. This causes problems with Brandon opening up to Sissy, causing her problems to worsen.

“I wanna be a part of it, New York, New York.” It is very interesting to hear the way this song is sung by Sissy because she is singing so weakly, almost as if she didn’t believe in the glamour of the city at all. In a way this song is a cry for help from Sissy for anyone to just care about her. When she walks to sit with her brother and his boss we see her put up a confident facade. It is painfully easy to see through this as her seemingly desperate undertones seep out through her demeanor. Brandon doesn’t want anything to do with it, this adamant indifference contributes to his downfall.

As the film progresses, the city starts to become uglier as Brandon starts to get closer to rock bottom. The ugliness stems from the places that Brandon goes to to feed his addiction. He begins to realize that he has a problem, and that despite his successful life of affording a comfortable life in New York, he was far from comfortable. He finally hits the bottom when he decides to get involved in a threesome instead of going to comfort his sister after she leaves a frantic voicemail. He was putting his problems in front of what should have mattered most. His shameful routine is interrupted on the subway, when it abruptly stops and Sissy isn’t answering her phone.

The word SHAME shows up periodically in the film as a faded watermark during the scenes which the emotion is at it’s full force. At it’s full importance it is shown when he is waiting in the elevator at the high point in the film. He understands at that point that in feeding his addiction he was causing harm to the one of the few most important things in his life. The beauty of the city is gone as we see Brandon at his lowest at the end of the film in the middle of a rainstorm. McQueen’s work is at it’s finest during these last few moments where we see the breaking point and the epitome of Shame.

9.6/10
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:38 pm

freezeveganpolice:

Just saw Shame and a couple of things:

Michael Fassbender owns my soul.
Outside the movie theater, it said “Shame” and underneath it said “Full Frontal Fassbender” which we all found highly entertaining
It’s really easy to get into NC17 movies at the Aquarius… they don’t even check ID or even really check if you have your ticket when you go inside? Idk it was really lax
Carey Mulligan owns what little of my soul was left after Fassy stole it
Cinematography.
MUSIC. THE MUSIC IN THIS FILM IS HEARTBREAKING. ALMOST AS HEARTBREAKING AS MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S TEARS. BUT NOT QUITE.
It was actually just really emotional and there were moments when I actually stopped breathing because I was so caught up in it.
It felt like the actors weren’t acting; they were being. Which was amazing. All of the awards.
Fassbender. That is all.

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:39 pm

http://jezebel.com/5865241/shame-the-sex-movie-that-isnt-actually-about-sex

Shame, The Sex Movie That Isn’t Actually About Sex

You may have heard that Shame is a movie about sex. It's really not. It's a movie about addiction.

Shame drops in on the life of Brandon Sullivan, a 30-something New Yorker with an office job, an apartment in a brand-new building in the West 30s, and a compulsive inability to maintain sexual continence, which troubles him deeply. The movie concerns Brandon's relationship with his younger sister, Sissy, an alcoholic up-and-coming singer with a depressive streak. Sissy comes back to the city from a spell in Los Angeles and fetches up at Brandon's apartment, and for whatever reason, he can't quite manage to roust her. Over the next days, they fight, stumble upon each other's hidden selves, and maybe, just maybe, find some kind of resolution.

That the fine Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who plays Brandon, and the equally skilled English actress Carey Mulligan, who plays Sissy, don't look like siblings doesn't actually hurt the film; Fassbender's face is all hard planes and sharp angles, while Mulligan's is all curves, with her button nose and Cupid's bow mouth. Their respective physicalities echo the emotional gulf between them: Sissy is messy, whether blubbering on the phone to an absent boyfriend (her desperate plea, "But I love you! I love you! I love you!" is heartbreaking) or standing too close to the edge of the subway platform. She's also needy, always pressing Brandon for some sign of warmth, which is just one of the many emotional responses her brother seems constitutionally ill-equipped to give. Brandon, for his part, is cold and controlled. He deletes, un-played, the voicemails left by women he's gone on dates with, and his usual first response to Sissy's acting out — such as when she sleeps with Brandon's boss, in Brandon's bed — is to clench his jaw and go for a long run around Midtown.

The movie is excruciatingly slow-paced. Director Steve McQueen lingers on scenes until they reach, and surpass, emotional breaking point. When Sissy sings the world's most melancholy cover of "New York, New York," at the nightclub at the top of the Standard Hotel, which is called the Boom Boom Room, McQueen gives us the whole song. It's punishing. Shots of Brandon padding around his apartment — urinating, tooth-brushing, message-deleting — in the nude go on for what seems to be forever. Brandon is getting pegged in reviews as a Wall Streeter, but I don't know many men who turn up to their jobs in finance wearing sweaters, khakis, and collared shirts without a tie. His personality is as indeterminate as his job: when he tells a woman on a date that his longest relationship lasted four months, she tells him, "You have to really try, to commit." He replies, sort of sheepishly, "I did."

Brandon is isolated by his addiction. He takes regular masturbation breaks in his workplace bathroom. He orders prostitutes at night, sometimes several. His laptop at home is enlivened by pay-per-minute camgirls who know him by name; his desktop at work is so rotten with porn that IT support takes it away. ("Do you think it was your intern?" asks the boss.) Brandon has sex like an alcoholic drinks: compulsively, indiscriminately, and for the sake of release rather than for intimacy, pleasure, or human feeling. In one early scene, Brandon is out drinking at a bar with colleagues when his boss starts hitting on a beautiful woman in a suit. Hitting on her quite badly. The boss has recently claimed to be "an expert in attention to detail" when the woman closes her eyes and says, "Blue or green"; boss guesses wrong. At that moment, Brandon steps up to the bar, and the woman turns to him, eyes closed. "Brown," Brandon says, before she can even ask. He is simply too good, too practiced, a seducer to derive any enjoyment from his seductions. Sex, when it comes to him, comes predictably and without the element of surprise that might be a precursor to feeling actual happiness. Sex is a disappointment, because for it to come so readily confirms, to Brandon, that sex is essentially worthless. Which in turn confirms Brandon himself as worthless — shameful — for seeking it out. He fucks the woman in the suit against the pillar of a highway overpass.

The interesting thing is, Shame is not exactly a date movie — but it won't kill a healthy carnal appetite, either. Brandon doesn't have sex like normal people. Your idea of self-hating sex might be sleeping with that dude who doesn't always text you back (again): Brandon's entire sexuality, in contrast, seems to be rooted in and an expression of self-hatred. Every single one of the (many) times Brandon is shown checking out a woman, you can practically feel the rise of the old, familiar self-loathing (and the hardening of his cock). Fassbender is just that good in the role. When Sissy crawls into Brandon's bed one night, to snuggle and to apologize for something, he tells her to get back to the couch — first curtly, and then with real anger. One has to wonder to what extent that's because he's actually upset with her, and to what extent it's because he doesn't know if he can entirely trust himself.

It's hinted, but never explained, that Brandon and Sissy share some traumatic history — perhaps of childhood abuse, or some more ordinary psychological ill, like divorce or parental abandonment. "We aren't bad people," Sissy tells him at a climactic moment, tearfully as ever. "We just come from a bad place." They moved from Ireland to New Jersey when Brandon was aged 12, and when Sissy goads him into an actual fight, they yell at each other with their Irish accents. Just like real people of foreign heritage, whose old speech patterns resurface at times of high emotion.

Shame is American Psycho, minus the satire, and with f#%@#&! instead of murder. When Brandon tells a stranger in a bar what he'd like to do to her body — eat her pussy, taste her, put his tongue inside her — he sounds like a killer describing what he's going to do to his latest victim. Later that night, Brandon goes to a gay sex club, and gets a blow job from the guy he's been making eyes with from across the street outside. Depicting a straight character seeking out a homosexual encounter as a sex addict's "rock bottom" is the film's one sour note; I found it politically problematic bordering on homophobic, and frankly a cheap move from an otherwise highly subtle and carefully observed story of human relationships, and human failure. It is sort of made better by the fact that there is another, much more devastating, bottom to come.

One of the best things about Shame — aside from Fassbender's and Mulligan's spellbinding performances — is its portrait of the city of New York. It looks like New York actually looks. The subway is as filthy as Brandon's computer, and the scenes of 20- and 30-somethings mingling at various interchangeable bars and nightclubs seem like the most soulless of mating rituals. This New York is about getting into the right kind of restaurant, and it's also about getting into a bar fight and having to ride the subway home, drunk and bleeding, at 4 a.m. And it's about money. (I cringed at the thought of the bill when Brandon, his boss, and Sissy ordered two martinis, a whiskey, and a bottle of champagne — with table service — at the Boom Boom Room, an establishment where a vodka-and-soda will set you back $18. Brandon also fucks a prostitute at the Standard; you could probably write a whole essay on Shame and Balazs hotels.) Mercifully, no character ever just up and starts talking about how much they love New York! The absence of the usual city-that-never-sleeps claptrap is bracing and welcome. In Shame, New York is just a place, but it's at least the place you recognize, not some Disneyfied Darren Star confection where everybody takes cabs and wears $800 shoes.

The film ends with Brandon on the cusp of a decision — we don't know whether he's going to do the thing he wants to do, or the thing he wants to want to do. There is little in the movie that indicates we should be hopeful for Brandon. But somehow, a couple days after seeing it, I am. Perhaps. Just a little.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:45 pm

wheremoviereviewsaremade:
'Shame': A Powerful, Intense Drama

Shame is a terrific film that boasts two strong performances at the center; without them, this film would collapse into its own melodrama and fail. Luckily, McQueen keeps it grounded as well with some absolutely outstanding long takes, which seem to be a signature of his following 2008’s great Hunger. I can see why people are split on this film, some citing it as a masterpiece while others citing it as an empty piece of garbage. I found it compelling and intense, with some really powerful scenes and an incredibly abstract, but fitting, ending.

The movie centers on Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who is a sex addict that works at an undisclosed place. His boss, David Fisher (James Badge Dale), seems to be his only friend, and they go out drinking occasionally, where Brandon always seems to flirt more appropriately with the ladies. One night, his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), is in his apartment and looking for a place to stay. Brandon doesn’t seem welcoming, but he lets her stay, and their tensions begin to rise as each finds out things about the other.

I know that the point I’m about to bring up is a reason a lot of people hated the film, but I think the ambiguity is the best part of the film. The unspecified job, the ambiguous ending, the ambiguous past between him and his sister, and the ambiguity of almost every relationship and every main detail outside of the central plot can be seen as frustrating on paper. On screen, though, they are crafted together wonderfully, giving us a look at a man ravaged by an addiction now, and not looking at anything he’s faced in the past or anything that has affected him before. We get brief mentions of his past: his four-month relationship (the longest he’s ever been in), his possibly incestuous relationship with his sister (I still think there’s something romantic between them), and more, but none of these are explicitly spelled out. That’s smart by McQueen, not shying away from the issue he’s trying to address.

It’s evident McQueen cares about the material, and that goes a long way when it comes to me enjoying a film. He tries to handle the material as a full-fledged problem, but he merely tries to observe, never giving a solution or a reason for why he is this way. The way he observes, though, demonstrates how much he cares about this character, as well as how much of a talented director he is. There are some really long takes here, almost all of which work; the dinner scene that lasts around 7-8 minutes is stunning, in that I didn’t realize the camera wasn’t moving until it finally did. The opening scene where the camera doesn’t change elevation clearly focuses on his p****, but that’s to accentuate this man’s problem. The running scene, which looks gorgeous, is the one that didn’t fully work for me; it went on for too long, since we got the point of the scene almost immediately (him drowning out the noise of his sister and his boss having sex). Almost all of the other ones, though, show patience as a director and observation as a storyteller, being as blunt and straightforward as one can be.

There are countless scenes that worked for me; one of the opening scenes where he’s on a subway and begins flirting with a married woman is masterful in how it’s done. There’s no dialogue, just glances and then a final shot of her ring; he chases her as she exits and then loses her. One scene that’s gained some controversy that I actually found very effective was the one near the end of the film, where he’s denied entry into a nightclub and goes across the street to a gay bar. He follows a man in that he saw outside, and we see how fragile Brandon looks as he enters the bar. He goes around corners, down aisles, and then finally the man grabs him and begins to perform oral sex on him. Brandon isn’t necessarily enjoying it, but he’s fulfilling his need within himself, and that’s all that matters at that point. I don’t think it’s trying to infer anything about the gay community, but merely showing how far a straight man is going to feed his addiction; it’s not homophobic.

Fassbender is outstanding here, giving one of the best performances of the year. His face during the threesome near the end of the film sums up his character and his performance; this is a man who doesn’t enjoy sex, but feeds his need to have sex. His look of disgust and despair as he has his orgasm is one that really resonates for what the film is saying. His outburst at his sister in the middle of the film is also remarkable, since he’s such a composed man around others that it’s surprising to see him lash out at a family member. It reminded me of Michael Shannon’s moment near the end of Take Shelter, but it’s not nearly as powerful. Mulligan is also good here, but occasionally too emotional; I found her work in An Education and Never Let Me Go more effective, but this is very good, especially in a few scenes. Some love it, some hate it, but the “New York, New York” scene for me was beautifully haunting, giving us more insight into their relationship than anything else in the film. Mulligan’s face there says it all, and once again brings the story full-circle in how realized and focused it is.

Shame is a great film, one that I enjoyed more than I expected and appreciated more than I thought I would. McQueen is a very promising director, and he really crafted a wonderful film that works as an observational piece. He doesn’t give us a solution, but leaves us on an ambiguous note that I feel like I understood; it’s a smart move that matches the ambiguity of it all, and Fassbender’s face in those final moments sum up his performance. This is a really remarkable film that may not work for you, but it did for me.

Grade: ★★★★½ (out of 5)
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm

omfgitsbubba:

345 of 365

Shame Steve McQueen

This was a really hard to watch film. It was almost painful at times. It starred Michael Fassbender and Carrie Mulligan, and was directed by Steve McQueen. This is Steve McQueen the English director, not the American Actor. Michael Fassbender is a sex addict living in New York City, who has completely modeled his life around his addiction. His sister (also a sex addict) shows up at his door for an undetermined amount of time, sending his life into a downward spiral. This film treats the sex addiction the same way that a film like Requiem For a Dream treats Heroin. This is definitely recommended, but with the caveat that it is hard to watch.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:49 pm

festivusfortherestofus:

Just finished watching this. I’d write an über comprehensive movie review if I could, but I can’t so I won’t. What I can say though is that you should definitely see this movie. It’s disgusting and Michael Fassdener’s character is vile, depraved, disturbed, and downright hard to watch, yet you can’t look away. Black Swan has NOTHING on this. It’s the sex movie that’s not really about sex, it seems like it is, but there’s a lot more too it, so you should definitely see it. I really liked it despite its extremely (x10) graphic and perverse nature. The filming style was awesome too. I was also high out of my mind,I still am, but I would’ve liked it even if I wasn’t, so go see it.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:53 pm

killsandthrills:

⌊ My Favorite Films of 2011 | Shame dir. Steve McQueen

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

So I had the pleasure of seeing this film in early November at a film festival (Yes, I saw Fassy in person!) and I was completely blown away by it. McQueen has once again made a film that is completely without fault and Fassbender has once again proven that he is a phenomenal actor. Mulligan also gives a grand performance. I should also mention that if you are offended by nudity, this film is definitely not for you as the the lead spends most of the movie naked. Some scenes definitely leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable, but that’s the whole point of the film. Aside from the plot and acting, I also have to mention how wonderful the cinematography is in this film. Two scenes in particular spring to mind (the subway ride and the jogging scene). so once again, phenomenal film… and I can’t wait until McQueen makes his next film!

Oscars?: I can maybe imagine this being nominated for Best Original Screenplay and maybe if he can sneak in there, Best Actor for Michael Fassbender. I definitely think it deserves being nominated in other categories, but the Academy isn’t known for being very friendly toward NC-17 films.

Final Grade: A+

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:54 pm

theshadowofyoursong:

Most Aesthetically Pleasing Posters of 2011

1. Shame, dir. Steve McQueen

It’s fitting that the poster for auteur Steve McQueen’s new sex-addiction opus shows us nothing but somehow tells us everything. The image of the rumpled sheets and the superimposition of the small but lofty title is somehow devastating in its simplicity. You feel that if you were to reach into the poster and touch the indentation in the bed, it would still be warm.

The Italian version shows us Fassbender’s character, his nakedness hidden beneath the sheets, a look of emptiness devoid of satisfaction on his face. But somehow it’s not as evocative as its counterpart.

Equally simple but a bit more lurid is the teaser, the hand pressed against the steamy window. Its implications have to do with the title’s relevance within the act it (barely) shows, whereas the other two depict the aftermath.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:55 pm

kylefreakinkenyon:
SHAME: A Review

image

First of all, this post contains no spoilers. I mention minor plot details, but nothing surprising and nothing that will ruin your experience. Promise.

So, I saw this movie a week ago and, along with Melancholia and Tree of Life, it is one of the few movies this year that has been in my mind since the moment it ended. Those three movies are, hands-down, the most thought-provoking films of the year.

Anyway, Shame. If you’ve read this far, then you probably know that it’s a very sexually-oriented film. It’s about a man who has sex constantly. When you first read that, you probably think, “How can I possibly feel bad for this guy who is so clearly living the dream?!”

But that’s where this movie gets you. Before long, you start to realize what a horrible life a sex addict lives. Everything leads to one thing. And after you get it, you want it again as soon as possible.

This movie is so well-directed and the acting is amazing. Michael Fassbender delivers the best performance of the year, no doubt about it. If he doesn’t win the Oscar, the only reason will be that not enough of the voters saw Shame. You can’t watch him here and deny the amazingness of this performance. His dedication is insane; I found myself watching this movie and thinking, “Wow, he is actually doing that. Unbelievable.” But in a good way. In an impressed way.

I left this movie feeling haunted by it. It made me cringe at the very suggestion of sex. I went with a group of people and all of them (including a newlywed couple) said it made them never want to have sex again. Shame is to sex what Requiem For A Dream is to heroin. It’s the type of experience that’s extremely moving, but you’re not sure you want to watch it again. And, coming from me, that’s quite a statement because Carey Mulligan is completely naked in this movie. Like, completely. And as glorious as that is (and trust me, “glorious” is accurate— damn, girl!), I still wasn’t sure I ever wanted to watch Shame again. But having thought about it for a week, I think I would watch it again. And I probably should watch it again.

image

Be warned (as if this even needs to be said), this movie is rated NC-17 for a reason. It’s graphic, disturbing, and contains wall-to-wall nudity. It somehow manages to be full of sex, but it’s in no way sexy. It takes skill to film attractive, naked people having sex and not having the audience want to see it. When the sex scenes happen (and do they ever), you aren’t watching as a sleazy voyeur finally getting to see stars strip down; you’re watching it the way a person would watch a surveillance video of a loved one committing a terrible crime. You don’t want to see it, you just have to. You have to know for yourself that it happened. And why.

Is this a positive review of the film? I’ve called it “graphic,” “disturbing,” and said I was “haunted by it.” But the answer is yes. I highly recommend Shame to anyone who can handle adult material and see it as art rather than pornography. Pornography is made to get people aroused. This film is made to show you what happens when those people can’t stop. If anything, it’s a warning against pornography/sex addiction. And it’s an extremely effective one.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:56 pm

dawnofthelulz:

I saw Shame today (finally!) with someone very nice. It wasn’t what I expected exactly, but then again I didn’t have much to go from. It was very interesting and had lovely cinematography and great acting. It was very real, and I’m torn between ‘it ended too soon’ and ‘it was a good and interesting ending’. But I suppose if you want the movie to go on, it’s good. And for a movie with supposedly unsexy sexual content, some of it was really hot and the gratuitous Fassbender was much appreciated. But most of the actual sex was very intriguing in that you could sense the unhealthy need and lack of intimacy. So good job to that. Okay I’ll stop talking now. Just try and see the movie.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:59 pm

shagneto:

Vee’s Movies Of The Year

2. Shame
Released: 13th January 2012 (UK), 14th October 2011 (London Film Festival).

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

Like my #1, it’s very difficult to say things about this which haven’t already been said by people more intelligent than I.

Shame is an absolutely stellar film, make no mistake, but it is also one of the most harrowing experiences I have ever had in a cinema, if not the most harrowing. There have been comments made about how one woman had to leave during the final half hour as it was too much for her and I can completely understand. The film pulls no punches, doesn’t shy away from showing the truly ugly side of this addiction and that is what makes it so brilliant.

Michael Fassbender - who as I’m certain you know, I’ve become somewhat enamoured with over the course of the year - gives an absolutely amazing performance. He strips himself bare, both figuratively and literally, in the role and shows just how ugly and destroyed this character is. He conveys more with a lost look in his eyes, than many could with a monologue explaining every last detail of his pain. He truly deserves some more awards recognition for this because this is the role of a lifetime.

It saddens me that so many people will be treated in the same way as I was when I showed an interest in this. “You want to see a film about sex addiction? Pervert. Only interested because the lead actor’s hot. Wouldn’t care if it were someone else.” which is utter bollocks. Yes, this is a film about sex, but it’s not a sexy film. Overall, this is a film about the nature of humanity, about our vices and how if we let them, they will destroy us.

Favourite moment: Carey Mulligan’s performance of New York, New York.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:01 pm

http://thefoxisblack.com/2011/12/22/do-you-wanna-play-a-film-review-of-shame/

Do You Wanna Play? – A Film Review of Shame
December 22, 2011 - By Christina Stimpson - Category: Film Review & Films

Artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen makes gorgeous films about dirty subjects. His 2011 feature Shame pumps an erotic and visceral heartbeat into the cold exterior of New York City’s accessible culture. The voice that exists within Shame – the unsaid – is as powerful as McQueen’s sleek composition and stylish framing. The film resolves to blur the line between actual ecstasy and inner agony, through main character Brandon (Michael Fassbender) as he struggles with his need for carnal lust within the absence of intimacy.

Brandon is a detached character. The undercurrent to his sterile lifestyle is obscene urge and sexual compulsion. Within minutes of the film, the obsessively structured habits of the austere businessman are set up to include the daily cycle of work, masturbation, pornography, and sex. In Brandon, McQueen has crafted a character whose existence, although dominated by the most passionate of subjects, is flat and lacking the moral compass to find his way through “right” and “wrong” behaviors. There are no consequences to Brandon’s hyper-sexualized actions. He watches porn at work, he has sex in alleys, and recesses from his desk to the public washroom for a daily session of masturbation. Although at first he is able to function publicly, his secret fetishes are at the forefront of his existence. Single and living alone, there is no one in Brandon’s insular world able to judge his private perversions.

The introduction of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligian) who unexpectedly becomes his unwanted houseguest with a TBD departure date interrupts his sterile world of work, masturbation, pornography, and sex. Brandon’s dirty private life becomes exposed to the last person on earth who should witness your vulgar side – your family. Basic psychology dictates that the feeling of shame surfaces through the guilt of knowing that you’ve acted in violation of your own internal law. The mere presence of Sissy within Brandon’s daily life unearths his suppressed inner law and becomes the catalyst for him to experience shame. As Sissy squeezes Brandon’s private compulsions into public light his inner battle becomes a weight too heavy to bare, leading to a reckless rampage that transitions him to a predator of sort.

Although present throughout the film by way of dialogue between Brandon and the female characters, the delineation between his propensity for the impersonal over the intimate comes through McQueen’s choice in shot composition of two explicit sex scenes. The filmmaker pulls the camera away from the romantic love scene, representing the disconnection Brandon feels when encountered with intimate feelings. Here, the setting is a cold modern hotel room, bathed in blue hued natural light, and framed from a distance in a long take. The more ravishing sex scene, an inter-racial threesome, representing the impersonal connection of prostitution, is warm, fragmented and shot in close range. Visions of the salacious and obscene are assembled in an alluring montage. McQueen’s choice of framing for the “dirty” scene tells us that it is here, within shame, where Brandon feels most protected. Set to a soundtrack that mirrors his climactic moments, the sequence culminates in a soft focus close up of Michael Fassbender’s face. He is looking directly at the camera, yet it is difficult to tell if he is experiencing pain or pleasure, as he is an enemy to both.

Shame is a progressive film, which seeks to loosen the boundaries of material usually presented in standard wide release films, yet the NC-17 rating seems exaggerated. We live in a world where pornography is no longer taboo. The fact that Brandon engages in this behavior is not shocking, yet what is interesting is the choice to leave Brandon simmering and unchanged. That, is realistic, disturbing and most provocative.

Christina Stimpson
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:04 pm

thecinemaniac:
Review: Shame (2011)

2011’s Shame is a film that you’ll be hard-pressed to find showing at your local theater. Why you ask? There are two main reasons: first and foremost, it has an NC-17 rating; secondly, there are a few shots of the central character’s (Michael Fassbender) genitalia swinging like a pendulum as he walks through his minimalist apartment. Granted, we’ve all seen our share of reproductive organs; but for some odd reason, male frontal nudity still causes the American public to cringe. Personally, it wasn’t that off-putting to me, but then again, I’m mostly desensitized to things of that nature – one, because a film is an expression, even if some people don’t get it; and if we’re going to start stomping on the First Amendment, we may as well revert to the Hays Code; two – because what are we really watching? Are we so focused on the nudity that the story no longer matters? I think this is the dividing line between real lovers of film and people who just need something to do for two hours.

This is definitely a character study, but it’s not a glimpse at a madman; Shame is about an ordinary man with a very common problem in today’s society – sexual addiction. There isn’t a whole lot of plot to pick apart; rather, it’s day-to-day life as seen through eyes of desperation. Fassbender’s character, Brandon Sullivan, is a successful executive by day. In the corporate world, he’s neatly trimmed in a nice suit and well put together. He appears to get along with his co-workers; he exhibits no outward signs of the demons living inside him. But the audience is quickly made aware of Brandon’s obsession with sex. He randomly masturbates in the office bathroom, his laptop is nothing more than an avenue for pornographic videos, he solicits a number of different prostitutes, and he owns a staggering collection of adult tapes and magazines. Amazingly, Brandon manages to keep all of this below the surface. His apartment is clean and sterile, almost on a compulsive level. He has no real life outside of his addiction; and save for a few sporadic outings, the sum of his existence is work and sex. This might sound like Brandon is just a normal guy – work and sex, sex and work, chasing women without commitment, seduction and the like – but his is not an issue of male audacity; he is an extremely fragile man who can find no meaning or substance in his life.

Two major disruptions come about that threaten Brandon’s routine. First, his sister Cissy (Carey Mulligan) shows up unannounced and essentially moves in with him. We get the impression that Brandon is not only irritated by her sudden arrival, but that he resents her presence for some other unexplained reason. Their parents are only mentioned in passing, so perhaps there is an underlying obligation on Brandon’s part to be Cissy’s caretaker, though accepting such responsibility means having to rearrange his explicit lifestyle. Nevertheless, they are brother and sister, and Brandon has just enough feeling in him to protect her; in all other capacities, he is very robotic.

The second disruption in Brandon’s procedural life is a co-worker, a woman named Marianne (Nicole Beharie), with whom there is an obvious mutual attraction. Marianne, of course, knows nothing of Brandon’s sexual addiction. They begin to see each other; their first formal date takes place in a restaurant, and Brandon couldn’t be more awkward. He barely seems able to order food, much less hold an intelligible conversation. When Marianne speaks, he replies with uncomfortable (and somewhat goofy) expressions; we imagine sexual moaning and triple-X imagery flopping back and forth in his head while he pretends to listen to her. After all, it’s really all he knows. He has no real relationships in his background, at least not from the audience’s perspective. When the two finally attempt intimacy, Brandon is unable to perform. He genuinely likes Marianne, but emotion mixed with sex is too much for him to handle and his neatly stacked house of cards crumbles under the weight of a heart. Had Marianne been on a webcam or charged for sexual favors, it would have been business as usual. Instead, his would-be girlfriend leaves him sitting alone in his apartment, face in hands, empty and hollow.

When you watch Shame, you really have to ask yourself, does this man actually feel ashamed? Does he know that what he’s doing is wrong? Does he care? When does a love of sex become a full-blown addiction? Well, I am of the opinion that Brandon is aware of his problem, and that he may very well be ashamed of it – but at the same time, he feels utterly powerless and subservient to it. A couple of scenes in particular stood out to me. The first occurs shortly after Cissy moves in with Brandon. Brandon is standing in his bathroom pleasuring himself when Cissy walks in on him and then promptly exists, half-amused and half-shocked. Brandon immediately reacts with anger, following his sister into the living room and lunging at her while still naked. His outburst is a tell-tale sign of severe embarrassment, and that embarrassment is likely caused by some level of self-loathing.

The second scene of importance, I feel, comes on the tail end of Brandon’s threesome with two prostitutes. During the climax, his facial expression is framed in a very tight shot; and instead of the euphoric gaze most have in that circumstance, Brandon’s look is almost tearful. There is a sense of great hopelessness and pain in him, as if he is silently begging: “Please help me, I’m destroyed inside and there’s nothing I can do about it”. He has two naked women fulfilling his every erotic desire, and still, there is deep sadness where there should be ecstasy.

Shame has been under fire by a lot of people. It has been a film of interest for some who just want to investigate the specifics of Michael Fassbender’s body (which I feel is somewhat insulting to Fassbender, who obviously took this role seriously and put a great deal of effort into becoming the character). There are others who refuse to see it because of the male nudity. For the record, Carey Mulligan is completely naked in the film as well, though we only see it once. Still, I’m a Carey Mulligan fan, and she could be dressed like a yak for all I care; I’m watching her performance, not her body, and the same goes for Michael Fassbender. I’m not trying to find pseudo-porn in a film about serious addiction.

Truth be told, the film isn’t really all that explicit. Granted, you will see male and female nudity, front and back, but so what? It’s nothing that most people haven’t already seen. I’m not sure I would recommend it for family movie night, but then again, I wouldn’t recommend Goodfellas for family movie night either and that is touted as one of the best cinematic representations of mafia life. There are certain subjects that you cannot broach without considering the reality of them. Sexual addiction deals with sex; ergo, a film about sexual addiction is going to have sex in it. People will just have to grow up.

I felt the performances in Shame were excellent. Michael Fassbender brought a very sick man to life; and while we understand that some of Brandon’s actions were semi-perverted, we can’t help but feel sympathetic, the same way we might sympathize with an alcoholic who simply cannot live above the influence. Carey Mulligan also played her part quite well, and a bit against type. She still had that little girl quality that she tends to have in all her films, but her character here was more reckless and edgy.

Please disregard all negative opinions of this film and give it a shot if you can find it playing somewhere. There is nothing overblown or exaggerated; it’s really just life in its most damaged form, on display for anyone willing to pay attention.

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:07 pm

eleanor-to-jude:
SHAME.

That movie was…

I have no words honestly. This movie was so well done, it wasn’t even about sex, it was just about straight up addiction. I mean you’d be watching Fassbender having sex and the way it was shot made you feel just shameful. Every little detail added up to this characters struggle with an addiction to sex and how it affected his relationship with his boss, his sister, and his partners…and how he viewed himself really. People don’t really think about sex (and a certain other addiction revealed later in the film) as addictions and this movie really encapsulated that feeling of shame when you let addiction take over your life. I have never felt a theatre so still when the credits started to roll. The music and darkness just kind of let the whole film sink in and you just couldn’t say anything.

This movie is genius and not exactly for the light of heart. Lots of naked, lots of sex, yes, but it’s a sex scene you don’t really see all that often in movies nowadays. There is nothing that glorified sex in this film and there is not one scene that isn’t loaded. I mean the title says it all. It’s just about shame. Being ashamed in yourself, be ashamed of your actions, having shameful relationships, being ashamed of your family, shame that comes with addiction, all the shame they feel, you’ll feel. This movie has effectively blown my mind. And I needed to right about it because of reasons.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:09 pm

fussyfancy:

what did i do for christmas? i saw Shame of course. as i tried purchasing the tickets, i received a very long verbal warning that this “was not a holiday movie or a family film and do i know what i am about to see, as there is nudity and other adult content…” yes, yes the movie is about sex addiction and oh heavens i’ll see a p****… so i finally cut in and said i know what the film is about and i would like two tickets, please.

now, i’ve seen michael fassbender in two other films this year, those being Jane Eyre and X-Men First Class, but this was the first film in which i appreciated what an amazing actor fassbender is. gosh i am slow. and carey mulligan, who i’ve only seen in An Education, captivated me and broke my heart. overall it wasn’t the best film i’ve seen this year, but it was an interesting portrait of how detached so many people have been and are about sex, addiction and life (that is my view anyways).

btw~ as i left the theater there was a couple making out in the back and i really wanted to ask them what they thought of the movie.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:11 pm

1. Shame

After seeing The Artist I stumbled into Shame, an NC-17 rated film that I only wanted to see because of Michael Fassbender’s involvement. I had no idea Steve McQueen (the director of 2008’s Hunger, not the actor) made the film and did not know what the plot involved, but while after The Artist I walked out with a positive, wistful look on life, after Shame I was dragged right back down to reality. The story involves a sex addict (Fassbender) who has gone past the point of sexual pursuits for pleasure but rather for necessity. He does everything possible to hide this addiction behind a good job and well-adjusted facade, which works until his sister needs a place to stay in New York City and asks to be with him. Their lives begin to completely collapse as a result. Perhaps it is due to a personal relation to the work and themes, but I was not compelled by any film more in 2011. My next piece will stem from this work and a personal experience that I will share in my next post; this is not for the weak-willed audience, but for anyone who has ever fallen prey to desire or instinct, whether it be in the form of drugs, sex, etc. then this film is for you. Fassbender is Actor of the Year for this, A Dangerous Method, X-Men: First Class, and Jane Eyre. He is evidence that the Oscars needs to take on the BAFTA’s approach of looking at an actor’s full body of work throughout a year rather than just one film.

And with that I am done, any snubs or films you thought were not as good as I made them seem? Let me know!

- Mike
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:14 pm

flaxxxen:
In which richardharrows & Flax discuss Shame some more.

She also wrote “offered zero backstory, hence very little reason to care”, which I think implies both a overly simple way of engaging with film and an overall lack of humanity.

Not knowing = not caring, as opposed to not knowing = more interaction required from the audience in terms of both intellect and emotional response. Can we not sympathize with someone without understanding each of their motivations?

I may not relate to sexual addiction. But I can relate to loneliness. To a lack of direction. To yearning. I’d think the majority of people could relate to these rather basic human emotions on some level.

I bristle slightly at using the term “human condition”, because it’s thrown around so easily. It’s become cliche’. But like all cliche’ things, it’s only reached such a dubious level of familiarity because it is inherently resonant. There is truth to it.

Uncompromising, dark character portraits like “Shame” seems to be should strive for an honest portrayal of - or at least reference to - the “human condition”. Otherwise they limit themselves, and in turn limit the audience, to a very narrow field of relation, discussion, and interpretation.

Her phrasing - “we are dragged into his sordid world” - has an almost cruel ring to it. As if she has no interest whatsoever in exploring the experience of others.

— via richardharrows

That’s probably the scriptwriters’ greatest asset; that they knowingly left out unnecessary background info, and by doing so insuring that the audience will insert their own experience and filter the characters through an individual lens. Not knowing actually should make us care more.

The basic human emotions you cited— everyone has their demons, yours I can relate to, they’re certainly prevalent. The sex in Shame is shown in the most unsexy way imaginable. The point is not to titillate, the point is to unseat the viewer, to make you think, about anything, really. “Why am I uncomfortable watching this?” “Is it because there’s no dialogue and it’s a very long take of a very intimate situation?” “Again, why am I uncomfortable watching that?” We each draw our own conclusions based on what we’ve unconsciously self-inserted earlier.

I don’t know if I would use the term “dark” to describe the angle of character portrayal. It’s certainly not sugar-coated, but you don’t get the sense that any of these people are “bad,” and you don’t pity them either. If this film succeeds within the first half you’ll have immersed yourself into their world so fully that there isn’t a place to look objectively; there’s no breathing room. So I think it does succeed in your aversion to a clichéd homily about the Human Condition in that it doesn’t really offer things up to you on a silver platter.

Her phrasing - “we are dragged into his sordid world” - has an almost cruel ring to it. As if she has no interest whatsoever in exploring the experience of others.

That right there is the rub, I think Kern may have gone into it ostensibly contrarian. Which only boils down to what you called before: sh*#&% writing.

PS: I hope that wasn’t too spoilery? Go see it as soon as you can!
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:15 pm

tealeavesdogears:
Shame Wasn't That Good

There’s just something about Steve McQueen I don’t like. Maybe it’s the fact that a black, British director actively chose to keep his screen name as “Steve McQueen,” likely just to surprise, confuse or amuse people.

Maybe because his last movie was called Hunger, and this one was called Shame and it’s starting to feel like he’s going to one-word title his way through all of human suffering.

Maybe it’s the fact that he cast a film about a man with a sexual addiction, set it in New York City, and then hired two Brits as his lead actors anyway.

Or maybe it’s because his movie wasn’t that good.

In any event, I can’t help the feeling that Steve McQueen likes f#%@#&! with people, and being pretentious as all hell. And I’m not enjoying the ride.

On to Shame: Even as an English major, even as someone who loves movies, I’ve never enjoyed the art house suffering film. The one where it’s not so much a story, but a slice taken from someone’s life that we’re being permitted to view and that requires us to watch everything — there are no quick and easy cuts or expository dialogue or plot, because life doesn’t contain these elements. So we watch our protagonist go about his life, sadly.

And my God does Fassbender’s Brandon do a lot of things, sadly.

Brandon goes jogging, sadly.

Brandon goes to see his sister perform her lounge act, sadly.

Brandon eats take-out Chinese food out of a little stereotypical Chinese take-out box, sadly.

Brandon walks around his apartment naked, sadly.

Brandon talks to his boss, sadly.

Brandon masturbates, sadly.

Brandon goes out to dinner with a girl from his office, sadly.

Brandon picks up woman at a bar, sadly.

Brandon flirts with women, sadly.

And, above all, Brandon has sex, sadly.

And graphically. Because in real life, people don’t have strategic sheets draped around their private parts when they have sex. But I’m not certain that most people have sex against windows full-frontal all the time, either. But whatever, as long as Fassbender’s Brandon does it… sadly.

Speaking of Fassbender himself, part of the problem with this movie is that it doesn’t require much of him as an actor. Maybe I dozed off, but I can’t remember him saying more than a handful of lines in the whole movie. And because McQueen relishes the idea of showing you two characters’ backs when they’re in a personal conversation to emphasize the privacy of it, and your intrusion, it’s not as though wonders could be said for his facial expressions.

For the most part, this is the story about an addiction, not this particular man. And the argument can be made that perhaps it’s because the addiction has so overtaken this particular man that he is defined by it, but I doubt that. Because until Carey Mulligan — who acts her ass off — shows up, we aren’t even given a hint that anything else could be wrong with Brandon, apart from the fact that he can’t stop having sex or masturbating.

Mulligan gives a portrait of a character who has just as much of a non-existent background on paper and even less screen time (so even less dialogue), and you suddenly can assume all kinds of things about her. She could have been sexually abused, she might have been mentally or physically abused. But you know that there is something damaged about Mulligan’s character, and she plays it so well.

When we’re introduced to her, she’s taking a shower in her brother’s apartment. Brandon, not expecting guests, approaches the bathroom with a baseball bat and then runs in screaming, “I’m going to kill you,” causing his sister to jump at the noise and bang her elbow on the shower.

For the rest of the scene, while Brandon expresses his shock and anger with the fact that his sister would just come by his house, take a shower and essentially move in without asking, Mulligan clutches her elbow and just keeps screaming “Ow,” or “God, you scared me.” She’s that selfish, childish, constant victim that everyone has come into contact with. She’s a type, sure, but she’s a very realistic one.

But who is Brandon? Even when Fassbender is having him unravel, we still feel nothing for him. At one point, to psych himself up for a second date when he is trying to relate to one woman instead of drowning in porn and hookers, Brandon does a rail of cocaine off the table. He does it privately, and away from his date, but all we can really assume from his moment is that while he might drink, or do drugs, they aren’t other addictions, they all go to feed the primary one. But what does that tell me? I don’t know him — I might know something about his sister, and I could possibly infer something about him from her, but that’s not enough when he’s your main character.

In any event, I felt that Shame was lazy art house — a lot of pretty wide shots and “daring” nudity and a hard-hitting subject to hastily mask what is otherwise a pretty empty and meaningless movie.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:16 pm

ajknightz:

Shame - 3/5

I had a few more problems with this film, than I did for The Artist, but overall I thought it was great. First of all…Michael Fassbender…holy s$#!. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen more commitment to a role in a film than there is here. Also, Carey Mulligan proves to be one of my favorite actresses in the industry, yet again. However, my main issue with this film was that it just seemed really, really long. There were times when a scene would finish, and I would think to myself “well, the movie could’ve been significantly shorter, had they cut all of the unnecessary s$#! from that.” I appreciated that the film took it’s moments, and nothing was rushed, but it was a bit excessive. Also, yes—this is a film about a man dealing with sexual addiction—but there were times that it was just too much. Overall, I think this was very well done. The film opens with the most brilliant scene of the entire movie, with a completely silent exchange between Fassbender and a woman on the subway. It’s great. And Carey Mulligan singing New York, New York made me want to die of happiness.

Awards nominations predictions:

Academy Awards-

- Best Actor in a Leading Role- Michael Fassbender

- Best Director- Steve McQueen (This is a definite maybe.)
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:16 pm

mrstoughman:

187 - Shame (2011)

Wow. Ok. I’ve literally just returned from this movie. I feel like I need to think about it for like a year or two to completely wrap my head around it. But I think that I liked it. What I certainly liked, nay, loved were the performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. I mean with those two that kinda comes without saying but still. Their relationship is so f&%$#& up and complicated and those two play off each other absolutely perfectly. I have to say in terms of the visual, I liked Hunger better. I mean, this film looked really good but I liked what McQueen did with small spaces in Hunger whereas I think sprawling New York is simply too much for his visual style. I don’t know, I might be way off on this. In general actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I think I liked Hunger better. It certainly did the long take (the conversation with the priest) better than Shame does (the awkward first date). I also have to applaud Fassbender, Mulligan and a couple of the other ladies in this film for putting it all out there with the full frontal. I mean, wow. In general, the sex scenes in this film were quite raw and certainly so real at times that I have to applaud everyone in them. Altogether, this was a very raw and emotional movie with a couple very shocking plot twists that I’m certainly going to ponder for a while.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:17 pm

castores:
I JUST GOT BACK FROM SHAME AND I'M JUST LIKE

image

NEUTRAL CAMERA GAZE, GREAT USE OF LONG TAKES IN EDITING, UNFLINCHING HUMAN SEXUALITY, CONTRAST OF THE CONFINES OF CIVILIZATION AGAINST MAN’S PRIMAL DESIRE, SUBTLE YET AFFECTING PERFORMANCES BY THE ENTIRE CAST, MICHAEL FASSBENDER LOOKING STUNNING IN BLUE AND HANDSOME YET UNSEXUALIZED IN THE FACE OF HIS INNATE SEXUAL INHIBITIONS, EVERYTHING

JUST

YES
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