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Shame reviews 2

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:18 pm

armita:
Do you want to play?

image

Artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen makes gorgeous films about dirty subjects. His 2011 featureShame 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.

click here to watch the trailer
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:23 pm

seandonovan:

‘Shame’ (2011, Steve McQueen)

I went to see Shame for many reasons: a) my drive to see all the “big artistic event!” films of 2011, b) to see more of the visceral, abrasive power from Steve McQueen that Hunger promised, c) my general lust for Michael Fassbender, based on both his substantial talent (certainly one of the best of his generation, should have like five Oscar nominations by now) and his substantial talent (GAHH SO HANDSOME), d) My similar, less animalistic and Id-fueled feelings for Carey Mulligan, e) and the fact that this film tackles both sexuality and urbanity, two of my favorite topics, as if it’s writing a complicated anthropological dissertation.

And I guess f for fornicate) Shame is this year’s big cinematic sex freak-out. Last year it was Blue Valentine, and though these two have pretty much nothing in common, I’d say the public outrage is the same. It isn’t really SEX that scares people. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake can have wacky zany dysfunctional sex all they want and no one will say boo on Halloween. In a sure sign of the approaching end of days, there’s yet another American Pie sequel heading to theaters, promising sex to audiences that’s safely goofy, male-centric, “fun”, and removed from any possible emotional context. The point being, sex in Hollywood cinema is governed by two rules: Sex cannot be erotic (because we Americans are a modest Christian people!), and Sex cannot be related to any emotion, unless it’s a heavily sanitized Disney idea of love. Because sex cannot be taken seriously.

The scene people took issue with in Blue Valentine (if my facts are correct) is, granted, very difficult to watch; sex goes through some rather ugly emotional transformations in that film. And Shame, by plot description alone, breaks the second rule: it’s a film about sex addiction. The film follows Brandon (Fassbender), someone of relative influence in an anonymous corporate behemoth, and his life in New York City. Brandon is a sex addict: his New York is drawn in the dreariest of dreary colors, a whirlwind of decadence, body parts, orifices, rain, gray ultra-modern apartments, and as the title dictates SHAME. Brandon’s real addiction seems to be to debasement: his world is basically run by masturbation and sex wherever he can find it. His life is inherently violent in a sense. His addiction makes him brutally tear down everything he possibly can, bringing it quivering to a dehumanized, shamed shadow of its former self. I was worried before watching the film that Shame would be in some way anti-sex, and terrified of all sex as deviations from some chaste idea of normality. My fears turned out to be irrelevant: Shame is a eulogy for sexuality, a cry of mourning at the terrifying mutations sex has taken in Brandon’s life.

Fassbender completely stuns with what is solidly the single greatest performance he’s yet given. His Brandon is an ice-cold piece of statuary, far beyond anything recognizable as “human,” and run completely by his own capacity for self-destruction and brutality. His frequent unsuccessful attempts to confront himself are devestating, as is his courtship of Marianne (Nicole Behaire). Marianne’s a beautiful, sexual, mature, adjusted woman, and Brandon’s own terror at the idea of corrupting her paralyzes him. And by the way, Behaire plays Marianne beautifully, in an understated, but wonderfully warm and erotic performance that I hope gives her some acclaim.

Truth be told the supposedly horrific sex never materializes on screen the way advance word claims it to. This is not to say the film is untruthful or holds something back with its depiction of sex addiction; McQueen, Fassbender and company truly stretch themselves for the sake of honesty. I would advise though that it’s merely the AMOUNT of sex in this film that has people rattled, because, yeah, as my previous plot description insinuates, sex is a constant in this film. But it’s relatively standard movie sex all the same: just to compare, John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, a wonderful experimental film attempting to find a marriage of legitimate pornography and artistic storytelling, is a few rungs above Shame in terms of carnality.

If Hunger, Steve McQueen’s previous difficult film about the British prison system during the Thatcher administration, and the treatment of IRA prisoners such as Bobby Sands (Fassbender), proved nothing else, it proved McQueen’s impeccable grasp of atmosphere. New York City, shot by McQueen’s seriously talented Hunger cinematographer Sean Bobbit, is ruled by desperation, and gives the impression its been hollowed out, eroded and left vacant by addiction. In a city that has been shot 96 million different ways over cinematic history, I can’t think of a time NYC has looked so tired, exhausted, lugubrious, and completely void of any vibrancy or life. It’s a city limping to its grave, but McQueen, not being one for sunshine lollipops and daisies, revels in this. The city has a profoundly elegant sorrow, and a severe beauty that is only exaggerated by the occasional break from the ghostly to the warmth of Sissy’s nightclub, or a restaurant. New York City becomes a heart-rending, but agonizingly lovely state of mind.

And speaking of Sissy, Carey Mulligan’s here too! And she shares a “career-best” performance with Fassbender, becoming so thoroughly and effectively unhinged in her role as Brandon’s elusive, nervy, and chaotic mess of a younger sister. Her reaching out to Brandon, and his refusal to engage, emphasizes the broken connections of Shame; a society that has quite basically stopped being able to understand itself. Mulligan gets what is perhaps the film’s most moving sequence, in which she sings a stunning, impossibly slow rendition of “New York, New York” at a nightclub. Sissy’s poignant singing, and Brandon’s quiet tears in the corner of the club, provide the most concise statement of the film’s themes: Who is this city, and this world, that has let these people fall so far into misery?

See Shame for its awe-inspiring, devestating power, and the way it attempts to rewrite the laws of filmmaking as they relate to sexuality. Shame is sexuality as honesty and as character, and is thoroughly revolutionary as a result.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:23 pm

artfullybedraggledfilmreviews:

Title: Shame
Year: 2011
Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: Abi Morgan and Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie, James Badge Dale, Hannah Ware, Elizabeth Masucci
MPAA Rating: NC-17, some explicit sexual content
Runtime: 101 min
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Metacritic: 72

With Shame, I’ve now watched five great films in a row. Five films that I’ve graded either an A-, A or A+. Five films that show why 2011 is really being a terrific year for movies, no matter what some people may say, and why this last part of the year is really awesome as far as how it delivers high-quality entertainment. In the two years that I’ve been reviewing films so far I’ve never watched five great films in a row. And, what’s more, Shame not only is the fifth great film I’ve seen in a row, it’s also the best film I have seen all year, out of the 212 releases from 2011 I have seen to date, this is the very best I’ve seen.

This film is unlike anything I have ever seen, a intensely powerful effort from Steve McQueen, the guy who with his film Hunger in 2008 introduced the world (or at least the few who saw it) to Michael Fassbender. Of course Mr. Fassbender has been around a lot this year, in Jane Eyre (which I gave an A to), A Dangerous Method (an A-) and X-Men: First Class (which I missed upon its release but plan on catching up with soon), and he’s bound to become a true superstar sooner rather than later, but it’s in Shame that the guy really shows why he’s probably one of my five favorite actors working today. This is a performance for the ages; an Oscar should be in order but the Academy won’t go there so I’ll make do with a nomination for him, anything less would be insulting. Not to mention that alongside him, propelling his performance to further greatness with a spectacular awards-worthy performance of her own, is Carey Mulligan, my biggest crush and one of the very best young actresses around. With a cast like this it’s no wonder Shame is the most perfect film of the year, a harrowing look at sex addiction.

I said that the Academy won’t dare to actually give Michael Fassbender the Best Actor Oscar he deserves for this film (someday, though, someday), and that’s because this is an NC-17 film. The kiss of death for most films, a rating that usually means most theaters won’t show this film, that people will look at it with some kind of taboo, thinking something must be wrong for that rating to have been awarded. Thankfully, Fox Searchlight, at the insistence of Mr. McQueen, did nothing to alter their film in order to get an R rating, instead wearing the NC-17 as a badge of honor. That people are saying Shame is a bad film because of how graphic it is in its portrayal of the hell Brandon, the protagonist Mr. Fassbender plays, is going through as he can’t seem to have any sort of grasp whatsoever on his sexuality, is truly something I can’t really understand.

People are dismissing this film, some critics aren’t getting it, the New Yorker critics gave it bad reviews, and I’m sorry to say so but that’s just dumb. I usually don’t care what people say about films, I respect every opinion and there are more than a few critics I read regularly, perhaps with even more interest when my opinion differs from theirs, not to mention that there’s a reason why they’re the ones that are hired to write reviews for a living while I do so just for kicks. But with Shame I actually get a bit defensive, I don’t get why people are dismissing this film, saying that we they don’t really understand Brandon’s plight, saying that the good stuff isn’t shown, and arguing that by that good stuff they mean the internal machinations of Brandon, even though I’m afraid they actually mean there’s no real money shot of good sex on the film. I don’t know why a few critics are having negative reactions toShame, maybe they haven’t experienced emotions like the ones Brandon experiences and connect to them, and I don’t mean sexually, I mean feeling the shame, that horrible feeling inside in which you feel like you can’t hide from yourself. That’s the real shame.

I know I haven’t said much about the actual film so far, but that’s because I think it’s just as good for me to voice my disbelief about those who can’t get it. People argue that they can’t get why Brandon is the way he is; after all, he’s handsome, has a way with women, is successful and wealthy. And yes, that’s true, but Shame isn’t so much about who Brandon is as it’s about both the guy who he can’t be and the guy who he was and who he has such an incredibly trouble leaving behind. It’s about what happened in his past, the memories that haunt him and that have, through a sexual encounter in his life, left him feeling ashamed of himself, and with a thirst for sex that can never get quenched, a need to be loved. Not the kind of thirst for sex that will give us hot scenes, but scenes that aren’t as pretty to watch, no matter how many gorgeous people are on screen. You have a man and his sister, the character Ms. Mulligan plays, who can only express themselves through sex to try and hide the emptiness of how they can’t connect to anyone, not even to themselves. I think the fact that some people are dismissing Shame as empty and shallow says a lot about them, and I’m damn glad I’m not part of that group.

Anyways, this has been me for the length of a usual review just stating that I don’t understand the negative ones this film has gotten. But that’s just because of how much I love Shame and the need I feel to defend it. Even though that’s something I shouldn’t do, because once you watch Shame you’ll see it says it all by itself and needs no one defending it. This is a beautiful film, a brilliant analysis of the human experience, of the power an addiction can hold over oneself. A film that’s unflinching in its portrayal of sex, and that never once compromises a single frame of its one hundred minutes. Brandon relies on pornography, prostitutes and masturbation in order to achieve this sort of fake intimacy to replace the real one he can’t seem to be able to achieve. You see this man desperately seeking to shed off the emotional damage he was no doubt subjected to in his past, which in turns sees him behaving like any addict would, living for the high risk of his new behavior.

The stuff Michael Fassbender brings to the role is a thing of wonder, a man with many inner demons trying to hide them under his external quest for pure satisfaction. How an actor can be so great at showing a man just spiraling downwards with his addiction is amazing, as you compare the behavior Brandon exhibits with the many women he has no trouble picking up because of his charm and good looks with just how impossible it would be for him to have sex with someone he actually cared about. Like I said, another factor that makes Mr. Fassbender’s performance even greater is the one Carey Mulligan gives, her desperately needy sister, with a really darkly complex connection to her brother which the film hints at but never explains. She’s a damaged soul, and Ms. Mulligan is perfect in showing her emotions at such a raw level, a woman who also wants some sort of false intimacy, not because of a sexual addiction of her own, but because of her need to feel rescued. She’s an impeccable actress, ever since she I saw her on the Blink episode of Doctor Who (my favorite of that show) I was in love with her, and of course it’s with her starmaking role in An Education (my third favorite film of 2009) that she really broke through and has been delivering fully realized performances ever since; she’s another one who’s bound to win an Oscar someday soon.

Shame ultimately is about that hole addictions usually leave you in, empty holes without real satisfaction. And the film doesn’t so much judge Brandon’s addiction as it tries to sympathize with it. And the result is endlessly compelling, a piece of film that’s so incredible, with two performances that are nothing short of perfect and a direction by a guy with a truly spectacular vision who I can’t wait to see more of; his next film, Twelve Years a Slave, due out in 2013, is to be about slavery in the mid-1800′s with Mr. Fassbender reuniting with him again, joined by Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This McQueen-Fassbender combination may be my favorite modern director-star combo alongside Scorsese-DiCaprio or Refn-Gosling; the actor trusting the director implicitly, delivering a truly courageous performance.

The film won’t be for everyone, that’s true, there are scenes that aren’t all that pleasing to withstand; but the people that like it will really love it. Just please, if you don’t like it, let it be for real reasons and not the dumb ones I’ve spent some time discussing above, this is a film that really deserves to be seen, one that never once compromises and goes for crowd-pleasing moments, and one that contains some of the best minutes of cinema I’ve seen in recent memory, stuff that’s just impeccably done. This is a masterpiece, make no mistake about it, the best amongst the very best in a really great year for film.

Grade: A+
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:26 pm

madnessandsmiles:
I saw Shame today

Okay, so I walked into the theatre knowing I would be uncomfortable. I mean, you’re meant to be uncomfortable. These are not sensuous sex scenes, they’re not like supposed to arouse you. Then there’s the double factor of me actually naturally being rather uncomfortable watching sex in movies.

That being said, I was deeply uncomfortable. But in the way I was supposed to be, which I guess is good. Still, this movie will make you cringe and turn away, and not just from the sex scenes. You cringe at who Brandon is, and everything his life as become.

It was a good movie. Like, a really good movie. Fassbender of course delivered an amazing performance (I don’t know yet if he deserves to win, but he should certainly be nominated for best actor), and so did Mulligan. It was the sort of movie that made you ache with how sad it was, made you happy that it wasn’t you, and most of all it made you think, which I really appreciated. I felt like there weren’t many wrong or right answers, as evidenced that my friends and I all had very different interpretations of certain scenes. Despite my discomfort, I really enjoyed watching it. I’m not sure I’m rearing to go see it again, but if a friend really wanted to I wouldn’t mind, and I would recommend it.

There were things I didn’t like. The end felt sort of abrupt, and there would be these real time scenes every now and then that were just sort of boring. I’m not saying that they were pointless, but I could have had like 45 seconds less of Carey Mulligan looking away from the camera in a close up while singing New York, New York.

Still. All in all, if you like Fassbender and find the premise of the movie interesting, I’d go see it.

And then we can discuss it!

[Edit] I realize I wrote “these are sensuous sex scenes” the first time, which is definitely not what I wanted to say
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:27 pm

http://www.yam-mag.com/reviews/film-reviews/shame/

Shame//

posted Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
by Juan Barquin | Comments (9)

Release date: December 2, 2011
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Written by: Abi Morgan & Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie

Shame is a film about sex. Yes, sex. There’s plenty of it and there’s really no shame in saying it aloud. Steve McQueen does not take the topic lightly however — choosing to show the raw realism that comes with sexual addiction, rather than a gratuitous fuckfest that one might see in a Hollywood feature or an average porn flick.

Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender) is a sex addict. He goes through the daily motions that most do, but also includes a collection of personal recreational activities. Amongst these are mentally undressing women on the subway, surfing porn sites during work hours, masturbating in the office bathroom, and an abundance of public sexual encounters. He lives alone in his apartment, never keeping company longer than one night, in an attempt to keep his personal life entirely to himself. It isn’t until his younger sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) unexpectedly drops by that his world is disrupted, leaving him to question himself and the shameful lifestyle he leads.

If you’re already turned off by what you’re reading, Shame may not be a film that you’ll want to see. It’s well-deserving of its NC-17 rating and holds its title proudly, featuring plenty of sex scenes and both male and female full-frontal nudity. While this might sound like borderline pornography, I can assure you it’s not. The film’s sexual content isn’t particularly erotic, and will likely leave people feeling uncomfortable rather than aroused.

Much like in his previous film Hunger, McQueen doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life. He places the audience in a purely voyeuristic position, using an immense amount of long shots to enhance the somber mood of the film. Even the use of full-frontal nudity does not go to waste, as it shows us Brandon at his most vulnerable — both physically and emotionally. With each scene, we struggle to find some comfort in this world of awkward encounters and sexual abundance, much like Brandon himself does.

Shame doesn’t bring any easy answers to the table and there is plenty that goes without saying. A minimal use of dialogue allows the actors to use their expressions to convey this struggle and shows that actions can, in fact, say much more than words. Certain audience members may be turned off by the minimalistic nature, which also includes the film’s ambiguous standing and slow pacing. However enigmatic the film, it offers a stimulating reflection for those willing to embrace an unconventional experience.

This year has been remarkable for Michael Fassbender, but his role as Brandon is what truly showcases his superb talent. He plays the sort of man you’d want to introduce, not to your parents, but to your bed (and maybe your floor or shower as well). Throughout the film, there are the slightest changes in his expressions that show us the downward spiral that his character is taking. Something as simple as the look in his eyes — whether it’s staring at a woman with lust from across the room or watching his sister perform on stage for the first time — allows us to enter Brandon’s world, if only just for one minute. Fassbender’s pitch-perfect acting guides the film and his dedication to this character proves to be one of the finest performances of the year.

Carey Mulligan also brings a stellar presentation of her talent to Shame. Taking a break from her usual characters, she dives into her role as Sissy, embodying this mess of a woman perfectly. Sissy’s character almost feels unusual next to Brandon, as her feelings are always showcased — be it sorrow or joy. Much like Fassbender, so much can be said with simple expressions from Mulligan. One of the most notable scenes, in which she sings a haunting rendition of “New York, New York”, is absolutely mesmerizing, as McQueen keeps the camera focused on her face for most of the song.

Steve McQueen’s Shame is a powerhouse of a film. While some may not be entranced by this masterful character study, many will find themselves thinking about this devastatingly beautiful piece of cinema long after the credits roll.

Rating: ★★★★★
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:28 pm

whhw:
dear Steve McQueen,

i would like to thank you for the first 20 minutes of Shame. and unthank you for last 20 minutes. i’m going to go talk to some food about this and maybe snuggle some kittens until forever.

image

but honestly, folks, Shame truly is provocative, heart breaking, painful, cringe worthy, and simply beautiful.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:29 pm

itsabigadventure:

So I saw the movie Shame this past weekend starring Michael Fassbender and Carrie Mulligan. His p**** is nice….real nice.

But anyway back to the movie. Fassbender plays Brandon, a 30 year old who has in a way a sex addiction. The sex scenes were intense and my friend Rose and her brother were there and they wanted to sit apart from each other because it was really really…awkward..

I don’t want to keep talking about it because I don’t want to give much of it away but i suggest that you all watch it. It is NC-17 so the ones who are old enough please watch it.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 pm

objective49:

Notes On Film: Shame


Following his highly acclaimed debut feature Hunger (2008), Turner Prize winner Steve McQueen returns with Michael Fassbender in a provocative tale of sex addiction in contemporary New York. It makes for graphic but compelling viewing.

Enslaved to a habit of promiscuity and masturbation, Brandon (Fassbender), lives a solitary life apart from his sordid relationship with prostitutes and the occasional social drink with his chauvinist boss (James Badge Dale). Sedate from his corporate lifestyle, Brandon is a synthesis of a humourless Patrick Bateman and a modern Travis Bickle parading the subways, streets and clubs of New York stone-faced in search of his next conquest. He feels no remorse in his degeneration until he is forced to hide his secret when his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) arrives unexpectedly in his apartment and the severity of his obsession escalates.

This is sombre cinema about the need to feel true emotion. Despite his serial lechery, Brandon is unable to understand people on a humane level. His addiction replaces an emptiness but in only achieving a physical relief he alienates the people around him as his need for fulfilment becomes more and more explicit. He becomes reliant on pornography and transgressive sexual acts. He is tormented by his sister who is introduced on screen naked in the shower, and becomes jealous of her own sexual deviancy as she accepts the seedy advances of his adulterer of a boss. When he is tasked with genuine intimacy, with a corporate colleague, he is unable to perform. His descent into the obscene is climactic before a shocking denouement when he is unshackled from his void but the true emotion he feels is one of disgrace.

Shame is powerful film-making with weighty performances from Fassbender and Mulligan that confirms their eminence. McQueen approaches the subject with a sobering honesty, weaving a documentary style among steely frames. At times menacing but perpetually contemplative it will leave you pondering Sissy’s thought that, ‘we’re not bad people, we just come from a bad place.’

Shame (dir. Steve McQueen. 2011) - UK release date: 13 January 2012
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 pm

waytoomuchtimeonmyhands:
So I saw SHAME yesterday

After seeing Hunger two years ago, I was already familiar with Steve McQueen’s style and I have a bit of a tolerance for non-formulaic films. I liked this one better than Hunger though, it was more complex and its story line was easier to follow.

The acting was, of course, amazing. Not only by Michael Fassbender who is basically amazing in every movie, but also Carey Mulligan delivered a great performance as well.

The plot is interesting, it deals with a theme that hasn’t been dealt with in movies and it makes you feel sorry for the main character to have this sort of addiction that affects his life and his relationship with others.

I might as well admit that my already intense crush on Fassbender has just tripled after watching this film. For the acting and because, well… he’s the “full package” (if you’ve seen if you know what I mean) of good actor, good looking, and… and…
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 pm

urbanimperfectionist:
Film Review: Shame

image
This weekend I headed over the the theater to see the much-anticipated Shame, the new film from Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender about a man who has trouble dealing with his sexual urges and whose sister unexpectedly drops by for a visit. As you would think, the film is blatantly sexual and erotic. But what made me uncomfortable the most was not the sexual nature of the film, but the raw emotions that were conveyed in every aspect of the main character’s life. Set in Manhattan, this is a portrait of a man who is surrounded the swells of the city but yet is very much alone. He represents a great dichotomy of extremes - a man who is on one hand sexually obsessed and on the other totally ashamed of this obsession. Much of the credit should be given to the great cast and the director who set the tone and conveyed emotions through long shots, glances, pauses, measured words and body language. This film is the stuff of 200-paged theses as it has a revolving amount of themes from the relation of men to women, the fear of intimacy, and the complexities of sexuality, as well as a slight infusion of race relations. My Grade: A
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:31 pm

http://www.phoenixhouse.org/blog/our-perspectives/shame-are-filmmakers-addicted-to-addiction/

Shame: Are Filmmakers Addicted to Addiction?
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
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Near the beginning of the film Shame, the sex-addicted lead character Brandon is unable to focus in a company meeting; he’s clearly more interested in his attractive female co-worker than his boss’s presentation. But his boss’s words ring true: the selling point for consumers, he says, is the point at which “cynicism turns into awe.”

This statement is relevant not only for this fictitious company (presumably an ad agency, though we never find out for sure) but also for the entire film—and, unfortunately, most other films about addiction. All too often, as viewers of these films, we arrive cynical (“Here we go, another addiction movie”) but transition into a state of voyeurism. Seeing people at their very worst may cause us to wince or shield our eyes at times—but at other moments, we’re glued to the screen, mesmerized by the lascivious details. Films about addiction cater to this “awe” factor. This is especially true of Steve McQueen’s Shame; the film’s constant graphic sex scenes seem to exist solely for their shock value, rather than to probe deeper into the protagonist’s psyche. (We get the picture after one of these explicit scenes…no need to give us twelve.)

Don’t get us wrong, Shame does a fine job of capturing the pain, hopelessness, and all-consuming nature of addiction. Brandon appears to spend every waking hour either having sex or thinking about it, and he watches so much porn at the office that the company briefly confiscates his computer. He spends his nights between prostitutes, hookups, and online escapades. Ironically, the only time he’s unable to have sex is when he feels an emotional connection. Sex, for him, is about disconnecting and numbing his feelings—just like a drug.

One of the film’s failures is that it doesn’t explore why Brandon is compelled to numb his feelings in the first place. We gather that something must have happened in his childhood, particularly because his sister Sissy is equally disturbed (at one point she tells him, “We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place.”) But that’s all we get: a few hints and no real examination. Consequently, Brandon himself seems as hollow as the sex he engages in. As New York Magazine’s David Edelstein puts it, his character is like a “specimen in a jar.”

In reality, addiction doesn’t happen “in a jar.” A person’s risk is influenced by myriad factors including genetics, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, quality of life, and age. By failing to delve into the factors that led to Brandon’s predicament, Shame perpetuates the myth that addiction is merely a lifestyle choice—rather than a chronic, disabling condition.

In addition to an insufficient exploration of addiction’s causes, Shame feeds into the stereotype of “once an addict, always an addict.” In what strikes us as a clichéd representation of Brandon’s “rock bottom,” he gets beat up, hooks up at a gay bar, and has a threesome—all on the same night. In the final scene, he crouches on the street in heavy rain, sobbing while dramatic instrumental music plays in the background. That the film avoids a fairytale ending is commendable; addiction rarely has an easy resolution. On the other hand, Shame, like so many films about substance abuse, leaves viewers with the impression that addiction is a black hole from which there is no escape.

We know this is not really the case. There may not be a quick fix or a simple cure, but recovery is possible when people receive proper treatment and commit to managing their condition on an ongoing basis after treatment. After watching Shame, we had to wonder, what would happen if more filmmakers shed light on the recovery experience—rather than simply spotlighting the low points of addiction? How would viewers’ attitudes change if they saw a character like Brandon find the help he needed and get his life back on track? Filmmakers should do their part to reverse the cynicism of moviegoers—and the public at large—about the predictable addiction tragedy Shame represents. Maybe then, the “awe” factor would be less about shock, and more about hope.

Kate Schmier and Emma Edelman
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:35 pm

perigee-syzygy:

In the new film “Shame,” an examination of the extremes of human sexuality, Brandon Sullivan, a successful, handsome New York executive afraid of intimacy, has frequent, random sex with prostitutes and strangers.

The movie harshly depicts casual sex as an emotionally disconnected, meaningless defilement, as reflected in the the title. Brandon Sullivan is never permitted sexual enjoyment. Instead, his getting off is presented as alienating and self-destructive.

But “Shame” draws an inaccurate comparison between casual sex—an experience typically outside the context of a romantic relationship—and reckless sex. Under the right circumstances, casual sex can be deeply meaningful and more intimate than the sex in a long-term relationship. Those of us who have casual sex know that its not devoid of emotion, nor does it lead to the unhappiness Brandon suffers.

The truth is, long-term relationships or marriage do not guarantee a satisfying emotional life or sexual intimacy.

Upon turning sixty-five, I recognize that casual sex has often been as intimate for me as were the two long-term relationships I have had. Unencumbered by a complex commitment, the freedom found in casual sex allowed me to move beyond self-consciousness and achieve a level of honesty and authenticity for myself, and my partner, in a way previously unknown to me. With each new experience, the process of discovering and sharing specific sexual interests required verbal and non-verbal communication that was intensely focused and rapidly telegraphed. And self-disclosure and vulnerability were as necessary a part of these exchanges as they were in a committed relationship.

In fact, my experience ran contrary to the myth that intimacy needs to be sustained to be meaningful. Even so, I have learned that not all casual sex is meaningful, even though you may get a physical “spike” from its novelty, but it is no more empty than the rote sex that typically happens in marriages.

Some casual encounters presented the unexpected, both splendid and repellent. Some led to love affairs, others to friendships. Together, these experiences offered insights into the deepest levels of my psyche that have been as rich and transforming as any epiphany I had during my long-term relationships. Over time, I refined my own sense of morality based on respect, trust, honesty and generosity. Finally, I stand in awe of the extraordinarily creative ways that we, as human beings, express who we are through sex. (via In Defense of Casual Sex | Psychology Today)
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:49 pm

afarah:
Shame (McQueen, 2011)

This was the most compelling film I’ve seen all year. A sex addict, a damaged sister, and the relationship between them. Definitely the most ‘out there’ film I’ve seen in a while, but very effective. Extensive nudity. At times, it might’ve been a little too much (montage), but overall, evocative. The blue and grey shades of the city, the warm-tones of the bedrooms and bars and restaurants, the pale and natural interior of the hotel room, the red contrast in the club.. so much to notice in each scene. The camerawork was original, and very intriguing. Most notable for me were the above-the-stall washroom shot, the shot that followed him out of the subway and up the stairs encircling him, and the tracking shot of the running through New York. Lots of pretty long shots too, durationwise. The restaurant scene was just one long shot. The film relied heavily on the performance of the actors. And Fassbender and Mulligan were absolutely incredible. I really hope he gets enough attention for this one, because he delivered the role flawlessly. His boss, his female coworker and even the girls at the bar were perfect accompanying characters. The dialogue between Brandon and Sissy was very well-written - concise and thought-provoking. The emotion that Fassbender and Mulligan brought to each line was commendable. The score too, was a dynamic mix between realistic, dramatic, and soft and suited the film in a very harmonious way. Very simple, but very neatly composed shots, and some very vivid imagery of his bed and sheets, his computer and kitchen, the subway, his sister in the bathroom… Just such a well-crafted film, I thought. And definitely not for everyone, obviously.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:50 pm

thebyronichero:
Shame Movie Review

My simple, but long awaited Shame movie review.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie so jarring and wonderful in my entire life. The subject matter is of course, extreme, but it is executed by Steve McQueen in such a classy, eloquent way. With top notch performances by Fassbender and Mulligan, Shame gets increasingly better as each scene passes on. I hope to see this film gain the recognition that it deserves, because not only can I say that it’s my second favorite movie of all time, but it is also going to be on my Top 10 of 2011 list.

10/10
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:51 pm

samanthalui:
Movie Review: Shame

In a place as free and glamourous as the streets of New York City depicts a life filled with nothing but sadness and trouble.

Directed by Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender is the sex-crazed Brandon Sullivan, a working bachelor living in a swanky apartment.

By day, it appears he’s living the dream. He seems to be good at his job, and he appears to be able to attract the ladies with his good looks and charm. This of course, is only a mask to hide what he’s really suffering from. He’s unable to stay in a relationship, yet suave enough to ask a female co-worker out to dinner. As the audience pines for him to make it work, it’s clear he still isn’t able to make a connection. Not able to find any fulfillment in his life, it’s the lonely nights in his bachelor pad where he feeds his sexual addiction with pornography, masturbation and prostitutes.

It’s only when Brandon’s little sister Sissy shows up uninvited to his apartment that his carefully crafted lifestyle is suddenly disrupted. Sissy, who’s played by Carey Mulligan, is a lounge singer who sings what seems to be the longest rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. On the outside she is a beautiful woman, wearing glitter and fine vintage clothing. Yet, she is a mess. Self-loathing and miserable, she yearns to have a connection with her brother.

Both are clearly left dysfunctional by a troubled childhood and not much from the past is known. As Sissy only tells her brother, “We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place.”

In a perfect world, one would hope the siblings could depend on each other to battle their own demons. But as the world sadly does not always end up that way, they’re unable to save each other.

In what seems to be a slow-moving drama leading to not much of a resolution by the end, it’s Fassbender and Mulligan who carry the film to its best. With Mulligan playing a smaller yet important role, her portrayal of a damaged, confrontational young woman feeds off of her quiet and avoidant brother who frequently ignores her calls.

However, it’s Fassbender (who has also worked with McQueen in 2008’s Hunger) who’s truly flawless in the film. As he stares blankly into the world, he accurately depicts a sex-addict yearning for a real connection in the seemingly anonymous atmosphere he lives in.

While Shame has garnered critical acclaim for Fassbender’s performance (most recently with a Golden Globe nomination), it’s not a film for everyone. With full-frontal nudity and vivid sex scenes, it’s easy to see why it can draw people away. But looking beyond the graphic images, Shame is a true depiction of some of the struggles people go through today as they long to make meaningful connections in the world.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:52 pm

purplueprose:
the19thhistory replied to your post: I saw Shame

So I’ve heard whispers about this, but I have no idea what it is. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me?

It is a new movie directed by Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, that has generated a lot of discussion about its controversial subject matter—sexual addiction—and praise for the outstanding performances by Fassbender and Mulligan. It has also gotten a lot of talk because of its NC-17 rating—and the fact that the rating hasn’t actually hurt the film as predicted, but might have in fact helped in its promotion.

Shame is a study of a sex addict, Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender), and what happens when his routine is upset by his sister, Sissy Sulllivan (Mulligan), a lounge singer who unexpectedly moves in since she needs a place to stay. It explores the way Brandon tries to fill the emptiness in himself (with shallow sexual encounters) and how Sissy starts to force him to feel. The whole time, he’s caught between seeking and fleeing some kind of meaningful relationship.

It’s heavy, intense, graphic, and quite an outstanding piece of work. Interestingly, though, I didn’t leave feeling really depressed, but actually felt rather contemplative and inspired—which I think is a pretty good place to be after a movie!
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:56 pm

breeonfire:
What I wrote about "Shame" for school.

This takes over like 2/3 of my assignment with this one question. haha

A movie that inspired you recently:

” Recently I saw the movie “Shame” directed by Steve McQueen. I was intrigued to see it for a few reasons: I’m absolutely obsessed with Michael Fassbender (I think he is one of the most talented working actors out there right now), I think Steve McQueen is a brilliant director (See his film “Hunger”) and the story line was very different and bold. But this film blew me out of the f#%@#&! water, it surpassed every expectation I had of it. First off, I’m a very visual/ conceptual person when it comes to films and plays. I love when things have cohesion and look very interesting and of that world. Steve McQueen is a painter so naturally he mastered that area of the film. It was so beautiful; he made New York so real on camera. Not some glitzy tourist trap. He filmed through the eyes of a real New Yorker. [Even though he is British and made a few mistakes.] In that same respect the music sets this amazing mood throughout the film.The script itself (witch I have and have read 3 times now) is astonishing. It really lets you see how much is left up to the actor’s interpretation, and the actors really did make it their own. One thing that blew my mind in this film was the relationship between the two main characters Brannon (Fassbender) and Sissy (Carey Mulligan). They have the most honest brother sister relationship on screen. They fight, yell, scream, bicker; but underneath it all you can literally feel the love they have for each other. Their inescapable bond that no matter how hard they try to push away from it they can’t. They will always have each other. In my acting I want to be able to have that strong and clear of a bond with everyone I’m on screen with. I want to be able to have that kind of specificity in my work. There is scene between Brandon and Marianne (Nicole Beharie; an amazing newcomer who should really be looked out for) where they are out to dinner on a date. The movement and distribution of body energy Beharie has is so specific and natural that you feel as if you are just sitting at the table with them. At no point does it feel fake or forced. I was to have that kind of comfort and ease in my work. I want it to appear effortless. Shame is an incredible film for an actor to see, and should see. It helps inform your craft and re-inspire your love for your art. “
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:02 pm

rogueish:
In the words of Foucault, sex is boring

Steve McQueen’s Shame is a porn film with slightly less explicit sex. I mean that structurally: all the woman in the film (with one partial exception) are, as in porn fantasy, immediately compliant and sexually available, and the sex scenes all have the stylized, athletic look of porn. It’s possible that this is intentional, and the film is representing the world as it appears to its sex-addict protagonist, Brandon. But the pornographic superficiality extends beyond the sex scenes themselves; the presentation of Brandon’s boss’s incompetent attempts to chat-up women are as broad as a Saturday Night Live sketch, and the romantic chatter on Brandon’s attempted date is equally trite. So if the superficiality of the film is intentional, it’s difficult to see what it represents except that the world itself is superficial; and that is, itself, a rather superficial message. The film seems to be structured around a division between the anonymous sex that Brandon has, and the genuine human connection he wants but is incapable of, both sides of which are presented simplistically - and the division is what enables this oversimplification.

Sex is boring because it is a cypher: the word “sex” doesn’t signify anything determinate. This or that particular sexual encounter may be boring or interesting depending on its specific determinations; but it’s just those determinations that are missing from Shame.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:06 pm

filminick:
Shame (2011)

image

Shame / Director: Steve McQueen

Sex-agony. I’ve never shuddered so much at the sight of a three-way. McQueen plunges the depths of sexual addiction, hardly sensationalizing anything here—the shots are unrepentant, showing bare the life of Fassbender’s Brandon, and giving us an exhausting study into the terror of real-life relationships. But though the movie lurks forward slowly, there is a definite cadence to it: be it the orderly tempo of classical piano, human breathing, or of course the slapping rhythm of lovemaking, this flick has got a pulse. And it’s a disturbing one. “Requiem for a Dream,” the pop-culture champ of addiction movies, pales in comparison to “Shame.” Sex is something much more instinctive to humans than drugs, it’s something so natural, so innate—Brandon, at one point, calls himself a Neanderthal, as if this affliction is fundamental, that it’s in all of us. McQueen capitalizes on this, simply broadcasting the repugnance of our ways.

I never want to see anything naked again.

Filminick: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:09 pm

crypticelluloid:
SHAME

image

THE STORY: 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. (via IMDb)

THE WORD: When you watch a film, you can mostly always tell how good it is by how long you remember it. How long the film lingers in your mind; the images on repeat, the score echoing through your mind. Shame is a film I am sure I will never forget. McQueen, Fassbender, Mulligan, Escott, Morgan - and the rest of the players - have all created one of the most poignant, emotionally devastating, satisfying films I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Honestly, I could sit here and type adjective after adjective praising the film in the highest regard. From the very beginning, you are able to witness the emptiness and loneliness emitted by Fassbender’s Brandon. A young man who has the “best of both words.” He has a successful job, a nice apartment and is often getting laid. However, the balance between the two is constantly rocked by his deep rooted sexual addiction. An addiction that Fassbender conveys through his carnivorous stares and subtle hand movements. I can honestly say, that I’ve never witnessed such an emotionally draining film. Fassbender’s character is tortured, searching for something to fill whatever it is he lost so long ago. Through McQueen’s uncompromising vision, Escott’s simplistic yet carrying score and Mulligan’s supporting portrayal of his equally messed up sister, Shame is a film that excels perfection and truly does reach out to the viewer. A film that will leave you absolutely floored, through its shocking relating nature and its portrayal of sex; in the end you’ll a sort of catharsis. A cleansing almost, because it’s hard to understand the demons that live inside, and it’s harder to find sympathy for them. Yet McQueen is able to give light into a subject most will refuse to talk about, and Fassbender is the man who leads you to the very bottom. As Mulligan’s Sissy said, “We aren’t bad people.” Undoubtedly the best film of 2011, and quite possibly of all time.

THE VERDICT: 100/100

INFO: Steve McQueen | UK | 2011 | 2.35:1 | 101min
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:10 pm

kellenmeloni:

I just got in after seeing Shame tonight and I have to say Michael was brilliant in it as always. Without giving spoilers away I can honestly say that the film was really great in a lot of ways. Michael was riveting in his performance so much so that I could truly feel the pain his character was in throughout the film. It was such a poignant portrayal on addiction. Having read the script, I was a bit disappointed that a few of the scenes weren’t in the final cut of the film as I felt they enhanced Brandon’s addiction, but all in all I thought it was a great film. Michael’s acting was top notch as always and I’m glad he’s getting the much deserved notice for it.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:10 pm

carlodj:

I feel like all adult men should be required to see this film. We may not all be extreme cases like Brandon Sullivan, but I think there’s something in there about both sexuality and addiction that anybody can relate to.

Technically, the film is also refreshingly precise. Director Steve McQueen doesn’t rely on standard film-ology (close up + wide shot + medium shot - then edit between them) but has a lot of long takes with the camera locked down. It’s refreshing because the actors end up controlling the rhythm and timing of a lot of the important scenes, which makes everything feel more truthful. Not a lot of directors are secure enough to trust their cast that way.

I have to read the script to know for sure, but i feel like there’s maybe only one or two scenes where the characters actually say what they’re thinking. Most of the emotions and intentions are interpreted through their actions and the subtext. With that being said, Michael Fassbender is amazing in how he expresses so much while being relatively quiet throughout the film. And Carey Mulligan is equally good. I think she really thrives opposite excellent actors in longer scenes (see Drive).

There was a thirty-something man sitting by himself behind me in the theater. When the ending credits rolled, I could hear him crying. He was really sobbing and seemed so deeply emotional. And it wasn’t like the film had tricked him into an emotional blackmail type of ending, demanding tears. It must have just struck a chord with him, the way good art can just break through your defenses and penetrate your soul.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:12 pm

http://alwaysbeenwithyou.tumblr.com/post/14340280180/shame

SHAME.

So just be farwarned but the first part DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS but the part UNDER THE CUT DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS.

I always wondered why everyone’s after-viewing reviews of shame where so vague and lacking in adjectives. Now that I’ve seen it, I know why. The first thing I said out loud after the credits rolled was “There are no words to explain that movie..”. Keeping that in mind, I’ll try my best. First and foremost it was absolutely breathtaking. It was unflinchingly and courageously real. Steve McQueen made a heroic and ultimately successful attempt at as he says “holding a mirror up” to the audience. The level of unease McQueen puts you in is so extreme and yet so stealth in it’s hold of you, you don’t realize your in it until after the film ends. Your shoulders relax and your jaw unclenches for the first time in 2 hours. During the film, you feel like you’re intruding into this man’s own personal hell. Through out the second half of the movie I constantly kept picturing Brandon trying to claw his way up and out of a well. I don’t know why but that’s how I saw his struggle in my head..

I could probably write several pages just on Michael’s performance but I would summerize it in just one sentance. Thus far in my life, it’s the best performance I’ve ever seen. You might say I’m being biased and you might be a tad right but he made me feel things I’ve never felt from a film before and never expected to feel. I wanted to reach through the screen and somehow personally help him and drag him out of this repetitive, almost self-harm type of addiction. Now I will agree on one thing with all those who have seen it so far, it takes time to seep in to you. I feel like I got whipped around the head with a bat or something. I didn’t walk out of the theater sad or happy but changed. As melodramatic as that sounds…that’s what good cinema is supposed to do to you.

Now for bullet points on specific parts of the film because to be honest like I said above….my brain is so overwhelmed by what I just saw it’s beginning to feel like Jello and I’m having a hard time forming co-herent sectences let alone be able to this astonishing film justice..

Okay, let’s get to what everyone wants to know about. Le fassdong. To be blunt and honest, yes it is huge. Yes, it is f#%@#&! glorious. BUT, it actually is one of the least remarkable things in the movie. You see it and then it’s like no big deal…..we’ve got bigger problems going on here.
The sex scenes: I know people and a lot of fangirls (including myself) were stoked and looking forward to seeing these erotic sex scenes with fassy in them. Here is the cold hard truth though, NONE of the sex scenes are remotely erotic or sexy. Remember this is an addiction not a good thing. Every time Brandon has sex on screen you almost feel like your watching some sort of self-harm or something horrible. It’s not sexy, and he knows it. It’s frantic and panicky, just like a junky until they’ve got their next fix. The 3 way was by far the most intrusive uncomfortable scene in the movie. And holy s$#!, his face as he is having sex. The crying “omg I know this is horrible for me, I f#%@#&! hate myself” face was SO hard for me to handle to be honest.
Carey Mulligan: She was amazing. Not the star of the show by far but I felt like she held up her side of the story. She got the “little girl lost” thing down to a tee. I think a lot of girls when they watch it will see a bit of themselves in her. Maybe not her cutting or her sleeping around but I think we’ve all felt lost at some point grasping at straws or in her case people just to be able to handle things. When your life is f&%$#& up and you need to clasp on to anything that MIGHT even show a bit of affection. Also, fighting scene on the couch after she walks in on Brandon masturbating….nuf’ said.
Michael’s performance: I just want to go on about how f#%@#&! breathtaking he was in this but I won’t. I’m just going to cite specific scenes that were amazing. First and formost the scene that made me think “I am watching a god damn living legend” was the one at the end after he visits Carey in the hospital. Where he collapses in the rain feeling the full weight of his life and the repercussions of his actions. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MAN CRY LIKE THAT BEFORE. HEART. BREAKING. I’ll never get over that damn scene. Okay and you know I had to pick a sexiest looking scene right? Well right before it kind of goes down with Marianne…as they are standing against the window and just kind of kissing before he throws her on the bed……sexiest he has ever, ever, ever, ever looked. Also, the scene where Sissy is having sex with his boss in the apartment. I didn’t realize it at the time but I have never EVER felt so utterly claustrophobic than I did right then. Like I needed to get the f&#! out of there and not because it was uncomfortable but because you felt Brandons panic.
Lastly, It was so refreshing to see sex portrayed in such a modern non-romanticized way. We are so used to seeing sex as either this thing void of emotion and just based on looks or we are shown it as being this transformative emotional experience. There is a gray area. Shame breaks the mold when it comes to how we as an audience can perceive it. Every time he had sex, I cringed. Again, it was shown as something that can do as much harm to someone as it can do good. It can numb and hide us or our problems. People can use it almost like medication to numb their problems and so much so that they can’t even enjoy the actual experience of making love…like it’s nothing but a game or tick off of a checklist or dare I say it, a fix. Anyways, it was also refreshing to see women’s bodies not being sexualized and objectified. Oddly enough, having p****’s shown on screen honestly made me feel equal and it was strangely liberating not being the only gender showing everything.

Again, this is just my rambling and it’s late. So I’m sure I’ll have much more to post about it in the next couple of days because as everyone else says…..this one takes some time to sink in.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:14 pm

mjysg:
A Few Things, Good and Bad, About Shame

1. Michael Fassbender: The obvious attraction here. He’s classically, immediately, masculinely nice to look at. His is one of the few faces on screen today that’s capable of fully expressing an entire decades-long backstory with a set of vulnerable glances. None of its lines and creases are ever hidden. You can’t help but notice them, yet Fassbender’s young enough that they don’t dominate his character. When they are called on to report to work, the emotional weight they bear seems authentic, inevitable, as though it had simply shifted from one feature to another. Where it had been might have been better equipped to carry it, allowing for that momentary air of composure and confidence that seduces those searching for the opportunity under dim lights. Eventually the strain shows through, but it never breaks and becomes ridiculous, as it does for other actors in similar circumstances — like DiCaprio, Bale, and Mortenson.

2. McQueen’s Style and Visual Vocabulary: Here as in “Hunger” we have attention to bodies as the location and the expression of a whole host of experiences. McQueen does a fantastic job in both movies of exploiting an audience’s relationship to the human form. Did you know a healthy Michael Fassbender’s ass is that slender, his flaccid p**** that thorough and uniformly tubular? I bet not, and I bet it strikes you in some interesting way when you see it.

3. Running: In “Hunger” running has a free characteristic to it. In a flashback, an echo from a story told earlier on, a young Bobby Sands runs along a stream in a last flush with freedom before his political and ethical awakening (as a young boy). Things are different in “Shame.” Running seems inverted from that earlier form. It’s a release of tension, an attempt to exhaust the body. A stress reliever. The scene would be unremarkable were it not for the sheer duration and repetition of the run through the streets of New York. This guy has nowhere to go. He’s the kid in “The 400 Blows,” except he’s not a kid. He’s lived that part, he’s escaped his “provincial” past (they moved from Ireland when they were kids). The picture above is like that last shot in “The 400 Blows,” with a notable exception. There is no vast emptiness stretching out behind Brandon. There’s just the city he ran away from. His dilemma is not a matter of determining where to wander off to next. His problem is that he has nowhere else to run. He has no choice but to turn back. He knows it. And he’s surrendered himself to the fact.

4. The story: Has very little going for it. It’s a character study of a sex addict, which places director McQueen once again in archetypal territory. Whereas his first effort had the weight of historical reference fighting for it (Hunger), the awkwardly named Brandon in “Shame” needs more flesh and less skin. Without a convincing portrayal we’re left in a world of cautionary parable. Sex addiction seems like one of the least accessible addictions for a general audience to grasp. The affliction, at least as it’s portrayed in “Shame,” is mostly if not entirely psychological, and psychological affliction needs rigorous exploration if it wishes to communicate its complications, especially when it’s shaded this subtly. I’m not arguing for backstory and motivation. Explanation is not the problem. The problem is simplicity. The story is over-simplistic for such a complex condition.

5. Carey Mulligan: Is a distraction. The most uncomfortable scene in the movie is a long take of her singing a very slow rendition of “New York, New York” while Brandon looks on (and tears up) with his hopelessly womanizing, married boss. Is it supposed to be? Absolutely. But probably not because Mulligan is so unfit for the performance.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:14 pm

grimsever:

This afternoon I saw Shame. First lets get the important thing out of the way … he looks very lovely naked.

I read the screenplay that has been floating around ye ole internetz and so I knew everything there was to know about the plot but there were things that were different. Or maybe those scenes just got cut, but all the important scenes are there. I’m not sure this should have been rated NC-17.

It is a very well made movie, excellent use of music … lots of lovely Bach. This was hard for me to watch and not because of the subject matter but because of my “absurd” joy of seeing Fassy. This isn’t a character or a story where they hit their stride and then crash and burn, everything is crummy for Brandon right from the start. There is a point where he gets to a breaking point and literally tries to f&#! the pain away.

There were moments of brevity and Sally Sparrow was great. Fassy has chemistry with everyone in every scene, it was great. There is one part where it’s like a surprise shark attack, I look forward to that gif.

If you like movies it is definitely worth seeing. It’s not a happy film by any means, but it is well made and there moments that are gorgeous. Fassy can emote so well and you can see wheels turning in his head and the thoughts and the torment with just a look. I do hope he gets a nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars. If he won it would be like shark week.
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