Thursday, May 17

DVD of the Week 17/05/2012 Shame


            Thursday 17th May 2012   

Warning: This review contains descriptions of sexual acts and is of an adult nature.


Shame follows Michael Fassbender best known for his role in X Men:First Class as Magneto but this role couldn't be further from X men.


Fassbender's character Brandon lives a very plain life and as a viewer you find nothing out about his character. His apartment is modern and clean,he has no photos on the wall, no dvd's lying about on his coffe table and no books on his book shelf. There is at no point any information you can take from his surroundings that inform us of his character. When Brandon is at work there are no signifiers of what he actually does as a job.The film spends a good few scenes in his office but there are no posters on the wall, no flip charts, No white board and no useful office banter that suggests his profession or his position in the company he works for.


The empty world that is around Brandon really juxtaposes the various sexual scenes where Brandon is very much exposed casually showing him fully nude early in the film and watching him perform various sexual acts ranging from simple intercourse , masturbation and even a threesome.These acts are usually quite sacred acts done in privacy and usually done with loving partners and wife's.

I believe director Steve McQueen is trying to make a statement about not just sex addiction but on the casual nature that the modern world approaches sex and how un personal and un romantic intercourse and the naked body has become.


However this film might contain many scenes of a sexual nature but it also contains as many scenes that are incredibly deep. Steve McQueen being the artist he is put a lot of camera moves very elaborate camera moves and lighting in some very basic scenes that work very effectively ranging from a great scene where Fassbenders character runs down many blocks of road in New York and the camera is alongside him and just follows him nicely with no Cars parked so we can see him clearly, there is also a scene starring Carey Mulligan singing New York New York that reminded me a lot of the famous scene from Cabaret that was rather emotional and i have to disagree with some other critics i dont think her performance of this song was terrible and i found the scene rather emotional (Excerpt of the song is in the trailer at bottom of page).


Steve McQueen is a very exiting director and i do have to admit when i first watched Hunger in cinema and the film ended and the credits started, his director credit rolled on screen i assumed it was the legendary Steve McQueen of The Great Escape and Bullit. I did some research and found out that my initial suspicions of him dying in the 80s was correct and this Steve just has an awesome name as well.

Now getting a bit side tracked with random info back to the review. I am not a fan of unnecessary sex scenes in movies, a good example is  Crank with Jason Statham which is just pure crazy but this film has one of the most bizarre sex scenes i have ever scene in any movie, It actually makes me cry at night... Why God Why!!!!

Shame's sex scenes and nudity as a whole are very well handled. Incredibly the characters are not portrayed in a sexualised way but instead the sex scenes are there purely to serve for character development.Possibly not the last threesome which is a bit longer than it needed to be.

Ultimately what makes this film is Fassbender's performance. In the entire film there was not one bad shot cinematically and acting wise. Acting wise there was not one scene where Fassbender would be able to relax as a character and the performance he gives is a very intense one. Brandon ultimately has nothing in his life apart from Work and Sex until his sister Sissy come in to the picture but Fassbender makes this troubled bachelor seem really likeable and makes him very human.

Something that i was unable to conclude on was the suggested backstory that is never explained.Brandon and his sister are both broken in there own ways and it seems that McQueen is pushing towards the suggestion of an incestuous relationship with Brandon and Sissy and if not that a very dark and troubled childhood. 

I do suggest this film, I would stress its not the sort of film you would watch in the company of your parents and grandparents but it is a very though provoking piece and strangely felt a lot like Chris Nolan's Inception in many places. I am not sure if this is just me that felt this but i do feel there are certain similarities.

As far as extra's go on the dvd they are very minimal with a very interviews and a trailer so over nothing special there that you couldn't find on youtube.


D Waterman

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