male box, Nocturnal Flicks

Shame


FassbenderI’m a bit of a night owl, so I’m often up late, working, enjoying the silence, or reading a book.  At times, like last night, I luck up on a good film.

For some reason, many stations wait until late at night to play independent (low budget) films – maybe because of the adult content or perceived lack of interest by the general public.  However, indie films are by no means lesser than the blockbusters we hear about ad nauseum, they just don’t get half as much publicity.

If you’re over the same run-of-the-mill movies Hollywood’s been feeding us,  check back regularly to see my recommendations.

Shame (2011) – ♥♥♥♥

Rating: NC-17 (well-deserved)

For the guys: Topless Alert – if you’ve got a thing for Nicole Beharie, or boobs in general, and you want to substantially increase  your emotional IQ, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.

This cinematic gem stars the beautiful, Nicole Beharie (Marianne), also of 42 (2013 film about baseball great, Jackie Robinson). The relatively small cast also included Michael Fassbender (Brandon), a loner who suffers from intimacy issues which lead to a sex addiction, James Badge Dale (David), who portrays Brandon’s obnoxious, opportunistic boss who also seems to have issues with intimacy and fidelity, and Carey Mulligan (Sissy), Brandon’s troubled sister and eventual roommate.

When Brandon attempts to date Marianne, his co-worker, they seem to hit it off famously, but when Marianne finally decides to give him some, he cannot perform. After Marianne leaves, Brandon beds a random whore while enjoying the cityscape from a beautiful hotel room overlooking New York, especially intended and selected for Marianne.  The intensity with which Marianne deals with Brandon is unlike what he experiences with other women, so he runs from her to those who don’t require much of him, and finds solace in engaging in random dalliances with those who seek the same.

Could this be true of many men in our society? Struggling to find their identity, searching for an outlet for their emotions that doesn’t result in pure anger and rage?  Brandon is often confused and unsure of what he feels, so he uses sex as a means of expression, and often appears to be in deep pain and agony while engaging.

While there are some similarities to the 2000 film, American Psycho, starring Christian Bale, Bale’s character never comes to terms with his emotional impotence as does Brandon in Shame.  The ending is quite telling of the transformation which takes place within Brandon when a tragic event forces him to come to terms with his painful past and the reasons why he has found it extremely difficult to feel.

Without giving too much of the story away, I thought Shame was phenomenal.  The direction was amazing (Steve McQueen), and the acting impeccable. Highly recommended.

Have you seen Shame? What are your thoughts/feelings about the film? How would you rate it?

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Shame

  1. Yet, Sarah and I gave gasface to McQueen framing Brandon having sex with another man and a three-way to signify Brandon “hitting rock bottom.” Why, we rhetorically asked, does homosexuality and consensual multiple partners — neither of which are really respected in US society — have to be the film’s shorthand for “sexual depravity”? McQueen could have shown Brandon’s nadir when the boyfriend assaulted him. To show Brandon engaged with the partners as a sign his utter debasement smells of homophobia and anti-polyamory.

    Posted by Warren Z. Coleman | June 26, 2013, 12:14 AM
    • I don’t believe the 3-way and homosexual activity indicated “rock bottom” for him. I believe it was an indication of his confusion regarding sexual intimacy and realization of a sexual addiction. He was out of control and couldn’t even have sex with someone that he actually liked, enjoyed and was attracted to (his love interest and coworker, Marianne). That was when I realized he had issues, not to mention his constant need to gratify himself with the aid of pornographic materials.

      I didn’t get any homophobic vibes from the film at all.

      Posted by 30thoughts | June 27, 2013, 12:26 AM

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