December 02, 2011

Shame- Museum of the Moving Image

Erica: Gee how odd, another movie at the Museum...this one was free so hard to pass up. It also makes you feel less dirty than purchasing a ticket for an NC-17 movie with the general public. This movie is such a good movie though, it is worth getting dirty looks while purchasing a ticket for this raunchy, intense NC-17 sex driven film.

Mike: Shame is a surprisingly entertaining movie. While Fassbender plays a total dick in the film (and shows it, too), the guy has an undeniable screen presence. I couldn't wait to see what he'd do next. Shame is about selfishness, manifested here in the main character's sex addiction and his inability to connect with anyone. When he finally does connect with someone, he literally falls flat. The movie has a lot of sex scenes but they aren't sexy at all - they're intense and show the main character's desperation. The film is rated NC-17 - something I totally agree with, even though it shows the ultimate hypocrisy of the MPAA rating system and how on-screen sex is weighed against violence. We live in a country where the F word is bleeped and boobs are blurred or cut, yet graphic scenes of people being shot in the head are okay. I'm surprised how graphically violent PG-13 movies are nowadays, yet saying the F word more than twice makes it an automatic R. All that said, NC-17 movies don't come along very often and I think in this case it's good publicity for the film.

Back to the movie - in a year that has had no shortage of excellent performances, Shame adds two more courtesy of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Both actors have been consistently strong in their steady streams of output. My only issue with Shame - minor that it is - is that it at times lacks subtlety. It's very obvious in which direction director Steve McQueen tries to aim your thoughts and conclusions. The film is not without surprises, though, and has some amazing scenes which alone are worth admission. Look for a scene of Fassbender jogging at night from his apartment towards Madison Square Garden - a truly unforgettable scene.

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