Archive | January, 2012

Review: Shame

28 Jan

Chances are you’ve already heard that Shame is basically about Michael Fassbender having a lot of sex. This is true. Mr Fassbender’s manhood should have probably received its own credit, as I’m sure the not-so-wee chap spent more time on screen than ‘Late Night Lover #1’ did. However, this isn’t a film that is just 90 minutes of penis. Film-maker Steve McQueen has managed to steer the film away from ‘gratuitous nearly-porn’ with his trademark lingering delicacy and focus on character.

There has been a tide of interviews and articles recently about the film’s explicit topic and the effect it had on Mr Fassbender. Filmed in just 25 days in New York, the production itself was exhausting, but Fassbender also spent weeks with recovering sex addicts developing his character and some articles even seem to claim that Fassbender became so obsessed with the role that he actually became Brandon Sullivan in his off-screen life. Regardless of whether that is true or not, the fact remains that Fassbender’s performance in this film is hauntingly spot-on. All at once he manages to make Brandon a character that you will despise, envy and pity and the fact he has been overlooked by the Academy is just ludicrous. His troubled relationship with his sister (played by the enchanting Carey Mulligan) is one of the films strongest points. The relationship between the two flits worryingly between abusive and protective. Sissy’s presence, and her own problems with sex, begin to highlight to Brandon the sort of man he has become. The brother-sister relationship also helps de-sexify the film, steering it away from making Brandon’s sex life seem exciting or in any way appealing.

While the film is an interesting look at the downside of humanity and manages to make New York seem like a harsh and lonely place, the film is quite hard work at times. McQueen’s lingering voyeuristic shots perhaps linger a bit too long in this film. No doubt the level of voyeurism achieved is something to be commended, as it makes the ordinary audience member begin to feel somewhat dirty themselves (especially when you can’t really look anywhere but at Fassbender’s manhood), but at times I felt my concentration waning.

This might be a film that improves on repeated viewing. There are so many layers to both Fassbender and Mulligan’s characters that I can truly believe it is easy to miss important points on your first viewing. There is a constant feeling when you first see this film that you are watching but not really looking, a feeling and point that I imagine McQueen is trying to demonstrate. Sex addiction is one of those areas that nobody really wants to talk about. We’re constantly bombarded with information and help for people with drug or alcohol addiction, but sex addiction? Oh good heavens no! It remains a taboo, despite the 21st century’s more progressive attitude to sex on the whole.

Fassbender may not win an Oscar for this one, but I’m pretty sure his tortured and quite frankly disturbing portrayal of a man obsessed with sex will finally make people understand the real danger of this particular addiction and will hopefully go some way to making help more readily available.

3/5

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Howdy blog world!!

27 Jan

After a successful semester of radio broadcasting, I thought it was time to branch out and create a blog for the show (The Reel Thing if you didn’t already realise..). Plus I just wanted to be able to say ‘yeah check out my blog bro!’ to random people that I meet…

So what can you expect from this totally awesome blog? Well once the show is back up and running the blog will serve as the over-flow for all the crazy stuff I have to cut from the show. I realised last semester that an hour is NEVER enough time to cover everything I want to say and play so hopefully you can all gain further depth and knowledge from my inane ramblings on this here blog to satisfy your Reel Thing lust. Mmm salty.

The blog will also feature my random thoughts on film related news and reviews of films that I feel should be shared with the world (’cause I’m just that generous).

Some things to check out: Click on the ‘Track of the Week’ near the top of the page for my weekly recommendation of a song from a movie. I make no guarantee you’ll like it, but give it a go and you might discover something wonderful… Also at the bottom of the page you’ll find my Hero of the Month, Big Screen Must See and a collection of videos I think you might enjoy.

And now a warning: generally this won’t be a serious thing. I don’t operate in the world of the serious. I like ridiculousness and my aim in life is to entertain. I’m not going to be your average film-ponce. I will regularly advocate watching some shiz because life needs its shiz as well as its Cannes/Oscar/generally academic worthy discussion blah blah blah. If you want further proof of how this blog is going to roll please read these few proclamations:

1. Sex-Bob-Omb is the best fictional band ever. Just for the name. Say it with me SEX-BOB-OMMMB!

2. Michael Cera’s run is the funniest thing in the world of film. Simple, yet brilliant.

3. Kristen Wiig stole her penis impression in Bridesmaids from ME. How rude.

4. John Hughes needs to come back from the dead to film my life. Seriously.

5. War films are BOSS. If you want further explanation of this then tune into the show. The War Redux show is coming soon.

6. The 80s was the best decade ever. Again, stay tuned for further information.

7. I love films that make you think ‘bleurgh’ after watching them and that’s all you can say about them because you’ve been totally mind-raped e.g. Inception, Donnie Darko.

8. Don’t diss Stevie Spielberg. You will get injured or seriously maimed.

So if all that hasn’t filled you with absolute dread, then keep an eye on the blog or the facebook page or the twitter or just ask me (I promise I don’t bite) for details about when the show will be back on the air. It will be crazy cool.

Over and out film lovers xox

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