By Hrvoje Galić
Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is a film one can rarely encounter. The director is also a visual artist, which obviously has an immense impact on his visual and narrative style. “Shame” is his second film, following his debut film “Hunger” which doesn’t shy away from showing the brutality and violence inflicted upon an individual, in a way that is straightforward but impartial. “Shame”, on the other hand, presents us a narrative of destructiveness the individual suffers due to his own acts and that very self-destructiveness is rooted in the condition the main character is in.
The film deals with sexual addiction intertwining this subject with its effects on family bonds, the character’s relationship to his environment, and himself. It poses questions about the nature of relationships in contemporary times in general, and even questions the time we live in in general terms. It presents all of this without shame, completely strips the individual to his bare essence, twists it into something almost unrecognizable yet oddly familiar.
McQueen shows us the individual stripped down to his most basic needs and instincts, helpless but combative. He is aggressive toward his environment, but nervous about himself and almost terrified when confronted with a need to connect with others on any level.
The brilliance of “Shame” is that it portrays all of that sincerely and without masks and false pretenses. McQueen doesn’t try to “sell” us any viewpoints; he just presents the individual as he is, and the final “judgment” rests with the viewer. Yet one may be compelled not to make it, since the complexity of the character and his sufferings is multidimensional and tends to “evade” facile conclusions.
1. Michael Fassbender’s unvarnished performance
After Marlon Brando was done with filming “Last Tango In Paris”, → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema