Steve McQueen has built quite the filmography since 2008’s Hunger. He doesn’t direct films often, but when he does it’s sort of an event. After watching Shame, I’ve now seen all his feature length work and every one of them has something pretty valuable to offer. I do think that Shame is an extremely acquired taste due it’s very graphic sexual content and it’s probably not a film you want to rewatch over and over.
Brandon lives in a nice flat in New York City by himself, but he often has female visitors over for casual sex. He masturbates before work, at work, and sometimes after work. One day, his sister decides to pop in for a visit which turns into a stay and that changes the day to day things that Brandon likes to do. He starts spiraling out of control in a way as he can’t manage his sex life how he truly desires to.
Michael Fassbender is the star of Hunger and Shame and then he plays a very scary villain in 12 Years a Slave. Him and Steve McQueen have incredible chemistry. Shame is rated NC-17 for a reason and Fassbender is totally going for it all as Brandon. I can’t say enough how Shame isn’t for everyone, but the performances from Fassbender and Carey Mulligan as his sister are undeniably good. I also can’t say that I enjoyed the whole experience, but I couldn’t really take my eyes off the screen as Brandon starts spiraling. The cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt, has done some really cool shit this past decade and I think his and McQueen's control is what made Shame a really powerful watch for me personally. That and the fact that Fassbender is out of this world.