mercoledì 23 novembre 2011


If there was a movie I was dying to see this year, it was Shame, by British director Steve McQueen
For two main reasons: because I thought his first movie, Hunger, was a masterpiece, and because I am convinced that Michael Fassbender, who played in both McQueen’s movies, is THE best actor around (and that’s been the case for the last 3 years). When I found out, a couple of weeks ago, that the cinema MK2 Bibliothèque was hosting the French avant-première of the movie and that the director and the actor would have been present in flesh and blood, I basically lost my mind. I think I have been the first one in Paris to buy the ticket (literally two seconds after the tweet announcing the sale) and, well, I was right: the screening went sold out in few days. Yesterday night was the big night and I was lucky enough to find a seat in the first row (actually, I was amazed by how fast I could run to grab a place on my high heels!). The cast joined us at the end of the movie: Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender and young actress Nicole Beharie talked briefly to the audience.
McQueen, Beharie, Fassbender - Paris, November 23 - Photo by Zazie
McQueen, Beharie, Fassbender - Paris, November 23 - Photo by Zazie
It was very quick and I was still under the movie’s spell, so everything seemed a bit dreamy to me. The public couldn’t ask any question, and maybe it was better like that, because the only question I could have placed under the circumstances to Mr. Fassbender would have not been of the highest quality: Are you photoshopped???!!! Or, alternatively, the one I have prepared but I didn't have the guts to ask:
Zazie, the blogger with NO Shame - Photo by Spissetta
Shame relates the story of a descent into hell, the story of an addiction that brings Brandon, a 30something living in New York, onto the abyss of self-destruction. We are not talking about drugs or alcohol, here, but we are talking about sex. Brandon’s days and nights are built around this. He literally spends his time fucking around, seeing porno movies, making porno chats, or wanking at every hour, both at home or in his office’s toilets (because, yes, he manages to have a normal job). The unexpected arrival in his apartment of his sister Sissy, a musician without a place to live and some evident issues to solve (the film remains very vague on the subject, but it is clear that in the family something went quite wrong), breaks the fragile equilibrium and the routine of Brandon’s existence. The consequences, for both of them, will be very heavy and Brandon will be obliged to face the desperation that’s eating his life from the inside. 
At his second movie, Steve McQueen can already be admitted to the court of the grand. A first picture is sometimes a concourse of lucky circumstances and good events, a second one, no. McQueen has a personal, special style (every scene is necessary, there is no place for redundant shots in his cinema), important screenplays and no fear whatsoever to dig into the deepest, scariest, most unsettling parts of the human being. In fact, his cinema is a cinema of the extreme. But for one thing, yes, he has been very lucky: in finding an actor willing and daring to follow him on this path. For Hunger, Fassbender starved himself and lost 30 kgs (at the end of the movie you can literally count the bones on his chest), for Shame, he has been ready to deliver himself completely. He shows on screen the most intimate parts of his body, and the most intimate gestures. Nothing has been spared to the poor guy: the actor is pissing, masturbating, fucking, saying and doing the most outrageous things in front of the camera. And the camera is always onto him, the camera is almost possessing him. No surprises he won for this role the prize for Best Actor at the last Venice Film Festival. This is a one-of-a-lifetime performance that deserves an Oscar (but I doubt that our friends in Hollywood will be bold enough to give it to him. Don't worry, the Zazie d'Or is on its way!). Even Carey Mulligan, who plays his sister, an actress that I have always found mediocre until now, proved to be a great actress if in the right hands. 
Shame is an insanely intense movie, full of unforgettable moments.
From the saddest version of New York, New York ever heard, to the sudden lightness and innocence of a real, normal (and unique) date, till the obsessive orgy scene where Brandon’s face is transfigured by a grimace of desperation instead of being blessed by an expression of pleasure. This movie is tough, gripping, compelling, intelligent and brave.
I assure you, the only shame here, would be NOT to see it!

2 commenti:

  1. Ciao zazie,,, boy you run fast!, front row, so thrilled for your review sounds like a zazie cult film forever...Carla xxxx


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