Shame

January 19, 2012 § 21 Comments

I am not a film critic so I am not expecting anyone to give a shit about what I thought of Shame.  Still.  I thought it was amazing.  Someone said the film was boring.  It was not boring.  It was brilliantly and bravely directed by Steve McQueen; Fassbender and Mulligan gave unflinchingly raw performances, and my throat felt tight throughout.  Darkness hinted at, but explanations never fed to us via Mothercare pastel-coloured soft spoons as is so often the Hollywood case.  A refreshing assumption about the intelligence of the audience.  Inference to the fore.

Came out of the cinema all shaky and heart-beaty and feeling that human beings are really very ugly – not literally; Fassbender is indisputably handsome and sexy – but in all their myriad, miserable, shitty, fucked up ways.

From a plankton perspective, it served to make one feel even more jaded about some men’s predatory and soulless sexuality and their searing struggles with intimacy.  Of course, the film was representing Brandon’s “addiction” (I am yet to be convinced that sex addiction exists: a convenient Get Out of Fidelity Free card, no?) extremely bleakly, wasn’t exactly portraying it as something exciting and fulfilling to which we should all aspire but ,even so, you came out feeling, fucking hell, there are some seriously sad and damaged and twisted folk out there haunted by the ripples of unspoken pasts.  Such gaping holes in so many of us of yearnings and vulnerabilities and sadness and indeed shame.

Well, I knew that, of course.  Levelling to have it confirmed now and again, and so cinematically to boot.

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§ 21 Responses to Shame

  • Lydia says:

    I don’t watch films and may be only 1 houra month of iplayer. I sometimes think that has a big impact on helping me not compare myself to others, not to look at images of people who aren’t normal people and the like.

    30% of people male and female cheat in marriage but it is culturally frowned on for women to admit to it so the appearance is always given that men do and women don’t. In fact studies show women are better than men at hiding it.

  • Steve H says:

    P – On a film theme…What did you make of War Horse?

    • The Plankton says:

      I meant to mention that, thanks for reminding me. I thought the first (before the War) bit went on far too long and was way too sentimental, but the film as a whole was much less bad than I had anticipated. That is not saying very much, but I was watching it through my children’s eyes and I saw that it was successful at that less sophisticated/critical level and responded to it myself as such. There was no doubt about it, some of the battle scenes had their merit. The children loved it so I enjoyed it with them and for what it was. But I would not have gone without them. How about you? Have you seen it? Px

      • Steve H says:

        I have and left my comments under “Movie Plankton II”.

        Obviously said comments weren’t very memorable.

        *Hurt face* 😉 😉

      • The Plankton says:

        So sorry! But you see how many comments I get and I am reading and approving every single one and replying to a fair few too, so I hope you’ll forgive my oversight! Px

  • Plankton-o-phile says:

    Hi P, I am a new reader, am finding your commentaryb both thoughtful and enlightening. Are all plankton female? Hope not as I can relate to the metaphor…..

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Plankton-o-phile (very flattering you have called yourself that!), Thanks so much for commenting. I have a lot of lovely, regular commentators but new ones are very much always welcomed. I have always thought of plankton as female, but I am sure a few men can relate, and see themselves as such. Very best wishes, Px
      Ps. Without wishing to sound self-important and probably not succeeding, if you do enjoy the blog, it may make sense to read from the very beginning as threads and jokes and references do seem to run through it and may make no sense otherwise. But it’s by no means obligatory! I have been writing it every day since 2 July so the whole thing is now very long! All best wishes, Plankton

      • paolo says:

        Agreed. I came a few months late to the party, and enjoyed going back in time and reading the blog from the very beginning. Some of the earlier posts are among the very best. And unless you read those posts, you may never know many of the more important acronyms (e.g., SFAR) and continuing characters (e.g., Long Shot).

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you, Paolo. I am glad you enjoyed them. Px

      • Lydia says:

        There are certainly men at the bottom of the gene and dating pool but someone for everyone at all levels.

  • Lindy says:

    Hear hear re Shame – a brilliant film and, whether you believe in sex addiction or not (which I see as an inability to relate on an intimate level with fellow human beings, amongst other things), extraordinary performances and a true portrayal, as you say, of the damage that can be inflicted on human beings, often by those closest to them. x

  • Jo says:

    Hi P. My daughter wants to see the film. So we will go at sometime.
    But I’m taking her to see the stage version first. Next week. Managed to pull in a favour from a friend, to buy tickets.
    Have poss evening free this saturday and flirting with the idea of seeing ‘Shame’.
    But don’t know…Might feel like a film that’s going to give me a larf…
    Will definitely see it at some point though. Without a doubt.
    Did I mention seeing ‘The Artist’? OMG Wow wow wow wow.

  • EmGee says:

    “(I am yet to be convinced that sex addiction exists)”

    Most addictions of this sort (sex, over eating, codependency..), IMO, are symptoms of underlying emotional problems. Root out the true cause of the behavior, and only then treat the symptom.

    I am looking forward to seeing this film, since it is now on my radar. Same for ‘The Artist’ – thank you too, Jo!

  • Plankton-o-phile says:

    Films – or going to the pictures as I like to say – a week with Marylin, now there is an older woman enjoying a relationship with a younger man, takes 2 to tango …….good film, even resisted my snack in pocket for the whole thing, very rare as apt to short attention span….. PS SFAR understood – maybe PFAR equally applies ….

  • L. Byron says:

    Very much looking forward to seeing this film. Finally got to see ‘The Artist’, which is amazing, & Miranda July’s ‘The Future’ is first rate, too.

  • Jo says:

    Bloody right about ‘Shame’ P. Amazing. The thing I felt was that it was less about his sexual addiction and more – much more – about what that ‘symptom’ was covering up. I.e. The cause. Not the effect. It was interesting (but not necessary) that we had no inkling of the family background of he and his sister. He emotionally disengaged. Tight. Controlled. She emotionally needy. A mess. Boundary- less.
    Above all, both in their own way, self – harming…
    He had an almost pathological incapacity (fear?), of emotional connection. Even with his own sister. Only cold, unemotionless, distant, steel-hard sex would do.
    I felt pity for someone like that. He would almost be tragic, if he did not use women in such a way.
    Incredible performances. A truly grown up film. In every way.

  • Jo says:

    Sorry. Should either be ’emotionless’ or ‘unemotional’ etc. ‘Unemotionless’? Dunno what that is!

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