A man is on a subway train and notices a beautiful woman sitting opposite. Their eyes meet, and each smiles at the other. When the train gets to her stop, she stands up. The man stands too, coming up behind her where their hands brush and a jolt of electricity passes between them. He follows her off the train but in the jumble of people loses her. In most films this would be the start of a great love story – two lost souls destined to find each other again. However even in the first few minutes it’s clear Shame will not be that kind of story, signalling right at the beginning that the Hollywood idea of sex and romance isn’t real. [Read more…]
Just before the release of Shame, Michael Fassbender took part in a special post-screening Q&A, filmed at the Hackney Picturehouse and beamed to cinemas around the UK. If you missed out on the live broadcast, it’s now been posted online, with Fassbender talking for half an hour about the film and his role in it. As he’s been much praised and admired for playing a sex addict in the film, he’s got some interesting things to say, so the Q&A is well worth a watch.
GALECA, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, has announced the winners of its Dorian Awards, giving Best Film Of The Year to the more than deserving Weekend. As everyone loves the movies but it’s getting shut out by bigger movies at other award ceremonies (it’s still shocking it didn’t make it onto the BAFTA longlist in any category), it’s great GALECA has recognised it.
Other winners include Meryl Streep for Film Performance of the Year for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (perhaps if the critics knew more about Maggie’s record on gay rights they wouldn’t have been as kind), as well as Michael Fassbender, who picked up the ‘We’re Wilde About You Rising Star of the Year’ award.
The excellent We Were Here, about the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, won both Best Documentary and Best LGBT-Themed Documentary Of The Year. Another great choice was 50/50, which was given Unsung Film of the year.
On the TV side, the LGBT friendly American Horror Story and Modern Family won in the Best TV drama and comedy categories, while Modern Family picked up LGBT-themed TV show of the year as well. GALECA also gave out gongs for Campy (Intentional Or Not) Film and TV show of the year, with The Muppets and Revenge getting the awards.
The may like quirky categories, but GALECA seems to make a lot more sensible choices than most awards bodies! For more info about GALECA, head to their website.
Oh my God, Michael Fassbender has a penis! Whoever would have thought it? The fact the actor’s little man makes a more than fleeting appearance in the Shame has received so much attention, you’d have thought everyone has assumed he was a Ken-doll down there before he proved otherwise. It’s a pattern that’s repeated over and over, as if an actress gets naked it’s either barely mentioned or letched over, while male actors gets epithets like ‘brave’ and ‘bold’ thrown around. That’s not Fassbender’s fault, as he’s just doing his job and doing it well (and I’m sure there are some who’ll more than welcome little Fassbender’s appearance in the movie), but it would be nice if we could treat male and female genitals equally! [Read more…]
Michael Fassbender has garnered an awful lot of praise for his performance as a sex addict in Shame (out in the UK on January 13th). While the character is largely heterosexual, at one point he ends up in gay bathhouse, a situation Fassbender recently addressed in an interview with Time Out Chicago.
After being asked whether the slightly ominous scene was equating the character having gay sex with his descent into depravity, Fassbender said, “It doesn’t become about homosexuality or heterosexuality, it becomes about a fix, and where can I get my fix? That is a real scenario for many addicts that are predominantly heterosexual and they end up with a guy. You put yourself into a scenario that you wouldn’t do in a normal situation because your choice is gone.”
Fassbender also noted that he’d done a lot of research in sex addiction and was grateful to “one man in particular, his honesty gave me great insight into the gravity of the situation. When you’re imprisoned by these compulsions, what makes it different to the other addictions, it’s part and parcel of us. Alcohol is an extremity you’re adding into your life. But sex is something that most of us do. It’s a very strong primal instinct.”
While there’s been a lot of Oscar buzz over Fassbender’s performance, many believe he’ll miss out not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because the sexually frank themes and nature of Shame (along with its liberal inclusion of Michael Fassbender’s penis) are distasteful to the Academy’s old guard, who still hold a lot of sway over the awards. We’ll have to wait and see if that turns out to be true.
Shame has attracted huge amounts of praise, and despite an NC-17 rating – often seen as a kiss of death at the box office in the US – has got off to a strong start in America, with many tipping Michael Fassbender for an Oscar. It reaches the UK on January 13th, but before then it’s worth taking a look at this featurette, which sees director Steve McQueen talking about the movie.
The British Independent Film Awards were held last night, celebrating the best of the UK indie scene. This year in particular they really were a showcase of the strengths of British film and what an immense amount of talent there is out there.
Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur picked up Best Film, with the film also seeing Olivia Colman win as Best Actress and Considine pick up The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director. However there was a fairly ecumenical spread of awards across some of the best UK indie flicks, including Lynn Ramsay picking up Best Director for We Need To Talk About Kevin and Richard Ayoade getting Best Screeplay for Submarine.
Michael Fassbender contined to be lauded for Shame, winning Best Actor. The excellent Weekend was a double winner, getting Most Promising Newcomer for Tom Cullen and Best Achievment In Production.
Take a look below for all this year’s BIFA winner.
BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
TYRANNOSAUR – Winner
Ben Wheatley – KILL LIST
Steve McQueen – SHAME
Tomas Alfredson – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Paddy Considine – TYRANNOSAUR
Lynne Ramsay – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN – Winner
THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Joe Cornish – ATTACK THE BLOCK
Ralph Fiennes – CORIOLANUS
John Michael McDonagh – THE GUARD
Richard Ayoade – SUBMARINE
Paddy Considine – TYRANNOSAUR – Winner
John Michael McDonagh – THE GUARD
Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump – KILL LIST
Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen – SHAME
Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Richard Ayoade – SUBMARINE – Winner
Rebecca Hall – THE AWAKENING
Mia Wasikowska – JANE EYRE
MyAnna Buring – KILL LIST
Tilda Swinton – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Olivia Colman – TYRANNOSAUR – Winner
Brendan Gleeson – THE GUARD
Neil Maskell – KILL LIST
Gary Oldman – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Peter Mullan – TYRANNOSAUR
Michael Fassbender – SHAME – Winner
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Felicity Jones – ALBATROSS
Carey Mulligan – SHAME
Sally Hawkins – SUBMARINE
Kathy Burke – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Vanessa Redgrave – CORIOLANUS – Winner
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hardy – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Benedict Cumberbatch – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Eddie Marsan – TYRANNOSAUR
Ezra Miller – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Michael Smiley – KILL LIST – Winner
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Jessica Brown Findlay – ALBATROSS
John Boyega – ATTACK THE BLOCK
Craig Roberts – SUBMARINE
Yasmin Paige – SUBMARINE
Tom Cullen – WEEKEND – Winner
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
WEEKEND – Winner
THE RAINDANCE AWARD
ACTS OF GODFREY
A THOUSAND KISSES DEEP
LEAVING BAGHDAD – Winner
BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Chris King, Gregers Sall – Editing – SENNA
Sean Bobbitt – Cinematography – SHAME
Joe Walker – Editing – SHAME
Seamus McGarvey – Cinematography – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Maria Djurkovic – Production Design – TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – Winner
HELL AND BACK AGAIN
LIFE IN A DAY
TT3D: CLOSER TO THE EDGE
SENNA – Winner
BEST BRITISH SHORT
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
CHALK – Winner
BEST FOREIGN INDEPENDENT FILM
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
A SEPARATION – Winner
THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
THE VARIETY AWARD
THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
General movie news courtesy of Movie Muser
Shame has certainly got a lot of buzz surrounding it, both from enthusastic film festival audiences and from the fact its US distributor has taken the unusual step of embracing the movie’s NC-17 rating (due to sexual content), rather than trying to cut it or release it unrated. In the movie Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon’s insular life spirals out of control. It’ll be in UK cinemas January 12th, but take a look at the new trailer.
Steve McQueen’s Shame is causing a bit of a fuss in the US at the moment, as it’s just been given the rarely used adult rating NC-17 (meaning nobody under 17 can watch the film). Normally if that happens – which is nearly always due to sexual content – the distributor decides to release it without a rating, but apparently Fox Searchlight is embracing the rating in the hope it can change attitudes to it (currently it’s treated as if the film must be pornographic, many cinemas won’t even think about screening it and some newspapers won’t ever take ads for NC-17 rated movies).
However while Shame if proving controversial despite much praise on the festival circuit, McQueen is busy putting his follow-up together, 12 Years A Slave. Now Screen Daily reports that the film is getting an a-list star in the form of Brad Pitt, who’ll join Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejifor.
There’s no news on who Pitt will play. Indeed the only role we do now is Ejiofor’s who’ll be Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man in the mid-19th Century who was kidnapped in Washington and sold into slavery. He was rescued from a Louisiana cotton plantation in 1853. The movie, which is based on a true story, could be fascinating, especially as McQueen is proving one of the most interesting directors around.
General movie news courtesy of Movie Muser