Monday, April 30, 2012

Michael Fassbender's Penis...Again

I was going to call this post: Uncomfortable and Adult, a good, hard look at Michael Fassbender's SHAME. But then I remembered that putting Penis in the blog title really brings in the hits. So, instead, we'll take a good hard look at his penis. HA! I joke. Sort of. Husband had rugby and I finally took the bait and watched Shame. Maureen really liked this movie and after Fassbender's award nominations, I've been pretty eager to see it, but it's a movie you need to be in the right frame of mind for. What that frame of mind is? I have no clue. This is what I do know after watching that movie - it's really really really uncomfortable. On about every different level. He's uncomfortable to watch, there's no release to the tension, there's no explanation for the tension. It's one long teeth-clenching tension filled movie. But, I think as Maureen said - it's also a master class in Show, Don't Tell. Fassbender has about six lines of dialogue. I'm only slightly exaggerating and the big long dialogue scene with his sister - doesn't come off right. I'm not sure if that was intentional, or it just honestly, didn't work. I think intentional - he couldn't say what he really wanted to say to her so instead he said these false, heavy hurtful things...? Thoughts from anyone who saw it? He has this big threesome scene - and it's raw!! RAW. And hot. And then...totally totally sad. And then, I'm feeling shame for thinking it was hot. And that is how the movie works. But he's pretty freaking great in that movie - one of those subdued, but electric performances. Totally electric.

6 comments:

Maureen McGowan said...

It's definitely not an easy movie or an entertaining one, and I really get why, in spite of Fassbender's gorgeousness and all the sex and nudity, it didn't do well commercially. It's not a tightly told story. More like a character sketch of two very damaged people who one assumes were badly abused (physically, mentally, sexually) in their childhoods and haven't figured out a healthy way to deal with the pain and as a result are pretty much mentally ill when it comes down to it... Him an obsessive compulsive addict, her a self-abusing depressed person. He really does use sex to hurt and punish himself.

I think I might have experienced this movie differently if I hadn't seen it alone... It's one of those movies where thinking about what the person next to you might be thinking, or wondering what they're thinking about what you're thinking would have distracted me and affected how absorbed I became...

Let's just say I liked seeing it in a crowded theatre of strangers at the film fest. And did not start up any conversations with the people around me after. ;)

The filmmaker is more of a visual artist than a storyteller. I think this was his second film and the first, Hunger, also stars Fassbender and is even more disturbing (was for me) but in a very different way.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I can't say I enjoyed it - but I totally can't stop thinking about it. That scene of his face in the middle of that threesome...WOW! WOW. Harrowing. he just kept looking for more and more depraved things and there were some interesting storytelling tricks for a movie that didn't tell much of a story.

What did you think of that conversation between him and Cissy on the couch? Do you remember it? The more I think about it the more I think the reason it rang false was on purpose - he couldn't say "i love you and I can't be around you and we need help and we're fucked up." So instead he just kept saying "you're a burden. You're a mess..."

But it did pull me out of the movie.

Really chilling. What was Hunger?

Maureen McGowan said...

I think my take was similar to yours... He might not have been happy before she showed up, but he'd figured out a way to exist. His boss thought he was a god. No one knew the truth. Even when his porn stash is discovered, everyone assumes it's not his... Things are going well. And then she shows up and messes it all up. Reminds him of his past. Threatens his present. Threatens to dredge up the very thing he's been so carefully suppressing -- emotions.
To me, the way he dealt with her was kind of: I know you're messed up, I know you're hurting, I know you're my little sister, I know we might be the only people in the world who can help each other, but I just can't. Get away from me. You're ruining this careful facade I've constructed.

Hunger is about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. Harrowing. I nearly threw up a couple of times during that movie. And Fassbender lost a ton of weight. (And he's already a slight guy.) It was staggering. I saw it at TIFF too... maybe 4 years ago.

Sinead M said...

I still have to watch it, but I also have to be in the mood for something this heavy, penis or not...

And somehow I can be in the mood for Shark Night (truly awful) and not Shame...

Maureen McGowan said...

It's definitely one where "enjoyed" doesn't fit.

Sinead, I totally get that in the right mood thing. This weekend, I was looking for something to watch and had a few heavy things I've been dying to see... And what do I watch? The Shopaholic movie.

Boy, did they ruin that book. Wow. Epic fail. I'd heard it was bad, but, wow...

Eileen said...

I'm not sure I can do it. Those movies are so difficult to watch. It took me ages to watch Hurt Locker. I'm glad I did, but it's another one where "enjoyed" doesn't fit well at all.

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