Thursday, February 23, 2012
2011 Year In Film: Shame
Contributed by: Marko Orlic from Recording Live From Somewhere...
More often than not, films relying on pivotal dialogue-free segments come off dull, or worse, pretentious. Not here. Helming only his second feature to date, Steve McQueen captures Brandon's haunted, self-destructive psyche with the assured hand of a veteran director, allowing the visual medium to communicate thought. He takes a huge risk in appointing a mostly silent, closed off, and disconnected protagonist to engage a discombobulated audience with no knowledge of the man's past, but trusts Michael Fassbender's internally burning intensity to pull it off. For me, this unorthodox approach more than just worked -- it completely sucked me in. Sure, some will complain about the script's many unanswered questions, but if they were solved, the immerse experience of the here-and-now would surely disappear.
All in all, this is exactly the kind of feat I'd dream of accomplishing if I was a filmmaker; a film clicking on all cylinders, from two of the best performances of the year, to the rich, yet clinical cinematography, to a focused musical backdrop invoking feelings of despair and alienation.