In his much-anticipated encore to his superb first feature, Hunger, British artist Steve McQueen reunites with the extraordinary Michael Fassbender in the ferociously sexual drama Shame. An explosive portrait of a sex addict walking a tightrope between presentable respectability and the wild side, this incendiary drama captures the anger and the ecstasy of its anti-hero’s incessant drive for conquest in contemporary New York, where any woman he meets he believes is ripe for the taking. Madly attractive but with cruelly cold eyes, this compulsive Casanova finds his style cramped by the abrupt arrival of his unstable sister, whose insecurities crack open issues of his own. Daring, stylistically brilliant and erotically charged, McQueen’s heady, beautiful and disturbing film seems as determined to leave the viewer unsettled as it will surely serve to further propel Fassbender into the front ranks of contemporary screen actors. —NYFF
Born in London, McQueen grew up in West London and went to Drayton Manor High School. He was a keen footballer, turning out for the St. Georges Colts football team. He did an art A level at Hammersmith and West London College, then studied art and design at Chelsea College of Art and Design and then fine art at Goldsmiths College where he first became interested in film. He left Goldsmiths in 1993 and then studied briefly at the Tisch School in New York City. He found the approach there not experimental enough for him, however, complaining that “they wouldn’t let you throw the camera up in the air”.
McQueen’s films, which are typically projected onto one or more walls of an enclosed space in an art gallery, are often in black and white and minimalist. He has cited the influence of the nouvelle vague and the films of Andy Warhol. He often appears in the films himself.
His first major work was Bear (1993), in which two naked men (one of them McQueen) exchange a… read more
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Solid first reviews for McQueen’s followup to Hunger.
Film Spoiler Warning
“Shame” is about a brother and sister both dysfunctional in relation to where sex fits into the broader picture of their emotional lives. Brandon’s obsessive sexual needs… read review
Directed By: Steve McQueen
Written By: Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan
Cinematography By: Sean Bobbitt
Editor: Joe Walker
Cast: Michael Fassbender, James Badge Dale, Carey Mulligan… read review
With Hunger, Brit director Steve Mcqueen had the strong foundations of a real life event to draw upon. His reconstruction of Bobby Sands’ hunger strike in a Northern Irish prison cell was startlingly… read review