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The Globe and Mail

Shame: A film about loveless sex that’s a joy to watch

3 out of 4 stars


Directed by Steve McQueen (U.K.)

Following his penchant for one-word titles, McQueen examines a New York man's hunger for sex, the loveless brand purchased from prostitutes or viewed on porn sites or garnered from libidinous femmes in trendy bars. In the frank nudity here, the debts to Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris and most anything by Catherine Breillat are obvious. Certainly the picture packs all the intensity of McQueen's debut in Hunger, but it lacks the same rich thematic resonance. Still, his manipulation of the camera, his marriage of sight to sound, his ability to advance the narrative without dialogue, are a joy to watch. What's more, it's fascinating to compare Michael Fassbender's lead performance here with his work as Carl Jung in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method – similar primal appetites but such a vastly different style.

Sept. 11, 7 p.m., Princess of Wales; Sept. 13, 3:15 p.m., Lightbox 1

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Film critic

Rick Groen is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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