Pro/con: Masterpiece or mess?

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Dear Jon, pt. 2

I like Michael Fassbender, I like Carey Mulligan, I’m honestly interested in seeing McQueen’s other films… so this is not a hit piece. I didn’t like the fucking film.
I can handle stones being thrown, but you had to begin this whole thing quite childishly by name-calling and now telling me I’m not fit to be a journalist. Obviously other people liked the film, that’s why Giovanni’s opinion is there too.
Unfortunately, your take just comes across as someone PERSONALLY offended by my opinion because of a passive and conservative evaluation of the film. Fine. There are conservative people out there, I just didn’t think they would be among Berlin.

more than 9 years ago

Dear Jon

Dear Jon,
Sorry for the late reply as I’ve been busy (probably pursuing a career I’m woefully uncut out for according to you) but your last comment definitely warrants a response.
I must say that I find your opinions strange and a bit dangerous. I don’t know in what universe the requirement to have an opinion, to critically evaluate something, is to first attempt to make the art. One can critique a fictional book without writing fiction, one can critique food without being a cook, one review art without being a painter (I know I’m limiting artistic mediums there, but you get what I mean)… it’s incredibly limiting to only allow one’s peers to critically evaluate work and say “fuck the public – they obviously have no say in this, they don’t make their own”. I sincerely hope that’s not the way you pursue your performance art! Like it or not, people who don’t take to the stage themselves are going to critique…
That said, I don’t review things I don’t feel I have a full enough background with to talk about. I don’t write food reviews or art reviews or even book reviews (although I have background in all things – I eat, I enjoy art, I read - I don’t feel like I have the right background to do them justice, good or bad).
But aside from yr strange and rather exclusionary prerequisites for writing about things, the movie is bad. Plain and simple. I used to give a bit of credit to the cinematography, but even that isn’t truly moving or amazing or new or daring.
There is NOTHING brave about this film. It is quite simply portraying sex as some kind toxin on the human condition. What would have been brave would be to question the addiction itself and to NOT portray it as something that cripples and destroys everything around it. The grand and mainstream narrative of culture certainly agrees with this. We live in sex-negative times (still) and rather than passively observe this film as if it were a merely entertainment where we are expected to feel sorry for this rich asshole, one has to critically evaluate the message that this movie carries.
Even the poster subliminally pushes the current narrative against sex as it pictures a hand moving towards a crotch with the SHAME in big letters across the possibly sexual act – it must be shame worthy whatever it is.
And it’s not just the message that’s terrible and retrogressive and UTTERLY CONSERVATIVE. Carey Mulligan’s “New York” moment is one of the most painful scenes in recent cinematic history (and I don’t mean emotionally so) and the dinner scene with the bumbling waiter was so awkwardly placed it’s a wonder it didn’t get re-edited into a Woody Allen film (who I like, but the scene seemed to fit there more than here).
That said, this was nothing personal against anybody involved in making the film. I bare no ill will, just honest opinions (as is the job of a journalist – although this really is only film critique, so how that reflects on my job as a journalist is kind of egal).

Walter Crasshole more than 9 years ago

Walter Shame Review

Dear Walter

it is true Walter that reviewing art is often an unsatisfactory job. Most artists do not critics, many people often ignore what they write etc. And very few make a creer out of it, usually they do it part-time when studying or for an extra bit of cash. Very few critics are well known or well read. The good ones are truly fine diamonds but sadly, very rare! The problem lies mainly that most critics just write down their opinion, and this is not satisfactory. Of course, I have never wanted to do this. I have never felt the urge to compliment or trash other peoples work in public with my opinion. I might rant and rave at the bar or a cafe but thats it. I am sure that you have had an awfully long career in writing scripts, acting and directing movies all of which have helped you write your reviews. OR?? If you have made a film I would like to know the names as i always am interested in seeing new artists work.

Underground or Mainstream. Shame is an art house movie, plain and simple. The director to most people is unheard of, he is known only by the arthouse crowd. True, the actor and actress are two bright new names but not really Streep or Clooney, yet!

The film deals bravely with the subject of sex addiction and that is incomparable to the usual sex type drivel we usually see in movies.

IMDB, how fascinating.Do you actually visit such sites as IMDB for background info or inspiration??? I would never look to any person or body for their opinion and thats why I very rarely read reviews, I read your opinion as I was at home the night before a major appointment with my dentist, ouch! And because of all my years of living in Berlin, I was curious what the current standard of young journalism was these days.

If you are going to continue to be a critic and publicly throw stones, you must be ready to receive some thrown bricks and for some replies either from readers or artists. Or maybe you move on to another career and good luck with your next choice Walter.

Please do send me that list of your movies, I do love to give new things a try wether its underground, arthouse or mainstream.

best wishes Jon

Jon Flynn more than 9 years ago

Sorry, I'm not confused...

I don't know if you noticed, Jon, but Shame is about as MAINSTREAM as it gets... yeah, it's NC-17 and deals with sex addiction, but that said, it's not as if sex is completely absent from popular culture - it's just coated in problematic moralizing. Shame is a film by Steve McQueen - hardly underground (or maybe just hardly "not mainstream" depending on what criteria you were using for me to stick to more mainstream films). Shame stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan - neither are hardly underground.

Still to each his own, right? Unfortunately, you did not give yr own. Yr comment is empty hollow and without any defense of what I "didn't get" get about this very non-mainstream film.

Let's add while we're at it that just because you read that it had a good star rating on IMDB, doesn't those that agree with that star rating are right and those who don't are wrong...

Walter Crasshole more than 9 years ago

Shame film reveiw

Oh no no! A very badly and shoddily written review from a very confused critic who obviously did not understand anything in the film. Shame is an amazing film and one of, if not, the first films to deal with sex addiction. It may not be perfect but then again perfection doesnt exist. Maybe the reviewer should stick to more mainstream films. Go and see Shame and Michael Fassbenders amazing performance and ignore this silly review. Still, each to their own, I suppose.

Jon Flynn more than 9 years ago

good and sad

I loved it. For me it depicts the ultimate solitude of today´s person. And the shame and sorrow that follows when you try to escape it whichever way you choose: sex, death or whatever. And fatality of understanding you never will. Perfectly sad. Inner 'Melancholia' hehe

dd more than 9 years ago

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