There is no shame in having sex, watching porn, and masturbating. Watch out, Department of Gender Studies: Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, is challenging these assumptions. Shame, written by McQueen and Abi Morgan, is an unconventional film that tells the story of the sex-addicted Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender). The film questions the value of emotionless sex and considers where the line between addiction and preference should be drawn.
This is the second joint project of Fassbender, McQueen, and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. Their first film, Hunger, is equally worth watching. McQueen’s films are more art than anything else — he takes uncomfortable subject matter and displays it in such a beautiful and composed manner that the audience questions the assumed negativity of the film’s content. Cinematographer Bobbitt helps McQueen to achieve this end: Shame is visually stunning. Bobbitt keeps the film in a constant white and blue color palette that expertly contrasts with the emotional ending scenes of the film. McQueen was originally a film installation artist, and his films constantly push the boundaries of traditional film narrative.