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.
SHEEC, the Sexual Health Education & Empowerment Center, organizes the 7-day long event comprised of workshops, lectures, screenings, and more. Sex Week is in its fourth year and is in full swing until this Saturday, March 17.
The point of Sex Week? To “bring events to campus about things people may want to know about but might not feel comfortable asking about,” says Jenn Conti ’12, co-chair of SHEEC. “Sex and sexual health are usually spun in a negative way — ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ — but through Sex Week, we’re talking about things in a sex-positive way.”
Sex-positive? Sounds good to me!
But is Sex Week just another sad example of Brown kids talking about sex without actually having any? Maybe. Sex Week certainly won’t go around knocking on Keeney doors and forcing coitus where it’s not wanted. But talking about sex openly might be the first step in that giant leap from just curious to full-blown sexually active. Plus, some events — like the “Orchestrating Orgasms” workshop with star sex educator Megan Andelloux — prove much less academic and much more utilitarian, hem hem.