Walker Art Center

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Directed by Steve McQueen

Part of Steve McQueen: A Dialogue and Retrospective

“It’s close to perfect.” —San Francisco Chronicle

The director and actor Michael Fassbender extend their much lauded artistic partnership in Shame, Steve McQueen’s second feature. Brandon (Fassbender) lives a life of seeming success yet he is forever engaged in a search both desperate and resigned. His careful patterns are interrupted by the arrival of his sister Sissy (Carrie Mulligan), whose own internal struggles bring his world into crisis when she insists on an open-ended stay at his apartment.

Tracing the emptiness of present-day New York City onto the very bodies of its lonely characters, Shame imprints a disquieting study of both sexual addiction and modern disconnection. “A mesmerizing companion piece to his 2008 debut, Hunger, this more approachable but equally uncompromising drama likewise fixes its gaze on the uses and abuses of the human body, as Michael Fassbender again strips himself down, in every way an actor can, for McQueen’s rigorous but humane interrogation” (Variety).

McQueen was nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice in 2011, where the film went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film, and also garnered many awards for Fassbender (2011, DCP, 101 minutes).


This Dialogue and Retrospective Program is made possible by generous support from Anita and Myron Kunin.