Sunday, December 18th, 2011


Brandon is a handsome successful Manhattanite in his
30’s; great apartment, great clothes, a well paying high-flying job, and
judging by his physical shape, a good gym membership too. Yet beneath his
public persona of a cool façade he is a compulsive sex addict who spends every waking minute
of his day trying to find ways to satisfy his craving.
He has downloaded so much pornography on his work
computer that its now riddled with viruses and is taken away from him to be
checked out.  Every spare moment of the
day he is dashing off to the bathroom to pleasure himself, and back at home he
is either having cyber sex or having a hooker come over.
And then one day his privacy is threatened when his flaky sister
turns up at his door after her latest break up begging to stay over a few
days.  Actually she lets herself in and
Brandon thinking he has burglars finds Sissy naked in the shower having already
made herself at home. With her sleeping on the couch his daily routine is now
made impossible the tenuous relationship between brother and sister deteriorates as they are both frustrated with their own situations.
Brandon tries taking one of his co-workers out on an
old fashioned date but he is completely at sea on how to communicate and act
with her, and even though they end up in bed he’s unable to perform because she
is not a hooker.
This singularly innovative and somewhat reckless
insight on the effects of sexual addition on the human mind makes for
sensational viewing.  It is completely
explicit and full-on-sex (well as much as prudish US censors will allow) as
Brandon bares much more than his soul. 
It’s the work of Steve McQueen the British artist turned Filmmaker who
also co-wrote the screenplay, and if you saw his stunning Award-winning
directing debut ‘Hunger’ then you will expect him to push the boundaries as far
as he can.  And he does, and despite the
raw intensity of the material McQueen makes no attempt to either explain
Brandon’s addiction or give any sort of moral to the tale.  You are never really sure if the title refers to how Brandon should feel or how society should react.
As well as how he deals with the whole controversial
subject matter, McQueen with a great eye for  every intricate detail continues to
write his own rules on filmmaking with some staggering results e.g. he shoots
several of the conversations from behind as if one is almost eavesdropping. And just as he did with great effect in ‘Hunger’ he uses the long single take when Sissy, a part-time cabaret
performer, is in a club singing ‘New York New York and the camera never leaves her
face throughout the entire song … it makes Brandon cry in the movie, and it
damn well nearly moves you to that sitting in the stalls.
McQueen has reunited with Michael Fassbinder who is
completely magnetic as Brandon; he totally inhabits this sad lonely man
fighting with his demons and makes him so very real.  He is breathtakingly sensational (even fully
clothed …lol) and this even tops his performance as Rochester in ‘Jane Eyre’ earlier
this year.  This is his year, and it will
finish with a real chance at being the favorite for the Best Actor Oscar …and
we still have his performance as Carl Jung in ‘A Dangerous Method’ to come in a couple of weeks time.
Sissy was played the enigmatic Cary Mulligan in her
most edgy and provocative roles to date. 
The camera loves her…. as do I, and she is a good match for Mr.
So this is not one to take your Auntie to go see, or
anyone who is going to vote for Michelle Bachmann, but I think this
extraordinary dark gem of a movie should not be missed.
P.S.  The movie posted I featured here is from Venice as the US one intentional avoids any hint of the movie’s subject matter.
P.P.S.  McQueen’s co writer was Abi Morgan who also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming bio-pic on Margaret Thatcher ‘The Iron Lady’.  Let’s hope there’s no full on sex in that one.


Posted by queerguru  at  00:23


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