Shame

Shame ★★★★

The gaze of McQueen's camera tells the viewer everything they need to know about this film. Intently still as it studies the facial and physical ticks of the performers, McQueen's camera is interested in the external reveals of the internal (also symbolized by a motif of blinds opening, letting in daylight). Fassbender's Brandon has distanced himself from his sister, from his peers, from anyone with a personal connection. His inner thoughts and desires perpetuate based off of a lack of connection; his successful sexual encounters satisfy him because they lack a history, a relationship. Other characters echo a similar suppression of the internal, like Branden's boss who is married and Sissy who struggles with depression. McQueen indicates that revealing one's self can be rewarding, largely when Branden and his co-worker Marianne connect at the end of their date, but that it is human to fear openness.

McQueen's first image truly summates the theme: Branden, alone in bed, wearing the stare of someone doubting their own feelings, and having nowhere to unveil them.

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