Film "Shame" brings sex addiction tale to Venice

Mon Sep 5, 2011 12:16pm EDT
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By Silvia Aloisi

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Up-and-coming Irish actor Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict in "Shame," a movie by British video artist Steve McQueen that is vying for the top prize at the Venice film festival.

It is the second lead role for Fassbender in a competition movie at this year's festival after his portrayal of psychoanalyst Carl Jung in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."

In Shame, the German-born Fassbender is Brandon, a handsome, 30-something executive living in New York whose only distraction from work is seducing women, masturbating at home or in the office and looking for sex on the Internet.

The tightly controlled rhythm of his life begins to fall apart when his needy, dysfunctional sister Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan, arrives for an unannounced visit.

Her presence, and her craving for Brandon's attention, disrupt his lonely existence even further, and his only way out seems to be wandering the streets at night in search of new sexual adventures.

Fassbender, whose portrayal of Brandon was warmly applauded after a press screening Sunday, said taking part in the film's graphic sex scenes was not easy.

"Yes (it was) uncomfortable doing the sex scenes, you just have to jump and turn really," he said.

"The most important thing I guess is that everybody involved feels as comfortable as they can. And then just go for it so you don't have to do too many takes."   Continued...

<p>Director Steve McQueen laughs as he poses during a photocall for his film "Shame" at the 68th Venice Film Festival September 4, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>