Saturday, October 8, 2011

Michael and New York City

Here are just a couple images from a collection of photos taken yesterday (7 Oct) of Michael in New York City by Charles Sykes. Hopefully the unwatermarked versions will debut very soon, but for now, enjoy them for what we can. There are about 30 pictures in total. What I like about these images is that it also shows the beauty of NYC; the bright, vibrant, and powerful background imagery of this high rise photo shoot. These pictures make me miss living in New York City so much. And I really like how Michael recycle his clothes and wear the same ones over and over again. He looks splendid and it tells me that he is not materialistic, and is a very conscience spender, and not flashy and vain. He knows he what he likes, what he's comfortable in.

The rest of the photos can be found at Associated Press -

Last night, I read a review of Shame, it was the only one I have read thus far that complained about the nudity in the film. But not in the way you would think. A male critic from The New Yorker felt that the nudity was fleeting, seen from the sideways, or in shadows. I don't know if this man saw the same movie I saw at TIFF, but in all honesty, in my opinion, the nudity of the two principle actors, Michael and Carey, were done in a way that said, 'Hey, these are top actors, you're going to see them in a way that is bold, but not exploitative'. Therefore, if the guy is complaining that he can't see Carey like how her gynecologist would see her, I can't help him. No one can. The girl is clearly naked, and the camera is on her for a good 30 seconds as she's talking to Michael/Brandon.  I just wanted to point that out - the irony. At the height of conversations that are amazed by Michael's bravery in doing several full frontal scenes, it's funny to read a comment from a man who feels that the nudity in the film was still not enough, and to question the accuracy/legitimacy of the film because of his perception that said nudity was still being suppressed.

My blogger pal/peer, JA at My New Plaid Pants is a huge fan of Michael and he frequently mentions FF in his articles. I just wanted to acknowledge him this week because his commentary leading up to his press interview on Wednesday with Michael at NYFF, and seeing both 'A Dangerous Method' and 'Shame' was a joy to read. I lived vicariously through him these past few days and I am really happy for him in what he experienced at NYFF that was Fassy related. He will write a review next week, but his tweets last night were hysterical! I highly recommend that you follow him @JAMNPP if you are interested. Lastly, at Awards Daily, the Fassbender fanclub over there has swelled with new members as of late. I proudly declare that I was the first over there that has been pimping my adoration of Michael for a few years now, so it's fun seeing long time posters jump on the bandwagon. They are not only funny, but genuinely appreciate him now and have a lot to offer in commentary and picture sharing. So if you want, start reading this thread and participate there if you like; my name there is 'smonie'.

Thank you Summer, Jen, and 'Me' for signing the guestbook! Jen, I originally wanted to share the picture of me and Michael, but I really don't want it all over the internet.

Here are just a few more pictures from last night:

Congratulations to Michael and Steve on another successful film festival screening of 'Shame'!

Wilson Morales of has shared this Q&A video of the Shame crew last night at the NYFF. Thanks Wilson! Shame Press Conference.


Kelton said...

Oh yes! Simone, did you ever put up the video with Fassy while he was signing? I remember you mentioning that you were having troubles with YouTube due to length?

Those Fassy in NYC pics are just like Love at first sight!

Hypersalivating over here!!

Simone said...

Hey Kelton, I promise to put up my TIFF Q&A video. I need to upload it to Youtube but was having problems. I will try again until it works. It's ridiculous that my first attempt at uploading an important video has been so difficult.

Jordan said...

Amaziing photoshoot! Can't wait for the clean HD (I hope they're HD) to come out.

haha, the video by Wilson was hilarious. "You were wondering... were you?" rofl! He has been asked about his nude scenes so many times now.
Thanks for the link Simone!!

When reading/skimming those other forums, I must say...I really enjoy reading "Hatsheputely" and his comments. LOL

KATIE said...

Michael makes a good New Yorker! and from another photo set he also made a good Londoner! ^^

that vid! Ambidextrous! HA!! ..whew!

Not yet seen Shame and curious, who is Brandon's partner in the gay scene(s) anyway? Is it James Badge? The bald guy? ;)

pati said...

I love this blog

Simone said...

Thanks Pati!

Jordan, I posted a link to High-res at the previous NYFF article. When this series becomes available, I'll edit this article.

Anonymous said...

I was at NYFF. Loved the movie. Was floored by his performance. I really dont see anybody topping it this year.

Fox Searchlight people almost signed me in a special guesst.

I was hanging out outside smoking prior to the photocall, and Michael's Escolade pulled up right in front of me. It was pretty cool to get in a quick word with him before he went to brace the crazed fans.

Anonymous said...

Hi Simone, I've been following Michael's career and your blog for a few years now, but that's my first comment on your blog.

I recently watched and loved 'Shame', but I have to say that I was really surprised by all the talking about Michael's nudity in the movie. Like the journalist you mentioned I also thought the nudity was 'fleeting'. Not in a way that I wanted more of it, but I've seen movies that were far bolder than 'Shame' both in term of sex scenes and characters' nudity (in David Cronenberg's 'Eastern Promises' or Andrea Arnold's 'Red Road' for example). So my question is, why could/would it make things more difficult for Michael to get an oscar nod or even a win ? If it is only because of the male nudity then how come Viggo Mortensen got an oscar nod for his performance in 'Eastern Promises' as it shows more of his jewels than 'Shame' does for Michael (Michael's were in the shade whereas Viggo's were in full light) ?

Thank you in advance for your answer and keep up the good work.

Simone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simone said...

Hello Anon, it's nice to know you've been reading the blog for a few years and this is your first post. Congratulations, you took the first step.

You ask a fair question and I'll try to answer it as best I can. I will most definitely watch Shame again to see if on second viewing, the nudity is "fleeting". When I watched it, I felt that the nudity, in the scenes of Michael and Carey, specifically, were fine and as a HUGE fan of Michael, all I'll say is that what I saw of him naked, was really an eye full.

**I'm going to be very frank here so don't read any further if anyone is shy**

I get the impression that because Michael did not have an erection, nor did we have crystal clear view of his testicles, some may say his nudity was fleeting. And when he was walking around his apartment, the early morning light view was not as bright as it could have been - then yes, to some people, it may have been a tease, or, "fleeting" nudity. But the fact of the matter is that you see very blatantly, several times, a well endowed man.

To compare Michael's nudity in Shame vs. Viggo's nudity in 'Eastern Promises'... there's no comparison because they are just different. Viggo was fighting for his life, by two guys hell bent on killing him in a bath house. He was caught in a vulnerable moment, and Cronenberg and Mortensen made the smart decision that for believability of that scene, they had to go the whole nine yards and show Mortensen's entire private parts, ass crack, ass, testicles, penis, everything. That is not being demanded by Michael in Shame.

Apples and oranges.

I too have seen many movies, of course foreign, and many from the 70s/80s that had more daring sex scenes. But those scenes tended to be of people who were in a relationship, and their love/lust for one another was translated into the level of intimacy that needed to be displayed in their lovemaking. So nakedness and in depth sex scenes was part of the visual storytelling.

We don't have that in Shame as Brandon is a sex addict and like being a crackhead or an alcoholic, you just need that QUICK fix to calm your demons. The sex life of a sex addict is not based on emotions, rather, a sad psychological need to control and have sex to find a release.

The nudity and sex needed for Shame is just different than the nudity and sex shown in 'Eastern promises' (I skip the rape scene, I can't stand it), as well as the scene in Red Road where Tony Curran clearly shows his erection (I don't know if that was 'him' or a prosthetic, I think it was him) as he's about to have sex with that lady. All three, for example, are entirely different films, which call for entirely different ways to represent sex and male nudity.

In the end, it's all perspective. If Michael and Carey's nudity was fleeting to one person, it's not to another person, and it's too much nudity for someone else. But we'll all agree that nudity is shown in this film, and in my opinion, I trust director Steve McQueen's usage of the nudity, when and how he saw fit.

I personally would have felt that if there were more sex scenes or even more nudity by Fassbender that an exploitative line was being crossed. The story is about a sex addict, we as the audience don't necessarily need to see ALL of his sexual escapades to get the idea that he's addicted to sex. What was reveal was, at least for me, enough, and I think that for most people who really loved the movie, feel the same way as I do. It was enough, we saw enough - it was just the right amount of nudity and sex scenes.

I have a strong belief that based on how well Shame was received at the NYFF, that he will get an Oscar nomination. There is just too much buzz around him now. If he wins just one critic's award, he's in, it's just a matter of time.

KATIE said...

Hey Simone, real quick please.. just yay or nay+who. But having not yet seen Shame and being curious, who is Brandon's partner in the gay scene(s) anyway? Is it James Badge? The bald guy? ;)

I have read little interviews from all/most the girls who have a "scene" with Fassy and how they talk about how comfortable he made them feel and not feeling exploited. But I can not find the guys remarks or anything! This is a mystery that needs solving in my book.

Simone said...

Hey Katie, the guy was a dude from the gay bar. A no name person, I don't even recall seeing his face. It was just a dude who was kissing Brandon, and then he got on his knees and gave him a bj.

KATIE said...

Oh! lol! Okay-den.

Thanks Simone. xD

Kelton said...

No worries Simone! Take your time.

Fassy actually kissing one on one with a a a a dude?

*gay-fantasy just came true* \o/

Hoping it's longer than 3 secs...
Katie, I know right? When he said Ambidextrous I just busted.


Anonymous said...

yeah, he really went for that kiss. That gay guy outside the gay club reminded me of the devil. The way McQueen shot him was so chilling and creepy and mysterious.

I gotta say, I read all this talk of Fassbender's size, and when I saw the movie I thought he was quite average. Maybe my impression of average if off though.

geena said...

The film has already been censored. The film you saw at TIFF is not the same film that's in New York. I knew it would happen and it did. Like I said before it always goes the same way.

At festivals it's the film as conceived by the director and when it goes mainstream you get the film that the studio heads feel will sell more tickets.

Hopefully when it comes to the UK it will be shown unbutchered.

Simone said...

Geena, thanks for confirming that at the NYFF, Shame has been edited. That's unfortunate, what's more surprising is that the NYFF is still, a FILM FESTIVAL, it's not mainstream. That is the FF where you are suppose to see a film in its true form.

However, I'm not going to trip out - I knew in the deep recesses of my mind, this could happen, and it did. It appears that FoxSearchlight is going for the gold for Michael, and I cannot blame them. The American audience is different than the more cultured audiences of Venice and my beloved Toronto (see why I prefer TIFF over NYFF?).

So, the question now is, will Shame be edited down to an R rating so that even more people can see it, or be enticed to see it? I don't know, but it's obvious that Oscar has come into play for the film, and I want Michael's chances to be a strong as possible too.

Geena, btw, where did you find out that it was edited from the Toronto version?

I'm quite confident that the UK audiences will see it just like how Toronto and Venice saw it.

F.FRANKLIN said...

Simone it is a sad thing that they edited some of the parts.It could go both ways,either the audience cant relate enough Brandon's addiction like the those who watched the raw original one,or they were satisfied with the less graphic scenes...being a straight guy and from very conservstive family ,I dont think the nudity in shame is wrong or most importantly vulgar.I dont find it vulgar at all.
Anyhow ,I do see a little advantage like you that by editing some of those scenes could make Michael more closer to the Oscar nomination list.i'm really looking foward for michael to be nominated.It will be very interesting to see Michael in the Oscars and seeing him having fun at the red carpet.Yeah he need to win some critics choice awards and he need to do lots of interviews to promote the film.I really hope FoxSearchlight can bring the golden statue for ,Michael as theY brought for Natalie Portman last year.

Melissa said...

People shouldn't mess with a good thing, heven knows why people need to change things? Whoud the censorship counsel cover Sleeping Venus de Giorgione or Turkish Bath? It's the same concept, just not painted, it's a diffrent medium I don't see the issue here, IT'S JUST ART! Get over it. Michael is an artist only instead of using brushes he uses himself. Thanks, sorry for ranting.

Dionne said...

Hold up!!! What the HECK! I'm like pissed, I don't want an edited version of Shame! I want the original. I feel cheated and I haven't even seen ot yet

Jordan said...

I am rather perturbed as well. We all have a right to be... but in the long run, Fox is doing what they deem to be best and it just may well be. America as a whole is just not ready for full nudity.
I know for a fact my mother would flip if she saw it. *rolls eyes*

People in Europe are much more accepting to nudity. I'm just happy TIFF showed it uncensored. Really though..I was hoping NYFF and New Yorkers would be the ones to lead out on this "adventure" if you will. xD

Anonymous said...

i love Michael. He exudes such chram, warmth and sincerity that is rare to see in alot of actors these days. i surely hope he continues to get the recognition he deserves because he is such a brilliant actor and seems to be so down to earth from all i've read and seen in his interviews. thanks for this blog Simone. it really makes my day just reading your posts about him

Anonymous said...

i dont think its true that the film has been edited. There are people who were at both festivals and didn't note any changes.

The claim was originally made by somebody who was at TIFF, and not at NYFF, after she read some of the reviews from NYFF.

Simone said...

Well, since the person who made that claim here has not followed up with context, and we have not heard anything else, I too reckon this is false.