There has been a lot of talk about the sexual content in Steve McQueen’s upcoming drama about sexual addiction and bratty little sisters, Shame. How explicit does it get? Exactly how many seconds is Michael Fassbender’s wang on screen? What gets glossed over a lot, however, is that Shame has been stuck with an NC-17 rating not because it shows too many boobs and butts, but because of how dirty, creepy, and downright…well, shameful watching this movie is going to make you feel. This is a no frills, brutally honest look at sexual compulsion, and the explicit content it contains is much more likely to repulse than it is to titillate. There is nothing healthy about the way Shame portrays human sexuality.
You wouldn’t know that from the newest red band trailer for the movie though. What we get here is an isolated scene from the film, where Fassbender’s character eyeball humps a redhead on the subway. His wolflike leering and her suggestive thigh shuffling are interrupted by brief bursts of images from all of the dirty, dirty sex that Fassbender has over the course of the film, and the effect of watching it all cut together is rather… well, exciting. Make no mistake, this trailer paints Shame as being a much more pleasingly erotic experience than it really is, and is in some ways misleading.
But what it does give you an accurate look at is the moodiness of the film, and the expert way it is able to set a tone. This is the sort of moviegoing experience that sweeps you up into its world, manipulates your emotions, and spits you back out into the theater lobby with serious bed head and a glazed over look in your eyes. It accomplishes this through tension building, expert photography, and visceral performances from its actors; all of which are evident in this new trailer, which actually works pretty well as a short film in and of itself. Give it a look if you’re feeling naughty.
Shame opens in limited release December 2, 2011.