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Esquire - Shame feature

Article relating to a film, 2012
Published by: Esquire
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 6

image of Esquire - Shame feature

A substantial feature on film director Steve McQueen, the actor Michael Fassbender, and the then new McQueen film, Shame. The feature was one of many that took as its subject McQueen/Fassbender/Shame. It featured a full double page still of the film, showing Fassbender. A very substantial feature covering six pages, a further on-set portrait of McQueen and Fassbender also appeared in the text, as did two further small still from the film.

On the cover of men’s magazine Esquire (February 2012) the piece was introduced as follows: “XXX-MEN: Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender on the Sex movie you must see, by Alex Bilmes”. This theme was continued on the Contents’ page, with “SHAME: Michael Fassbender is laid bare in the defining sex movie of our time”

Overlaid on the double page still was “ “He’s not a freak. He’s one of us” How a Turner Prize-winning artist, the star of X-Men: First Class, the writer of The Iron Lady and the producers of The King’s Speech came together to make the defining sex movie of our time” The credit ot the still read, ‘At times, I wanted him to be repulsive’: Michael Fassbender as Brandon in a scene from Steve McQueen’s Shame.

The extensive text was broken up with highlights such as “Shame is about what it is to be a man now. There are so many things that distract from who you want to be  or what you think you should be doing”; “There are guys who can’t make love to their wife or girlfriend, but who lock themselves in a room with pornography for three days”; and finally, “If you’re an artist, you don’t turn away and pretend something isn’t there. That’s the whole point; life is not easy. It’s fucking difficult”

Bilmes concludes his text with, “What Shame attempts, perhaps, is an honest portrait of wounded contemporary masculinity, in extremis. To me McQueen recalls his excitement, years ago,, at seeing Shadows, John Cassavetes’ film about interracial relationships in Beat generation New York. “It was the first time I saw people on screen who looked like me,” he says. “It felt great. It was like, ‘I’m a human being, I’m not alone’”

The feature appeared in Esquire, UK Edition,  February 2012: 82 - 87

Related people

»  Alex Bilmes

Born, 1973 in UK

»  Steve McQueen OBE, CBE

Born, 1969 in London, UK