What Are You Watching?

45: Shame (2011)

December 23, 2021 Alex Withrow & Nick Dostal
45: Shame (2011)
What Are You Watching?
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What Are You Watching?
45: Shame (2011)
Dec 23, 2021
Alex Withrow & Nick Dostal

What Are You Watching wishes you happy holidays by spending 75 minutes discussing the sex addiction drama, “Shame.” The guys navigate through Alex’s obsession with the film by diving deep into Steve McQueen, addiction movies, shared trauma, “New York, New York,” Michael Fassbender & Carey Mulligan, and much more. Follow @WAYW_Podcast on Twitter.
Watch Alex's films at http://alexwithrow.com/
Watch Nick's films at https://www.nicholasdostal.com/
Tell us what you're watching at whatareyouwatchingpodcast@gmail.com

Show Notes Transcript

What Are You Watching wishes you happy holidays by spending 75 minutes discussing the sex addiction drama, “Shame.” The guys navigate through Alex’s obsession with the film by diving deep into Steve McQueen, addiction movies, shared trauma, “New York, New York,” Michael Fassbender & Carey Mulligan, and much more. Follow @WAYW_Podcast on Twitter.
Watch Alex's films at http://alexwithrow.com/
Watch Nick's films at https://www.nicholasdostal.com/
Tell us what you're watching at whatareyouwatchingpodcast@gmail.com

Hey, everyone. Welcome to. What are you watching? I'm Alex with their own. I'm joined by my best man, Nick Dose So how are you doing there, Sissy Sullivan? Excited to be here. Oh, here it is. I cannot believe this is here. The boss of it all. This is a big one. We're talking about shame. It can be so difficult to openly talk about one of my favorite movies, because I usually. I usually have such a strong emotional connection to them that it's hard to articulate it. It's a feeling, a state of mind, a part of my being For the past decade, I have been completely obsessed with Steve McQueen's 2011 masterpiece. Shame. I have never in my life had such a strong reaction to a movie. Then the first time I saw this film, never by 2011. I am very well into a life dedicated to film and I saw shame. And right before my eyes it was as if the language of cinema was being rewritten when I saw shame in December 2011. I was only a few months away from filming my film Earrings and I was having trouble identifying the tone. I was going for. We were going to film it in like three months and I was looking for the tone I wanted in other movies as examples. Dark, moody, European influenced, patient, uncompromising. And then like a tidal wave, bam, I see shame. And it was as if Steve McQueen was giving me license to go where I wanted to go with my films. And it was like he was saying, It's fine, push your limits. You might scare some people, but if it's truthful, just get on with it. Let's get to it. It is the most memorable moviegoing experience I still have ever had. I was inspired, mortified by some of the content, sadden but I felt alive in the way that seeing a masterful movie can make a mad movie, but feel I felt drunk walking out of that theater. Seriously, I just kind of stumbled out. And this movie's only 101 minutes long and it changed my life. And in the ten years since, I've done everything I can to maintain this sort of mystical relationship I have with this movie and in another quick connection to my own filmmaking, then I'll back up that subject a little bit, and I'll kick it over to you. But I edited that movie Earrings very quickly. It was really dumb. Honestly, I wouldn't change any of the editing choices I made, but I was so eager to share that movie with people with the world that I stayed up for ungodly hours rushing this cut. And that was a really good lesson because it was foolish to put myself through that. So my point is, when I edited my next movie Wait, I took my sweet time with it. I spent nine months editing it, playing with the order of scenes finding a rhythm, finding a language. And once a week I watched Shame nine months in a row. I've studied this thing more than any other movie. I've seen it just as much as any other movie I've seen. It has influenced my filmmaking career more than any other. I'm obsessed with movies, and this is my movie. How do you like shame? Holy shit, how am I gonna top that? One of the coolest things that you talked about just now and to me, it's not just your relationship to shame, it's your relationship to the filmmaker Steve McQueen. Mm hmm. This may be your favorite of his work, but all of his work inspires you and does something to you that I think is so important for every artist to acknowledge who it is that does that for them. We like so many different filmmakers, like, we talk about him endlessly on this, but there's really only a small select few that are. And they're the ones that speak your language, that speak to you, that inspire you, that motivate you, that make you see things that you've never seen before. And I think that is what should be celebrated along with the movie. But the fact that you can relate to another artist on this level and his work inspires you so much, should be something that everyone listening, if they're a filmmaker or any type of artist anyone that you look up to in that way, it's vital. It's absolutely vital for a creative person. Yeah, that's very well-said and I appreciate that because he is just one of my one of my directors. I will follow him through whatever material he wants to tackle. You and I are our favorite film last year was Lover's Rock. I mean, and my relationship with him started with Hunger. And, you know, when I tell people how much I love Shame and we're going to get into this, but a lot of a lot of eyebrows will be raised based on the subject material of shame. And I'm like, I can talk just this passionately about hunger. And that is completely different subject material. But it's not necessarily the content of the movie. It's how he's telling it. Like you're saying. Exactly. When I saw this movie in theaters, man, I don't think I was prepared mentally, emotionally, artistically for what this all was. All I remember leaving the feeling with was an ugly feeling. It actually took me a very long time to rewatch it. I had to wait like a couple of years because I remember I was like, I need some time yeah. I think that's fair. I need some time to like I want to go back and rewatch this because I knew that what I was watching was something unlike anything else, but I needed to just take a little break, saw it a second time, completely changed my whole entire relationship to it. I understood it. I was blown away by the creativity and the I mean, mostly the second time was mostly a cinematography take on it. So that was 2000. I want to say that was 2013. I saw the second time, so I've not seen it since then. And now I've rewatched it and I have a brand new relationship to it. And in such a different way, it's actually the lightest relationship to it I've had. Now I'm looking, I go, I see the hope in here. I never felt hope before with this. Now I do. Weird. Well, yeah, our relationship can change with the movie because we change or whatever the circumstances are. But OK, I'll just say this now that we try really hard to avoid spoilers on this podcast except in these solo movie episodes. So we're going to talk about the whole thing here. It's all going to be out in the open. That's how we can have the best, most well-rounded discussion about it. So that leads me kind of straight to the end and not to get too into detail about it, but it is open to interpretation how things end and his state of mind and how ever you perceive that is probably how ever you are feeling when you watched it. So yeah, it's different from everyone, and I've seen this so many different times and had so many different feelings and relationships with it. I've let my brain go down every road like every possibility because the magic of this movie is what is not said and what the viewer is forced to assume in many, many regards. So I've just gone down so many rabbit holes and I that's how I built such a strong relationship with the movie is trying to engage with it in a way that I do feel compelled to engage with movies because I love them. So much. But this is a completely different level. This is a level that just genuinely does border on obsession in terms of me, of how much I love a movie and this is a movie about a compartmentalized man named Brandon, played by Michael Fassbender, who has a successful career in New York but is quietly suffering from sex addiction. His life is, you know, it's more or less even. He has a vice, certainly, but it seems manageable until his fiery sister, Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan, shows up unannounced and disrupts Brandon's life. This is a movie about a sex addict there is a lot of sex in it. The sex is treated very seriously, very clinically. Yet despite the subject material, the intention of the sex in this movie is not to titillate. And I believe that very strongly. If you watch these scenes closely, just watch Fassbinder his face, watch them on mute, and then watch how his partners react to him, both during and especially after. You have the whole emotional arc of the movie right there. I mean, the first time we see him prepare for sex, it's thoughtful, it's content, routine, pleasant. The money is already on the table. And then the last time we see him have sex, he's as far removed from contentment as is possible. I mean, he damn near looks like he's about to die. And, you know, it's the same with Carey Mulligan, who plays Sissy Mulligan is an actor who does not do a lot of nudity and she has admitted to never seeing shame in full. Yet she fought very, very hard and begged Steve McQueen for this role based on Sissy's first scene alone, in which she stands completely nude in front of her brother. So when you read all this and you see all this and you're like an actor who doesn't like to do nudity, but she's eagerly volunteering for this, it begs you to consider this is a sister standing fully, comfortably nude in front of her brother. What in the hell does that tell you about them? That's why you take the role. Yeah. I mean, what do you do when you see a script where you've got this dialog? Because the way that they if we're just jumping into that scene, the way that they play that scene, it's as if they're not. She's not naked, right? It's it's a very, very brother sister. Like, why the hell would you come into my room? Like, why? What are you doing here? They don't use all the towels like, what do you do? Like, and then she's sort of like, Brandon, you hurt me. You're like, What is this shampoo? This is gross. Yeah, but the way they're talking to each other, I almost saw past that she was naked in front of him, maybe in the way that he saw past it, too, because what they ended up talking about was such specific to their brother sister relationship that I didn't even think about the fact she was naked. And I actually thought upon this viewing that this was the most uncomfortable I felt with their dynamic because their brother sister relationship ring true above all else. Yeah. And that's what makes it so uncomfortable, is that he doesn't even notice that she's naked or doesn't really seem to care in the way it is shot we're only seeing her through the reflection in the mirror. That's what makes it so unnerving, is that this seems so routine. And you're like, these are grown adults, a brother and sister just talking to each other this way, and they don't reveal it until the next scene that their brother and sister. So I kind of had an inkling like going into it, but I remember the first time watching it, and when he's making her breakfast the next morning, very interesting that he doesn't make himself food. He only makes her food. And that's when you figure out like, oh my God, this is brother and sister. So I was like catching up, going, Oh, man, where are we headed? Like, Where is this movie taking me? And I still have that. You know, I still have those feelings when I watch it sometimes because I'm a great admirer of well-done movies about addiction. And if a movie about addiction is done well, there's a good chance it's not going to be a good date movie addiction movies aren't typically, you know, fun for the whole family. That's the territory. One of the reasons I'm drawn to these stories is because of the emotional trauma the characters are going through. And what did they go through to get here to get to this desperate bottom? How much longer are they going to be able to maintain, to survive Most addiction movies focus on substances, not sex, and there are some genuinely masterful ones. The last weekend Days of Wine and Roses leaving Las Vegas have that triple feature and you're going to have a serious alcohol wake up call. You know, Requiem for a Dream, Candy, The Basketball Diaries those take heroin very, very seriously. My point is Shame is the best movie I've ever seen about addiction, period. I've never seen a movie that so perfectly encapsulates its subject's emotional hell better than this one. And again, one of the reasons I'm drawn to these stories is trying to just explore in my head what these people must have gone through to get to this point in this movie captures that better than any other. So just in the addiction movie genre, you know, where does it stand for you? Oh, man, it's up there. I mean, it really is. I mean, you reference one in that list of movies, Candy. That is one that really affected me. Yeah, basketball diaries, for sure. But I mean, yeah, this one has to be in the top five. But my point was, and all those movies you just listed are substances. That's what's interesting is that he doesn't have he doesn't have that thing to kind of fall back on to where his judgment is being impaired. And that is that presents itself for a different sort of acting challenge. This this acting Fassbender's performance as Brandon Sullivan is so internal and we don't get to see him. You know, most of us have had a drink in our lives, so we know what it means to push that too far. And we can identify it with someone playing drunk. He's in a totally different headspace that a lot of people just aren't that familiar with, and that's one of the things that can make it. And he's doing it so well and so convincingly. That that's what makes it, you know, an uncomfortable thing to watch at times. But damn, that's the exercise. I mean, we see what triggers him, what troubles him, what calms him. In all of this is said with little to no dialog. He, Brandon, almost never talks about himself. And when he does, it's very minimal and he never talks, never talks about how he's feeling. But we know because Fassbender is so in tune with this character and McQueen is so in tune with his own material, which includes how the camera is moved, how long shots are held for every nuance of Fassbender's performance and Mulligan's is captured here. It's just it's absolutely fucking breathtaking. And when you watch what he does, not what he says, I mean, that's really everything, you know, the way that he moves about his day, the way it's disrupted the decisions that he makes, the the choices. But then even in the, you know, you could even relate this substance back to, like, when he's actually trying to throw out. Yeah. All of all of the porn he has in his home. The page, it's, it's the same thing with alcohol or drugs. Or substances like you're saying, like people that have that moment of like, fuck it, I'm done with this. They throw it all out and he's thrown out computers. Yeah. And everything's spaghetti, like whatever. But there, there you go. Right there is, there is that addict mentality. There is that similar thing that's there. But you're right, when substances aren't involved and it's more of an internal and physical because sex is a very physical sensation, it literally tears him apart. And you see it happen before your eyes in this movie. As far as addiction movies go, this is a movie where the word addiction is never uttered once. I believe the word sex as it is intended is only said once. She goes, don't talk to me about sex life, you know, not for me. You it's that's the only time the word sex is mentioned and into some rewatch is of it. When my obsession was first starting, I started to get traction of how he always has something else in his body. It's got the red bullet work. There's emphasis put on the coffee, like twice he's making coffee. There's emphasis put on it. He's not a chain smoker, but he smoke cigarets really deliberately. Like when he's stressed or down and out he does a line of cocaine drinks. It's just it's very interesting in a way of adhering to that addictive personality and to show us kind of subtly without ever hammering it home. Because even when he doesn't really act like he's on Coke, when they're in the hotel room, it's just showing it was giving us a little insight. Like he's always got probably something else going here, even if it's caffeine, even if it's nicotine. I just I really like that detail about it. And Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender had worked together before. Shame, as we mentioned in the bruising film Hunger from 2008. It's another tough movie, but another favorite of mine. I on my blog, once I broke that entire movie down, shot by shot and screen shot every single shot in the movie and described like what I thought the intention behind the shot was. I didn't know there were like 400 shots in the movie. I thought they were like 100. So bigger exercise than I thought. But wow, did I learn a lot about that movie? Fassbender plays IRA activist Bobby Sands in a performance. You you really can't unsee that once you watch it. It's remarkable. Based on my multiple viewings of hunger, I was so primed for shame. I was so excited for Sheen's teaser trailer. I kept watching it over and over after Shame Fast Bender starred as the monumental asshole Edwin Epps in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. A guy is a total real, true, gutless monster and Fassbender plays him to perfection. These are three masterful performances. Note perfect, as you like to say. Brandon Sullivan in Shame is certainly the quietest of the three characters, but he's my favorite, so I just wanted to talk. I know we had kind of touched on the McQueen Fassbender relationship, but let's just give that give their movies you know, a little bit of some attention here because they do. I just want them to make everything together, you know? But I think that's just it's the dream, you know? I mean, every director and actor or search for each other is similar to what we talked about earlier, about the directors that speak to us, the other artists that do. Every director is looking for that one actor that gets it. Every actor is looking for that one director that helps them get it. There's actually a funny story of when Steve McQueen first met Fassbinder. He didn't like him and you know, it's just so funny how that works out in the way that they speak to about one another and to one another. It's very, very endearing. But it's also very serious. They know what the work that they do is, but they also have such a brotherly relationship that I think that to me is the most exciting thing about watching the movies that they do together. What is McQueen going to do with Fassbinder? And what is Fassbinder going to do again with McQueen? Yeah, exactly. I mean, Steve McQueen, I love you. I will never talk bad about you or your films. The one thing that Widows was missing could have had Fassbinder playing one of those husbands. God, I would have loved that. Just in that Oprah. I don't care which one, any of them. I actually I thought I think I read an interview where it was he was trying to make it work, but, you know, who knows? Schedules, all that stuff. Steve McQueen, I think, by his own admission, is a very strong personality. You can see that in interviews. You can see that if you watch press conferences, from festivals where he's like, you know, there in front of like a hundred people for the press, and he'll just start kind of zero in on the Q&A model and moderator and be like, what does that question mean? What are you asking? What are you saying? He can have sort of a kind of a combative personality, but it's all about in terms of filmmaking, he's all about reaching that truth. That reality. And I will always remember the quote from John C McGinley, who has famously worked with Oliver Stone many times, and Oliver Stone, not the easiest guy to work with but John C McGinley like, it's actually really simple. He's kind of a lunatic, but if you move in with him and go with his rhythm, then it's artistic. Nirvana, and that seems to be what Fassbinder and McQueen have here. They because yeah, you can see them even interact with each other and it's it's very serious. They take what they're doing very seriously, but they can also, you know, cut up a little bit. So based on these three performances alone, Michael Fassbender I'll always call him one of my favorite actors, and I love so much of his work, and I'm going to see whatever the hell he's in for the rest of his career. But oh, God, I just, I love him in this so much. I think it's, it's an all timer performance for me, like genuinely one of the top ten best acting performances I've ever seen in a movie. And I think he also fits the bill for being the perfect person at the timing for right. For everything. Because the age he was at, even the way he looks, he's a very, very masculine looking face, how that works. So well, with him being a man in this, such a masculine man with this sex addiction and the just the levels of the way he treats himself as a beast, I think it's very, very polarizing to be able to look at such a well groomed and kept individual that behaves like this. And his look serves both of that. It's so it's one of those roles where it's like, who else could do it as well purely by the way they look. Yeah. And it's everything in the movie is servicing everything else. Like, yeah, Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen didn't create that apartment. Like production designers prop masters, they are in there fine tuning that to make it that, give it that minimalist vibe. I mean, everything he has in there, it's like, yeah, that's I don't think he'd own any more than this. And no, not any less. And the simple clothes he wears, the way he wears his hair, it's so, like I said, just so in tune with the material, I definitely want to switch to Mulligan here because I will admit that the thing I'm most drawn to in shame is the back story between Brandon and Sissy. And a lot of that is due to the intrigue and the way that Carey Mulligan plays Sissy, because this is by long and far her finest performance to me. My God, the pain Sissy. She's the emotional antithesis of Brandon. It is my belief that they have shared trauma, and it is fascinating to watch them interact with the world differently. Because of that. She's so loud and obvious, craving attention, no boundaries yet still completely alone, just like him McQueen, Fassbender and Mulligan all dissected the Sullivan family back story. They worked out every detail and arrived at a shared conclusion and they promised to keep it between them. And that's all on screen. That's all I care about. I do not need to know what conclusions they came up with, but that's the work, man. Yeah, that's what makes the difference. You could very well have a director and two actors who have working with this same script and have them come up with their own. Because a lot of times that that's the case. It's up to you to figure that out as the actor. And you do. You do your own investigation discovery for yourself. For your back story, if you will. But in order to make something come so alive off of the screen like this, that is the work you have to do. You need to come together and get into it and really find that shared thing. Because once you both live in that world, that's what makes it so connected. That's what makes their dynamic sing on screen. And it's so, so vital. So I'm glad that you brought that up and talked about that because it's just that difference between being good and being the best. Most of the people I talked to who have seen this movie or I've shown it to a lot of people and sat in the room and watched it with them. And a high amount of the people say that the most uncomfortable scene is that a scene between them on the couch when he's in a towel because you don't know which way that's going to go. And you're like, Oh, man, is this is this what this movie's been building toward? Like here now? And then it just it pivots. Thank God it pivots. But that's the that's the constant mystery of the movie. That's still got it. I mean, I was watching this just before we went on Mike right now. And that scene is just so, so unnerving to me. And I think shame is really difficult for a lot of people to watch, not because of the sex, but because it may remind them of something within themselves because, you know, we've all been through stuff. And when you arrive at a certain age and you look back, there's bound to be something troubling back there. And whether or not you've dealt with it is up to you. But Shame is a movie about two people who have not dealt with it. And that can be very triggering for some people to watch. It can be uncomfortable, but that's the world it lives in. And the intrigue of it and what's not said is why I will always keep going back to it. I kind of felt the arrival of Sissy to Brandon. She's his savior. OK, and you said it best earlier. She disrupts his life, but the life he's living is not good for him. So she comes in, throws a giant wrench into it because she's loud because she's the way she is. But ultimately, if there was ever going to be a change that he was going to make, it came as a result of her and what she did staying in his place. And in a weird way, I was sort of like, was she his savior? In this? Well, it usually takes a disruption to get us unstuck. So a lot of people have to hit bottom, quote unquote bottom, whatever that is to you, I think. Yeah. Teebs for his personal bottom in this film. And that is because of her, because the events that are put into motion when she shows up ultimately lead to a few days later, him storming out and going on his binge. So I think there's absolutely a world where Brandon Sullivan is 55 doing exactly what he's doing in the opening of this movie and just going through the motions and doing the job, but burning through money, not doing this stuff healthily, I can't imagine that goes anywhere good. But because this disruption comes in two fold, it forces him to look at himself. He has no choice. He's being called out for his sex life and never happens. So he has no choice but to deal with it and handle it. And he doesn't handle it well as a lot of people don't. So that's again, that's the volley of the movie. If she doesn't show up, there is in the movie, she's the disruption. She's the driving force do you think that before she comes into the picture, he is aware at all of what's going on with him? Is he aware that he's a sex addict and has an issue? Yeah. Or that maybe. Yeah, like he's got an issue like that? I guess it's best way of putting it. Maybe he's not ready to say he's a sex addict, but he's like, maybe this is a bit much or maybe. Yeah, exactly. This is an issue. That's right. And title what he's feeling and what's driving him through his life. Those are addictive compulsions. So I think he has a lot of shame through whatever he's been through. I think he has a lot of shame for how he's living his life now. Some of the first clearest words in the movie are I find you disgusting, boom. It's a shot of him, even though he's not the one being talked to. This is all telling you, in my opinion, how he feels about himself. I don't know if he thinks he is ready to do what he does at the end of the movie. I don't know if he's ever gone that far with it in terms of literally like in that bar putting his life on the line because you don't he has just this vendetta against himself in his head. So I think he is content with his behavior, but I definitely think he is aware that he does not engage with the world like other people. We don't see him with more friends. He has this very solitude life. He doesn't want to have to explain himself to anybody that you don't want to, certainly not his fucking sister. So, yeah, you live alone, you live in isolation, you live in your internal shame and I imagine the only thing that makes that shame go away, even for a few seconds, is sex or something related to sex. Yeah, I know we've talked about scenes as we've gone on, but I thought it would just kind of be fun to like start at the beginning and break things down and talk about favorite scenes as we go. Favorite shots. I did kind of want to point out some background information this movie was shot for 6.5 million. That's crazy. That's really good. They shot it in 25 days. It made 20.4 million, which doesn't seem like a lot but this was an NC 17 rated movie, which meant it did not play, at least in America. In Regal AMC, no major chains. It would only play in smaller theaters. I saw it at a landmark when the DVD came out. It wasn't sold in Target or Walmart. You had to get it on Amazon. So for an in C 17 rated movie, which Fox Searchlight did not pressure him to change. They never gave him a note to trim something down, you know, get an R rating. They let him submit his movie however he wanted and you know, that's a pretty good turn out for that strong of a rated movie. Another fun fact I learned about the movie before we get into scenes is that the two producers who helped produce Shame, the movie they made directly before it and won the Oscar for was The King's Speech. Oh my God. No, but how fucking hilarious is that? That the two dudes win an Oscar for The King's Speech, and they very they went after Queen like they wanted to do his next movie. So, you know, could not have two polar more polar opposite movies. But I just got a huge, huge kick out of that. That's funny. So the movie opens with this incredible montage that is kind of this like crazy, a narrative style. It's edited so well. It forces you to engage with it. It's fun. You kind of have to play along. And I remember seeing it, and when we see him on that subway and he's making eyes at the woman, then we hear him having sex. And I remember being like, Oh, is he having sex with her? And then, you know, we cut to the previous night and he's hired a prostitute. So I just remember like, oh, my God, this is right from the beginning. Like, you're hooking me in with this style of this perfect way to introduce this character. Because, again, the words addiction are not mentioned. The word sex is not mentioned. There's no like meeting rooms where people are in there, like sex, anonymous meetings. There's nothing like that. You were just thrown right into this guy's world and it's one of my favorite openings to a movie. I mean, oh, my God. It's it's actually my favorite scene of the movie. Oh, great. Great. So when he's looking at the woman in the subway and they're just exchanging this back and forth eye contact, this is the best example for this character as showing the example of chasing the dragon. Every addict chases their dragon. I'm like, maybe this is just symbolizing that chasing the dragon, like starting out something is fun, something is sexy, it's dangerous. But then when you go down that road, it ends up not being any of those things. And yet you're left alone at the top of a subway platform. Yeah, exactly. And what do you try to do when you're there, when you're still chasing that one thing? But it's not there. But I love the subway scene. There's two very good actors just working with the camera, too. And the music. Oh, the oh my God. Yeah, we can talk about Harry. S got like there were a good like five, six years there when the score for this. There's not he doesn't have many tracks on the soundtrack. It's just Brandon that opening then the unraveling and they sound very similar in the end credits. But God, I've wrote to those so much. So, so much. I love the music. It really propels everything forward. And I think that's the ultimate like chasing the Dragon because of how the film ends. The dragon is still there. Dragon still on your back like whatever. Whatever it is. So what are you going to do now? It's a new day, guy. You've been through a lot, but like, the song is the same. The subway looks a little cleaner. It doesn't have all that graffiti on the wall. If you notice, in the end, but I'm not. What does that symbolize? But yeah, you're right. Like he doesn't get to have that. So then he has to trudge on into work, and then the next time he's fulfilling, his addiction is in the work bathroom. And and then I want to talk about this when they go to the bar, because we got to we got to make some room for James badge Dale the great. It's bad Dale as his boss David who is I don't know how many fucking guys have you known like this in your life? I know guys who have dressed like that who have had such similar jobs even in New York the way he personified what that guy is about. It is so fucking perfect. I love him in this movie. Total asshole, totally arrogant, totally annoying the actor in real life. I've seen so many interviews with him. He is nothing like that. He's so down to earth, such a grounded guy. I mean, God, just that first scene of his in this, the way he's dancing and hitting on the the women. Oh, my God, he's such a buffoon. But yeah. Tell me about James Badge Dale. Dude, in so many ways, he steals the movie. Yeah. Every scene he's in, he fucking steals it. He is truly that guy. He does. He plays it to absolute perfection. And it's very fun to watch Fassbinder or should I say Brandon playoff off of him because Brandon is not a guy that talks very much but clearly is somewhat entertained by this guy. Fassbinder knows that this guy's a complete joke when it comes to picking up women. And I think what we see has happened before and I don't even think the boss knows it. I think Fassbinder Brandon has done exactly what happens. I mean, he doesn't make the call to I mean, the woman picks him up, you know, a ride she picks him up. But I think he has planted that scene and literally stood he chooses not to dance for a reason. He stands in the background, only looks at the blond has eyes at her. And I think, you know, it's exactly what he's doing. He's saying like, yeah, you're over there with my buffoon friend. But if you you know, if you want a real man, I'm right over here. We can wait till the night's over. It's like he's using him as a wingman, but bad still doesn't even know it. It's just so foolish and so up his own ass that he's not aware of his role in this whole little game. Exactly. And it all changes when he hits on the sister, because now it's not fun anymore. OK, this was all fun. And games going out, doing all this, but now you're you're actually invading in what I close off, that's when the whole dynamic changes between the two of them. But that scene at the bar is it's got to be one of the lightest scenes of the movie if there's like levity in any sort of scene and like watching the way the blond looks at Fassbinder, like so many of those girls, when you're talking to a douche bag like that guy, like, they clearly know exactly who this is until someone interesting shows up and it's like, oh, who are you? Who are you? And let's let's get to New York, New York, because I think we dissected the sissy introduction a lot, which is maybe the most telling scene of the movie. But again, that's there's everything you need to know about those two characters is when they see each other in the movie for the first time. But yes, this is a lounge singer of sorts. She's got some gigs in town and she's going to be performing. So Brandon takes this shit head boss to go see her. And what happens is really the most emotional moment of the movie in terms of Brandon and his reaction. Because, again, this is maybe more so than any other scene in the movie. This is the one that caught the most shit and still catches shit that people say it's tirelessly boring. Why is it last so long? The whole point Steve McQueen is trying to make here is look at their eyes, look at the way they're looking at each other. Look at the way Michael Fassbender is playing it. They shot this once James badge down. Michael Fassbender had not heard Carey Mulligan sing. They had cameras set up on each person. They did it once and then that was it. So all the reactions are genuine and real. And this is man, when you dig underneath, it's not it's not about the song. It's not for how long it goes. It's just about like, why is he crying when she's singing this? Oh, my God, there's so much built into this and then the way he won't even talk to her when she comes over to the table, like, yeah, it was good. Yeah. And the shithead boss has to be the one. Like, he was crying tears, crying, crying. Oh, man. But just. Yeah, let's let's get into this New York New York scene a little bit. That's that's actually like the like that was what hit me the most was the way that he didn't acknowledge to her, like, he wasn't going to let her in and celebrate, you know, her talent or her charisma or her voice or anything. It was just like the word he uses. It's interesting. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. It's so demeaning when someone says that to you. Like when someone when you do something like that, like you express yourself in that way and someone just refuses to give you any type of the not validation, but just even acknowledgment that that just happened so telling between their relationship. But I mean, the New York, New York, I mean, man, I mean, we we spoke about this on on a previous podcast talking about scores in movies. But this was this was our big connection to shame when we were working on my short there I go. I had this idea in my head for a jazz singer and I was like, did you ever see Shame? And that started everything. I didn't know they set up the camera because no one had heard Carey Mulligan sing in my movie. The guy who did my music, he wouldn't let me hear the song. He recorded it with the actress without me knowing and we're about to shoot it. She knows the song. I don't I don't get to hear it. And he's like, You're not going to hear it. And so until we shoot it. I'm like, Well, let's shoot my coverage first because we're going to get a genuine reaction. And so it's funny that like, this was the inspiration for that, and yet the same tool was used to elicit that that first impression upon hearing what it was that McQueen I didn't know that that's that's very cool. Well, yeah, your guy told me that you hadn't heard it, so I was like, All right, we're going to do the same thing here. Like, I'm going to put it on Nick first, and we're going to get his genuine reaction of hearing this song for the first time. And I you know, I didn't want to, like, replicate the exact kind of shots of shame. Oh, that would be a total exercise in futility. But like, I positioned you in front of the bar, and so you have a very, like, lush background, like she kind of does when she's singing. And then I tried to isolate the singer, like Michael Fassbender's isolated. But yeah, that's still one of my favorite things that I shot. And we use that scene as a template. Yet another example of this film bleeding over into our filmmaking lives. And God, I just it's just so a part of me. I can't help it. But, you know, back to that scene in the movie, there's that whole thing and then everything, like you're saying, turns once the boss David changes his seat and goes and sits next to her, another touching. And it's like, Oh, my God. And a really cool thing about this sequence is there's a whole they shot a whole bunch of stuff, getting them into the car. So it was not scripted as they're kind of flirting. They order champagne in the bar and then boom, they're making out in the car. There was a whole like you saw like that that time. And that is one of the things that the the editor, Joe Walker, the great editor, that is what he said was his main contribution to the movie, was showing Steve a cut to be like, take this out. Let's just boom, jump to them making out in the cab. We're on Brandon's face. That's telling us everything we need to know. And that's an amazing editing cut because you can kind of like, you know, again, it's 101 minute movie. I'm not going to mind it. There's eight or ten extra minutes in it. You know, I love this movie, but just knowing that they shot that and then having the confidence to just go, Nope, just scrap it and it lead to that perfect cut of him in that cab window, which is like you're just sitting there like, Oh my God, they went there with it. This is gross. It's appalling. Like it because and I think you're right, that's really cool that they cut that because. Sure, exactly what you said. Like, we could absolutely live here for a little bit longer, but we get enough from the performances that he's going in. And you see Fassbinder, you know, he just is like, I'm just going to get some drinks and then he comes back and he's not even a part of this. The energy is between these two. So then that clip, it goes from awkward flirtation to now physical making out. It's a beautiful cut because we just upped so many levels and we just get smashed in the face by it. And that's what you want. Like, that's, that's the cut that that's going to. Wow, that's so cool that that wasn't that there was going to be more leading up to it. And then the decision and the way I and the reason why I say that's confident is because we it's it's totally believable. We believe that Sissy and David would be doing this. We don't need ten extra minutes convincing us that this is going to happen. It's like, oh, no, we just jump up to them making out like this is gross. But yeah, I believe these two would do that. Yeah. And exactly because their characters are so bold, both of them. Like if we were talking a little bit, some more like maybe standoffish people that are building up to this, we might need those scenes. But because he is how he is and she is completely legally accepting and into it, we get it. We don't need that build. Yeah, yeah. Oh, God. So then and that leads us to, I would say the second most discussed art scene in the movie, which is strange because it's just a run, but you either like the run or you don't like the run. And you and I, we love the run. And here's why I am not here, nor are you. We are not here to explain the intentions of the filmmaker and to say, if you don't like the run, you don't get it. How dare you? It's not like that. I'm just telling you what it means to me. And what it means to me is the first time I saw this movie, I had no fucking clue what Brandon was going to do in that apartment. I don't know if he's going to go into that room because his boss is hooking up with his sister in his bed. I don't know if he's going to go, like, break into the room and yell or if he's going to go try to join them. I have no idea. This movie set itself up in a way. I'm like, he's pacing around the apartment, he's flipping out and I'm thinking like, Jesus, can I just have a break? Yes, you can. Sure. Here it is. It's this glorious, you know, midnight run to Madison Square Garden, and it just allows you to relax and it eases the tension just for a couple minutes because this movie has been cooking and cooking, and now we're getting to this really strange place. So just for a second, you're allowed to pause, reflect, get into his headspace think about, hmm, this is an interesting reaction to what's going on because, you know, how would you react to a similar situation? People, you know, how would they react I don't foresee myself going out for a jog, but he does. So that's that's what's so fucking interesting about it and what it just gives you that time to meditate on what's going on in the movie, where he's at and then what the hell's going to happen from here? Because the next scene is that really explosive. You know, get out, get out of my room, which is like just so startling and the most explosive he is in the movie. But we just get this nice little respite and I love it. And who the hell does this in the middle of their movie? Just like calms it down for 2 minutes. But Steve McQueen, you know, he's the master of these long takes, but oh, God, I love the run. What I also find interesting, too, is why doesn't he actually go out and find a girl? Because that's his answer to every other thing that he's faced with when he's conflicted. Yep. But the coolest part about the run that I found when we finally get to that, that the two minute run and he's at the red light and you see Madison Square Garden in the background I almost completely forgot what was happening. Mm hmm. I got so focused in on the run, in with the music. I had forgotten what's going on in his apartment. With his sister and his boss. Yeah, maybe that's what he was trying to do. It's so cool. Well, you know, you bring up an interesting point that probably deserves a little more attention, like, why doesn't he go get laid? Or just, quite simply go get off? You know, why doesn't he go do any of those substances? Earlier that I was talking about, he elects to do something healthy in the midst of this. Like, this is one of the more troubling things that he's, you know, victim to in the movie. That is no fault of his own. It's just happens to him. So, yeah, it's those are all very, very telling choices. It allows you just to dig into this guy's mindset more like what the hell kind of shame is buried within this guy to where he can go. OK, not enough. Like you go to a fucking hotel or or just anything, you know? Oh, man. Like anyone would've been like, are you serious right now? In my bed, in my room. He flips out in the apartment sitting with, like, all of this angst and conflict and. Yeah, this is just a leave it. Let it happen. Yeah, go for it. Yeah. It's so fascinating. And there is no answer. There really isn't. That's what's so great about it. That's a really, really fun, long take in the movie. It's very nice and steady and even more fun and longer take comes shortly thereafter. When he's at the first date with Marianne, which is just a fantastic first date scene in its awkwardness and the fact that it's held in one shot that very slowly pushes in that you can't you know, you can't really tell from the naked eye. And a fun thing to do is whenever this movie is available on streaming platforms, you can like scrub through it, you know, kind of slowly and see that push in. It's just, oh, my God, it's so cool to watch. But, you know, I do want to talk a little bit about the Steve McQueen oner because he's great with those. But to dove into the date a little bit, I always loved how, you know, we see him smoking alone before and then he's like sitting there watching her in the restaurant and he just doesn't look happy. He looks like he's about to do like a chore. And he's like, and I'm watching it like, OK, is he considering OK, should I actually try to date this woman or is this am I just trying to get laid tonight? You know, that's all like all that complexity is going on. Like, I got to work next. This this is my boss's assistant. Like, this is I don't know. There's so many complexities like that, but I love that date for so many reasons, the way Nicole Beharie just plays off of him throughout the movie, but especially in that she's kind of leaning back. She's owning the conversation and steering it and oh, my God, it's just it's really, really something. It's very fascinating to see that he's the dude's never on a date in the whole movie. He either buys this or goes out and wherever he's at and finds it, maybe even to your point, like, maybe this is just a guy in his world, guy he dates. Yeah. I don't know why they do this. I hate these so much, but my favorite part of the whole entire thing, they're not my favorite part. But one of my favorites is that he shows up and he just goes, Am I late? And and she's like, I'm glad you could. I'm glad you could come. And she's like, Yeah, you know the fuck, man. Yeah, but he knows he's late. He's been sitting there watching. Yeah. Like, he knows he's late. That's part of this. It's part of this whole mystery. Like, Come on, dude, what is this, a game? Or are you just this tortured? Like, you can't go in there? Yeah. One thing that is awesome about this scene in terms of the shot construction of it just being one take is the amount of busyness. Like McQueen has extras just walking right through the camera. There's a there's a disconnect going on well, obviously within inside of himself, but him and her in the dialog are not on the same page with things. But no, we're also at the same time getting this disconnect and these people coming through, which just enhances is this type of feeling all within one shot. We're actually learning the most personal things about him in this date. Yes. Yes. Very important to hone in on this. If you're like a screenwriter and you're trying to think about how you need to get across certain information, a character's information, this is one of the best examples of how to do it because it comes more than halfway through the movie. This is how we learn about him on this date. That's not really going very well. Yeah. And also the waiter. Oh my God, I, I love imagining it kind of seems like he's hitting on it to me. Like he puts the napkin in his lap. It just, he seems like he's got a little. Got a little thing for Brad in there. I don't know, maybe. Hey, that's one hell of a choice to make as that actor, too. I like. Yeah, exactly. There's so many different ways that a director could choose to shoot this scene is just a testament to how confident he is that and also what you said way back early in the movie or in the pod. Holy shit. You can do it like this. Like you can challenge the way things are normally done by just doing it a certain different way. And as long as you have as the filmmaker an intent behind it, it'll work. You know, again, I've recommended this movie cautiously to many, many people over the decade, and some people don't like it. It's not for everyone. It's not it's not for you. It's not for everyone, folks. It's not for everyone. Even the people who don't like it will often tell me how much they like this scene, because, yes, we've all seen this so many times. We've seen the first day thing so many times, but it's never been like this. The tediousness of the acting in the volley, the volleying they're doing back and forth. It's so good. But then yet again, Sean Bobbitt cinematography is all helping that. Why cut away from this nervous tension? Let's just stick with it. Let's see it all play out. And the dialog is this is the most important dialog in the movie because it's the only time he's asked about his family and his response or lack of it is, you know, are you close to your family? And just I have a sister and it's like, Hmm, wow. What in the world is back in there? Like, doesn't even talk about mom and dad. There's just nothing. So God, yeah, it's very, very telling. And I love that the awkwardness of the first date is so clearly there. But then the next scene is them walking down the street, which is really well lit, by the way, which is to say natural lighting like it, it holds with them in that dark for a while. I just love that. But now things are kind of OK and it seems like the date may have, you know, picked back up. And that can happen. And I just I love that. I love the way they're playing off of each other as they're walking on the street. You know, it's clearly gone a little better than it started off. And that's kind of fun to imagine, like, oh, I wonder what else was talked about to where they're both kind of vibe. And now like, this is cool. Yeah. And then the Steve McQueen Magic one or I just want to give some attention to them. I mean, he he's a guy who shoots in Master, so he like the scene with Carey Mulligan on the phone to her boyfriend. I don't have to go out. I don't have to go out. They shot that twice and just had the camera on her for 15 minutes. Like each time and he said, OK, go. And then they pick, he picks whatever 60 seconds he wants out of that. So that can be a very grueling type of filming for an actor. But for shame in particular, like he was very specific about the casting and he wanted theater actors, people who could stay in the scenes for long periods of time. But yeah, I mean that first date of course, but then you have that very long conversation and hunger, which is incredible. The camera doesn't move, but it's like, holy shit, it just so forces you to pay attention to what they're saying. And then like the car shot and widows, which is you're just like you're hearing this wise ass privileged white politician talk about all this, all this groveling while we just, you know, look at the city crumbling before our very eyes around him, around us. So God, Steve McQueen, he knows how to handle a camera just as well as anyone else making movies nowadays. And I love that story about Mulligan with 15 minutes, because that to me is like a dream, like when, you know, you just basically like you're you're like, all right, you're on the phone and things aren't going well with your boyfriend. Go. Yeah, I could see a lot of actors being frustrated about that. But I to me that sounds like what would a what a way to get to something that could never been scripted. Yeah. You know, if the actors if you got the right actor who's ready to go and take on that task, you're going to come out with something. And it is a very, very like when those cuts happen, it's like, oh my God, she's a mess. Like, she is a total mess. Absolutely. Yeah. So then that day goes well and we arrive pretty quickly at the Standard Hotel, which is actually where the New York, New York sequence took place. And the in that bar which I went to before the pandemic. And it was amazing. I talked about that on one of our first pot episodes, actually, I like the scene a lot for what it shows that he's trying he's trying to do the thing. He's doing the date thing. And now even though this is very uncanny, rational and it's like, hey, let's leave work early, I'm going to do a line in the bathroom and we're going to hook up, like, what? OK, dude, which she clearly isn't expecting but can't do it. And then we immediately cut to something he can do, which is, you know, a really kind of intense quick sex scene. But that cut is meant to be very, very startling. Because, I mean, this is arguably his most shameful moment in the movie, at least his internal shame, not being able to, you know, perform with his coworker here with Mary in and that startling cut to him just boom there, standing in the window doing that thing. And then if you watch the way that woman who I'm never like is she a prostitute, is she just like a casual hookup of him? But they have a history. They're like, they've done this before. And I just that whole interaction they have, I heard McQueen talk about they focused on that a lot, like the way his partners interact with him and he interacts with them. Kind of tells you a lot about him. But yeah, just the whole standard hotel sequences, it's really something. And I love that you brought up that. I think you're you said it best like he was trying and the way that he even started it was before at work where he just basically pulls her off to that little tiny corner. Like where is like the makeshift cafeteria with that beautiful blurred wall, which you can totally see. He makes his intentions known and moves on her in and kisses her in a way that's sort of like telling like, hey, let's, let's go and do this. Let's go and try this. Like, that was his way of trying to be Abrams antic and it just any and he gives it the best shot he can and he really does. And it just doesn't work. And you're right, that cut is very jarring and it forces use the audience member to think about what's really happening because you could just leave it at, oh, he couldn't get it up. But if you decide to engage with the movie more especially what we've seen up to this point, well, why can't he get it up? That's the whole point. Exactly. That's the whole point. It's like it's not just because he wasn't feeling it it's because he was trying to do something different and it wasn't working. And he's still got to, you know, fuel his need. Yeah. He's got yeah. He does need. Yeah, man, how troubling that must be going forward from that because he probably has not tried this many times, if at all. I agree. And it continues the downward spiral for him. I mean, when he just as Marianne's leaving and he just leans his head against the glass, it's like he's thinking like, oh, I have to work with this woman. Like, this is going to get out like this. What? I mean, talking about shame, it's like, oh, my God. So it's the only way to suppress the shame, to push it down. Just going to whoever this is. I want to hire this prostitute that I've likely hired before. We're going to have our fun, and then she's going to leave. And then guess what? And we're sitting here right alone, staring out the fucking window again. And then goes home, and we get one hell of a doozy of an argument. You know, you and I are big, big fans of realistic movie arguments. This, again, is one of the best. How are you helping me? How are you helping me? You come in here and you're a weight on me. You're a burden you're just dragging me down, getting me clean up after yourself. Your impressions are I'm on point. Oh, I mean. Well, thank you. That's very nice, but. Oh, man, how many times I've done that? Just the camera doesn't cut, it doesn't move, it just stays on the back of their fucking heads as they're on a couch. And we see varying degrees of their profile, but we never get a full look at them. He's watching some anonymous cartoon, which just fits so perfectly for me, just sitting there blankly when he grabs her face. It's just so scary. And that's what that is, what makes him leave. He cannot handle just the thinnest comment about his sex life, and he's like, I'm gone. CIA. Oh, man. And that's what starts off, you know, here's this wild, hellacious night. But that that argument is really a thing of screenwriting wonder and acting wonder because they are so still and they are so brilliant in the way his voice will just go down if you registers, you know, how are you helping me? I mean, oh, my God. It it just rattles me. I think he's I think it's a very, very well played scene. And I think the line of the whole entire scene is hers. When she's like, Don't you talk to me about sex life. Not from you is you're right. It's the only time it's ever even uttered or mentioned, and she's the only one who knows. Yeah. Even when I was alluding back for the scene where he throws out all the porn stuff, that's because she saw it. Yeah, she saw his camgirl. Yeah. And he got so upset by that when she left, he threw it all out. So that wound was, like, touched. And who's to who else is to say what she knows, you know? So he knows that she's the one that could get to him about that stuff. So if he doesn't want to face it himself. So it's the most stinging line that anyone could say to him. And I love that he his only response is whatever. And he gets up. He's like, whatever. And then, you know, you'll move out and that's it. And then he sets off on I mean, I could do an entire podcast episode of the next 10 minutes of this movie, which is not only my favorite sequence in the movie, but I have not seen a better movie sequence since this one. And in the ten years I've seen it, it takes us into this unraveling binge montage, which is so smartly put together. We're going back to this crazy weight editing style, which when the pandemic hit, I kind of I watched this scene over and over and wrote down every scene and try to figure out, like, the math of it, like she's on the subway. But this is at the end of the night, can now we're going back to the bar. So that's first, OK, and then then we're doubling back. And now he's in front of the club. I mean, the first time you see it, it's such an experience of living in his headspace. And we're going back or trying to figure out where we are. And we're like, oh, God. Like, how's this bar thing going to turn out? How's this? This was such an influence on me, this sequence. And I mean, I could break down like each individual part of it, but it really helped me gain confidence in overlapping dialog with other scene that's going on in the movie. And the way that I use this best, probably in my own filmmaking, was when we were editing. There I go. And you have your character has a conversation with his mom. In the beginning of it. And as written, we were just going to see you on the street making this phone call just kind of straight in order. And I was trying to tell you, like, what if we do that? And we shoot that? But then as you're talking to her on the phone, I'm going to show different things throughout, like the past, maybe like the half hour before this phone call and the half hour directly after. And we're going to have that going on while you talk. And I remember you being like, Huh? But then I cut it together and that was what I was going for. Just this kind of revolving, crazy narrative. And I have way, way more work to do with that. But I mean, Joe Walker as the editor is never more alive than he is here. But this you know, what do you what are your first impressions of this montage? Because I could talk about it forever. Well, I think the most important thing is like if you're not paying attention, the scope of this crazy editing will get lost on you if you do not notice when it very first starts that he has a cut on his cheek. Yeah, he is. He's bruised up and you're like why did I miss something like that? Him and Carey Mulligan can do a fight or like, what? What is this exactly like what's going on here? Then when it cuts to right then very next thing you see him at the bar, he looks good and he doesn't have that. So you're sort of starting to wonder, like, what is going on here? And then you start to see how it starts to really track itself. And it's just such a wonderful way to to tell a story. Like I really want to know, like, was this by design to start or was this something that happened in the edit? Well, that's hard to say because when we get a hold of scripts, of shooting scripts, they have often been written based on the final cut of the movie. So that's how they're writing it. So often those editing cuts are now written into the screenplay. We can get a hold of what did the actual first draft or the thing they actually shot with I'm not sure. I'm not sure if this was found in editing the script I've had and that I've written is written exactly how it is in the movie, but I have a little bit of a difficult time believing that they would have mapped it out that because it's a puzzle, it's a puzzle that you have to decode, and that's something just as if I'm writing, I would let my editor, even if I wasn't editing I would be like, I want to see what they can do with this. And, you know, you'd give the editor the note of We want to mash this up and kind of and they do it in the beginning too. That's the thing. Yeah, the beginning is it's, it's an easier montage to follow, but the music is very similar and then they're just adding more layers to it in this second one. So I think some of it was undoubtedly found in editing in terms of how many times they go back to, you know, him on the street and him in the bar, for instance, stuff. The final sequence of the montage the threesome was was planned out very deliberately on purpose, obviously. Yeah. Yeah. So the first time I saw this movie, like I was in tears by the end of that sequence because that camera just pivots and we're stuck on his face, this face that turns into like this hollow skeleton. And I just remember thinking at the time, perhaps this is a little naive for like a 25 year old to think, but being like, Hmm, I think in any other circumstance this is supposed to be fun and this is not fun. This man is in hell. This man is like, damn near, like I said earlier, near death. And that is it was just so upsetting for me. I loved this guy. So much. I loved Sissy. I wanted I felt for them. I wanted to know where they're from. And I just saw him completely unraveling and crumbling. And, you know, Steve McQueen said he shot they shot that scene as a foursome. He wanted the camera to feel like you were among the sea of flesh and you're just thrown right in there. And and despite the subject material that scene, it is incredibly well shot and incredibly staged, enacted. And there's a few a few interesting things about that scene. That was a second time that shot that they shot at a first time with different actresses. And they were McQueen did not like how the footage came out. So Michael Fassbender did not want to go in, you know, suit up and do that again. But he kind of said, you know, I think we have to go back and give this another try. And they did. And he was way more vulnerable in it in terms of his acting. And that's how you get to like that skeletal end but it was the three actors in the room, Sean Bobbitt, the cinematographer, who was also operating the camera in Steve McQueen. That's it. And that I like I like it being a very, very close set. No one else seems to be here. We don't have sound because it's all going to be music. And I had a love scene and wait, it didn't have any nudity nudity doesn't really interests me. It didn't interest me for that story. It makes sense in the context of Shane, but it was the same thing. Like we didn't have sound. I knew music was going to play over it it was very quick. It was I was operating the camera, so I used that, you know, this sex scene and shame kind of as a template of how to shoot something to do it, you know, because it's all it's you have to be very respectful and everything. But my God, this thing just the music peaks and it's, it's really one of the most haunting things I've ever seen in a movie. And I haven't been this moved by a movie sequence since. And very rarely, just in the totality of my life. Has a movie gotten to this big of an emotional crescendo. And I've just been I mean, my life was changed because of it. Oh, my God. I mean, I think the the thing that I got from it, too, is like, you're right. I mean, it's it's horrific when you've gone on the ride with this movie and you get to this. But when you're looking at the visuals that you're seeing and you're realizing that, like in any other way, you'd be feeling very differently towards this, it's like the flesh doesn't even matter. I think that spoke to his addiction and any pleasure that there once was to receive from this this scenario, this body is no longer there. It is just as meaningless and emotionless as the scene makes it come across. And that's how good it is to to make you feel by what you're seeing that that's what he's feeling, man. So cool. Yeah. And this is a this is a staple of the addiction film that you have, the unraveling scene, the binge scene, when they're really like losing it. I mean, I can think of Jack Lemmon and Days of Wine and Roses looking for a bottle of liquor in a greenhouse and losing his alcoholic mind. So this is something that these type of movies depend on, usually a scene like this. But I've never seen it done this way because it's not explosive. And again, there's just no joy in it. And it's this constant forward moving thing. And then the most telling thing in the entire film happens just as that three ways beginning. And it is this he's saying we are not bad people. We just come from a bad place and that's that. So unpack the movie based on that comment and then, you know, thanks for letting me stay in. It's like just hearing that voicemail, you know, her words play over the beginning of that scene and then it the sound of it fades out and the music comes up. Oh, man. It's really something. It's a it's just so live. What an odd sequence for me to fall so in love with because it is it does contain, you know, some troubling stuff. But the way it is set up and acted everything about it, the way it's shot, it's so, so inspiring to me. Well, the writer takes you on. Yeah. And then what you're left with when it's over, like literally the aftermath, the rubble, the complete destruction of this guy. You know, we compared, like, addiction movies to, like, Requiem for a Dream. Like, in that whole ending thing, like, I can't watch that. Like, it's so it's so jarring and difficult to watch where this is certainly not pleasant. But you're on this ride. You're being taken care of by the director in a way that sort of like, no, no, no. Like, we know what you're seeing is in it pleasurable. But like it matters in the payoff that you're going to get at the end to find out where this character is and where you lie with him is important. So just stick with it. And it's never once like pushing you away. It's certainly not fun, but it's not like ever disturbing. In the sense where I can't watch this anymore. I think that's a very fine line to toe and one that needs to be if you're a director and Steve McQueen being like, all right, where is that line? Like, where is that line between people walking out and people being like, Fuck yeah, Jesus. A very hard balance to achieve there. So to leave a little mystery alive for the movie in case someone's made it this far, the bottom cast it still hasn't seen it. There are a few scenes left in the movie. We don't need to dove into them there. They are intense for different reasons, but the movie resolves itself with him alone. First, he's crying, you know, by himself. And has a full kind of breakdown. Oh, my God, it's so moving to watch. And then we end sort of where we began, which is on the subway, you know, being tempted by the dragon and I really like that. You said you found hope in this because maybe, you know, maybe she will be OK and maybe he will be OK. Who the hell knows? I don't know. But they both are very, very well aware now that they are not OK and there is no more hiding. And that is you know, that's got to at least count for something they don't he doesn't seem like he's someone who wants to recede. Now that all this stuff has been exposed, he looks like he's on his way to a job. I don't know if he has the same job, but he's on his way there. How will it all end? Who knows? The train keeps moving and the ambiguity of it is so perfect because, of course, like, there is no answer but I think what's ultimately more important is not what actually happens is just what you hope would happen. And and that's I think what got me this time is I was like, I feel like, you know, Sissy and Brandon were each other's saving graces in so many ways. And now that they've reached a point where you said it best where they realize they're both not OK going forward, at least for Brandon, we don't know about her, but going forward, this is the choice. You're right. This this is the dragon. What are you going to do? Beautiful. In closing, I just want to give a public service announcement that if you really, really love a movie, I don't care what the movie is. Just own that love. Don't listen to what people say to you. They call you a weirdo for liking an NC 17 movie about a sex addict. I have received a lot of awkward looks from people when I tell them my love for this, but you know, it's all good because I have such a deep, personal relationship to this movie, to my own work, to my love of cinema in general that this one lives within me and it always will. And whatever your movie is or movies are that make you feel that way, just own that because I love that. I love this feeling. It's been great to talk about this. We really dove in. I was glad we gave this one the time that it needed. I've been wanting to do this since we started the podcast. This was yeah, this has been a long time in the making. I mean, it was going to happen. There is just no way like there is no way. When we started this, there wasn't going to come a day where we were going to do a shame breakdown. I had a wonderful time really getting into some of the nitty gritty about this. That brings us to what are you watching? We made it. We made it to the end to shame. Oof! You're first up today for what are you watching? I can't believe we did it. Got there's there's another movie that it's not exactly addiction based, but the movie I'm recommending is 2015. James White. Oh yes. There's a lot of parallels you can make in terms of the way that we get into the headspace of these two very male characters of, of Michael Fassbender and Shame and Christopher Abbott and James White. There's a double feature for you. Oh, boy. Oh my God, I'll do it. But this was a movie that you turned me onto in preparation for I Am Alive, and it spoke to me in an, in a very, very visceral way. In the same way that Shame spoke to you in such a visceral way. So I was like, if I'm going to recommend one movie off of this that's connected in some sort of cinema, attic universe, James White would be it. James White is a fantastic movie. It is raw to the bone. We love that thing to death. I mean, you got Christopher Abbott in there and never better Chris for Abbott, kid cuddy's in there. Cynthia Nixon is amazing in it. It's a great movie. Yeah. God, I mean, we could do a whole podcast on that easily. Yeah. 100% so that's cool. You went kind of in tandem with another kind of guy crumbling down, watching him crumble down in New York City. Nonetheless, I went with a different angle here. I'm kind of branching out. I can't believe I'm doing this. I am going to go with a TV show, which I never do, ever breaking all the rules, breaking all the rules and this is for good reason. Two weeks ago, I watched a series on Hulu called Normal People. My, oh, my, oh, my. This is based on a book by Sally Rooney. She's an Irish author, and she's quickly become one of the best and most well-known millennial aged writers out there. And this shows about two Irish people played with Startling Beauty by Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal. And we follow them over the course of their late teens and early twenties as they navigate life and a very complex love that they have for each other. And I don't go in for shows too much and I don't talk about them on this podcast for a reason because we're trying to keep movies alive. But this thing is incredible. It's absolutely incredible. The reason why I'm linking it to shame is because the sexuality in normal people between the characters and particularly the sexuality of the Daisy Edgar Jones character is it's a huge part of the show and not unlike Shame, Normal People deals with some very tricky subject material, but it handles it so damn well. Normal People is 12 episodes, but there it's only 30 minutes long, so you can watch the whole show in less than 6 hours, which I totally didn't do in one sitting two weeks ago. It's a great show. It really is. I didn't even want to text you about it because I knew I was going to bring it up on the podcast at some point. But this thing gets my full recommendation and it was produced in tandem with BBC and BBC shows like Really, Really Get It Right. Yeah, they're good. This thing is great and it has a great conclusion. I rewatched the final episode three times. It's perfect normal people came out in 20, 20. It's on Hulu right now. Well, perfect, because I actually just finished the show. I was watching, so I was looking for a new one to have. That's going to be it. I think you're really going to like it and oh my God, if people put on shame, James White, normal people, they're just in for a doozy of an emotional time. But please go watch these movies if you, if you've never seen Shame or I don't know, you saw it once and it was just like too intense, which I understand. And you want to watch it again. Let us know. Let me know. I'll talk with anyone any time about this movie. And I want to thank you for doing this with me. We made it the end of shame. Oh, my pleasure. As always, everyone, thank you so much for listening. And happy watching who Hey, everyone, thanks again for listening. You can watch my films and read my movie blog at Alex Withrow dot com Nicholas Coastal dot com is where you can find all of Nick's film work. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at What are you watching? Podcast at gmail.com. And of course you can find us on Twitter at W, a wide W underscore podcast. Just in time for Licorice Pizza Next Time is all about Paul Thomas Anderson from hard eight to Phantom Thread. Stay tuned Hello, everyone, and welcome to What are you watching? Go for it. Take it over and be fucking hilarious, especially with this episode. You want me to do it? No, Oh, that was a spit take of it. Would offer win an all over my mike. I know all over the equipment all a shitty way to start. All right.