Michael Fassbender is absolutely everywhere nowadays. Don’t recognize the name? Don’t worry, you’ve seen him. He made his acting debut as Burton Christenson in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” and he broke into mainstream cinema with his role as Stelios in “300.” Since then you have seen him as Archie Hicox in “Inglourious Basterds,” Burke in “Jonah Hex,” Mr. Rochester in “Jane Eyre,” and Magneto in “X-Men: First Class.” He even snagged the role of Carl Jung in Cronenberg’s new film, “A Dangerous Method.”
He also stars alongside Carey Mulligan (“An Education,” “Drive”) as Brandon in the much-anticipated and controversial film “Shame,” which has a special one-night showing this evening at U of L’s Floyd Theater. In “Shame” Brandon is a sex addict whose private life is disrupted when his sister comes to visit. The film is one of very few to be given an NC-17 rating that receives any sort of mainstream theatrical release – Baxter Avenue Theater showed it briefly. (Not for long, though: I have it from an inside source that its running during Oscars season without having received any nominations caused it to perform poorly.)
The film is directed by British artist Steve McQueen, who absolutely should not be confused with the American actor of the same name. McQueen, who does video art among other things, made his feature film debut in 2008 with the absolutely stunning “Hunger,” also starring Fassbender, about IRA member Bobby Sands and the hunger strike he led in prison. This is an incredibly stirring and transcendent film; I never thought the image of feces smeared on the wall could be beautiful and moving – thus is the talent of McQueen.
“Shame” plays at the Floyd Theater tonight at 5:00 and again at 8:00. Admission to the film is $1.50 for U of L students and $3.00 for the general public. The Floyd Theater is located on the third floor of the Student Activities Center on the U of L campus. More details can be found at the event’s Facebook page.
Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.