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David Poland

By David Poland

DP/30 SneakPeek: McQueen on SHAME & Incest

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9 Responses to “DP/30 SneakPeek: McQueen on SHAME & Incest”

  1. leahnz says:

    holy shit michael f. what an imp

    re:incest in ‘shame’, my impression is there was likely incest/abuse in their childhood but not with each other necessarily, more likely perpetrated against them and thus fucking them up royally, giving them a shared history and dysfunction. steve mcq certainly does dither there ambiguously about it, the jury’s still out based on just that clip anyway

  2. The Pope says:

    Great, you’re back. Been wondering where you had gotten to.

    re: shame. Didn’t Carey Mulligan say in interview that for the bathroom scene, she chose for her character not to react, not to cover herself up was an effort to force some sort of communication out of Fassbender’s character. She knows him more than anyone else and knows he is in free fall and is utterly closed off. So she was trying to get him to confront… something… anything… by any means.

  3. Haven’t had a chance to watch yet, but did you ask McQueen how he had the gall to tell people in Toronto curious about the potential incest angle to “shut up?”

  4. Okay, just watched. That’s a much more diplomatic answer than the vibe I was getting about his attitude in Toronto. Good.

  5. leahnz says:

    is the pope catholic?! cheers man

    mcqueen really told people curious about the possible incest between sissy and brandon to shut up? how bizarre.

    like i said my take was more that they’re victims of family abuse with that awkward, intimate ‘huddled together survivors’ mentality, but i can easily see how others could interpret their strange dynamic as based on an inappropriate past sexual relationship — the subtext is deliberately ambiguous on mcqueen’s part, so how strange that his movie – kind of a rorschach test of the viewer’s own internal inklings – getting people talking about incest should annoy him. (i’ll have to watch the mulligan interview pope mentioned, sounds intriguing, that scene was messed up)

  6. David Poland says:

    What McQueen said is now being “telephoned,” Leah. As I transposed it to Carey and Kris reacted to it and narrowed it into a situation where someone asked a sincere question about incest and McQueen was annoyed or told that person to “shut up” in so many words. Didn’t happen.

    My fault, I guess, for not thinking about context and the potential for a viewer taking a casual comment as a quotation or reporting of events.

    McQueen has “shut up” in him, but his main thing seems to be letting the work speak without overthinking it.

    And the people who see incest in the relationship – I don’t – seem oddly angry about it being denied in any way.

  7. leahnz says:

    oh i see

  8. I actually heard it elsewhere, too, David. But if it was given the wrong accent then I’m more relieved than anything, because I have massive respect for McQueen and don’t see him as a conversation stopper.

    And anyway, it’s not anger over it being denied. You know what the anger is/was over. Or at least, I hope you do, after all this.

  9. qwiggles says:

    McQueen is very much a conversation stopper of topics that don’t interest him if the Toronto Q&A I was at is anything to go by. Highlights: “Not talking about Fela, this movie is Shame”; “What’dyou mean? I don’t know. I’m an artist. D’you have a question?”; “No.” But my vibe wasn’t that he was a dick so much as he’s just a guy who thinks fast and doesn’t do small talk. Well, maybe sort of a dick, but also earnest. At any rate, if he shut down an incest question at another Q&A, it probably just wasn’t articulated very well.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

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