When a film gets branded with an NC-17 rating, most studios do one of four things. They re-cut it hoping to get an R-rating, release it unrated, doom it direct-to-DVD or suck it up and go for it.

That last option is a rarity because embracing the NC-17 rating means fighting an unfair, almost pornographic, connotation. The MPAA website itself explicitly states “NC-17 does not mean ‘obscene’ or ‘pornographic’ in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience.” But that doesn’t stop major theater chains from not playing the movies, major video distributors from not stocking the movies or TV channels from not advertising the movies. It’s a huge mountain to climb.

Fox Searchlight’s new film Shame, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, is so filled with sex and nudity, it’s all but guaranteed to receive an NC-17. And that’s okay. Not only will Fox Searchlight embrace this, they’re going to push the film for awards. They’re making a stand against the negative stigma. Read more about their marketing strategy after the jump. Read More »

We’ve been hearing so much about Steve McQueen‘s Shame over the past year — we’ve seen clips, posters, and stills; we’ve heard all about the film’s very graphic nature and the searing performances by leads Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan — that I almost forgot we had yet to see an actual trailer.

The first one has finally dropped today, and while it’s obviously impossible to tell whether a movie is good just by seeing a two-minute video, the trailer, at least, looks utterly compelling. Watch the video (which, unlike the movie, is SFW) after the jump.

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New Posters: ‘J. Edgar’ and ‘Shame’

As with every fall, with cooler weather comes more serious films. Two potentially award-worthy projects we’ve been waiting all year to see are Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the first director of the FBI, and Steve McQueen‘s Shame, a sex addict drama that reunites the director with his Hunger star Michael Fassbender. And while neither of them are opening just yet, new posters give us a tiny hint of what’s to come. Check them out after the jump.

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Briefly: If you’ve been dying to see some full-frontal Fassbender, mark your calendar. Fox Searchlight has just tweeted a U.S. release date of December 2, 2011 for Steve McQueen‘s NC-17 drama Shame, which stars Michael Fassbender as a sex addict who finds his orderly life disrupted by the arrival of his troubled sister (Carey Mulligan, who also gets naked in case you were wondering). The distributor picked up the rights last month in Toronto.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, among the NSFW highlights we can expect from the film are “male and female full-frontal nudity, graphic depictions of straight/gay/threeway sex, masturbation, urination,” and something really gruesome that we’re not going to reveal here so as to avoid spoilers. Aside from its explicit nature, the film has also drawn lots of attention for powerful performances by leads Fassbender and Mulligan — no surprise considering how much praise both actors have earned for their talents in the past. Shame marks the second collaboration between McQueen and Fassbender, who previously worked together on the critically acclaimed Hunger.


This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam run down some fall TV show premieres, praise the low-budget Trollhunter, try to make sense of Netflix’s recent moves, and hear about some of the best films at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Special guest Laremy Legel joins us from Film.com.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Tune in on Sunday night (10/2) at Slashfilm’s live page at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as we review 50/50.

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One of the biggest critical hits at the Venice Film Festival was Shame, in which Hunger director Steve McQueen once again works with actor Michael Fassbender to tell a story of a man who doesn’t quite have control over his sexual urges. I’ve edged away from full reviews, but reports peg it as both gruesome (for one scene) and quite sexually explcit, with full frontal displays from Fassbender and co-star Carey Mulligan.

(THR mentioned “male and female full-frontal nudity, graphic depictions of straight/gay/threeway sex, masturbation, urination and a gruesome [redacted to avoid spoilers].”)

Scanning reviews paints Shame as a venue for a very effective performance from Michael Fassbender, if nothing else. And as McQueen has refused to cut the film, it is also one which will go out as an NC-17. So it has been the subject of debate for the past week — who’ll pick this one up? As it turns out, the distributor with the balls (or the willingness to show them) is Fox Searchlight, which bought distribution rights to Shame today in Toronto. Read More »

The Telluride Film Festival, a presentation of the National Film Preserve which takes place beginning tomorrow, Friday Sept 2 and runs through Monday Sept 5, is an unusual beast as far as film festivals go. The core film lineup is not announced until the day before the festival begins, so attendees have to commit to the fest without knowing any of the movies that will definitely play.

Now the first list of films is out, and it has some expected inclusions such as David Cronenberg‘s A Dangerous Method (trailer) and the Cannes fave The Artist (trailer). In addition there are some good surprises, such as Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender‘s reunion, Shame (pics), and the Dardenne BrothersThe Kid With a Bike.

More films will be announced at the last minute over the next couple days. One addition, for example, according to Kris Tapley, is Butter. Peter is arriving in Telluride later today so he’ll have coverage of the festival during the holiday weekend. Check out the announced lineup below. Read More »

Hot on the heels of the release of a massive batch of films that will appear in the Toronto Film Festival, we’ve got the main lineup for the 68th Venice Film Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

We knew that George Clooney‘s The Ides of March would open the fest (the trailer premiered last night and you can see it here) and this list confirms quite a few films that we imagined would be playing Venice. Our very much anticipated spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson is on the list, as is Roman Polanski‘s tense closed-room drama Carnage, starring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. And there is Alps, the second film from polarizing Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose film Dogtooth shocked, entertained and angered festival audiences in 2009.

The full list is after the break. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

Be prepared for a whole bunch of posts today featuring images from the impressive 2011 fall festival slate, as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced a big portion of the fest’s September lineup. Along with that announcement comes a batch of images to go with many of the films. We’ll have a complete rundown of the TIFF slate shortly, but first let’s highlight one of the most interesting films on the schedule: Shame.

This is the latest film from director Steve McQueen, in which he once again directs Michael Fassbender. The two worked together to great effect on Hunger, and so I’m very excited for Shame, in which Mr. Fassbender plays a man living in NYC who has a bit of a problem with his insistent sexual desires. Michael Fassbender has become one of the most reliable and consistently impressive actors around, and I’m hoping that Shame gave him the impetus to really let loose.

We’ve got a batch of images featuring the actor and co-star Carey Mulligan, playing his sister, after the break. Read More »