Belfast Telegraph

McQueen launches sex-addict film

For Steve McQueen, there was no better place than Manhattan to film Shame, his new film that portrays the life of a 30-something sex addict, played by Michael Fassbender in often graphic detail.

"Excess and access. New York is the place," the British director said ahead of his second film's world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival.

Fassbender's Brandon has no trouble indulging his appetite, be it over the internet, in his workplace toilet, nightclubs, city streets, or even the Standard Hotel, which has gained notoriety on its own as a showcase for exhibitionists due to its floor to ceiling street-facing windows.

"If you stay at the Standard Hotel, there is a little card that says, 'Please refrain from undressing at the window.' I think it is obviously a tempting proposition when you have a building and a beautiful platform like that, to use it any way you want," co-screenwriter Abi Morgan said.

Brandon manages even a nonphysical sexual encounter with a beautiful woman on the subway, with the pair transmitting their desire through intense stares.

Fassbender, who film credits include X-Men: First Class, Inglorious Basterds and the upcoming Jane Eyre, acknowledged a certain discomfort at playing graphic sex scenes.

"Just have to jump into it," he said. "The most important thing, I suppose, is just make sure that everybody involved is comfortable, and just sort of go for it so you don't have to do too many takes."

The film festival's grand prize, the Golden Lion, will be awarded on September 10.

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