Fox Searchlight Is Heroic, Buys Steve McQueen’s NC-17 SHAME

The usually middle-of-the-road semi-indie goes hardcore with the sexually explicit movie from the director of HUNGER.

Did you want to see Michael Fassbender in lots of explicit sex, and get a good long look at his weenus? You’re in luck, because that’s just what you get in Shame, the new film from Steve McQueen (not the dead actor, the guy who directed the brilliant Hunger), which has just started the festival circuit. Now you might think a movie like this, with a guaranteed NC-17 rating, would scare off the American distributors. Thankfully you would be wrong.

Fox Searchlight has stepped up to the plate to buy the movie, which is amazing. Searchlight has been, for the last few years, the sort of soft middle of semi-indie distros, focusing on feel-good movies that are fairly mainstream and Oscar fare. Shame, which I haven’t seen, is apparently anything but a feel-good movie, and I’m uncertain that whipping out his dick will get Fassbender nominated for anything.

But it’s apparently a tough and good movie, and it’s exciting to see Searchlight stepping away from the sure things (in the last few years they’ve done a lot of films like Little Miss Sunshine, (500) Days of Summer and Slumdog Millionaire - not that I’m knocking these movies per se, just pointing out they are just this side of mainstream) to attempt a film that’s not going to be an easy sell to arthouse dilettantes.