James Franco has issue with Steve McQueen’s Shame. The film, which shows actor Michael Fassbender portraying a sex addict, dates back to 2011, but Franco was able to weave his criticism in for the film for his Vice review of 12 Years A Slave. The film, which is an unapologetic look at slaves reunites director Steve McQueen with his Shame leading man Michael Fassbender.
While Franco has praise for 12 Years A Slave, including that he was so fascinated by it that he watched it twice in one night, the actor/PhD-turned movie critic, takes aim with McQueen’s depiction of gay sex in the film Shame.
Basically Franco wasn’t convinced by the minor blow job scene that featured Fassbender on the prowl looking for gay sex. Franco noted that this scene features his character at his lowest point, and that’s what he takes issue with most.
In his review for Vice, Franco takes a break from praising McQueen’s latest feature, to track back to Shame.
“He wasn’t such an addict in my opinion, though. I mean, what did he do? Watch porn and screw a handful of people a week? I could point to quite a few folks who do that.”
Franco continues, really hitting the nail on the head when he delves into the characterization of gay sex in the film:
“And that scene where he’s at his lowest point and wants to f–k and goes into a gay club, and it’s depicted like the seventh level of hell. I mean, it goes back to the horrible representations of gays in the 70s, where the gay club is meant to signify everything dark and depraved.”
It should be added that Franco himself isn’t a stranger to the taboo subject of gay sex in cinema. Earlier this year Franco recreated 40 minutes that were left on the cutting room floor of the film Cruising for his own gay sex, leather chaps film called Interior. Leather Bar, which explored heteronormative ideas and gay relationships.
Do you agree with James Franco’s criticism of Shame?