Ellis On Shame

From novelist Bret Easton Ellis: (a) “Steve McQueen‘s Shame would have been so much more disturbing if Brandon (Michael Fassbender) had actually enjoyed the sex”; (b) “Watching Shame I just kept thinking about the Woody Allen joke in Annie Hall: the experience of empty sex being better than no sex at all.” That line about “my worst orgasm was right on the money”? That’s from Manhattan.

  • sutterkane

    I think the line he’s thinking of is from Love and Death, when Diane Keaton says that sex without love is such an empty experience, and Woody says, “Yeah, but, as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best.”

    Great line in a very funny movie. But I feel like Brett wouldn’t be shocked or disturbed by anything less than a snuff film, so this reaction doesn’t tell me much.

  • Spout

    Definitely not disturbing, just operatically melancholic.

  • CitizenKaned4Life

    He’s probably right about the enjoying the sex part (just think about the opening of Clockwork, which largely still disturbs today because the droogs are having so much goddamn fun raising holy hell), but I agree with “other Kane” in the sense that — what exactly is going to unsettle the author of American Psycho?

    Speaking of BEE — he had a pretty great run in the late ’80s/early ’90s — but he hasn’t written a halfway-decent novel in about 20 years, so exactly why are we blindly trusting his taste on this matter/citing his quotes as gospel?

  • JR

    I don’t get the Ellis love from Jeff, either. Pretty irrelevant commentary from a has-been.

  • DiscoNap

    D.Z. says…

    I’m ore interested in what Jay McInerney has to say about Margin Call.

  • Joe Gillis

    Ellis isn’t inhuman–nobody who cried at Toy Story 3 could be (and he confesses to doing so on his twitter) but he’s such an insensitive, callous person when it comes to matters like current day homosexuality and It Gets Better. And why should we even take his comments on film seriously, when most of his takes on movies are glib one liners and curt dismissals?

  • michael

    Jeff, I know this is off topic but at the theater here in Charlotte where I work, we’re doing a special sneak preview of WAR HORSE tomorrow morning (Wed 11-30-11) that is closed to the public and is being attended by a church group.

    Is this not a little strange? I know this is a family friendly film, but it’s not THAT family friendly, is it?

    I don’t want to name the theatre here but if you want the details about it, I can email it to you. I’m a manager there and we knew it was a sneak but thought it was a press thing (we do those often) and only found out on Monday that it was a church group and had to schedule consession people and all that. Anyway, I just thought that was strange and wanted to hear your thoughts on it.

  • Bob Hightower

    How can a director call himself Steve McQueen?

    Maybe I should start directing films under the

    name of Humphrey Bogart or John Wayne.

  • The Pope

    Maybe because his parents named him so. Steven Rodney McQueen.

  • Jericho Cane

    Then why doesn’t he use the name Steven R. McQueen?

  • LexG

    The subway hookup chick (as seen in the YT grab) is PURE HUMAN PERFECTION.

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK AT HER. Plus her LITTLE HAT. Where do all these white women live? They sure don’t have upscale lanky hat-wearing white women in San Fernando/Glenoaks-hood Burbank.

  • Ray

    Lex, I never lived there, but having been there often enough, I can say that of ALL rants you make, your unending “Where the white women at?” rant is the MOST NONSENSICAL OF ALL.

    You want white women in L.A.? JUST LEAVE THE FUCKING VALLEY. Santa Monica, the South Bay, UCLA, hell even Pasadena (and if you want to stay in the Valley, Sherman Oaks), over the years I’ve met HUNDREDS of pretty little blonde things right up your alley.

    Granted, you may not be up THEIR alley- goes without saying!!- but to insist that you live in some world devoid of girls who look like the one in that trailer… Good Lord Lex, YOU LIVE IN L.A., home to the hottest women west of the Rockies, and only you would find something to complain about.

  • LexG

    I want THAT EXACT WOMAN in the hat from the subway…

    That is the EXACT woman who is my FEMALE IDEAL, well after K-Stew and Shailene Woodley…

    Anyone know the actress’s name or if she’s a supermodel?

    Ray, I will take it under advisement but see I live in the Glendale-Burbank border and I am not allowed to leave the general vicinity for reasons I’d rather not discuss, plus I ask that ASSHOLE David Poland to find me a nice place to live on the westside, and he always ignores those emails.

    Santa Monica is a bigger mystery to me than Mongolia…. Once every two years I catch a movie at the Nuart, and each time my 1990 car’s engine overheats and I end up tying up the 405 like an asshole while I wait for a tow.

    And I used to live in SHERMAN OAKS ADJACENT, aka VAN NUYS, and it was like living in MI FAMILIA or BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT. Weren’t a lot of lanky Victoria’s Secret models there.

    I’d also disagree that LA is the hottest women anywhere. Yeah, the 1% that’s in movies are hot, but the other 99% of women in LA are pretty workaday looking, mostly foreign and as depressed as I am.

    I’m sure San Diego or Vegas or Scottsdale AZ or whatever shitbag city ASU is located on is a better place to meet skinny dumb chatterbox idiot blonde women, as is my preferen–

    HEY, what’s w all this ragging on BRETT EASTON ELLIS? Yeah, I don’t get why his HORRIBLE movie opinions are suddenly in high demand, but he’s one of the GREATEST AUTHORS OF ALL TIME.

  • LexG

    *And UCLA? You mean like the one in Westwood, where I used to do standup at the Brewco for a half-decade? Dude, that area’s about as white as a Shaw Brothers movie, minus that one awesome bimbo who did the Ching Chong Ling Long video at UCLA.

    UCLA is more Asian than a Cal Teach math lab.

    I don’t even know what the “South Bay” is, either.

  • Rashad

    Of all the white women in movies, that’s the one that gets you going?

  • York “Budd” Durden

    Whatever editor foisted BEE on the world was no Max Perkins, that’s for sure.

  • Bob Violence

    the high point of Ellis’ Twitter film criticism was arguing that The Shining is sexist because Wendy can’t shine, which is dumb on multiple levels

  • Bob Violence

    oh yeah and Full Metal Jacket is sexist because there’s no women in the first part and only a hooker and a sniper in the second

  • actionman

    TOTALLY off-topic, but where are the early Dragon Tattoo reviews/comments/remakrs/twitters?

  • corey3rd

    why do filmmakers have issues with embracing hedonism? It all ends up with sex without wanting to marry or being married is bad! Some people like to play tennis. Some like softball and some like to screw.

    It almost sounds like Shame is a hetero version of John Rechy’s Numbers

  • Rashad
  • Chase Kahn

    Since when has Brett Easton Ellis become the authority on film criticism? What the hell happened? All of the sudden, the guy has an opinion on everything, including a scathing takedown of Stanley Kubrick of all people.

    And boy, if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, all you have to do is accuse something of misogyny. It’s an easy critique.

  • Ray

    “I don’t even know what the “South Bay” is, either.”

    Well if Santa Monica is Mongolia, then the South Bay might as well be the Moon.

    Seriously if you must live in LA just find a way to get out of the Valley. It’ll be good for your soul, it’s worth the money.

  • raygo

    Q: What do you get when you string together glib one liners and curt dismissals?

    A: A Brett Easton Ellis novel.

  • raygo

    I live in the Glendale-Burbank border and I am not allowed to leave the general vicinity for reasons I’d rather not discuss

    Restraining orders?

  • CitizenKaned4Life

    Funny how Lex cites him as one of the GREATEST AUTHORS OF ALL-TIME, yet proceeds to misspell his name (not that anyone here spelled it correctly, but no one else here is making a bid to be the #1 backer of the BEE fan club, either).

  • raygo

    Ah … Bret with one T. Pompous spelling too.

  • actionman

    thanks for that, rashad!

  • Fortunesfool

    For LexG, who shouldn’t be encouraged.


  • Joe Gillis

    If we live in a world where BEE, a second-rate writer with unoriginal and irritating opinions, is taken seriously as an authority on film, then something is very wrong with our film culture.

  • Joe Gillis

    However, I’m sure we’re going to hear more from him on this website, because he just said that he heard from a “powerful Hollywood person” that War Horse is “the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” More fuel for the fire…

  • Scylax

    Lex, you don’t have to go to the westside. Just go over the hill to Hollywood and you have plenty of wannabe starlets and party girls from out of town out with their friends. And they’re white and blond and drunk. The perfect combination.

  • JR

    BEE tweeted that his top film of 2011 is Moneyball…Oscar season makes for strange bedfellows, huh, Jeff?

    Ellis also has HALL PASS at #6…yeah, this guy has legit film insights that we all need to hear.

    What a joke.

  • Jason S.

    Clip above reminds me of Brenda’s (Rachel Griffiths) addiction to having random fuck sessions with any man that looked her in the face from season 2 of SIX FEET UNDER. That episode where the guy felt her up under her skirt in the clothing store (with his wife 20 feet away) was incredible. Can’t believe nobody’s brought up that SIX FEET UNDER/SHAME comparison yet.

  • hiviper

    Anyone know the actress’s name or if she’s a supermodel?

    Lucy Walters. FETCHING!

  • hiviper

    yes, Rachel Griffiths… what a great show that was. wtf happened to her anyway, she dropped off the map.

  • Baron Munchausen-by-Proxy

    Griffiths stars in another top-rated television show she started just after SFU ended – so you must be using JW’s “map”.

  • JR

    Ebert just gave Shame 4 stars…I really want to see this.

  • joncro

    Wendy does shine!! Remember near the end when she sees a man in a bear suit(?) maybe blowing(?) a guy in a tux?

    What the hell else was that? Her imagination come to life……