By Nick Norton
Shame, the highly-anticipated second film from director Steve McQueen, has been announced as the opening night feature of this year’s Cinecity film festival.
The follow-up to McQueen’s acclaimed 2008 debut feature, Hunger, Shame sees him reunited with actor Michael Fassbender, who made his breakthrough performance in the Caméra d’Or-winning Hunger.
The new film, which is not released in the UK until January 13, has garnered praise from many serious critics and has already received several awards.
For his portrayal of Brandon, a sex-addicted corporate automaton whose fractured existence is disrupted by the arrival of his equally desperate sister (played by fellow A-lister Carey Mulligan), Fassbender was named as Best Actor at this year’s Venice Film Festival, where former installation artist and Turner Prize-winner McQueen was also given the Critic’s Choice award.
The Cinecity festival, which runs from November 17 until December 4, will feature previews of a number of other big releases that are not due to hit the screen until next year.
These include the cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, which sees Ralph Fiennes making his debut as director and starring as the eponymous tragic hero alongside Gerard Butler and Hollywood actress of the moment Jessica Chastain; Martha Marcy May Marlene, the US indie film that has attracted much Oscar-buzz ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards; and the latest from Roman Polanski, Carnage, starring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, which closes the festival.
A fine selection of award-winning international cinema will also be on offer, including Bela Tarr’s Berlin Film Fest winner The Turin Horse, Austrian Cannes-winning Breathing, 3D samurai pic Hari-Kiri; and Bombay Beach, which picked up the Best Documentary Feature award at this year’s Tribeca for its poetic look at the flipside of the American dream.
One feature of Cinecity that marks it out as unique amongst other film festivals is its series of live soundtrack screenings.
Brighton audiences will be able to hear Dave Thomas, founder of influential avant-garde rock group Pere Ubu, perform a live underscore to the cult 1962 B-movie Carnival Of Souls, and instrumental post-rock group 65daysofstatic play their original 90-minute score to the 1972 sci-fi classic Silent Running.
For the full Cinecity programme, including details of venues and how to obtain tickets, visit: www.cine-city.co.uk/festival