Sundays in January, World Movies celebrates the on-screen life of award-winning, Irish-German actor, Michael Fassbender. Our Fassbender trilogy begins with Shame, one of two collaborations with Steve McQueen starring Fassbender as tormented sex addict, Brendan. Next stop is Frank, about an eccentric leader of an indie band, Frank (Fassbender) who walks around with a papier-mache mask over his head. The trilogy finishes with a second Steve McQueen collaboration in Hunger, a historical drama about the 1981 Irish hunger strike leading in which 10 IRA prisoners died, including Bobby (Fassbender).
Sunday 8 January 6.50pm
Michael Fassbender stars as Brandon, a young handsome Manhattanite who’s addicted to sex. One day, Brandon’s seedy routine life is disrupted by the arrival of his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), whose neediness is the opposite of Brandon’s cold self-detachment, and the two must learn to help each other as their lives spiral out of control.
“Brave, beautifully acted and emotionally revealing — an early strong contender for the most provocative and compelling film of the year.” – Empire Online
Sunday 15 January 6.50pm
Michael Fassbender stars as Frank, a musical genius who hides himself inside an oversized papier-mâché mask. The mysterious Frank leads an avant-garde pop band along with his terrifying bandmate, Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson).
Frank is loosely based on the story of Frank Sidebottom, a British comic who enjoyed success in the late 1980’s by wearing a fake head with a cartoon face painted on it.
“If I had to drop the critical mask and describe my facial expression after seeing Frank, I’d say: appreciative smile followed by a wistful tear.” – The Rolling Stone
“The boho-absurdist lark “Frank” reveals itself like a Russian nesting doll of references, sendups and sly winks aimed squarely at rarified hipster culture, simultaneously puncturing its most pretentious excesses even as it celebrates its ethos of artistic purity.” – The Washington Post
Sunday 22 January 6.55pm
Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen come together once again in Hunger, a British-Irish historical drama about the 1981 Irish hunger strike. Hunger tells the story of a fierce battle between the Irish Republican Army and the British state, which in 1981 led to a hunger strike in which 10 IRA prisoners died. The first of them was IRA man Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender).
“There is not a conventional plot to draw us from beginning to end. Instead, director Steve McQueen, an artist who employs merciless realism, strikes three major chords. The first involves the daily routine of a prison guard (Stuart Graham), who is emotionally wounded by his work. The second involves two other prisoners (Brian Milligan and Liam McMahon) who participate in the IRA prisoners’ refusal to wear prison clothes or bathe. The third involves the hunger strike.”-Roger Ebert
Hunger premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, winning the prestigious Caméra d’Or award for first-time filmmakers. It then went on to win the Sydney Film Prize at the Sydney Film Festival, the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, best picture from the Evening Standard British Film Awards, and received two BAFTA nominations, winning one.
Don’t miss WM Focus On: Michael Fassbender, Sundays in January from 6.50pm.