hanging-out-logo

Film Blog

12 Years a Slave – A Missed Opportunity?

posted by the hanging out team - Sunday, January 26, 2014

12 Years a Slave is adapted by screenwriter and novelist John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen from a memoir written 150 years ago, by Solomon Northup.  It tells the true story of a black man born free in New York State, tricked, drugged and snatched off the streets of Washington and sold into slavery in the South.

There are great performances from all cast members with, Chiwetel Ejiofor holding on to the dignity of Northup, making the audience question what you would do if your freedom and power were taken away over night. Lupita Nyong'o makes a stunning debut as Patsey, a field slave who was born into slavery.

McQueen effortlessly draws you along the journey of the film with strong powerful visuals that tackle and immerse you into the ugly realities of slavery head on.

We get a well composed continued shot of Solomon's wondering face full of hope, fear and loss after a conversation with a sympathetic carpenter Bass, played by Brad Pitt, then his view falls onto the audience, engaging you into this moment of reflection on the journey he’s been through.

We also see Northup become the victim of an attempted lynching by his overseer, as he dangles from a tree by his neck, his toes scrabbling on the ground desperately trying to keep him self from dying. McQueen shoots this scene as a punishing long take from a distance. It’s length and intensity impresses on the audience a feeling of crisis.

The film has a very swift end, that feels rushed and I was left wanting more of Solomon Northup’s journey as a free man in New York. What was everyday life like for black people during that time in the free North? An opportunity was missed here to delve deeper into this story, as I think only then would the audience have truly been able to feel the real contrast between having freedom in one moment and then losing it all in the next.

You can watch 12 Years a Slave until the 30th January at the Rich Mix in Bethnal Green.

Elam Forrester, Hanging Out Project Writer


Recent Posts


Tags

Regency Enterprises Sue Eakin Joseph Logsdon 1853 Michael Fassbender Kibwe Tavares Dementia best motion picture Britney Spears Robot and Frank John Ridley 12 Years a Slave tricked Scoot McNairy Deep South west end pub Madonna Best Actor Quvenzhané Wallis Django Unchained Peter Sarsgaard Patsey Illustrator Paul Dano channel 4 interview Rick Elgood cotton Stoker Sundance Film Festival Leonardo DiCaprio America Quentin Tarantino Slaves Bill Pohlad Garret Dillahunt freedom Ang Lee Poster Anthony Katagas Idris Elba memoir The Harder They Come Morgan Heritage long take Richard Parker Paul Giamatti Dede Gardner Sizzla Russell Crowe controversy Cherine Anderson Shaggy 150 years ago Best Director Solomon Northup Frank Langella Don Letts Devyn A. Tyler Jamie Foxx New York State One Love Science Fiction 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence Drama carpenter Bass Arnon Milchan overseer Bryan Batt nine Academy Award Taran Killam 2014 Golden Globes Destrehan Rich Mix Bocage walk the line Sean Bobbitt The Avengers Prometheus Black Friday The Life of Pi Kelsey Scott Saratoga Springs CGI Michael K. Williams African American Benghal Tiger Alfre Woodard Michael Fanti Wyclef Jean Steve McQueen Robots of Brixton free North British epic Ruth Negga Henry Caville violent novelist Zanzibar Bob Marley Platt Ky-mani Marley Elam Forrester Jonah Bill Camp Christoph Waltz Adepero Oduye Lupita Nyong'o Kilburn Slavery Sarah Paulson Washington Magnolia lynching Chiwetel Ejiofor Superman Memory Loss Felicity Rob Steinberg film Man of Steel fieldslave Dwight Henry Zack Snyder Christopher Berry Brixton Riots Hanging Out Project HBO TV Jeremy Kleiner Trevor D Rhone Chris Chalk drugged true story short film Writer Fantasy Factory Fifteen Oscars Hanging Out Joe Walker Sean Paul freeman United States revenge Bethnal Green 2013 Sundance Film Festival violence Sly and Robbie Jamaica historical Robert Redford screenwriter Benedict Cumberbatch New Orleans Bob Marley’s son black man Michael Shannon Best Picture Jay Huguley marek tarkowski Louisiana Hans Zimmer Cameron Zeigler Brad Pitt Yvonne Deutschman

Archive

    Business Hubs

    Tuareg Productions LTD
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    richmix
    saint-martins-college-of-arts-design
    xclusive-touch
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    xnew-art-exchange
    kent-creative
    ace-cafe-london
    xclusive-chauffeuring