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

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

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