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

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

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