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

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

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