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

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

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