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

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

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