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

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

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