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

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

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