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

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

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