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

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

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