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

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

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