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

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