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

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

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