Author Topic: 12 Years A Slave  (Read 6780 times)

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modage

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 10:22:59 AM »
+1
Yeah, this is great. McQueen is 3/3 for me and I'm glad he was the one to make this film. It felt like something that needed to be said and needed someone who wasn't afraid to say it. I was moved to tears at a handful of points throughout the film but not in a Spielbergian choreographed way, sometimes just an image would hit me so hard that it was impossible not to think of the real people that went through this not even that long ago. There is one shot in the film that lingers for a few minutes (it feels like) and is just perfect/brutal/heartbreaking/everything. I picture McQueen just holding your face down in it, right next to it. The ending is emotional of a more conventional kind but as effective as anything I've ever seen. I have literally, no exaggeration, never heard so much sniffling in a theatre before. It was in stereo, happening all around during the last few quiet minutes. Myself, I was crying so hard that my chin was quivering. Powerful shit. There are a few things that didn't entirely work for me (a performance here and there, it doesn't build as you think it might, certain sections drag on) but it's still easily one of the best films of the year and feels like an important one. White people need to see this movie.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

pete

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 07:59:23 PM »
0
was this like McQueen hearing about Django getting made and said fuck this and went out and done it?
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jenkins

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 01:45:58 AM »
0
this and that to say and speculate, and a related portion can be seen:


jenkins

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2013, 02:14:25 AM »
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i was impressed by the scale of social perspective. solomon northup has to learn the context of his situation, and learn the behaviors that allow him to survive it, in order to conquer it. such strength to endure his ordeal! strength in his eyes. strength that pains him. the audience sees pains through torments and tragedies, but also through conversations with eliza and patsy, and his fiddle can sometimes hide his pain, and he can sing. i was very moved

it's not like hunger because northup doesn't choose death, and it's not like shame because northup doesn't create the problem. but you can see mcqueen using techniques he has learned. i missed the phenomenology of those early movies, but liked to see textures as they appeared, from mcqueen and sean bobbitt, and writer john ridley. john ridley: martin --> fresh prince of bel air --> u turn (based on his book) --> three kings --> red tails --> 12 years a slave. a realdeal writer, imo

for credits, the audience clapped the most for chiwetel ejiofor and michael fassbender. steve mcqueen, sean bobbitt, and lupita nyong'o all received big rounds of applause

controversial statement: hans zimmer is the worst part. i didn't like it when his music appeared when it didn't need to be there. it was telling me emotions i thought i could already have

Kellen

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Kellen

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2013, 03:31:29 PM »
0
Armond White's take via the playlist

While the accolades are rolling in for "12 Years A Slave," can Fox Searchlight convince awards season voters to sit through the brutal, hard-to-watch drama? "I've read all about the Civil War and slavery, I don't need to see a movie repeating what I already know," one voter told the LA Times (which makes you realize how arbitrary this whole awards season can be and the type of people who get to cast a ballot), who also reported that the first screening for Academy members was hardly full (approximately 600 people for the 1000 seat venue; by comparison, "Gravity" had people being turned away). But has Armond White just made the case that this movie is too awful to endure?

Granted, Armond White taking a stance against a movie that is near universally acclaimed is hardly a surprise. Nor is his tendency to delve into verbose hyperbole shocking either. But for the few looking to deem "12 Years A Slave" as an exercise in unflinching, harrowing sadism and nothing more, you have a champion in White (even if he ventures off into the ridiculous from time to time). You can read his whole review right here, but here are ten lines that will certain give you pause. (And here's our review as a counterweight). And before you dive in, remember, this is the same guy who said "Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance" and "Taken 2" were better than "Zero Dark Thirty."

1. "Depicting slavery as a horror show, McQueen has made the most unpleasant American movie since William Friedkin’s 1973 The Exorcist. That’s right, 12 Years a Slave belongs to the torture porn genre with Hostel, The Human Centipede and the Saw franchise..."

2. "This is less a drama than an inhumane analysis—like the cross-sectional cut-up of a horse in Damien Hirst’s infamous 1996 museum installation “Some Comfort Gained From the Acceptance of the Inherent Lies in Everything.” (click here to see Hirst's work).

3. "Some of the most racist people I know are bowled over by this movie. They may have forgotten Roots, never seen Sankofa or Nightjohn, disliked Amistad, dismissed Beloved and even decried the violence in The Passion of the Christ, yet 12 Years a Slave lets them congratulate themselves for 'being aghast at slavery.' "

4. "The only conversation this film inspires would contain howls of discomfort."

5. "...the perversion continues among those whites and non-Blacks who need a shock fest like 12 Years a Slave to rouse them from complacency with American racism and American history. But, as with The Exorcist, there is no victory in filmmaking this merciless.

6. "McQueen’s “sympathy” lacks appropriate disgust and outrage but basks in repulsion and pity–including close-up wounds and oblivion...Nothing in The Exorcist was more flagrantly sadistic."

7. "The fact that McQueen’s harshness was trending among Festivalgoers (in Toronto, Telluride and New York) suggests that denial still obscures the history of slavery: Northup’s travail merely make it possible for some viewers to feel good about feeling bad (as wags complained about Spielberg’s Schindler’s List as an “official” Holocaust movie–which very few people went to see twice). McQueen’s fraudulence further accustoms moviegoers to violence and brutality."

8. "The egregious inhumanity of 12 Years a Slave (featuring the most mawkish and meaningless fade-out in recent Hollywood history) only serves to perpetuate Hollywood’s disenfranchisement of Black people’s humanity."

9. "It proves the ahistorical ignorance of this era that 12 Years a Slave’s constant misery is excused as an acceptable version of the slave experience. McQueen, Ridley and Gates’ cast of existential victims won’t do. Northup-renamed-Platt and especially the weeping mother Liza (Adepero Oduye) and multiply-abused Patsey (Lupita Nyong‘o), are human whipping posts–beaten, humiliated, raped for our delectation just like Hirst’s cut-up equine. Hirst knew his culture: Some will no doubt take comfort from McQueen’s inherently warped, dishonest, insensitive fiction."

10. "The story in 12 Years a Slave didn’t need to be filmed this way and I wish I never saw it."

jenkins

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »
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the first screening for Academy members was hardly full (approximately 600 people for the 1000 seat venue; by comparison, "Gravity" had people being turned away)
lame intro. mentioned i saw blue jasmine with 997 elderly people. it's the same as any theater: most people arrive for the names. gravity, oscar certified. 12 years, could build to oscars, doesn't begin there. the crowd came early and there was much excitement. it wasn't like a gravity crowd, no, it was like a the master crowd

(edit)
"serves to perpetuate Hollywood’s disenfranchisement of Black people’s humanity"
the movie didn't lack humanity, not at all. it's easy to miss because people focus on the slavery side. armond white 100% focuses on the slavery side

max from fearless

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2013, 05:05:05 AM »
+1
This is a good interview and McQueen isn't so defensive, in fact, I think he's game, if the questions are interesting and not the usual bullshit. Sean's also great. I remember PTA cringing through some of those godawful Master interviews like that Charlie Rose tidbit where he had to defend/sell the movie to a bunch of dumb-dumbs. Anyways....


samsong

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2013, 07:42:43 PM »
+1
12 years a slave completely wrecked me.  it's the first film of mcqueen's that didn't leave me ambivalent.  it's a tremendous piece of work, flaws and all.  i can count the number of films that have made me weep on one hand and his is now one of them.  and in light of such a disarming, visceral first viewing i find myself even more inarticulate than i usually am.  planning on seeing it again in a week.

i'll second jenkins's sentiments about hans zimmer's score, which i found obtuse or obvious.  thankfully it isn't too prevalent.

max from fearless

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2013, 05:40:47 PM »
+1
Jenkins - this film also knocked me the fuck out. I couldn't leave my seat at the end and haven't reacted to a film like this since There Will Be Blood. I need some time to really think the movie through, but off the top of my head: all performers are great, except maybe the slave woman who has to leave her kids behind. Wish we could have had more time with some of the supporting characters, the narrative is super compressed and moves quite quick I thought. The Fassbender, Ejiofor scenes were pretty incredible. And yes, the score is pretty intrusive and a bit horrible, especially during the first half.

SPOILER

The scene that I can't quite get over is the scene where Northop is hanging and everyone in the background is going about their business. There are other more obvious scenes and moments that will haunt me for a long time to come but that long long take absolutely killed me.

Will have to wait till next year to see it again, but I cannot wait. It's an incredible piece of work and McQueen has really stepped his game up.

Cloudy

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2013, 11:40:00 PM »
0
Spoilers
The moment when Solomon looks into the camera left me in complete bafflement. In the best way. That basically put a stamp on the film, I was in a trance at that point. 

This movie is a fucking force. With it's flaws like some of you above stated. The thing is, those flaws are only flaws when you compare this film to the rest of McQueens work. Many elements from his previous work like Jenkins said were crafted with a more honest and delicate/tactile hand, but this was great nonetheless. I'm being greedy by wishing McQueen didn't fall into the trap of distracting movie star casting (Pitt, and Fassbender...for some reason I couldn't believe them completely, but I still was enamored by them, LOVED Giamatti in this...as small as his role was he had the most interesting nuances), and Hanz Zimmer cookie scoring, and some hammy dialogue.

Kellen

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 04:15:16 PM »
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All I can say is what a powerful piece of filmmaking.  :bravo:

Drenk

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 04:21:01 PM »
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I've seen the trailer of Mandela today. I realized that I really wanted to see 12 Years a Slave. You failed, trailer.
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jenkins

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2013, 02:19:50 PM »
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i was checking for the 2nd part on the béla tarr article and found this instead:

http://htmlgiant.com/film/25-points-12-years-a-slaves-glaring-flaws-wont-deny-it-a-oscar-django-unchained-also-discussed/

it addresses topics you've nodoubt heard mentioned regarding this movie. i was interested in what it had to say about brad pitt. i think all he's saying is it's strange how people are ignoring how overall bizarre brad pitt is in the movie. true enough imo

Quote
17) Yes, the Brad Pitt/Bass deal is a complete fiasco. As the movie looks to wrap itself up, looks to move Solomon back to his family up North, any continuity of immersion within the narrative (strained at times anyways) is wrecked by Pitt, like a teddy-bear landmine. And most critics are aware of the Pitt disaster (aware also of the movie’s problems as a “movie”) but in an amazing trick of double think (a strange binary) they don’t allow any of this to dull the movie’s Oscar glow at all. (on the contrary, the community of critics as a whole are actively buffing up its Oscar glow).

and i think he uses that observation to build the point that the movie's lesson about slavery is treated as important enough to overlook its mistakes. well actually yeah, that's the article's main point. is that a critical point? callers, what do you think

Quote
20) Okay, so let’s take stock here. There are major problems with dialogue. Problems with the “cadence of time passing” (no small problem!), indulgence and melodrama. But, again, in a neat display of double think so many critics acknowledge these problems but quickly dismiss them as being unimportant because well more “important” things are at play here. (this actually creeps me out a bit).

the problem here to me is that it's the word "important" which is being thrown around. the writer seems against the idea of the movie as an important piece on slavery because the writer doesn't see the aesthetics as important. so the writer is saying one matter of importance is more important than another matter of importance. that's the same kind of trickery the writer derails

Pubrick

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Re: 12 Years A Slave
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2014, 08:19:09 AM »
+3
Brad Pitt ruined this. Because of him, the last "act" (wtf structure was this?) just fizzled out. It's ironic that he also saved it in that it wouldn't have been made without him.

That one agonizing, surreal, incredible long take was the pinnacle of the film. You know the one mean. It alone would make a masterpiece short film.

I struggled to stay awake by the end of it. The score was also distractingly boring. It's only an "important" film because America is a country of idiots. Or rather a country of educated people who are in a losing battle against idiots. At best it serves the purpose of stating the obvious.

I'm starting to think this McQueen guy is a bit of a two trick pony:

- His main trick is Fassbender, very reliable. He adds gravitas to anything.

- Second trick is long takes. Again the intent is to make something seem important and meaningful by lingering on it forever.

Those are the only two things I ever remember about his films and here it's undone by almost everything else. I laughed at that article above that describes the DC dialogue as something straight out of Lord of the Rings. It's true. I don't care for the Django comparisons but the flaws in this film are too significant to ignore.

I don't have any guilt about this particular part of history so I am free to assess it purely as a film with its themes and techniques etc. As that, apart from the gore, it's fairly run of the mill. Would not watch/think of again.
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