Monday, September 9, 2013

Steve McQueen And His Take On The Slave Narrative

It's been ages since I've last been here as a writer, but after reading Gerlyne's review of The Butler, I thought I'd drop by and share a little bit about a film that I'm currently excited about.

Director Steve McQueen has made some powerful and damn near claustrophobic pieces of cinema over the years, namely the films Hunger and Shame. However, his third feature has been making the rounds at the film festivals and apparently leaving heads shaken wherever it plays. 12 Years A Slave is based on the real life story of Solomon Northup and seems to be a film that deals with slavery in a way that hasn't been touched since the TV miniseries Roots. Having seen Shame, I know firsthand that McQueen is a stellar director with an unflinching eye for realism and I can't wait to see how he applies his craft to this subject.

If the trailer above peaks your interest, make sure to check out the 5-1/2 minute featurette below. Serious props go out to all the writers over at Shadow And Act, whose tireless work keeps us all informed on cinema across the African diaspora.

Hollywood is very set in its ways, so while I hesitate to call this film a "game changer," it will be interesting to see how it's acknowledged come Oscar time...

1 comment:

Chyll Will said...

Good to see you again, bro; it's been more than a minute! In regards to this film, it looks excellently cast, produced, directed, he whole nine. But I still feel mixed because the truth is, this business as it is in America is primarily the domain of one group of people, and often when they get to tell stories, they have the financial means to gather resources and talent to make a fine finished product. And far too often, that's what films nowadays, especially those telling a story from an "outsider's" perspective, are: products.

This looks to be as sensitive and sincere to the subject as can be from that point of view, but the question remains: why couldn't we have told that story ourselves, or to put it another way, why wouldn't had anyone listened to us if we did? Let me add, that it has little to do with authenticity from my perspective, but has more to do with what America purports to excel in throughout the world: opportunity.