Further Thoughts On 12 Years A Slave

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A couple of week’s back, I saw 12 Years A Slave as part of a Scottish press screening event. I’d read a lot about the film, had come to be a Steve McQueen admirer on the back of his previous films Hunger and Shame, and was a fan of many of the actors the film sported. So, it came as a bit of a surprise to me that, even though I liked the film a lot and felt Steve McQueen achieved exactly what he wanted to achieve (a forceful, no-holds-barred depiction of slavery like we haven’t seen before), I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed.  Continue reading “Further Thoughts On 12 Years A Slave”

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Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

12 Years A Slave

The third feature from acclaimed British director Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave is a brutal, visceral and well-executed, if overdone, portrait of slavery in the stark plantations of antebellum America. Removed of all Hollywood purification (aside from its heavyweight, and often distracting A-list cast), the film depicts its contentious subject matter with all its vehement barbarity, through explicit imagery and endless scenes of torture, yet often feels stiff and perfunctory as a result. Continue reading “Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)”

Review: Shame (2011)

Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a highly successful businessman living in New York, is unable to manage his uncontrollable sex life. When his wayward sibling, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), abruptly invades his personal space, Brandon’s carefully constructed world slowly spirals out of control.

Unflinching and relentless, Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan tackle the controversial subject matter head-on, invading every aspect of Brandon’s seedy life through meditative moments – such as a hypnotising rendition of New York, New York from Sissy, which will forever be referenced – and increasingly brazen sexual encounters, rather than unnecessary plot devices and diverting side-stories. Instead of weighing down the narrative by spending time exploring the past that resulted in Brandon and – to an almost equal extent – Continue reading “Review: Shame (2011)”