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12 Years A Slave (1 Viewer)

This movie is an excellent intro to the quasi-genocidal effects of slavery that go way beyond bondage. You could also make a checklist to follow in the early parts of the movie - name, family ties, reading/writing, having any specialized knowledge, routine demoralizing beatings and rape... the list goes on. The laws and social practices accompanying slavery were meant to destroy the humanity of the slave and reduce them to a piece of farm machinery or a household appliance. Most of the attitudes and some of the laws persisted until about 50 years - and uncoincidentally it was basically legal to kill a black person for just about any reason in the south until about 50 years ago (wonder why folks were so up in arms about Zimmerman? There is your answer) - To assume that a systematic racist regime can be allowed to function unfettered for centuries, and then within two generations, all lingering effects of that regime will be gone...

 
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.

 
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao:

If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.

 
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This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao:

If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.

 
LinusMarr said:
I think ill pass on this one...
Wonder why it won last night....
White guilt sells my friend....
It's very hip right now
you do understand the movie is about slavery right? And that slavery actually existed in this country? It's not a made up topic.

here's a link for you to learn more
Yes, I don't deny it happened in the south long before i was born or before anyone alive today was born. You see where I am going here?

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao:

If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.

 
LinusMarr said:
I think ill pass on this one...
Wonder why it won last night....
White guilt sells my friend....
It's very hip right now
you do understand the movie is about slavery right? And that slavery actually existed in this country? It's not a made up topic.

here's a link for you to learn more
Yes, I don't deny it happened in the south long before i was born or before anyone alive today was born. You see where I am going here?
No

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao: If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
Wat?

 
To win the best film, it is often about which film is making the best social political statement. Whether it be racism, gay rights, global warming, anti-war.....all topics which will gain a film/actors numerous votes among the Oscar voters.

 
To win the best film, it is often about which film is making the best social political statement. Whether it be racism, gay rights, global warming, anti-war.....all topics which will gain a film/actors numerous votes among the Oscar voters.
You couldn't be more wrong if you tried

[SIZE=medium]2013– 12 years a Slave[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2012 – Argo[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2011 – The Artist[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2010 – The King’s Speech[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2009 - The Hurt Locker[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2008 – Slumdog Millionaire[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2007 – No Country for Old men[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2006 – The Departed[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2005 – Crash[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]2004 – Million Dollar Baby[/SIZE]

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao: If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
Wat?
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao:

If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
No surprise Fennis gets it...the rest of you lot... SMH.

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao:

If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
No surprise Fennis gets it...the rest of you lot... SMH.
:hifive:

 
What 12 Years a Slave showed that no other movie about slavery has done is how bad the institution of slavery was for everyone involved.

 
What 12 Years a Slave showed that no other movie about slavery has done is how bad the institution of slavery was for everyone involved.
Most films that resonante have a protagonist to take you through a film and Solomon fills that role in this film. There is logic but no drama to his actions. We have tedious pastural stretches that are punctuated by I believe three attempts to escape. These moments as far as drama are so poorly realized its laughable. Literally I was laughing at how quickly the mini arc was extinguished and back to long lingering shots.

Maybe it's an agree to disagree disconnect but I had zero sympathy for any of the white characters and the moral failing and hypocrisy of slavery is paid lip service attention that feels tacked on and not woven into the body of the story. The first owner has debts or sympathy, ok but a modicum

That is underexplored and for me it doesn't connect. The Erie Canal sequence is laughable but Paul dano may just be a crap actor or poorly directed. No one wonders why this Slave has a knowledge of engineering or speaks the queens English? Not even in a look?

Again, I'm talking movie making here. It's just flawed. There is no explanation in the storytelling for why the flashbacks stop. This is also a guy who is connected at Saratoga, seemingly has white friends and 12 years a slAve he has his one shot to a send a message in a bottle and he sends it to... The two carnies he hung out with for a week 12 years ago who one could reasobaly speculate actually SOLD him into slavery OR THEY would take the opinion that this guy was presumed dead.

I'm getting mad as I write this it's so idiotic.

 
Smack Tripper said:
cstu said:
Smack Tripper said:
This movie was an absolute bore. I finally saw it yesterday figuring it would win, and I saw it with low expectations, figuring it was Kings Speech level and style Oscar bait, but it was worse than I expected. Frankly, poor, shoddy filmmaking, no emotional arc, rise/fall creshendo, I mean does white guilt go this far in the post Obama era that this can sail to a best picture.

It was a weird year in there were a lot of very good movies but this was proof positive nothing was great.

This reminded me of 80's filmmaking but at least those films usually had an emotional resonance if a visual tepidness.
:lmao: If you would have paid attention to the movie instead of letting your biases get in the way you would have realize that the movie shows that white people were victims of slavery as well.
I mean from an awards, acknowledgement standpoint.

I will say this, the whipping scenes were "shock" sequences that wouldn't have been in an 80's movie but other than that, this was tripe and moldy tripe at that.

Take a film like the color purple, and while not a slavery film per se, it deals in the era and with the oppression of self and ultimate redemption. I got none of those beats or this moment from the film. They just abandon the flashbacks about 40 minutes into the movie after establishing a pattern of inclusion. There was just no emotional spike in this film.

Positive beats were, they relative staged with the viewer "if I was here, I would do that" and they showed what happened when you did explore escape, but to me there was not a great deal of sympathy with any of the characters at all, which is almost befuddling in a movie about SLAVERY.
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
Wat?
One of the things that makes the movie great was the amount of sympathy the audience feels not only for Solomon, and the slaves, but also for the poor whites in the south, and many of the slave owners.
I agree with that. I thought the award was well deserved. I am surprised somebody upthread found it boring. What did he want? A Transformer to suddenly appear in the cottonfield or SpiderMan to rescue someone who was about to be lynched?

 
What 12 Years a Slave showed that no other movie about slavery has done is how bad the institution of slavery was for everyone involved.
Most films that resonante have a protagonist to take you through a film and Solomon fills that role in this film. There is logic but no drama to his actions. We have tedious pastural stretches that are punctuated by I believe three attempts to escape. These moments as far as drama are so poorly realized its laughable. Literally I was laughing at how quickly the mini arc was extinguished and back to long lingering shots.

Maybe it's an agree to disagree disconnect but I had zero sympathy for any of the white characters and the moral failing and hypocrisy of slavery is paid lip service attention that feels tacked on and not woven into the body of the story. The first owner has debts or sympathy, ok but a modicum

That is underexplored and for me it doesn't connect. The Erie Canal sequence is laughable but Paul dano may just be a crap actor or poorly directed. No one wonders why this Slave has a knowledge of engineering or speaks the queens English? Not even in a look?

Again, I'm talking movie making here. It's just flawed. There is no explanation in the storytelling for why the flashbacks stop. This is also a guy who is connected at Saratoga, seemingly has white friends and 12 years a slAve he has his one shot to a send a message in a bottle and he sends it to... The two carnies he hung out with for a week 12 years ago who one could reasobaly speculate actually SOLD him into slavery OR THEY would take the opinion that this guy was presumed dead.

I'm getting mad as I write this it's so idiotic.
He did what he needed to do to survive. Escaping - and most importantly, surviving - wasn't as simple as just running off the farm. His goal was to survive to get back to his family, not just act like a hero and get killed.

They knew he was smart and not from there, but the system demanded that they don't acknowledge it. When Cumberhatch's character has to deal with that, what do he does he do - sells him off asap so he doesn't have to think about it.

No sympathy for the white characters? They lived in a world where slavery was the ingrained in the culture. Farmers needed slaves to pick cotton, unemployed people needed jobs so they got involved in the trade business. Every white person had convince themselves that black people were less than human so they could get through life.

 
I fall somewhere in the middle. Thought the acting was impeccable, and the social implications of the story were obviously crucial. But those two elements do not mean a movie was the best of the year. I thought Wolf and Dallas Buyers Club were both far superior and more successful in accomplishing what they were trying to do. I also thought the scene where he finally attains his freedom again was somewhat underwhelming. Maybe I'm used to hearing triumphant Shawshank-style music at that point, but it just didn't "do it" for me on an emotional level. Nor did the scene when he finally reconnects with his family.

Couple other things...I didn't get the sense that he was a slave for 12 years. It had the feeling of him being bounced around between a few different slave owners for a few months or so. Now granted (duh), a few months as a slave is still beyond awful. But 12 years of that would be beyond soul-crushing. If they had demonstrated the passage of time a bit better, perhaps that would have addressed some of those sympathy concerns we saw earlier in the thread.

I also thought the violence was a bit exploitative. I realize that there's a fine line you have to walk in terms of showing the horrific realities of what happened versus being gory for the sake of gore (Saving Private Ryan toed this line perfectly IMO), but I think they went too far in one direction. The scene of Solomon on his tip-toes with the noose around his neck lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Then they showed people walking in the background. Then they showed someone sneakily help him. Then they showed more people in the background. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed the wife of the house watching him. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed another angle. Just seemed like a Family Guy joke where they feel like it'll have more of an impact if they keep it going way past the point of effectiveness.

Same with the scene where the girl is beaten. I just watched the movie yesterday, then watched True Detective later that night. Without spoiling anything from the show, there's a scene in it where one of the characters is watching a seemingly disgusting video of a little girl having awful things done to her. Rather than showing the video of the girl, the show maintains focus on the character who is watching the video. From seeing his face, we can get the sense that whatever it is he's watching must be just about the most godawful thing he's ever seen. We can create the imagery to be as bad as we want it to be, but seeing his face we know it's brutal. With 12 Years, I think it would have been more effective to show the girl's face close up or Solomon's pained expression as he was forced to whip her. Would have had more of an emotional connection IMO, rather than showing chunks of flesh coming off her body. Very Passion Of the Christ-ish.

All that being said, it was deserving of high praise. Just not Best Picture in my opinion.

 
I thought this film was very real and raw. As an African American male, I feel movies like this are very necessary. I feel like slavery is very romanticized in the history books. You have to understand the institution of slavery and it's psychological affects before you can understand everything else that precedes it (black codes, Jim Crow, etc), IMO.

That being said, I saw this film once and that that was enough. A friend of mine went to the theaters and saw it multiple times, I don't understand how he could sit through this film more than once. Certain scenes made me cringe. I know not every slave owner was as "extra" as Fassy's character, but I wonder all the time how the slaves were able to endure such hardships were hundreds of years.

I'm also very happy for Lupita Nyongo (Patsy) for winning the Oscar last night. I think she's an incredible actress and a strikingly beautiful woman. I hope has a long lasting successful career in Hollywood (if that's her goal).

 
What 12 Years a Slave showed that no other movie about slavery has done is how bad the institution of slavery was for everyone involved.
Most films that resonante have a protagonist to take you through a film and Solomon fills that role in this film. There is logic but no drama to his actions. We have tedious pastural stretches that are punctuated by I believe three attempts to escape. These moments as far as drama are so poorly realized its laughable. Literally I was laughing at how quickly the mini arc was extinguished and back to long lingering shots.Maybe it's an agree to disagree disconnect but I had zero sympathy for any of the white characters and the moral failing and hypocrisy of slavery is paid lip service attention that feels tacked on and not woven into the body of the story. The first owner has debts or sympathy, ok but a modicum

That is underexplored and for me it doesn't connect. The Erie Canal sequence is laughable but Paul dano may just be a crap actor or poorly directed. No one wonders why this Slave has a knowledge of engineering or speaks the queens English? Not even in a look?

Again, I'm talking movie making here. It's just flawed. There is no explanation in the storytelling for why the flashbacks stop. This is also a guy who is connected at Saratoga, seemingly has white friends and 12 years a slAve he has his one shot to a send a message in a bottle and he sends it to... The two carnies he hung out with for a week 12 years ago who one could reasobaly speculate actually SOLD him into slavery OR THEY would take the opinion that this guy was presumed dead.

I'm getting mad as I write this it's so idiotic.
He did what he needed to do to survive. Escaping - and most importantly, surviving - wasn't as simple as just running off the farm. His goal was to survive to get back to his family, not just act like a hero and get killed.

They knew he was smart and not from there, but the system demanded that they don't acknowledge it. When Cumberhatch's character has to deal with that, what do he does he do - sells him off asap so he doesn't have to think about it.

No sympathy for the white characters? They lived in a world where slavery was the ingrained in the culture. Farmers needed slaves to pick cotton, unemployed people needed jobs so they got involved in the trade business. Every white person had convince themselves that black people were less than human so they could get through life.
I can connect closer with what you are talking about but to me this is not captured or expressed on the screen. I disagree with the moral compromise you put forth however because I think there are a perhaps a disturbing amount of people who have no problem asserting a superiority of race. It's not a lie they tell themselves and I reject the premise that plantation era whites in the south had any such moral qualms in any significant numbers. Is this bore out in any journals from the time?

The notion of living vs surviving is an important one and it's born and orphaned in this film. Which extends to the the rest of the Solomon's default choice as a character: OK. Challenges are met with an "ok". I want to live not survive... Other slave dude says forget it dude just survive and he says ok. And.... That's it. He's a weak character as presented. If guy want to tell me the magic and a major point was slavery was as hard on the whites?

A more interesting perspective for me would have been to frame the movie with an older , lecturing Solomon. There are no stakes in this movie. That home life needs to be paradise and haunt him and instead he basically has 90 minutes of Stockholm syndrome

 
This is also a guy who is connected at Saratoga, seemingly has white friends and 12 years a slAve he has his one shot to a send a message in a bottle and he sends it to... The two carnies he hung out with for a week 12 years ago who one could reasobaly speculate actually SOLD him into slavery OR THEY would take the opinion that this guy was presumed dead.
You do realize that it is a true story, right?

 
I also thought the violence was a bit exploitative. I realize that there's a fine line you have to walk in terms of showing the horrific realities of what happened versus being gory for the sake of gore (Saving Private Ryan toed this line perfectly IMO), but I think they went too far in one direction.

The scene of Solomon on his tip-toes with the noose around his neck lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Then they showed people walking in the background. Then they showed someone sneakily help him. Then they showed more people in the background. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed the wife of the house watching him. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed another angle. Just seemed like a Family Guy joke where they feel like it'll have more of an impact if they keep it going way past the point of effectiveness.
Maybe I've seen too many horror movies and real videos but I didn't think the gore was too much. In fact, I thought the movie was pretty light on the amount of violence until that scene.

That was the most memorable scene in the movie. It when on so long because you were supposed to be shocked that violence and things like hanging were such everyday things to other slaves that they just when about their business. They also couldn't show a single bit of sympathy for him without fear that they'd be next.

 
I also thought the violence was a bit exploitative. I realize that there's a fine line you have to walk in terms of showing the horrific realities of what happened versus being gory for the sake of gore (Saving Private Ryan toed this line perfectly IMO), but I think they went too far in one direction.

The scene of Solomon on his tip-toes with the noose around his neck lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Then they showed people walking in the background. Then they showed someone sneakily help him. Then they showed more people in the background. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed the wife of the house watching him. Then they showed another angle. Then they showed another angle. Just seemed like a Family Guy joke where they feel like it'll have more of an impact if they keep it going way past the point of effectiveness.
Maybe I've seen too many horror movies and real videos but I didn't think the gore was too much. In fact, I thought the movie was pretty light on the amount of violence until that scene.

That was the most memorable scene in the movie. It when on so long because you were supposed to be shocked that violence and things like hanging were such everyday things to other slaves that they just when about their business. They also couldn't show a single bit of sympathy for him without fear that they'd be next.
I get it, and I'm the last guy to complain about violence in movies since I'm all about action and war movies and the like. I just felt that this movie would have been more effective without going to the well like that so much.

Showing the other slaves walking around in the background for 10-15 seconds would have been just as effective as if they show it going on for 90 seconds or however long it lasted. Then you can have Ford come back home to cut him down at dusk or something if you really want to emphasize him being there for a long time. I dunno, it's technical details that didn't detract from the overall story, just trying to find a reason why there may have been a lack of emotional response for some.

The scene of Solomon having his back beaten, the beating of the girl, the noose. It's not that there were too many scenes, just that the scenes went on for too long. I'm probably explaining poorly, but what I'm trying to say is that after awhile I started thinking about how long the scene was going on rather than how bad it was. And then it took me out of the film and I started thinking about it as a movie and the technical flaw of extending a scene beyond its effectiveness.

But I don't discount anyone who said it was impactful to them.

 
I disagree with the moral compromise you put forth however because I think there are a perhaps a disturbing amount of people who have no problem asserting a superiority of race. It's not a lie they tell themselves and I reject the premise that plantation era whites in the south had any such moral qualms in any significant numbers. Is this bore out in any journals from the time?
This is just what I've found studying history. Racism becomes so ingrained in a culture that people don't even think to question it. It will never occur to many people to even question their culture but those that do need to find a way to deal with it psychologically.

The thing to realize about this movie is that it's not just about American slavery or even slavery in general but about humans do to other humans. Nearly every society on Earth has had some form of discrimination that was used to elevate one group of people over another and used the lower value of another group to exploit or abuse them.

 
This is also a guy who is connected at Saratoga, seemingly has white friends and 12 years a slAve he has his one shot to a send a message in a bottle and he sends it to... The two carnies he hung out with for a week 12 years ago who one could reasobaly speculate actually SOLD him into slavery OR THEY would take the opinion that this guy was presumed dead.
You do realize that it is a true story, right?
Yes but this is also not a documentary. It's a quizzical choice and the storytelling indicated no explanation of how we go from dinner to him in chains. We do know he's with two characters who he barely knew in what is traditonally a sketchy business.

A clearer explanation of how they weren't at fault lends logic to his choice as a character.

 
I disagree with the moral compromise you put forth however because I think there are a perhaps a disturbing amount of people who have no problem asserting a superiority of race. It's not a lie they tell themselves and I reject the premise that plantation era whites in the south had any such moral qualms in any significant numbers. Is this bore out in any journals from the time?
This is just what I've found studying history. Racism becomes so ingrained in a culture that people don't even think to question it. It will never occur to many people to even question their culture but those that do need to find a way to deal with it psychologically.

The thing to realize about this movie is that it's not just about American slavery or even slavery in general but about humans do to other humans. Nearly every society on Earth has had some form of discrimination that was used to elevate one group of people over another and used the lower value of another group to exploit or abuse them.
Again, interesting, thoughtful post. It's just not in this movie. Life is us and them at every turn. An under explored notion. Is the psychological warfare of house slave vs field slave. A character of Solomon's refinement would have been a ideal choice for a house slave and that is teased but doesn't happen. We know why women had value as houses slaves but a man of his intellect and even the fact he can play that violin grants him no favor? And if not why? A motivation and explanation for that gives Solomon the character to show some sort of defiance and control in the minor way possible for him

 
I thought this was well done all around, but had little Id call great. Something was missing/off, hard to put my finger on what it was exactly, but it didnt feel like something that should win Best Picture. I thought Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street, and American Hustle were all probably better, and had better lead and overall acting performances than 12 Years A Slave did.

 
Dallas Buyer's Club is probably the only film that I would not have been bothered by had it won over 12 Years.

 
This movie is an excellent intro to the quasi-genocidal effects of slavery that go way beyond bondage. You could also make a checklist to follow in the early parts of the movie - name, family ties, reading/writing, having any specialized knowledge, routine demoralizing beatings and rape... the list goes on. The laws and social practices accompanying slavery were meant to destroy the humanity of the slave and reduce them to a piece of farm machinery or a household appliance. Most of the attitudes and some of the laws persisted until about 50 years - and uncoincidentally it was basically legal to kill a black person for just about any reason in the south until about 50 years ago (wonder why folks were so up in arms about Zimmerman? There is your answer) - To assume that a systematic racist regime can be allowed to function unfettered for centuries, and then within two generations, all lingering effects of that regime will be gone...
Testify Brother Bloom.

 
I thought this was well done all around, but had little Id call great. Something was missing/off, hard to put my finger on what it was exactly, but it didnt feel like something that should win Best Picture. I thought Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street, and American Hustle were all probably better, and had better lead and overall acting performances than 12 Years A Slave did.
We can debate the acting aspect, but AH was awful as a well-constructed film.

 
I disagree with the moral compromise you put forth however because I think there are a perhaps a disturbing amount of people who have no problem asserting a superiority of race. It's not a lie they tell themselves and I reject the premise that plantation era whites in the south had any such moral qualms in any significant numbers. Is this bore out in any journals from the time?
This is just what I've found studying history. Racism becomes so ingrained in a culture that people don't even think to question it. It will never occur to many people to even question their culture but those that do need to find a way to deal with it psychologically.

The thing to realize about this movie is that it's not just about American slavery or even slavery in general but about humans do to other humans. Nearly every society on Earth has had some form of discrimination that was used to elevate one group of people over another and used the lower value of another group to exploit or abuse them.
Again, interesting, thoughtful post. It's just not in this movie. Life is us and them at every turn. An under explored notion. Is the psychological warfare of house slave vs field slave. A character of Solomon's refinement would have been a ideal choice for a house slave and that is teased but doesn't happen. We know why women had value as houses slaves but a man of his intellect and even the fact he can play that violin grants him no favor? And if not why? A motivation and explanation for that gives Solomon the character to show some sort of defiance and control in the minor way possible for him
I will give you that you are expected to read a lot into the movie - it's not simply spelled out for you.

 
i saw everyone of the best pic nominees and i would say this movies wouldn't even make the top 3. I liked Nebraska more than this movie.

 
I disagree with the moral compromise you put forth however because I think there are a perhaps a disturbing amount of people who have no problem asserting a superiority of race. It's not a lie they tell themselves and I reject the premise that plantation era whites in the south had any such moral qualms in any significant numbers. Is this bore out in any journals from the time?
This is just what I've found studying history. Racism becomes so ingrained in a culture that people don't even think to question it. It will never occur to many people to even question their culture but those that do need to find a way to deal with it psychologically.

The thing to realize about this movie is that it's not just about American slavery or even slavery in general but about humans do to other humans. Nearly every society on Earth has had some form of discrimination that was used to elevate one group of people over another and used the lower value of another group to exploit or abuse them.
Again, interesting, thoughtful post. It's just not in this movie. Life is us and them at every turn. An under explored notion. Is the psychological warfare of house slave vs field slave. A character of Solomon's refinement would have been a ideal choice for a house slave and that is teased but doesn't happen. We know why women had value as houses slaves but a man of his intellect and even the fact he can play that violin grants him no favor? And if not why? A motivation and explanation for that gives Solomon the character to show some sort of defiance and control in the minor way possible for him
I will give you that you are expected to read a lot into the movie - it's not simply spelled out for you.
Do you think any characters grew, evolved or changed in this movie?

And an aside that jumps to mind, the movie doesn't address why a literate slave would be a death sentence. They go to lengths to stress their value as property but I'm to believe an owner would throw away 700 dollars In pre 1850 money over that discovery? Fine. But why?

A history lesson should not be requisite for a film, a movie is expected to exist in its own capsule

 
i saw everyone of the best pic nominees and i would say this movies wouldn't even make the top 3. I liked Nebraska more than this movie.
I think that may be the crux of the issue each year. It is up to each voter to decide what makes up Best Picture. While I would imagine many people use your criterion of what movie they liked best, others use a more complex system to determine which nominee gets their vote.

 
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Here is an arc of This character where you could keep the body of the content but at least show me some change and development.

What was it like to be free and black in the north? Was it great? Was there no discrimination?

And more importantly and what fascinates me personally today but what was the perception of northern blacks and. Southern blacks? I have had friends of both origins and there is a surprising gulf between them In their perception and manner.

How about if this Refined, elegant man, gets cast Into slavery and has his perception evolve and he grows to be later what we saw In the title card, an abolitionist lecturer who was active in the Underground Railroad.

That guy described seems like he had passion. Solomon seems like an impotent imp save for one moment of rebellion. You don't need to fight and resist to depict and capture a guy who will fight and struggle.

 
Here is an arc of This character where you could keep the body of the content but at least show me some change and development.

What was it like to be free and black in the north? Was it great? Was there no discrimination?

And more importantly and what fascinates me personally today but what was the perception of northern blacks and. Southern blacks? I have had friends of both origins and there is a surprising gulf between them In their perception and manner.

How about if this Refined, elegant man, gets cast Into slavery and has his perception evolve and he grows to be later what we saw In the title card, an abolitionist lecturer who was active in the Underground Railroad.

That guy described seems like he had passion. Solomon seems like an impotent imp save for one moment of rebellion. You don't need to fight and resist to depict and capture a guy who will fight and struggle.
My view is that it took a strong man to maintain his composure and get through what he went through without losing his mind. Everything he did in the movie was a calculated way to escape - even though he did what he had to do to live he never accepted it as his lot in life. Had he been more rebellious as you suggest (and I felt during the movie) he would have been dead.

 
I thought this film was very real and raw. As an African American male, I feel movies like this are very necessary. I feel like slavery is very romanticized in the history books. You have to understand the institution of slavery and it's psychological affects before you can understand everything else that precedes it (black codes, Jim Crow, etc), IMO.

That being said, I saw this film once and that that was enough. A friend of mine went to the theaters and saw it multiple times, I don't understand how he could sit through this film more than once. Certain scenes made me cringe. I know not every slave owner was as "extra" as Fassy's character, but I wonder all the time how the slaves were able to endure such hardships were hundreds of years.

I'm also very happy for Lupita Nyongo (Patsy) for winning the Oscar last night. I think she's an incredible actress and a strikingly beautiful woman. I hope has a long lasting successful career in Hollywood (if that's her goal).
Interesting, I would have never said anything like that. I'm not sure they hammer the point of how bad it was, but I don't think they romantacize it. I'm a white male though so I'm most assuredly not looking at it in the same context you are.

 
On one of the Grantland podcasts they were saying, for Best Picture only, it's not who gets the most first place votes. So if 12 years got a 2,2,3 while say Gravity got a 1,2 and a 6 then 12 Year's would win.

Not saying that was the case but thought it was an interesting nugget.

 

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