Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



Film

“12 Years A Slave” Is Fantastic Filmmaking
Posted by LaDale Anderson on Oct 25, 2013 - 4:22:12 AM

12_Years_A_Slave_1.jpg
Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave."
HOLLYWOOD—There is one film that I have been eagerly anticipating since hearing buzz about the picture over the summer.  Some movies strike a cord with audiences, but “12 Years a Slave” is an accomplishment of stellar moviemaking.  Be warned the movie tackles one of the most difficult subject matters in American history: slavery.  This is not “Django Unchained” there is nothing funny happening here; to compare the two pictures side by side would be unjust in my opinion. While both films invoke raw emotion, “12 Years” will literally take breath from the spectator. 

 

The film is based on a true story of Solomon Northrop (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.  To see a character on the highest peak in his life, literally knocked down to the bottom of the barrel and to hold out hope during such a violent and demoralizing time in America is heart-breaking.  Ejiofor graces the screen with such conviction and inner strength that you are secretly rooting for this character. In the back of your mind, the horrors that he experiences will visibly force you to want to leave the multiplex.

 

The violence in the picture is hardcore, it’s brutal and unbearable to watch at times, but that may be the beauty of the movie.  It’s unfiltered; there is no easy way to address a subject matter like slavery, besides giving the audience the raw depiction of what happened.  We have this myth of what we ”˜know’ about slavery or what we ”˜think’ slavery was based on what has been told to us or perceived from countless movies and TV shows. 

 

This film gets it right and that is the unfortunate side effect. In the current era we live in, prejudice and racism and hate amongst whites and blacks and countless other races still exist.  Just look at scandals this summer involving celebrity food icon Paula Deen, George Zimmerman and who can forget the horrors of “Big Brother 15.”  As much as we’d like to admit we made strides, “12 Years a Slave” forces the spectator to realize that enough has not been done. 

 

The characters in this movie are riveting. Michael Fassbender is the epitome of pure evil as treacherous plantation owner Edwin Epps; he has no idea what it means to have compassion, he literally strips and tortures Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) who is a sure fire lock in my opinion for a Best Supporting Actress contender this awards season.  Her bravery to depict the horrors in a woman who has been knocked down, kicked, spit on and beat nearly to death is beyond harrowing, it’s a triumph. Fassbender’s character is evil at his core; Patsey is the character the audience wants to see triumph against horrific odds.


The script by writer John Ridley is authenticity at its best.  Watching this film easily sutures the audience; trust me there were literally moments of fear, horror, sadness, hate, jubilation that took over my body watching this picture.  At times, I found myself just moments from walking out of the theater because it’s such a difficult movie to watch.  That’s a testament not only to fine acting, but writing and directing.  Steve McQueen helms the movie in an approach that some might find odd to some degree.  The action is captured head on and in some instances presented with a bit of deception that is later revealed to be a directorial tactic to evoke a stronger emotion in the audience.  There is a particular scene in the picture involving Patsey, Solomon and Edwin that is so controversial and horrific words cannot describe how the spectator will react.


All for Solomon and Patsey is not gloom and doom, as there are bright lights in the picture from characters like Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt) and William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch).  Ford’s character is an interesting one who grapples with morality and the position of power that he is in. Unlike Edwin, who has no redeemable qualities, Ford has a conscience; he sees the horrors that he is implementing and the regret he’ll eventually face.  Bass is the voice of reason not only for Solomon, but also Edwin.  He attempts to reason with the vile plantation owner, to force us to see the ”˜bigger’ picture and the consequences that his action could ultimately have.

 

“12 Years a Slave” does not have the happily ever after ending so many of us expect when leaving the theater.  It’s a blunt, honest, cruel and remarkable tale of America at its worst. Slavery existed and to not acknowledge the horrors of that travesty is a shame.  This is a film that forces its audience to examine the soul, it pierces through us with little apology. It grabs a hold of the heart and never let’s go. I’ve seen great films, fantastic movies, “12 Years a Slave” is a stunning accomplishment of cinema that drives a raw emotion that will never be forgotten; simply put it’s a courageous tale of survival in a time where survival rarely existed.



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.