As Steve McQueen has displayed across three movies, he’s not shy of hard-hitting subject matter. The titular hunger strike of “Hunger” put him on the map, with his followup, the sex-addition drama “Shame” further solidifying the filmmaker’s knack for tackling deep drama with an unerring eye for visuals and deep understanding of character. And while his forthcoming “12 Years A Slave” might be his most “mainstream” picture yet, that’s a pretty relative term. By all accounts brutal, harrowing and unforgiving, it’s another tough work from McQueen but also a picture that’s on the top of the Oscar charts.
Sneaking over the weekend at Telluride, and set for a splashy premiere at TIFF this week, “12 Years A Slave” stars Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Solomon Northrup in the true story of a free black man, sold back into slavery, who battles to secure his liberty once again. But along the way he meets no shortage of brutal owners including Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and most fearsomely, Michael Fassbender. It’s a film our man at the Telluride Film Festival called, “a one-stop Oscar-nomination shopping spree.”
“12 Years A Slave” hits NYFF later this month and opens on October 18th. Until then, go behind the scenes with this 5-minute featurette which contains new footage and much more.