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McQueen, Ejiofor and Fassbender Talk ‘12 Years A Slave’ On ‘Charlie Rose’ (Video)

McQueen, Ejiofor and Fassbender Talk ‘12 Years A Slave’ On ‘Charlie Rose’ (Video)

As I said yesterday, when Tambay does his usual year in review and what S & A covered during the past year, 12 Years A Slave will no doubt be the film we most wrote about (With The Butler coming in second).

Every year, there always seems to be a film like that, which dominates. Last year it was Django Unchained, and the year before that, it was The Help (though you can argue that it really wasn’t a black movie – just a film with a bunch of black people in it). For 2013, it’s 12 Years A Slave.

What will be the film next year? Who knows? Stay tuned and keep reading…

So forgive us since we have, yet, another article about the film, but no doubt one of interest. Thanks to the observant eye of regular reader and contributor Jana Sante (who I recently spent a really delightful day with in Brixton London two weeks ago) who sent me this interview with Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender when they appeared recently on Charlie Rose’s show on PBS/Bloomberg TV.

It’s really teriffic interview about the film and the only video I’ve seen of the three of them together talking about the film.

Watch it here:

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Duane D

Why are these people that you would expect to be somewhat informed about the recent history of film acting as if there hasn't been a film made about the enslavement of African people in the diaspora. Haile Gerima's masterpiece titled "Sankofa" still stands as the finest dramatic film made for theaters on the subject. It has a consciousness that – after hearing this conversation – I fear that " 12 years a slave" will lack. I hope that I'm wrong. But, the moment in the conversation where Director McQueen attempts to co-sign some notion of "love" between the enslaved African woman in the film and her brutal rapist – the slave owner – is disturbing to say the least and abuses the notion of love. Why was the bulk of this conversation spent unpacking the "love" of this white slave owner over a discussion of the main protagonists love for his family and his intense desire to return to them. At the end of this discussion I know little or nothing about that Black man's love for his woman and much more about some white slave-owner's perverted distortion of his role as a rapist.


A good interview


Damn, I keep forgetting we we're slaves!?!?!? Thank you for the reminder Hollywood…. :-/


"Every year, there always seems to be a film like that, which dominates"

That's right, the anticipation and heated debates – before the film even comes out – are usually predicated on one main issue – RACE! But I believe once "12 Years" is seen, the usual debates/conversations will be quite different this time.

I mean, having seen the film I am positioning myself with those who are saying the movie is nothing special. It's a straight-forward slow moving drama with an uneventful ending. Had it not been for a few shock & awe moments rarely if ever seen in "slave" movies, this film would soon be forgotten.

Listen, in my opinion, a film is not a great film if it's only defining moments are the hanging of slaves, watching them wiggle and gag as they fight for their last breath of air. Any C-league director can shoot that scene. And please, the brutal and graphic whipping of a woman, hearing the snap of the whip and seeing her skin fly through the air, is not enough to receive my vote for film of the year. Again, any high school student can shoot violence. And, seeing naked slaves (frontal nudity included) is somewhat new to cinema, but it's not grand theater, imo.

So, take away the hangings, whippings, nudity and raping of the slaves. what's left in this meandering drama? What… grand acting? I don't think so.

First, Odepero Oduye is not quite ready for prime time and her acting said so. Brad Pitts performance was… well, Brad Pitt-ish, he was not believable in the least. But granted, Michael Fassbender was an outstanding mean scummy racist pig, but I thought the story was suppose to center on the life of free black man who had to endure 12 years as a slave? That reminds me, as Tambay said, in this movie, Northup's journey seemed to last about 1 year, not 12.

I am serious. Not only did Ejiofor not age one bit, we never see him go though the pain and emotions one would have to experience given his predicament. I didn't see him go through fear, severe doubt, hatred, loneliness, depression, despair and loss of hope. I didn't see any scenes which would lead me to believe time had past. I didn't see or feel any of those defining moments, or emotions, yet we are to believe and accept the fact that this man endured a life of bondage… day after day, month after month, year after year, for TWELVE YEARS, without it affecting him physically nor mentally? Please, spare me. This film had the feel of "One Year A Slave" not the life and times of a free man kidnapped into slavery for 12 years.

But on a positive note, Steve McQueen did select nice camera angles and perfect sound effects to create a sense of suspense and intrigue, but that's not enough to call this film a great achievement.


What a lovely interview. I love these kind of interviews. I mean you got two leads, and the director. All you need is the writer, and bam!

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