On 12 Years a Slave – also a dud.
January 16, 2014
on 12 years a Slave. This years companion piece to The Butler is 12 Years a Slave, a sort of Django Re-Chained starring a guy whose name is almost impossible to pronounce (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Just as we get two or so big ‘Oscar Worthy’ (snort) WW2 holocaust movies each year from Hollywood, it seems we now get same about African American subjects and oppression, etc, etc. 12 Years a Slave is the latest one – and it’s a rather turgid, dull, painful to watch and pointless experience. Here the nastier aspects of Slavery are gloated over in a, it must be said, rather Sadomasochistic way by English gay film maker Steve McQueen. McQueen uses his video art stylistics to present slavery vignettes and tableaus better suited to kInk.com – that as one now tarnished New York Film Critic noted – reek of ‘Uncle Tomism’ and a sadistic gloating over the nastiness of 19th century Southern slavery. Naturally ‘White Man is The Devil’ in this movie: you get the gentle kind Slaver in Benedict Cumberbatch, you get the chip on his shoulder racist young man in Paul Dano (who get’s a good whipping from the main character in this – that was fun I will admit), you get the whitey opposed to Slavery but who works with Slaves in Brad Pitt and FINALLY you get the Totally Psychotic Slave owner in Micheal Fassbinder. The latter fucks one of the more attractive slave girls and yet beats the skin off just about everybody else in a pointless and nihilistic way to make the point about the heart of ‘evil whitey’ over and over again. You get the idea. The main problem with these type of films from Hollywood is a Nietzshean one. You are being presented with a sympathetic slave morality in these films MADE by people who clearly live by the more morally ambiguous Master Morality. So, in the final analysis this film is at it’s essence deeply inauthentic and hypocritical. You can take that to the bank and as Michael Fassbinder might say in the movie “that’s scripture!”