Spoiler Alert: 12 Years a Slave

Spoiler Alert: 12 Years a Slave

Another episode in our “Spoiler Alert” series. This time we discuss Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013). Both Curtis and I had some problems with the film which we deal with in detail in the show but make sure read below for other perspectives on the film.

Post-script: After watching the film and then recording a podcast I was reminded of Richard Fleischer’s Mandingo (1975), a film that was critically panned upon its release but with time has become regarded by both film critics and directors as a great film (Quentin Tarantino cites Mandingo as a major influence for Django Unchained (2012)). I would encourage everyone to seek out this seventies for an example of a film that deals with racial politics without relying on liberal politics for its criticisms of racism. I would encourage everyone to read Robin Wood’s essay “Mandingo: vindication of an abused masterpiece” which is a terrific analysis of that film’s sexual and racial politics and explains many of the points we tried to articulate in our podcast but with more clarity and rigor.

Further Reading

Tim May’s “The Machinery of Hatred”

J. Hoberman on 12 Years a Slave

Matt Zoller Seitz on 12 Years a Slave

Richard Brody on 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor on NPR

Steve McQueen interview with Tavis Smiley

TIFF Press Conference for 12 Years a Slave

Roger Ebert’s Zero-Star review of Mandingo

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