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post #1 of 95 Old 11-17-2013, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Just got back from seeing this film. Thought it was pretty good and would so far the acting was pretty good by all the cast (Pitt, Fassbender, Eti...can't even spell the main actors last name). What did you guys think of the film?

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post #2 of 95 Old 11-18-2013, 10:08 AM
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Most of my family has seen it. Going to wait to DVD to see with my wife. I have heard nothing but very good things on it.
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post #3 of 95 Old 11-21-2013, 10:03 AM
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I plan on seeing it this weekend. I've been meaning to watch it for a few weeks now, but have been super busy.

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post #4 of 95 Old 11-21-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Gotta say I am impressed with M. Fassbender. From Shame, Prometheus, Xmen, to this, gotta say he sure fit his roles well (like how Jessica Chastain has in all the roles shes played so far)

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post #5 of 95 Old 11-25-2013, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Gotta say I am impressed with M. Fassbender. From Shame, Prometheus, Xmen, to this, gotta say he sure fit his roles well (like how Jessica Chastain has in all the roles shes played so far)

Mr Fassbender is a very competent actor. I really want to see him play someone less intense though, to see how well he navigates that. He was great in 12 Years A Slave, and everything else I've ever seen him in.

A great movie by the way. I had a few issues with it though. Some scenes made it feel as though things were repeated a few too many times, and the story drug a little bit. Just a little bit. Otherwise, spectacular acting all around, Chiwetel Ejiofor in particular. I look forward to every movie that Steve McQueen. He is, in my opinion, one of the best directors making movies today.

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post #6 of 95 Old 01-18-2014, 01:24 PM
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A great movie by the way. I had a few issues with it though. Some scenes made it feel as though things were repeated a few too many times, and the story drug a little bit. Just a little bit. Otherwise, spectacular acting all around, Chiwetel Ejiofor in particular. I look forward to every movie that Steve McQueen. He is, in my opinion, one of the best directors making movies today.

I agree that despite Steve McQueen's artistry and the awesome talent of his ensemble cast, 12 Years a Slave did drag at times; but I had thought that the film's slowness might haven been more a reflection on me than the film. The history of the Civil War and its causes has been a lifelong passion. Thus, I have read so much about our dreary national curse of slavery that seeing its evils depicted in the graphic manner McQueen chose to use was not much my idea of popular entertainment. I must be wrong about that though. Both the viewing public and the critics have given it overwhelming acclaim. I gave it 7 Stars out of 10 but consider the source. In this connection, my grandson, who saw it with me, was blown away by 12 Years a Slave.

On a more positive note, the acclaim given to Chiwetel Ejiofor for his luminous performance was richly deserved, as it has been for Michael Fassbender as a drunken, deranged plantation owner. Sara Paulson, as his cold and meanspirited wife, was equally effective in a much smaller role. Despite the discomfort it caused me, I intend to see 12 Years a Slave again when it is released on BD in order to more fully appreciate its wonderful cast and their performances.
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post #7 of 95 Old 01-18-2014, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I agree that despite Steve McQueen's artistry and the awesome talent of his ensemble cast, 12 Years a Slave did drag at times; but I had thought that the film's slowness might haven been more a reflection on me than the film. The history of the Civil War and its causes has been a lifelong passion. Thus, I have read so much about our dreary national curse of slavery that seeing its evils depicted in the graphic manner McQueen chose to use was not much my idea of popular entertainment. I must be wrong about that though. Both the viewing public and the critics have given it overwhelming acclaim. I gave it 7 Stars out of 10 but consider the source. In this connection, my grandson, who saw it with me, was blown away by 12 Years a Slave.

On a more positive note, the acclaim given to Chiwetel Ejiofor for his luminous performance was richly deserved, as it has been for Michael Fassbender as a drunken, deranged plantation owner. Sara Paulson, as his cold and meanspirited wife, was equally effective in a much smaller role. Despite the discomfort it caused me, I intend to see 12 Years a Slave again when it is released on BD in order to more fully appreciate its wonderful cast and their performances.
Thanx for the review.

I have had misgivings about seeing this movie for similar reasons.
Nothing is more horrible in this nation's history and nothing proves capitalism can be plight on humanity like slavery.
To think some of my ancestors could have been involved in this sickens me to the core.

Also, I had a hard time getting thru Django because of this.
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post #8 of 95 Old 03-22-2014, 01:33 PM
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Powerful,..a very raw powerful film indeed very deserving of Best picture. Fassbender is sublime in his element here, we're talking D Day Lewis stratosphere with his incredible presence & intensity. This man is going places trust me. Just a shame he has to do stuff like X-men where he's totally like a fish out of water. BUT IMO the rookie director McQueen dropped the ball majorly in a few areas.

1) The casting of P Giamatti & P Dano was so lame. Their characters were weak, laughable & wasn't at all convincing to me compared to the other 3 main characters. Giamatti & Dano are no character actors. Their strenghths are marathon men from the beg to end like Sideways you grow to appreciate his character. These guys are not S Jackson or Christopher Walken.

2) YOu know the saying you're only as good as your weakest link or 2nd serve. Platt's negro housemates in the beg of the film were very amateurish and stuck out like sore thumb. The first 10-15 min of a film is like 1st impressions and sets the tone. Again very weak compared to Django Unchained due to a more experience Tarantino.

But those 2 weak points faded after 45 min when Platt's character goes into full mode slavery with the pros Fassbender & the amazing best actress winner took over the show.
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post #9 of 95 Old 03-22-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

Again very weak compared to Django Unchained due to a more experience Tarantino.

Couldn't agree more. Tarantino is a master of humorous entertainment and sometimes manages to say something important. His thesis seemed to be as deep as a 9th grade boy writing in an essay that "Slavery is bad!" So what, though, when the simple lesson is delivered with the style and grace Tarantino showed us in Django, it is a worthwhile lesson.

In stark contrast to Tarantino, McQueen comes across as a humorless auteur, hung up on gratuitous violence as his favored storytelling device. Not that Tarantino doesn't use his share of violence, to say the least, but he does it with humor and grace. That said, I rather liked 12 Years a Slave but thought there were at least two Best Picture nominees, Gravity and American Hustle, that were dramatically better.

Finally, was as blown away as you were by Fassbender's performance as an evil and deranged plantation owner. He was my first choice for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
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post #10 of 95 Old 03-22-2014, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

Fassbender is sublime in his element here, we're talking D Day Lewis stratosphere with his incredible presence & intensity. This man is going places trust me.
I think he has probably already arrived.wink.gif
Unless I am mistaken, he is now considered an "A-Lister."


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Tarantino is a master of humorous entertainment and sometimes manages to say something important.
Although there are many imitators, there really is only ONE Quentin Tarantino....wink.gif

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His thesis seemed to be as deep as a 9th grade boy writing in an essay that "Slavery is bad!" So what, though, when the simple lesson is delivered with the style and grace Tarantino showed us in Django, it is a worthwhile lesson.
In stark contrast to Tarantino, McQueen comes across as a humorless auteur, hung up on gratuitous violence as his favored storytelling device. Not that Tarantino doesn't use his share of violence, to say the least, but he does it with humor and grace.
Part of it may be because SM is NOT American-born, but comes from a British background.
The British history and exposure to African slavery is different to the American one.

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That said, I rather liked 12 Years a Slave but thought there were at least two Best Picture nominees, Gravity and American Hustle, that were dramatically better.
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post #11 of 95 Old 03-22-2014, 04:49 PM
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Agreed on Fassbender acting merits, very good.

12 Years a Slave

Strangely it was only the most brutal and heart-breaking moments that made up the rare glimpses of excellent or interesting cinematic execution and it seems to me they are the ones which most contribute to the emotional impact of this work. As for the rest, I didn't notice much substance worth retaining, the melodramatism ended up distracting and was counter-productive in the sense that it deprive this work of some power of persuasion. This dramatic language has been used and re-used many times in cinema, to the point where it has become insipid, now it is a glaring artificialism difficult to cover up if the work is not smartly done, the illusion that things flow naturally is to weak to prevail... To me this movie would be more interesting if the sentimentalism and urge to shock weren't so "in your face", or rather, predictable and higher prevalence was given to an analytical perspective. I also think that the contrast between free man and slave could had been more accentuated, I was a bit surprised to see how fast one situation turned into another, I expected more development of the main character as a free man to have time to know him more deeply and emotionally relate, this would had given more impact to the whole experience.
Technically it's excellent and has great emotional impact which aids to the reflection about slavery more throughly, but looking at the cinematic merits, I see little beyond a competent but vulgar film with little appeal to re-watch after the first view... nothing new here. I think the greatest merit of 12 Years a Slave is the emotional impact, which, according to each one's subjectivity, will dictate how accomplished or rewarding the overall experience is and whether or not this movie is elevated to something bigger than what it really is. I found the vulgarity of the cinematic paradigma to degrade the overall impact this movie made upon me. The most brutal scene in this movie (the poor girl is whiped to near-death) is what I'll retain in my memory for a longer time, I think it's a brilliantly made long shot and condenses the essence of this movie pretty well. OK movie.
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post #12 of 95 Old 03-23-2014, 08:56 AM
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You're going to force me to watch this movie {American Hustle), aren't ya?biggrin.gif

I hope I can convince you to see American Hustle, I think you will like it a lot. I rented the BD the day it was released and enjoyed it even more the third time I saw it, I saw it twice in the theater, than I I did the first two times. You've seen my raves so I won't reprise them here. Although American Hustle is certainly not for all tastes, it has become one of my all time favorite films, 12 Years a Slave, not so much.
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post #13 of 95 Old 03-23-2014, 09:07 AM
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I hope I can convince you to see American Hustle, I think you will like it a lot. I rented the BD the day it was released and enjoyed it even more the third time I saw it, I saw it twice in the theater, than I I did the first two times. You've seen my raves so I won't reprise them here. Although American Hustle is certainly not for all tastes, it has become one of my all time favorite films, 12 Years a Slave, not so much.
Sorry, I was referring to 12 Years A Slave.redface.gif

I have seen AH, my review is on page 2 of the thread.

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post #14 of 95 Old 03-23-2014, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Couldn't agree more. Tarantino is a master of humorous entertainment and sometimes manages to say something important. His thesis seemed to be as deep as a 9th grade boy writing in an essay that "Slavery is bad!" So what, though, when the simple lesson is delivered with the style and grace Tarantino showed us in Django, it is a worthwhile lesson.
Yes big time, but most movie goers including myself realize after seeing 12YAAS that Tarantino with Django brought magnificent unparalleled realism from the production sets, the costumes, the manners/ways they behaved & spoke from "EVERYONE" from a slave who had just one or two lines to deliver up to the mains.

Did y'all noticed & laughed how all the slaves spoke in 12 yrs...like they graduated from Yale with major in Shakespeare linguistics. And to reiterate the weakness with the small side roles from Giamatti & Dano, QT would have as usual with his genius knack for scene stealer character actors brought something eccentric and over the top yet so relate able sometimes likeable even if they are the "bad" guys i.e. Don Johnson as Big Daddy.

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I think he has probably already arrived.wink. wink.gif
Unless I am mistaken, he is now considered an "A-Lister."
Well yes & no, somewhat true but in 12yrs it's clear as spring water that this is where Fassbender shines like D Lewis with the Butcher. This is easily his best role so IDK, it's head scratching mystery to me as why he's known mostly from Xmen which is a part that would normally go to a Jeremy Renner or Chris Evans. And it's not that long ago that he's been in cheese ball B movies like Blood Creek, Eden Lake, Jonah Hex, Haywire. So you see Oink an A list wouldn't be caught dead in those movies.

Perfect example ok look at last year's Prometheus where he plays the robot David,.nothing really wrong but come on surely a too kick back role for him that's more fitting for someone like Jude Law or Sean Bean. It's like he's afraid of success too soon or being in the spot light, what's the word I'm looking for....a carpetbagger. He want's to keep busy & work so he takes anything while he should be be choosy like D Lewis, C Bale, Ed Norton,

He's equal to D Lewis,. no shoot I take that back. IMO he should & will be even more proficient when it's all said and done. D Lewis may have a tad more range like playing a Cerebral palsy in My Left Foot but Fassbender has a slight edge with brawn & ruggedness. Lewis wouldn't do so well with a physical Gladiator role while Fassbender will be a bit out of water playing a mentally challenged character.

But if Fassbender continues to take his virtuoso gift for granted and accept roles like Xmen & Prometheus he won't reach his full potential and for sure not get Oscar nods like Lewis & Bale.
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post #15 of 95 Old 03-23-2014, 01:46 PM
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Well yes & no, somewhat true but in 12yrs it's clear as spring water that this is where Fassbender shines like D Lewis with the Butcher. This is easily his best role so IDK, it's head scratching mystery to me as why he's known mostly from Xmen which is a part that would normally go to a Jeremy Renner or Chris Evans. And it's not that long ago that he's been in cheese ball B movies like Blood Creek, Eden Lake, Jonah Hex, Haywire. So you see Oink an A list wouldn't be caught dead in those movies.
True, but that was then....now is a different story.wink.gif

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post #16 of 95 Old 03-24-2014, 11:40 AM
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Did y'all noticed & laughed how all the slaves spoke in 12 yrs...like they graduated from Yale with major in Shakespeare linguistics.

+1! That was just one more thing that caused me to downgrade the film. Even the very talented Chiwetel Ejiofor couldn't breathe life into some of the pompous, cringe-worthy, dialog he was given to deliver.
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post #17 of 95 Old 03-24-2014, 12:18 PM
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+1! That was just one more thing that caused me to downgrade the film. Even the very talented Chiwetel Ejiofor couldn't breathe life into some of the pompous, cringe-worthy, dialog he was given to deliver.

I haven't seen the film but wasn't Northup an educated man?
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post #18 of 95 Old 03-24-2014, 12:57 PM
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I haven't seen the film but wasn't Northup an educated man?

Solomon Northup orally related his memoir to a white man, so I have no idea what his education was. Either way, it seemed to me that even if the dialog given to Ejiofor came from Norton's memoir, it was stilted and entirely unconvincing, to me at least. Also, as zoey67 noted earlier, equally stilted and unconvincing dialog was given to other black slave characters. It will come as no surprise to learn, therefore, that I thought the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar to John Ridley was unjustified. It seemed to me that Ridley's screenplay was the weakest of the nominees.
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post #19 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 02:46 AM
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Solomon Northup orally related his memoir to a white man, so I have no idea what his education was. Either way, it seemed to me that even if the dialog given to Ejiofor came from Norton's memoir, it was stilted and entirely unconvincing, to me at least. Also, as zoey67 noted earlier, equally stilted and unconvincing dialog was given to other black slave characters. It will come as no surprise to learn, therefore, that I thought the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar to John Ridley was unjustified. It seemed to me that Ridley's screenplay was the weakest of the nominees.
Uh-huh,..and it was like McQueen wanted to show the world underneath their dirty clothes & slave title that they were very much civilized human beings not some uneducated dumb animal. He seemed focused on solely showing how the slaves were angelically victimized past the edge of reality to the point where they can do no wrong. That they were so innocent and wholesome which of course becomes counter productive in now seems contrived.

Tarantino on the other had no qualms in showing the slaves in their raw no holds barred manners and behavior that they too had the same desires and imperfections as human beings capable of committing crimes and wrong doings as the white man.

But yeah gwsat, oh me oh my those slave mates who came in contact with Platt's character were so amateurish they barely seem to have much credible acting skills over an extra on the set therefore which I was unable to engage in any suspension off disbelief until about the 40 min into the film. They look like they came from a high school play production. In Django I was so blown away how viscerally true everything Tarantino was able to produce that I was immediately transported in a time machine back to that era.
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post #20 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 09:47 AM
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But yeah gwsat, oh me oh my those slave mates who came in contact with Platt's character were so amateurish they barely seem to have much credible acting skills over an extra on the set therefore which I was unable to engage in any suspension off disbelief until about the 40 min into the film. They look like they came from a high school play production. In Django I was so blown away how viscerally true everything Tarantino was able to produce that I was immediately transported in a time machine back to that era.

Indeed! To paraphrase a famous old quote, we knew Quentin Tarantino and Steve McQueen is no Quentin Tarantino. smile.gif More seriously, what frustrated me most about 12 Years a Slave is that what seemed to me to have turned out to be no more than a moderately good film, 7 Stars out of 10, could have been a great one if McQueen, a Brit, had understood American culture and our shared curse of slavery, shared by blacks and whites alike, a bit better.
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post #21 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 09:53 AM
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Uh-huh,..and it was like McQueen wanted to show the world underneath their dirty clothes & slave title that they were very much civilized human beings not some uneducated dumb animal. He seemed focused on solely showing how the slaves were angelically victimized past the edge of reality to the point where they can do no wrong. That they were so innocent and wholesome which of course becomes counter productive in now seems contrived.

Tarantino on the other had no qualms in showing the slaves in their raw no holds barred manners and behavior that they too had the same desires and imperfections as human beings capable of committing crimes and wrong doings as the white man.

But yeah gwsat, oh me oh my those slave mates who came in contact with Platt's character were so amateurish they barely seem to have much credible acting skills over an extra on the set therefore which I was unable to engage in any suspension off disbelief until about the 40 min into the film. They look like they came from a high school play production. In Django I was so blown away how viscerally true everything Tarantino was able to produce that I was immediately transported in a time machine back to that era.

I get what you are saying, but the difference that you failed to mention is the motivation behind "committing crimes and wrongdoings". That is likely the reason for portraying slaves as being innocent......because its somewhat of a slap in the face to degrade a group of folks that have been gone through an atrocity such as slavery. Tarantino is a one of a kind director though, that is able to pull anything off, regardless of the way that portrays people. One of my favs, no doubt about it. Now, were there slaves that did bad things? I'm sure there were. Probably many more than what our history tells us. However, I would guess that slaves and slave owners had vastly different reasons and motivations for the bad things they did. Wouldn't you agree?
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I get what you are saying, but the difference that you failed to mention is the motivation behind "committing crimes and wrongdoings". That is likely the reason for portraying slaves as being innocent......because its somewhat of a slap in the face to degrade a group of folks that have been gone through an atrocity such as slavery. However, I would guess that slaves and slave owners had vastly different reasons and motivations for the bad things they did. Wouldn't you agree?
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post #23 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 10:23 AM
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I get what you are saying, but the difference that you failed to mention is the motivation behind "committing crimes and wrongdoings". That is likely the reason for portraying slaves as being innocent......because its somewhat of a slap in the face to degrade a group of folks that have been gone through an atrocity such as slavery. Tarantino is a one of a kind director though, that is able to pull anything off, regardless of the way that portrays people. One of my favs, no doubt about it. Now, were there slaves that did bad things? I'm sure there were. Probably many more than what our history tells us. However, I would guess that slaves and slave owners had vastly different reasons and motivations for the bad things they did. Wouldn't you agree?

My problem wasn't that slaves were portrayed as innocents. Hell, they were innocent! In the 19th Century south, the prevailing condition for both blacks and the majority of whites was poverty and ignorance. White slave owners took pains to ensure that their slaves could neither read nor write and knew as little as possible about the outside world. That's why the pompous language placed in slaves' mouths in 12 Years a Slave struck me as painfully preposterous. The reason black slaves didn't sound educated and informed was that their servitude ensured that they couldn't be.
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My problem wasn't that slaves were portrayed as innocents. Hell, they were innocent! In the 19th Century south, the prevailing condition for both blacks and the majority of whites was poverty and ignorance. White slave owners took pains to ensure that their slaves could neither read nor write and knew as little as possible about the outside world. That's why the pompous language placed in slaves' mouths in 12 Years a Slave struck me as painfully preposterous. The reason black slaves didn't sound educated and informed was that their servitude ensured that they couldn't be.

Without having seen the movie yet to agree or disagree with your take, I would absolutely agree about the education level of slaves. It was extremely rare for anyone amongst the slave population to read or write. So if they were made to sound scholarly (for lack of a better word) in this movie, it would definitely be a misrepresentation. I'll post back on my impressions once I get the chance to see the film though.
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post #25 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 10:47 AM
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I get what you are saying, but the difference that you failed to mention is the motivation behind "committing crimes and wrongdoings". That is likely the reason for portraying slaves as being innocent......because its somewhat of a slap in the face to degrade a group of folks that have been gone through an atrocity such as slavery. Tarantino is a one of a kind director though, that is able to pull anything off, regardless of the way that portrays people. One of my favs, no doubt about it. Now, were there slaves that did bad things? I'm sure there were. Probably many more than what our history tells us. However, I would guess that slaves and slave owners had vastly different reasons and motivations for the bad things they did. Wouldn't you agree?
If you don't mind could you please rephrase what you just said to my comment so I don't misconstrue anything and properly give you a reply if it warrants. I sure would love to but after reading it several times I still couldn't decipher what you're trying to say to me...peace out
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post #26 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 10:48 AM
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My problem wasn't that slaves were portrayed as innocents. Hell, they were innocent! In the 19th Century south, the prevailing condition for both blacks and the majority of whites was poverty and ignorance. White slave owners took pains to ensure that their slaves could neither read nor write and knew as little as possible about the outside world. That's why the pompous language placed in slaves' mouths in 12 Years a Slave struck me as painfully preposterous. The reason black slaves didn't sound educated and informed was that their servitude ensured that they couldn't be.
Historically accurate, sir.

Like I said earlier, SM doesn't appear to have a good understanding of American history or culture.
The barbarity of American enslavement of African peoples for the purposes of capitalism, will, hopefully, never be forgotten by our people.

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post #27 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 10:57 AM
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The barbarity of American enslavement of African peoples for the purposes of capitalism, will, hopefully, never be forgotten by our people.

For a great many people, it already has. Haven't you heard? They're already trying to re-write history, with more success in some states than others.

The descendants of those enslaved should just get over it already. Sheesh.
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post #28 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 11:03 AM
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For a great many people, it already has. Haven't you heard? They're already trying to re-write history, with more success in some states than others.

The descendants of those enslaved should just get over it already. Sheesh.
True story I swear to Allah: my boss who was the Controller where I used to work would constantly remind his staff that he is still waiting for his 40 acres & a mule. smile.gif
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post #29 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 11:05 AM
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Without having seen the movie yet to agree or disagree with your take, I would absolutely agree about the education level of slaves. It was extremely rare for anyone amongst the slave population to read or write. So if they were made to sound scholarly (for lack of a better word) in this movie, it would definitely be a misrepresentation. I'll post back on my impressions once I get the chance to see the film though.

By all means do see it. 12 Years a Slave is in many ways a fine film and Michael Fassbender's performance as a deranged slave owner makes the film worth seeing all by itself.

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Like I said earlier, SM doesn't appear to have a good understanding of American history or culture.
The barbarity of American enslavement of African peoples for the purposes of capitalism, will, hopefully, never be forgotten by our people.

The problem was far deeper rooted than just capitalistic acquisitiveness. Across the board, most 19th Century white Americans, which was most of us then, were racists to one degree or another. Even Abraham Lincoln seriously considered putting all freed slaves on ships and sending them to another country when the war was over. Ingrained racism was what made race relations such an intractable problem from the time the 13th Amendment formally freed the slaves, up until the 1950s when, for the first time, steps started to be taken to end institutionalized racism. Some vestiges of the problem still plague us but, finally, it is truly starting to disappear.
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post #30 of 95 Old 03-25-2014, 11:29 AM
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steps started to be taken to end institutionalized racism. Some vestiges of the problem still plague us but, finally, it is truly starting to disappear.
Depends on where you are in the country, too. You see, here in Mississippi, racism is alive and well. Of course, that also has to do with the, how do I put this....intellectual diversity in this area. Depending on which year it is, we're either the dumbest state, fattest state, poorest state, or all three. A low IQ seems to be the standard here, which leads to all the aforementioned problems. I can read, write, am happily married, exercise regularly, and eat right. I'm like an alien here. Too bad my wife won't leave her family...

Anyway, a state full of poor, fat, dumbasses is not going to readily accept change for the better. Depending on which end of the spectrum you see, people here can either be normal like myself (well, kind of), or the type of person who thinks this movie is a comedy and loves to watch the slaves get what they deserve. Unfortunately, around these here parts, the lower end of that spectrum is much more prevalent.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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