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August 12, 2012
Re "The slave link," Opinion, Aug. 8 Declaring President Obama a direct descendant of the first black American slave is an example of how history can be manufactured to satisfy contemporary excitement. John Punch was not the first legally defined slave in American history, as Erin Aubry Kaplan and others have declared. Massachusetts, not Virginia, was the first colony to legally recognize slavery. It legalized slavery in 1641, thus creating the first legal slaves in American history, while Virginia did not do so until 1662.
April 24, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS -- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's battle against the federal government over land rights took an unexpected detour after a newspaper quoted the 67-year-old grandfather suggesting African Americans were "better off as slaves" because slavery taught work skills and enhanced family life. Bundy, who has waged a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, insisting he has a right to graze hundreds of head of cattle on public lands without paying fees, has been surrounded by citizen militias that have converged on his ranch in rural Bunkerville after armed federal officials moved in to remove Bundy's cattle.
December 5, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
"12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" became the best picture front-runners after flooring audiences at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, and little has changed in the ensuing weeks. Naturally, then, given their estimable craft, both movies are also leading the way in the director and cinematographer races. The key category to watch: original screenplay. If "Gravity's" outer-space tale of spiritual rebirth can land a nomination in that competitive group, it will signal the movie has the kind of broad appeal needed to carry it to a best picture win. Here's how the races for director, cinematography and original and adapted screenplay are shaping up on the eve of the L.A. unveiling of the season's final puzzle piece, Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street.
April 20, 2014
Mixed views on Charleston I'm glad Alice Short highlighted the most troubling aspect of visiting Charleston, S.C., in her cover article ["In a New Light," April 13]. What is on the surface one of America's finest historic towns was built and maintained by enslaved African Americans whose history is mostly hidden and unspoken, while the Confederate past is celebrated. The only thing that "saved" our stay in Charleston was Alphonso Brown's wonderful Gullah Tour ( )
March 3, 2014 | By John Horn
In the end, Oscar voters couldn't truly avert their gaze from "12 Years a Slave. " Even though many Oscar voters found filmmaker Steve McQueen's searing chronicle of enslavement almost too harrowing to watch, "12 Years a Slave" prevailed Sunday to win the best picture trophy in one of the closest contests in modern Academy Awards history. In a ceremony in which the space thriller "Gravity" collected a leading seven statuettes - including the first directing Oscar won by a Mexican-born filmmaker - the biggest honor went to the true-life account of the kidnapping and auctioning of Solomon Northup, a New York freeman bartered as a Louisiana cotton picker.
July 15, 2013 | By John Horn
"I don't want to survive,"  Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) says in "12 Years a Slave," the new film from British director Steve McQueen. "I want to live. " Based on a true story of a free man who is abducted from the North and sold into slavery in the South, the Fox Searchlight film costars Michael Fassbender, the lead in both McQueen's "Hunger" and "Shame," as a sadistic slave owner as comfortable quoting Scripture as brandishing a whip. The trailer makes it clear that this is a far bleaker -- and more realistic -- tale than "Django Unchained.
October 15, 2013 | By Elena Howe
The seventh annual Envelope Screening Series opens Tuesday night with the acclaimed historical drama "12 Years a Slave" from director Steve McQueen. The film, based on the account of Solomon Northrup, a free black man in the pre-Civil War North who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Antebellum South, has connected with festival audiences and received a standing ovation from academy members at a screening on Sunday. Harrowing in its depiction of slavery, the film has been called by many awards watchers an Oscar front-runner for best picture.
February 9, 2014 | By Susan King
"12 Years a Slave" on Saturday evening won the 26th USC Libraries Scripter Award honoring the year's best adapted screenplay as well as the author of the work on which it's based. Screenwriter John Ridley shared the award with relatives of Solomon Northup, who published his memoir in 1853. "12 Years a Slave" was in competition with "Captain Phillips," "Philomena," "The Spectacular Now" and "What Maisie Knew. " "12 Years a Slave," which won the Golden Globe for best dramatic film and tied for top prize with "Gravity" at the Producers Guild Awards last month, is nominated for nine Academy Awards including film, director (Steve McQueen)
October 19, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
The state of Louisiana -  with its manicured plantations, moss-draped sycamores and creeping kudzu vines -  serves almost as a character itself in "12 Years a Slave," Steve McQueen's historical drama based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was drugged, kidnapped and enslaved in the antebellum South for a dozen years. At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series , actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Northup, and Alfre Woodard, who plays a former slave married to a plantation owner, discussed how the film's powerful sense of place helped them get into character.
January 8, 2014 | By Susan King
The cinematographers of "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "The Grandmaster" and "Gravity" were among seven nominees announced Wednesday morning for the 27th American Society of Cinematographers Awards. "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Nebraska" and "Prisoners" also saw their cinematographers nominated. The ASC usually chooses five feature film nominees, but this year a three-way tie expanded the list to seven. All but two are previous ASC nominees. "Prisoners" marks the 12th nomination for Roger Deakins, who won the ASC Award last year for "Skyfall," and previously for "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001)
April 13, 2014
Vincent Bevins wrote that, "São Paulo was built by immigrants from Italy, Japan, Portugal and Lebanon, among others... " ["Culture by Day, Partying by Night," March 30]. That is quite an interesting tidbit about the place that received the majority of the slaves shipped to the Americas. I suppose they are the "among others. " John Anderson Chicago Airlines horror story We recently returned from Amman, Jordan, using Air France business class to Paris, and experienced a new level of disservice.
March 15, 2014 | By Carla Hall
As any journalist will tell you, most journalists don't end up the star of a story - let alone a TV show or movie.  (“All the Preisdent's Men” - huge exception; unprecedented story.) But that's pretty much the case with the movie, “The Grim Sleeper,” which premieres Saturday night on the Lifetime cable channel and is based on the true story of tenacious reporter Christine Pelisek who spent months tracking the connections among a series of slayings of young black women in South L.A. that started in the 1980s, stopped then resumed in the early 2000s.
March 10, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
A week after "12 Years a Slave" writer John Ridley and director-producer Steve McQueen both refrained from thanking one another after winning Oscars - the former for adapted screenplay, the latter for best picture - Ridley downplayed rumors of a rift between the two men. "You can't help people's perceptions, but I am sorry that people perceived that" as a feud, Ridley told the Huffington Post at the SXSW Film Festival, adding that he had said...
March 4, 2014 | By John Horn
Was it ultimately a race about race? The best picture Oscar is meant to honor the year's greatest achievement in film, and "12 Years a Slave" had no shortage of supporters before winning the top honor Sunday. But for all the film's artistry, the undercurrent of many "12 Years a Slave" conversations hinged on race and how Hollywood has for decades given short shrift to one of the most inglorious chapters in the nation's history. The film's distributor anchored its awards campaign around the line "It's time," easily interpreted as an attempt to exhort members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences into voting for the movie because it was the right thing to do. FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014  |  Complete list of winners The film's director, British filmmaker Steve McQueen, said repeatedly during the long awards season that Hollywood appeared more comfortable making Holocaust movies than slavery stories.
March 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Perhaps it's not a big surprise that "12 Years a Slave," the acclaimed movie based on the true story of a free black man who was sold into slavery in the 1840s, won the Academy Award for best picture. It had already won critical acclaim and praise for its lead actors, director and writer (all of whom were nominated for Oscars as well). Besides, as Ellen DeGeneres, the host of the show, joked at the beginning of the evening, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters had only two options: Either they could bestow their highest honor on "12 Years a Slave," or they were all racists.
March 3, 2014 | By Yvonne Villarreal
Lupita Nyong'o was one of the toasts of the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night. Backstage after her win for supporting actress, the “12 Years A Slave” star continued her turn as a new It Girl. Nyong'o gathered up the ends of her billowing powder blue dress with her fingers, careful not to let go of her new little man - an Oscar statuette--before taking the platform in front of reporters. “Ever dream this big?” a reporter asked the 31-year-old Kenyan-born, Yale-educated actress.
December 24, 1999
Re "Germany Pledges $5.2 Billion for Slave Laborers," Dec. 18: A difference is made as to the payment amount to "forced labor" or "slave labor." To the victim, what difference do the semantics make? The fact that Hitler justified his actions by stating the Jews "forced" to work were doing so for the Third Reich will never make the victim less a slave. My husband survived this horrendous event. Born in Berlin, he was forced into slavery, beaten, tormented, persecuted, tortured and starved.
September 3, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
Telluride's over, and the Venice Film Festival is past its midpoint. Judging from reports, we can safely declare a couple of things: 1. You'd better learn how to spell and pronounce the name Chiwetel Ejiofor, the British actor who plays the free black man sold into slavery in the historical epic "12 Years a Slave," which premiered at Telluride. (Really. It's not that hard. Just don't ask this guy .) 2. The best actor Oscar race is over. (See No. 1.) INTERACTIVE: From Toronto to the Oscars?
March 3, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before erasing the Oscars from my already packed DVR. The Skinny: I'd love to tell you I was at all the hot parties last night. While I was certainly in demand - sorry, Graydon and Madonna - I opted to stay home and watch the way the little people do, which is with a bag of Doritos on my lap. Today's Fix includes all the Oscar recaps and reviews you'll need. Also, the box=office report and the latest on Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable. Daily Dose: Dodger fans who are not Time Warner Cable subscribers won't be totally out of luck if the team's new channel is unavailable from other area pay-TV distributors.
March 3, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As the evening wore on - and did it ever wear on - the many questions everyone had going into Sunday night's Academy Awards show boiled down to but one: Would this evening be a single coronation or a double one? With "Gravity" cleaning up on the technical and craft side, as expected, eventually winning seven categories it was nominated for (including director for Alfonso Cuarón), there was only one thing left to decide: Would this film's momentum sweep the board and bring home the best picture statuette as well?
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