December 10, 2013 |
"I broke her down and had her do it again and again, saying 'Go deeper, go deeper,' until she was worn out emotionally. Then I asked how she felt, and she said she understood that [an abusive slave owner] could take her body but not her soul, and she started to cry. " Casting director Francine Maisler is describing her quest to put together five minutes of audition tape that would persuade director Steve McQueen that Lupita Nyong'o, an unknown actress, had what it took to embody Patsey, a field worker who obsesses a monstrous plantation owner (Michael Fassbinder)
December 6, 2013 |
Ford Motor Co. provided the first look at the sixth-generation Mustang in a six-city global tour Thursday, a move to get the maximum exposure for the 50th-anniversary model of the sports coupe. Few cars are as firmly planted in automotive culture. The Mustang has 5 million Facebook fans -- on par with a Hollywood celebrity -- and just about everyone over the age of 25 either has either owned one or had a friend or family member who did. It's also one of the most popular rental cars.
December 5, 2013 |
To filmgoers, director Steve McQueen has had a busy five years, bursting onto the scene with 2008's "Hunger," following with "Shame" in 2011 and now this year's "12 Years a Slave. " Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt served as director of photography for all those films - and, as he can explain, his background with McQueen began long before the director leapt from the visual arts to feature filmmaking. "I've been very fortunate to have worked with Steve for 13 years now and started off doing his art installation work.
October 23, 2013 |
On Monday, his baby mama Kim Kardashian's birthday, Kanye West flew from San Francisco to the Hollywood Film Awards to present "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen with a trophy. That gesture in itself seemed to reveal a lot about West's support of the historical drama. But then, later that evening, gossip sites began reporting that, after the awards show, West promptly flew back to the Bay Area, where he pulled off a massive engagement surprise for Kardashian at AT&T Park. It was a major coup for Fox Searchlight, which needs all the help it can get in persuading moviegoers to head to the theater to see the at-times-hard-to-watch picture.
October 21, 2013 |
In "12 Years a Slave," director Steve McQueen demonstrates both an eye for striking compositions and an unflinching gaze at scenes of stunning cruelty. There are abundant examples of the latter to be found in the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped in the North in 1841 and sold into slavery in the South for a dozen years. At the Envelope Screening Series , McQueen and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt discussed their use of long takes to grab and hold the audience's attention, as in a searing whipping scene that lasts 10 minutes without a single edit.
October 20, 2013 |
This post has been updated. See bottom for details. Critics are enamored with "12 Years a Slave," but will moviegoers also embrace the brutal portrayal of slavery? That has been the question posed by many box-office watchers in recent weeks, as the probable best picture contender has continued to win fans at film festivals despite being hard to watch at times. But judging by early ticket sales for Steve McQueen's historical drama, at least, audiences are eager to see the critical darling.
October 18, 2013 |
Critical acclaim continues to mount for Steve McQueen's historical drama "12 Years a Slave," which has garnered near-universal praise since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in late summer. Adapted from the 1853 autobiography of the same name by Solomon Northup, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man from upstate New York who is kidnapped, spirited to the South and enslaved for more than a decade. Reviewers are applauding the unflinching direction and strong performances.
October 17, 2013 |
When a director who never ever blinks takes on a horrific subject, a nightmare in broad daylight is the inevitable result. Welcome, if that is the right word, to the world of "12 Years a Slave. " Based on an 1853 memoir detailing the appalling experiences of Solomon Northup, a free man of color who was brazenly abducted and sold into slavery, this film intends to do more than tell us a story. It wants to immerse us in an experience, and it does. Obviously, no film can re-create the unspeakable degradation of one human being owning another, but in making the attempt "12 Years" insists we feel things in a particularly oppressive way. This is impressive filmmaking, but it is not easy to take in. PHOTOS: Scenes from '12 Years a Slave' British director Steve McQueen, working from a screenplay by John Ridley, has no intention of making audiences the slightest bit comfortable with this terrible story, no interest in putting in any special pleading to bend our hearts.
October 11, 2013 |
When Tom Hanks released "Cast Away" in 2000, he was all alone in more ways than one. Playing a man stuck for years on a remote island, the Oscar winner was helping to bring back a genre, the so-called stranded film, that hadn't had a major entry in five years (since Hanks' own "Apollo 13"). Beginning Friday, the actor can be seen in another nautically-themed marooned movie, the Somali-hijacking tale "Captain Phillips.” Only this time Hanks' story of isolation has plenty of company.