12 Years a Slave (film)

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12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve McQueen
Produced byBrad Pitt
Dede Gardner
Jeremy Kleiner
Bill Pohlad
Steve McQueen
Arnon Milchan
Anthony Katagas
Screenplay byJohn Ridley
Based onTwelve Years a Slave 
by Solomon Northup
StarringChiwetel Ejiofor
Michael Fassbender
Benedict Cumberbatch
Paul Dano
Paul Giamatti
Lupita Nyong'o
Sarah Paulson
Brad Pitt
Alfre Woodard
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographySean Bobbitt
Editing byJoe Walker
StudioRegency Enterprises
Film4
River Road Entertainment
Plan B Entertainment
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures (US)
Summit Entertainment (International)
Film4/Channel 4/eOne UK (UK)
Release dates
  • August 30, 2013 (2013-08-30) (Telluride Film Festival)
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States, limited release)
  • January 10, 2014 (2014-01-10) (United Kingdom)
Running time134 minutes
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million[1]
Box office$35,631,688[2]
 
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12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve McQueen
Produced byBrad Pitt
Dede Gardner
Jeremy Kleiner
Bill Pohlad
Steve McQueen
Arnon Milchan
Anthony Katagas
Screenplay byJohn Ridley
Based onTwelve Years a Slave 
by Solomon Northup
StarringChiwetel Ejiofor
Michael Fassbender
Benedict Cumberbatch
Paul Dano
Paul Giamatti
Lupita Nyong'o
Sarah Paulson
Brad Pitt
Alfre Woodard
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographySean Bobbitt
Editing byJoe Walker
StudioRegency Enterprises
Film4
River Road Entertainment
Plan B Entertainment
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures (US)
Summit Entertainment (International)
Film4/Channel 4/eOne UK (UK)
Release dates
  • August 30, 2013 (2013-08-30) (Telluride Film Festival)
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States, limited release)
  • January 10, 2014 (2014-01-10) (United Kingdom)
Running time134 minutes
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million[1]
Box office$35,631,688[2]

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 British-American epic historical drama film and an adaptation of the eponymous 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free negro who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before his release. The first scholarly edition of Northup's memoir, co-edited in 1968 by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon, carefully retraced and validated the account and concluded it to be remarkably accurate.

This third feature film directed by Steve McQueen was written by John Ridley. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup and has been widely praised for his work. Principal photography took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, from June 27 to August 13, 2012, on a production budget of $20 million. The locations used were four historic antebellum plantations: Felicity, Magnolia, Bocage, and Destrehan. Of the four, Magnolia is closest in proximity to the actual plantation where Northup was held.

12 Years a Slave premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2013, and has been widely lauded by critics. The film began its release in the US on October 18, 2013, and is scheduled to be released in the UK on January 10, 2014.

Plot[edit]

In 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwitel Ejiofor) is a free negro living with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs, New York. He makes his living as a skilled carpenter and fiddle player. One day he is lured by a pair of men (Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam) into a lucrative touring gig with a circus. After a night drinking with the two men, Northup awakens to find himself chained to a floor, realizing he has been drugged and will be sold into slavery.

Northup is shipped to New Orleans, where he is called "Platt", the identity of a runaway slave from Georgia. He is beaten to force him to conceal his identity as a free man and keep the name Platt, and is ultimately purchased by plantation owner William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Enduring his new life, Northup stays on good terms with Ford, who turns out to be a relatively benevolent master; Northup assists him by engineering a waterway for transporting logs swiftly and cost-effectively downstream. Ford presents him with a violin in gratitude. Racist carpenter John Tibeats (Paul Dano) immediately resents Northup, and begins verbally harassing him.

Eventually the tensions between Tibeats and Northup reach a boiling point, and Tibeats attempts to beat him and he fights back. In retaliation, Tibeats and his friends try to lynch Northup, leading to Ford's selling Northup away, to protect him from Tibeats, to Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), a cruel planter who believes his right to abuse his slaves is biblically sanctioned. Before being sent to Epps, Northup attempts to reason with Ford, stating he is in fact a free man. Ford states that he cannot hear it and responds "he has a debt to pay" on Northup's purchase price. Ford also tells him that he thinks Northup is a good person, but it wouldn't do him any good.

Northup's first task at the Epps plantation is to pick cotton. Everyone is expected to pick at least 200 pounds every day, or be beaten. A young female slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o), however, picks over 500 pounds daily. Epps' wife (Sarah Paulson) is extremely envious of the attention Epps lavished on Patsey and physically abuses her, but his attentions also include repeated rape of the slave girl.

Epps decides that a recent outbreak of cotton worm in the fields is a plague sent by God and brought to his plantation by his new slaves. He leases them to a neighboring plantation for the season while his crops recover, but warns them not to bring any more plagues onto his friend's property. While there, Northup gains the favor of the plantation's owner, who asks him to play the fiddle at his friends' wedding anniversary celebration.

When Northup returns to the Epps plantation, he attempts to use these earnings to pay a white field hand and former overseer (Garret Dillahunt) to mail a letter to his friends in New York. The field hand agrees to deliver the letter and takes the money, but betrays Northup to Epps. Northup is narrowly able to convince Epps that the story is a lie. Northup then tearfully burns the letter, which represented his only hope of freedom.

Patsey's abuse progressively worsens as Epps continues to force himself on her. Patsey wants to kill herself, asking Northup to help her do it, which Northup rejects. One day, Epps becomes enraged after discovering Patsey missing from his plantation. When she returns, she reveals she was only gone to obtain a bar of soap; however, he orders her stripped and tied to a post. Egged on by his wife, Epps forces Northup to whip Patsey. Northup reluctantly obeys, but Epps eventually takes the whip away from Northup, savagely lashing her.

As Patsey heals, Northup begins working on the construction of a pavilion with a Canadian laborer named Bass (Brad Pitt). Bass earns Epps' displeasure by expressing his opposition to slavery, but this convinces Northup to confide in Bass about his life and kidnapping. Once again, Northup asks for help in getting a letter to Saratoga Springs. Bass, risking his life, agrees to do so.

While working in the fields to break dirt for planting, Northup is called out by the local sheriff, who arrives in a carriage with another man. Inquiring about Northup's past life, the sheriff asks a series of questions to match him to the facts of his life in New York. Northup recognizes the sheriff's companion as a shopkeeper he knows from Saratoga and realizes the man has come to free him; the two embrace. Though Epps resists and Patsey is distraught, Northup leaves immediately. After being enslaved for 12 years, Northup is restored to freedom and returned to his family. Endnotes recount the inability of Northup and his legal counsel to prosecute the men responsible for his being sold into slavery, as well as the mystery surrounding details of his death and burial.

Cast[edit]

Woodard at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

John Ridley at the 2013 San Diego Film Festival

After meeting screenwriter John Ridley at a Creative Artists Agency screening of Hunger in 2008, director Steve McQueen got in touch with Ridley about his interest in making a film about "the slave era in America" with "a character that was not obvious in terms of their trade in slavery."[3] Developing the idea back and forth, the two did not strike a chord until McQueen's wife found Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir Twelve Years a Slave. He said about Northup's memoir:

"I read this book, and I was totally stunned. At the same time I was pretty upset with myself that I didn't know this book. I live in Amsterdam where Anne Frank is a national hero, and for me this book read like Anne Frank's diary but written 97 years before — a firsthand account of slavery. I basically made it my passion to make this book into a film."[4]

After being in development for some time, the film was officially announced in August 2011 with McQueen to direct and Chiwetel Ejiofor to star as Solomon Northup, a free negro who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South.[5] McQueen compared Ejiofor's conduct "of class and dignity" to that of Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.[6] In October 2011, Michael Fassbender (who starred in McQueen's previous films Hunger and Shame) joined the cast.[7] In early 2012, the rest of the roles were cast, and filming was scheduled to begin at the end of June 2012.[8][9]

To capture the language and dialects of the era and regions in which the film takes place, dialect coach Michael Buster was brought in to assist the cast in altering their speech. The language has a literary quality related to the style of writing of the day and the strong influence of the King James Bible.[10] Buster explained:

"We don't know what slaves sounded like in the 1840s, so I just used rural samples from Mississippi and Louisiana [for actors Ejiofor and Fassbender]. Then for Benedict [Cumberbatch], I found some real upper-class New Orleanians from the '30s. And then I also worked with Lupita Nyong'o, who's Kenyan but she did her training at Yale. So she really shifted her speech so she could do American speech."[11]

Filming[edit]

Steve McQueen at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival

With a production budget of $20 million,[1] principal photography began in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 27, 2012. After seven weeks,[12] filming concluded on August 13, 2012.[13] As a way to keep down production costs, a bulk of the filming took place around the greater New Orleans area — mostly south of the Red River country in the north of the state, where the historic Northup was enslaved.[14] Among locations used were four historic antebellum plantations: Felicity, Magnolia, Bocage, and Destrehan.[15] Magnolia, a plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana, is just a few miles from one of the historic sites where Northup was held. "To know that we were right there in the place where these things occurred was so powerful and emotional," said actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. "That feeling of dancing with ghosts — it's palpable."[16] Filming also took place at the Columns Hotel and Madame John's Legacy in the French Quarter of New Orleans.[17]

Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, the film's primary camera operator,[18] shot 12 Years a Slave on 35 mm film with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio using both an Arricam LT and ST. "Particularly for a period piece, film gives the audience a definite sense of period and quality," said Bobbitt. "And because of the story's epic nature, widescreen clearly made the most sense. Widescreen means a big film, an epic tale – in this case an epic tale of human endurance."[19]

The filmmakers avoided a desaturated visual style that expressed a more gritty documentary aesthetic.[20] Deliberately drawing visual comparisons in the filming to the works of Spanish painter Francisco Goya, McQueen explained,

"When you think about Goya, who painted the most horrendous pictures of violence and torture and so forth, and they're amazing, exquisite paintings, one of the reasons they're such wonderful paintings is because what he's saying is, 'Look – look at this.' So if you paint it badly or put it in the sort of wrong perspective, you draw more attention to what's wrong with the image rather than looking at the image."[21]

Design[edit]

To accurately depict the time period of the film, the filmmakers conducted extensive research that included studying artwork from the era.[22] With eight weeks to create the wardrobe, costume designer Patricia Norris collaborated with Western Costume to compile costumes that would illustrate the passage of time while also being historically accurate.[23] Using an earth tone color palette, Norris created nearly 1,000 costumes for the film. "She [Norris] took earth samples from all three of the plantations to match the clothes," McQueen said, "and she had the conservation with Sean [Bobbitt] to deal with the character temperature on each plantation, there was a lot of that minute detail."[24] The filmmakers also used some pieces of clothing discovered on set that were worn by slaves.[25]

Music[edit]

The musical score to 12 Years a Slave was composed by Hans Zimmer, with original on-screen violin music written and arranged by Nicholas Britell and performed by Tim Fain.[26] The film also features a few pieces of western classical and American folk music such as Franz Schubert's "Trio in B-flat, D471" and John and Alan Lomax's arrangement of "Run Nigger Run".[27] A soundtrack album, 12 Years a Slave: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture, was released digitally on November 5 and is scheduled for a physical format release on November 11, 2013 by Columbia Records.[28] In addition to Zimmer's score, the album features music inspired by the film by artists such as John Legend, Alicia Keys, Chris Cornell, and Alabama Shakes.[29] Legend's cover of "Roll Jordan Roll" debuted online three weeks prior to the soundtrack's release.[30]

Historical accuracy[edit]

African American history and culture scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. was a consultant on the film, and researcher David Fiske, co-author of Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years A Slave, provided some material used to market the film. [31] Nevertheless, news and magazine articles around the time of the film's release described a scholar alleging some license that Northup could have taken with his book, and liberties that McQueen definitely took with Northup's original, for dramatic, modernizing, or other reasons.

Scott Feinberg wrote in the The Hollywood Reporter about a September 22 New York Times article that "dredged up and highlighted a 1985 essay by another scholar, James Olney, that questioned the 'literal truth' of specific incidents in Northup's account and suggested that David Wilson, the white 'amanuensis' to whom Northup had dictated his story, had taken the liberty of sprucing it up to make it even more effective at rallying public opinion against slavery."[32] According to Olney, when abolitionists invited an ex-slave to share his experience in slavery at an antislavery convention, and when they subsequently funded the appearance of that story in print, "they had certain clear expectations, well understood by themselves and well understood by the ex-slave, too."[31]

Noah Berlatsky wrote in the The Atlantic about a scene in McQueen's movie version, shortly after Northup is kidnapped, when he is on a ship bound south, when a sailor who has entered the hold is about to rape a slave women when a male slave intervenes. "The sailor unhesitatingly stabs and kills him," he wrote, and "this seems unlikely on its face—slaves are valuable, and the sailor is not the owner. And, sure enough, the scene is not in the book."[33]

Forrest Wickman of Slate wrote of Northup's book giving a more favorable account of the author's onetime master, William Ford, than the McQueen film. In Northup's own words, "There never was a more kind, noble, candid, Christian man than William Ford," adding that Ford's circumstances "blinded [Ford] to the inherent wrong at the bottom of the system of Slavery." The movie, however, according to Wickham, "frequently undermines Ford."[34] McQueen also undercuts Christianity as well, in an effort to update the ethical lessons from Northup's story for the 21st century, by holding the institutions of Christianity of the time up to the light for their ability to justify slavery.[35] Northup was a Christian of his time, writing of his former master being "blinded" by "circumstances"[34] that in retrospect meant a racist acceptance of slavery despite being a Christian, a position untenable to contemporary Christians[36] but not contradictory to Northup himself. Valerie Elverton Dixon in the Washington Post characterized the Christianity depicted in the movie as "broken."[35]

Distribution[edit]

Release[edit]

Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o

12 Years a Slave premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2013,[37] before screening at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6,[38] the New York Film Festival on October 8,[39] and Philadelphia Film Festival on October 19, 2013.[40]

On November 15, 2011, Summit Entertainment announced it had secured a deal to distribute 12 Years a Slave to international markets.[41] In April 2012, a few weeks before principal photography, New Regency Productions agreed to co-finance the film.[42] Because of a distribution pact between 20th Century Fox and New Regency, Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the film's United States distribution rights.[43] However, instead of paying for the distribution rights, Fox Searchlight made a deal in which it would share box-office proceeds with the financiers of the independently financed film.[44] 12 Years a Slave was commercially released on October 18, 2013 in the United States for a limited release of 19 theaters, with a wide release in subsequent weeks.[45] The film was initially scheduled to be released in late December 2013, but "some exuberant test screenings" led to the decision to move up the release date.[46]

Marketing[edit]

Due to both the film's explicit nature and award contender status, 12 Years a Slave's financial success is being watched closely. Many analysts have compared the film's content to other epic drama films of a similar vein such as Schindler's List (1993) and The Passion of the Christ (2004), which became box successes despite their respective subject matters.[16][44] "It may be a tough subject matter, but when handled well ... films that are tough to sit through can still be commercially successful," said Phil Contrino of Boxoffice Magazine.[47] Despite its content, the film's critical success has assisted its domestic distribution by Fox Searchlight that began with a limited released aimed primarily towards art house and African American patrons.[48] The film's release was gradually widened in subsequent weeks, similarly to how the studio had successfully done in years prior with films such as Black Swan and The Descendants.[49] International release dates for 12 Years a Slave have been largely delayed to early 2014 in order to take advantage of the attention created by awards seasons.[50]

During its marketing campaign, 12 Years a Slave received unpaid endorsements by celebrities such as Kanye West and Sean Combs.[51] In a video posted by Revolt, Combs urged viewers to see 12 Years a Slave by stating: "This movie is very painful but very honest, and is a part of the healing process. I beg all of you to take your kids, everybody to see it. ... You have to see this so you can understand, so you can just start to understand."[52]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

12 Years a Slave has earned a domestic total of $35,631,688.[53] During its opening limited release in the US, 12 Years a Slave debuted with a weekend total of $923,715 on 19 screens for a $48,617 per-screen average.[54] The following weekend, the film entered the top ten after expanding to 123 theatres and grossing an additional $2.1 million.[55] It continued to improve into its third weekend, grossing $4.6 million at 410 locations. The film release was expanded to over 1,100 locations on November 8, 2013.[53][56]

Critical response[edit]

12 Years a Slave received universal acclaim by critics and audiences, for its acting (particularly for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong'o), Steve McQueen's direction, screenplay, production values, and its faithfulness to Solomon Northup's account. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 96% of critics gave the film a "Certified Fresh" rating, based on 195 reviews with an average score of 9/10, with the site's consensus stating, "It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema."[57] Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 97 (out of 100) based on 46 reviews from mainstream critics, considered to be "universal acclaim". This is one of the site's highest-rated films.[58] CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film an "A" grade.[59]

Richard Corliss of TIME heralds the film and its director, Steve McQueen, by stating: "Indeed, McQueen's film is closer in its storytelling particulars to such 1970s exploitation-exposés of slavery as Mandingo and Goodbye, Uncle Tom. Except that McQueen is not a schlockmeister sensationalist but a remorseless artist." Corliss draws parallels with Nazi Germany, saying, "McQueen shows that racism, aside from its barbarous inhumanity, is insanely inefficient. It can be argued that Nazi Germany lost the war both because it diverted so much manpower to the killing of Jews and because it did not exploit the brilliance of Jewish scientists in building smarter weapons. So the slave owners dilute the energy of their slaves by whipping them for sadistic sport and, as Epps does, waking them at night to dance for his wife's cruel pleasure."[60] Gregory Ellwood of HitFix gave the film an "A-" rating, stating, "12 Years is a powerful drama driven by McQueen's bold direction and the finest performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor's career." He continued by praising the performances of Fassbender and Nyong'o, citing Nyong'o as "the film's breakthrough performance [that] may find Nyong'o making her way to the Dolby Theater next March." He also admired the film's "gorgeous" cinematography and the musical score, as "one of Hans Zimmer's more moving scores in some time."[61] Paul MacInnes of The Guardian scored the film five out of five stars, writing, "Stark, visceral and unrelenting, 12 Years a Slave is not just a great film but a necessary one."[62] The reviewers of Spill.com gave it high acclaim as well, with two reviewers giving it a "Better Than Sex," their highest rating. However, the reviewers agreed that it was not a film they would watch again anytime soon. When comparing it to the miniseries version of Roots, reviewer Cyrus stated that "Roots is the Care Bears Movie in comparison to this."[63]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly praised it as "a new movie landmark of cruelty and transcendence" and as "a movie about a life that gets taken away, and that's why it lets us touch what life is." He also commented very positively about Ejiofor's performance, while further stating, "12 Years a Slave lets us stare at the primal sin of America with open eyes, and at moments it is hard to watch, yet it's a movie of such humanity and grace that at every moment, you feel you're seeing something essential. It is Chiwetel Ejiofor's extraordinary performance that holds the movie together, and that allows us to watch it without blinking. He plays Solomon with a powerful inner strength, yet he never soft-pedals the silent nightmare that is Solomon's daily existence."[64] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, gave the film a four-star rating and said: "you won't be able to tuck this powder keg in the corner of your mind and forget it. What we have here is a blistering, brilliant, straight-up classic." He later named the film the best movie of 2013.[65] Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine stated, "12 Years a Slave is yet another McQueen masterpiece, unaffected by the rise in big-name actors, unharmed by a bigger budget and a larger scope, and simply unfazed by the presence of McQueen's meditative style of filmmaking."[66] Manohla Dargis wrote, in her review for The New York Times, "the genius of 12 Years a Slave is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price."[67] The Daily Telegraph's Tim Robey granted the film a maximum score of five stars, stating that "it's the nobility of this remarkable film that pierces the soul," whilst praising Ejiofor and Nyong'o's performances.[68] Tina Hassannia of Slant Magazine said that "using his signature visual composition and deafening sound design, Steve McQueen portrays the harrowing realism of Northup's experience and the complicated relationships between master and slave, master and master, slave and slave, and so on."[69] David Simon, the creator of the TV series The Wire, highly praised the movie, commenting that "it marks the first time in history that our entertainment industry, albeit with international creative input, has managed to stare directly at slavery and maintain that gaze".[70]

The film was not without its criticisms. Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice was more critical of the film. While praising Ejiofor's work, she stated: "It's a picture that stays more than a few safe steps away from anything so dangerous as raw feeling. Even when it depicts inhuman cruelty, as it often does, it never compromises its aesthetic purity."[71] Peter Malamud Smith of Slate criticized the story, saying, "12 Years a Slave is constructed as a story of a man trying to return to his family, offering every viewer a way into empathizing with its protagonist. Maybe we need a story framed on that individual scale in order to understand it. But it has a distorting effect all the same. We're more invested in one hero than in millions of victims; if we're forced to imagine ourselves enslaved, we want to imagine ourselves as Northup, a special person who miraculously escaped the system that attempted to crush him." Describing this as "the hero problem", Malamud Smith concluded his review explaining, "We can handle 12 Years a Slave. But don't expect 60 Years a Slave any time soon. And 200 Years, Millions of Slaves? Forget about it."[72] At the Guardian, black Canadian author Orville Lloyd Douglas says he won’t be seeing 12 Years a Slave, explaining: "I'm convinced these black race films are created for a white, liberal film audience to engender white guilt and make them feel bad about themselves. Regardless of your race, these films are unlikely to teach you anything you don't already know."[73]

The film's producers, director McQueen, lead actor Ejiofor, supporting actors Fassbender and Nyong'o, and writer Ridley were widely tipped for award season success. When commenting on the film's Oscar buzz, Ejiofor said: "I love the film. I think it's a really strong piece of work. But I also want people to come to it without all the buzz and the hype and this and that. It's a story of a man going through an extraordinary circumstance. And I do feel it needs to be engaged with in its own quiet, reflective way."[74]

Top ten lists[edit]

12 Years a Slave have been named as one of the best films of 2013 by various ongoing critics.[75]

Accolades[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fuller, Graham (April 10, 2012). "Steve McQueen's 'Twelve Years a Slave' Set to Shine Light on Solomon Northup's Ordeal". Artinfo (Louise Blouin Media). Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ "12 Years a Slave (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Anne (October 16, 2013). "John Ridley Talks Writing '12 Years a Slave' and Directing Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side'". IndieWire. Snagfilms. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "'12 Years A Slave' Was A Film That 'No One Was Making'". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. October 24, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (August 17, 2011). "McQueen tallying '12 Years' at Plan B". Variety. 
  6. ^ Truitt, Brian (June 18, 2013). "First look: 'Twelve Years a Slave'". USA Today. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 12, 2011). "Duo team on 'Slave'". Variety. 
  8. ^ Sneider, Jeff (May 24, 2012). "Thesps join McQueen's 'Slave' cast". Variety. 
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 5, 2012). "Giamatti, Paulson join 'Slave'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Scott, Mike (October 28, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave': Five cool things to know about the New Orleans-shot historical epic". The Times-Picayune. Advance Publications. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ Lytal, Cristy (September 28, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' dialect coach Michael Buster speaks up". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ Scott, Mike (May 3, 2012). "Brad Pitt to shoot '12 Years a Slave' adaptation in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (August 13, 2012). "'Twelve Years a Slave' Star Paul Giamatti Hints at What to Expect From Steve McQueen's Next Project". indieWire. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ Horn, John (October 18, 2013). "Steve McQueen films '12 Years a Slave' on familiar territory". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ Scott, Mike (September 9, 2013). "Following in the real footsteps of '12 Years a Slave' figure Solomon Northup: Mike's Movie Mailbag". The Times-Picayune. Advance Publications. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Sacks, Ethan (October 13, 2013). "No ordinary movie, '12 Years a Slave' is a brutal and honest depiction of America's gravest mistake". New York Daily News. Daily News, L.P. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ Torbett, Melanie (October 20, 2013). "'Twelve Years a Slave' movie has Cenla roots". The Town Talk. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (October 17, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt: Not Letting the Audience Off the Hook". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ Goldrich, Robert (October 18, 2013). "The Road To Oscar, Part 1: Backstories On 12 Years A Slave And Nebraska". Shoot Online. DCA Business Media LLC. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ Desowitz, Bill (October 18, 2013). "Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt Talks '12 Years a Slave'". IndieWire. Snagfilms. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Goodsell, Luke (October 17, 2013). "Interview: Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor talk 12 Years a Slave". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ Cooper, Jennifer (October 20, 2013). "Oscar Watch: 5 Things to Know About 12 Years a Slave". E!. NBCUniversal Cable. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Pick of the Week: "12 Years A Slave"". Costume Designers Guild. October 18, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  24. ^ Abrams, Bryan (October 8, 2013). "The U.S. Premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the New York Film Festival". The Credits. Motion Picture Association of America. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  25. ^ Marsh, Calum (October 16, 2013). "Director's Cut: Steve McQueen ('12 Years a Slave')". RealNetworks. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Columbia Records to Release '12 Years a Slave' Soundtrack". Film Music Reporter. October 14, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  27. ^ "12 Years a Slave (2013) – Soundtrack.Net". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ "'12 Years a Slave' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  29. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (October 22, 2013). "Inspired By '12 Years A Slave' Soundtrack Features John Legend, Cody Chestnutt, Chris Cornell & More". IndieWire. Snagfilms. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
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