Friday, 24 January 2014

12 Years a Slave

This story begin in the the late 19th Century, introducing the character of Salomon Northup a very talented free black musician. Who has been abducted and sold into slavery. Through Salomon Northup story, the acclaimed director Steve McQueen offers the darkest part of American history. This film is not all about Slave Trade. It's much more than that. At that time African American were treated like chattel property that owners can move and buy as they want, a kind of hereditary slavery rise, as children born of a slave mother were slave as well. They were born and raise to be slave. 

12 Years a Slave is not an usual slave story, as Salomon knows freedom. He was living in the North with his family, he has a job. Then, he has to deny his name, his freedom, who he is in order not to live but to survive. How a man can have the strength to endure this promise lifelong servitude? Mr.Ford, his first owner appeared, on the one hand as the worst one of them all as far as a slave owners is concerned because he is saying one thing but doing another. He knows that Salomon is a free man, and what does he do? Nothing. On the other hand he is not pure evil, if he was born in different circumstances he may have been a more acceptable person.  Nevertheless, female characters have a great part in this story, either in good and bad ways. Patsey depicts a sort of stereotypes of the black young woman slave, who try to escape her faith from an assured death. In contrary , her master's wife, Ms Epps came out to be worst than her husband (starring Michael Fassbender) when she beg him to beat their slaves or whipped Patsey to death. Even when a slave woman let her children behind, a mother seems to have no compassion for her, when she may be the only person on earth who can understand what she's going through. Thus, a religious pattern is enlightened along the film as if Faith was the last way for Salomon to find peace and Freedom. A very special care is given to breathing, once when Mr.Ford save Salomon from death and once again when Patsey's been raped by Michael Fassbender character. The violon which Mr.Ford give to Salomon at the beginning of the film is a symbol of his previous life as a free man, it represents hope. When all hopes are lost Salomon fall into darkness and despair, burn his letter to his family and broke his violon. he is not fighting his destiny anymore. Until his testimony to Bass, whom genuinely save his life. 

This film was very profound and I'll certainly remember it for a very long time partly because it taught me a few things about Slavery that I didn't know already and it encouraged me to read the book. I encouraged you to do the same!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Spectacular Now

Finally today The Spectacular Now has been released in France, better late than never.
I am absolutely mind blown by this film. Obviously I hear a lot of comments, peoples talking and read some reviews, but I'd never thought a film could be so True (with a capital "T" please). I was expecting a drama-romantic-thing but THIS. 
Wow! I wasn't prepared for that at all. Simple but so effective.

I left the cinema with such a positive mood. Telling myself that after all I wasn't alone feeling those emotions and questioning myself. This film introduces subjects such as first loves, family relationships, first time, alcohol, studies, jobs, future, and money in such a way that each one of us can perfectly and easily recognize itself. There are no big deals, no (or not yet) Hollywood super-stars, no wealthy-powerful peoples, no politics. The Spectacular Now focuses on genuine questions and problems of normal day to day teenagers. It deals with the relationships of two main characters. A "popular" high school seniors and the not-so-typical "nice girl". His philosophy on life changes when he meets her and we can see that, through his behaviour's evolution along the film. On the one hand her father passed away and she has dreams like having a house and a dog, marry the man she loves and living happily ever after. On the other hand he's more down to earth, in a negative way, as he doesn't really see the point to grow up. His father left home when he was a little boy, never came back and his mother is trying to do her best. Living in the now is comfortable for him. Adults struggle to have money, they have to work, have responsibilities and don't seem really opened out in what they do. He is realizing that his life at the moment is perfect : a girlfriend who loves him, friends, doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it. But then future. Everyone around him assume to have a plan, and he's even encouraging them to go on this way. Unlike him they already figured out their path. There's a key scene in the film. Firstly he seems totally lost, he's scared of what could happened : leaving home, moving in with his girlfriend, in a new town, afraid of failure, letting down people he cares about or hurting them and getting hurt. But suddenly, after a car accident, he understands that future is relating to challenge and hardship, but stuff always happened. The moral here is that the real challenge in our life, the real hardship is us. Don't focus on things or peoples who do not really matter in your life even if it shut out the pain and everything (good and bad). Living in the now is fine but the best part in this concept is that there is an other one tomorrow, called future, so make it count.

I have one word to qualify this film: SIMPLICITY.