tddwlsn:

Mulata Cartagenera by Enrique Grau

(via diasporadash)

dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.
dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.
dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.
dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.
dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.
dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.

dannybowes:

sktrd:

Re-imagining “True Detective” as a vintage detective book series, "Hard Boys" by Todd Spence.

Brilliant.

tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)
tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)
tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)
tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)
tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)
tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)

tierradentro:

Canaletto’s Venice mapped to Google Street View. (via)

(via pbsthisdayinhistory)

Hello! Wow. Thank you.

Thank you Chad, for those kind words and for the even kinder work that you and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation do every day—especially on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people here and across America.

It’s such an honor to be here at the inaugural Time to THRIVE conference. But it’s a little weird, too. Here I am, in this room because of an organization whose work I deeply admire. And I’m surrounded by people who make it their life’s work to make other people’s lives better— profoundly better. Some of you teach young people—people like me. Some of you help young people heal and to find their voice. Some of you listen. Some of you take action. Some of you are young people yourselves…in which case, it’s even weirder for a person like me to be speaking to you.

It’s weird because here I am, an actress, representing—at least in some sense—an industry that places crushing standards on all of us. Not just young people, but everyone. Standards of beauty. Of a good life. Of success. Standards that, I hate to admit, have affected me. You have ideas planted in your head, thoughts you never had before, that tell you how you have to act, how you have to dress and who you have to be. I have been trying to push back, to be authentic, to follow my heart, but it can be hard.

But that’s why I’m here. In this room, all of you, all of us, can do so much more together than any one person can do alone. And I hope that thought bolsters you as much as it does me. I hope the workshops you’ll go to over the next few days give you strength. Because I can only imagine that there are days—when you’ve worked longer hours than your boss realizes or cares about, just to help a kid you know can make it. Days where you feel completely alone. Undermined. Or hopeless.

I know there are people in this room who go to school every day and get treated like shit for no reason. Or you go home and you feel like you can’t tell your parents the whole truth about yourself. Beyond putting yourself in one box or another, you worry about the future. About college or work or even your physical safety. Trying to create that mental picture of your life—of what on earth is going to happen to you—can crush you a little bit every day. It is toxic and painful and deeply unfair.

Sometimes it’s the little, insignificant stuff that can tear you down. I try not to read gossip as a rule, but the other day a website ran an article with a picture of me wearing sweatpants on the way to the gym. The writer asked, “Why does [this] petite beauty insist upon dressing like a massive man?”

*pause*

Because I like to be comfortable. There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we are all supposed to act, dress and speak. They serve no one. Anyone who defies these so-called ‘norms’ becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny. The LGBT community knows this all too well.

Yet there is courage all around us. The football hero, Michael Sam. The actress, Laverne Cox. The musicians Tegan and Sara Quinn. The family that supports their daughter or son who has come out. And there is courage in this room. All of you.

I’m inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason.

You’re here because you’ve adopted as a core motivation the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.

Then again, it’s not easy at all. It can be the hardest thing, because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. I know many of you have struggled with this. I draw upon your strength and your support, and have, in ways you will never know.
I’m here today because I am gay. And because… maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.

I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.

There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are. Too many dropouts. Too much abuse. Too many homeless. Too many suicides. You can change that and you are changing it.

But you never needed me to tell you that. That’s why this was a little bit weird. The only thing I can really say is what I’ve been building up to for the past five minutes. Thank you. Thank for inspiring me. Thank you for giving me hope, and please keep changing the world for people like me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.

— Ellen Page (x)

(via dannybowes)

nevver:

This is my favorite song
dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.
I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.
Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie
Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.
Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.
So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.
Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.
Where do I fucking start?
Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.
Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?
Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.
But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:
"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”
There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.
Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.
How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.
"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”
Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.
Talk about offering the audience a way out.
I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.
Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.
dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.
I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.
Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie
Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.
Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.
So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.
Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.
Where do I fucking start?
Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.
Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?
Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.
But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:
"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”
There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.
Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.
How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.
"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”
Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.
Talk about offering the audience a way out.
I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.
Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.
dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.
I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.
Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie
Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.
Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.
So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.
Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.
Where do I fucking start?
Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.
Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?
Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.
But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:
"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”
There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.
Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.
How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.
"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”
Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.
Talk about offering the audience a way out.
I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.
Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.
dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.
I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.
Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie
Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.
Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.
So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.
Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.
Where do I fucking start?
Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.
Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?
Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.
But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:
"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”
There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.
Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.
How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.
"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”
Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.
Talk about offering the audience a way out.
I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.
Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.
dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.
I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.
Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie
Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.
Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.
So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.
Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.
Where do I fucking start?
Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.
Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?
Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.
But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:
"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”
There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.
Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.
How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.
"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”
Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.
Talk about offering the audience a way out.
I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.
Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.

dannybowes:

bastardkeith:

This has been bugging me.

I am against heterodoxy when it comes to movies. I don’t think any film is entitled to universal acclaim any more than universal scorn. A wide range of opinions is a healthy thing when it comes to cinema. But I do believe that if you’re attempting to slaughter what you see as a sacred cow, you’d need to have your rhetorical ducks in a row. When you attack a film as important as, say, 12 Years a Slave, you had best come correct.

Henry C. Stewart, culture editor at The L Magazine, has not come correct. Here is his article, starkly titled, “Why 12 Years a Slave is a Bad Movie”:

http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2013/12/16/why-12-years-a-slave-is-a-bad-movie

Now, the obvious takeaway here is that Henry C. Stewart (seen above in a bow-tie looking smug) is a fucking cock who doesn’t know how to watch movies. But before why dig deeper into the toxic stupidity of this article, I want to get my bias out of the way. In my opinion, 12 Years a Slave is a monumental film. Director Steve McQueen is a fucking MASTER of pace, composition, theme, you name it. He directs the living shit out of this movie. The acting is almost uniformly great, and I mean GREAT. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of those performances that will, and should, pass into fucking legend.

Most importantly, 12 Years is, at long last, a Black narrative from a Black point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking relieved to see a movie about racism and slavery that’s not seen through the eyes of One Of The Good Whites. When I go to the movies, I don’t need a surrogate. All I need is a point of entry. If the only way a story about an experience different from your own can have meaning for you is by giving you a main character who reflects you (Hi, The Help! What’s up, Mississippi Burning?), then you’ve got some serious unexamined privilege.

So. Let’s get to Henry Stewart being a fucking cock.

Henry’s big issue with 12 Years a Slave, he says, is that in focusing on Solomon Northrup, a free-born Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it’s ignoring the stories of the people who were simply born into it. “Northup’s story works as a screenplay,” he writes, “as popular entertainment, not just because it offers us a way in but also a way out.” After all, “neither were we born into slavery, so we can more easily empathize with his extraordinary plight.” Basically, the filmmakers are taking the easy way out.

Where do I fucking start?

Northrup’s memoir is one of the most complete and widely available accounts of the slave experience. If I were trying to make a movie about a place and time not my own, I’d probably look for the most comprehensive extant documents of that place and time. And if I were making a narrative feature film, I’d probably want a protagonist for the audience to follow. Hey, presto: Solomon Northrup wrote this book. It’s a one-of-a-kind story. Steve McQueen decided he needed to tell it.

Henry notes that that McQueen’s film aspires “to be not just one man’s extraordinary story but the definitive film about American slavery” (even though McQueen has never stated this). Thus, he says, it’s offensive to see side stories, such as the female slave experience, brushed aside. I’m assuming Henry just slept through the long stretches detailing the treatment of Patsey (the fucking absolutely amazing Lupita Nyong’o). I have to assume that. Otherwise, he’d know he was being disingenuous. Which he couldn’t possibly. Could he?

Does Henry really think the ending turns its back on those other characters? Northrup’s freedom doesn’t heal him. And McQueen and Ejiofor have etched on Northrup’s face the knowledge that his luck is his and his alone. His freedom comes at a cost.

But forget about the bits where Henry nakedly misreads or misremembers the film. here’s where he REALLY shows his cards:

"…12 Years a Slave is super emotionally manipulative, which I’m willing to forgive, except, why? To what end? To persuade us that slavery was, in fact, bad? Everyone but those who reside in the very worst comments sections knows that.”

There it is. Henry doesn’t like eating his vegetables. I mean, who needs ANOTHER fucking movie reminding white people how bad slavery was, right? Why rub it in? This is one of those movies that doesn’t let the remove of history reassure a modern audience. This was not that long ago. And while Michael Fassbender plays an impossibly psychotic monster, most of the white characters are all too easy to understand. Take Benedict Cumberbatch’s “good” slave master, a sniveling hypocrite who thinks that MEANING well absolves him of the sin of OWNING AND SELLING HUMANS. Or Garret Dillahunt, who delivers one of the film’s few nakedly satirical flourishes as a white field hand who agonizes to a Black slave about how hard it is to be the whip hand. These are stark illustrations of how insidious unselfconscous white privilege can be. And that doesn’t let us off the hook. Nor should it.

Henry Stewart is so annoyed at 12 Years a Slave for rubbing this stuff in that he decided to take a big dump all over it. It’s not about the slaves whose story it doesn’t tell, and cloaking his takedown in that faux-nobility only makes it smell worse. It’s certainly not about aesthetics (David Edelstein tried to make it about that when he clearly had the same issues as Henry:”McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” Fuuuuuuuck that.). The only criticism of 12 Years a Slave as a MOVIE that Henry can manage is that it’s “unabashed Oscarbait masquerading as legitimate cinema—for proof, see the Hans Fucking Zimmer score!” Right, because a Hans Zimmer score just SCREAMS Oscarbait. Like those awards-magnet Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes movies.

How does Henry sum it all up? Like any great critic, by offering us an alternative and superior film on the topic.

"But I’d argue the best slavery movie, at least recently, is still Django Unchained, which also highlighted the unfathomable barbarity of antebellum America while remaining hyperaware that it was, after all, just a movie.”

Really, Henry? The one by the white guy was the best one? The one with the white sidekick we could all rally behind? The one where the slave-owners were so cartoon-evil that you could immediately feel superior? The one that was so conscious of its own status as a capital-M Movie that you could avoid feeling implicated? I’d never have fucking guessed.

Talk about offering the audience a way out.

I’d ignore this as one man’s opinion if I didn’t see a prevailing attitude online among white viewers (some of whom express noxious sentiments that I’d just as soon not link to) that they’d rather not sit through this. That it seems like it’s just a feel-bad picture, that it’s time to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, HENRY. That it’s a wallow in suffering we can’t change, rather than being one of the year’s most extraordinary, visceral pieces of filmmaking. Instead of being a film that should be compulsory viewing for students of both history AND cinema.12 Years a Slave is a remarkable story told with all the power that cinema can muster. It’s a record of one of the darkest periods in history, and a reminder that some wounds won’t close.

Slavery was made illegal 148 years ago this week. It didn’t end. Jim Crow, voter suppression and the justice/prison systems see to that. So what are we going to do about it?

Henry would rather not be asked.

Amen.

cineffect:

anthonymackies:

Lupita Nyong’o photographed by Joe Pugliese for The Hollywood Reporter. 

Gorgeous

cineffect:

anthonymackies:

Lupita Nyong’o photographed by Joe Pugliese for The Hollywood Reporter.

Gorgeous