“12 years a slave”: The perfect answer to Tarantino


Throughout our lives, our generation has been shown violence as entertainment. In video games we get points for killing; on television we watch graphic crimes and see detectives sift through bloody clues; in movies we sympathize with killers and wait for city-crushing explosions.Even with our country’s most grotesque and grim histories we are accustomed to Tarantino-style cannonball explosions of blood — history gorified, and also glorified. With his new film 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen seizes the hyperbolic trends of cinema violence and shapes them into something far more real. McQueen shatters our generation’s archetypes of trigger-happy Djangos, or previous generations’ stereotypes of smiling Mammys, and replaces them with a version of slavery that strips down the Hollywood lie of a cheerful antebellum South, and presents slavery — and the day-in-day-out routine and visceral violence — as barbarity. It’s enough to somber our gore-ready generation into real feeling. Continue Reading…

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