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Lots Of New Footage In New '12 Years A Slave' Featurette (Video)

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 3, 2013 2:15 PM
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"12 Years a Slave."
Fox Searchlight "12 Years a Slave."

Here's a nice behind-the-scenes featurette, highlighting the making of the film, featuring key cast and crew, including director Steve McQueen and star Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as a lot of new footage not seen in the only trailer that's been released thus far.

Within the footage, we get our first look at Adepero Oduye as Eliza, a mother who is initially separated from her children in a slave auction. 

After it's sneak peek screening at Telluride over the weekend (see Frances' stellar review of it HERE), Fox Searchlight will debut 12 Years A Slave at the Toronto International Film Festival which opens its doors in 2 days. 

Fox Searchlight will also screen the film at the New York Film Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival, before releasing it theatrically on October 18, in a limited roll-out and will then expand nationwide in successive weeks. 

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen's 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong'oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

Here's the 5 1/2-minute featurette (if it doesn't load for you in the Yahoo player below, try the YouTube player below it):

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  • Jewell Sparks | September 6, 2013 6:32 PMReply

    Great article.. I look forward to seeing the movie in its entirety!!! Thanks for the awesome review.

  • Peggy | September 6, 2013 6:10 PMReply

    You know a movie must be good when the actors see it for the first time and it freaks them out. They freakin' made it and they're shocked by it. Can't wait to see it, but a little scared too.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 5, 2013 7:51 PMReply

    With all due respect, CC, there weren't actually that many black women who looked like Thandie Newton back then. Hell, there aren't many, relatively speaking to the rest of the black women in the world, who look like her today. But especially back then during the times of slavery in America, that percentage was even lower than it is now despite the number of children resulting from masters and slave women. Lightskinned blacks were more of a scarcity back then despite the abundance of focus on the "tragic mulatto" in old literature and narratives. And when I say Thandie Newton I don't necessarily mean women as beautiful as Thandie Newton. I'm referring to a type that fits Thandie''s phsysical attributes :skin complexion, nose, hair type (at least the hair style that Thandie has in movies), etc. I'm a fan of Thandie Newton but I always thoughtit was absurd that at least three times she has been cast as a slave/former slave in Hollywood films. Black people that look like that were more the rarity than the norm. Those are just facts. Some people on S&A can't get past bad casting that leads to actors/actresses not being able to pull off the right accent. I tend to have a problem of casting that gets the "look" wrong. For example casting Sidney Poitier and Thurgood Marshall? Just wrong. Now I expect to see a lot of Thandie Newton or Harry Lennix types in "Feat of All Saints". But in "Beloved"" Get the ::bleep:: out of here.

    Getting back on track I brought up her to make a point about the difference between casting the Thandies of the world for playing slaves and Chiwetel having a shaven face in "12 Years". The latter isn't as big a deal. Blaqueblack made a comment that such a look suggested "12 Years" was romanticized. What pure bs. All the accounts of early reviews tells us it far from a romanticized representation of slavery. Chiwetel not having some raggy beard doesn't take away from that. And to claim it is "almost beautified" is even more absurd. From what I've seen the clothes the slaves are wearing in the movie don't look as if they just came out the drycleaner.

    If there is one legitimate complaint about Chiwetel Ejiofor's physical appearance it may be that, to me, he doesn't necessarily look mulatto. The real Solomon Northup was mulatto.

  • CareyCarey | September 8, 2013 1:37 AM

    "Hell, there aren't many, relatively speaking to the rest of the black women in the world, who look like her today"

    AV, maybe I am missing something but I don't quite understand how you've come to that conclusion? More importantly, it's not a fact that lightskinned blacks were a scarcity "despite the number of children resulting from masters and slave women". That does not make sense, does it? I mean, it appears you're in agreement with the idea/notion/belief that white men had sex with slaves, but denying the fact that when one mixes two races of completely different colors (in this case white and black) a light sikinned child can be born. Listen, history has shown and genetics has proven that the product of that union can produce children from near white to dark brown (Did you see the film "Skin" which was a true story?).

    Anyway, if you're suggesting slaves were not raped and/or willfully engaged in sex with whites as often as many assume they were, then I see the point of your argument.

    But again, speaking from experience, I believe you may have read my comments on the "history" of my family. In one story I talked about tracing my family tree back to the period of the Civil War. I actually have copies of pictures and letters written in the hand of my grandfather(3 generation past) who was a slave that enlisted in the Union Army. My father, my wife and he are all buried in the same military cemetery. The point I am trying to make is, picture and real history (not fiction) don't lie.

    I once asked my mother why "that" white women's picture was hanging on my grandmother's wall? She became agitated and replied, "that's not a white women, that's my grandmother". See, her grandmother looked like Thandie Newton... and she was a slave... and she was the product of a "union" with a white man. So again, I question your reference source.

    But, I will agree that "slaves" did shave (why would someone believe they did not?). In fact, there's a huge misconception about slaves in general. Yes, many were brutalized, raped and sold as chattel, but one has to consider the entire period of the institution of slavery (close to 400 years) in order for the narrative to include the devil in the details.

  • Blaqueblack | September 4, 2013 2:40 PMReply

    Extremely compelling story and should be told. Unfortunately, with most of these films they fail to capture the aesthetic/look that matches the brutality. I don't believe most enslaved people were allowed to be clean shaven or to wear manicured goatees. The goal was to make money/profit, and little attention was paid to ensuring clean clothes that match. The look is inauthentic, romanticized (almost beautified). I think it's time for a raw, dirty, dehumanizing depiction (look) of the horrors of slavery that causes the viewer to feel uncomfortable about witnessing such an event on film as entertainment.

  • CC | September 5, 2013 11:44 AM

    Looking like Thandie Newton? And what exactly does that mean? There were plenty of slaves who looked exactly like Thandie. I mean, just like today's society, there were plenty of white slave masters who loved that brown sugar...and then...out popped Thandies, Mariahs and various colors of the rainbow.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 5, 2013 11:32 AM

    Please. If they had no say on grooming they all would have had afros. This looks plenty gritty. Django on the other hand had women looking as if they just came out of a beauty salon. This movies gets points simply for not having black slave women looking like Thandie Newton.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 3, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    Wow. Just beautiful.

  • Ava | September 3, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Is anyone else having difficulties loading the Video? I just got an apology message--apparently they're having technical difficulties.
    Oh well...

  • Donella | September 4, 2013 2:59 PM

    Thanks AV, I had trouble too and was able to watch it on YouTube.

  • Accidental Visitor | September 3, 2013 7:26 PM

    Yeah. Just go to YouTube and look at it there if you're still having some technical difficulties.

  • VM | September 3, 2013 2:56 PMReply

    Hans Zimmer's score!!!

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