Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'Mandela' Writer Blames Failure On Audiences "Exhausted Feeling Guilty About Slavery" In '12 Years A Slave'

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist June 3, 2014 at 9:24AM

The purpoted beef between director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley aside, most of the controversy surrounding the Best Picture-winning “12 Years A Slave” has centered on audience’s reactions to the film, both of Armond White and uneasy white Academy voters. Here we are, three months removed from the film’s Oscar win and another dissenter has spoken out the film’s injustices.
3
mandela, long walk to freedom
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

The purpoted beef between director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley aside, most of the controversy surrounding the Best Picture-winning “12 Years A Slave” has centered on audience’s reactions to the film, both of Armond White and uneasy white Academy voters. Here we are, three months removed from the film’s Oscar win and another dissenter has spoken out the film’s injustices.

At the Hay Festival in Wales over the weekend WillIam Nicholson, the screenwriter for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” – the Nelson Mandela biopic that starred Idris Elba and boasted a weepy U2 song – bravely stood up and blamed his film’s failure (both its mixed critical reception and its paltry stateside grosses) on the U.S. audiences being “so exhausted feeling guilty about slavery that I don’t think there was much left over to be nice about our film.” In case that statement was too subtle for you, Nicholson spelt it out more bluntly, saying McQueen’s Oscar-winning film “sucked up all the guilt about black people.” Yikes.

As most people who say stupid and insensitive things do, Nicholson dug himself a deeper hole by seemingly slamming – or outright denying – the late Mandela’s charisma and public presence by saying this: “I know it sounds outrageous to say a thing like that, but when he came out of prison he made a speech and, God, you feel asleep.” That’s right, the man who was tapped to write the Mandela biopic found him boring and also thinks that some of the blame of the biopic’s failure can also be laid at the feet of Mandela himself, saying “Suddenly the word came through that he died. We were deluged with Mandela stuff and after a week we all thought, please, take it away, we’ve heard enough about Mandela.”

It’s a shame that a film directed by one of the greatest emerging talents in cinema – '12 Years' is only McQueen’s third feature-length film – overshadowed the new film from the director of “The Other Boleyn Girl,” but it’s an even greater shame that no one has quite made a great film on the very great and inspring Mandela. Maybe Ridley can show Nicholson how a screenwriter truly engaged and respectful of his subject can create great work that doesn’t need to hide behind flimsy excuses. [The Independent via Defamer]

This article is related to: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, 12 Years a Slave, WillIam Nicholson


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates