The Special Shelf
Let me just say this, in case it’s not clear: we are in no way mocking or satirizing 12 Years A Slave or its subject matter. We clear on that?
It does please me to say that, quite apart from the seriousness of its subject, 12 Years A Slave is a legitimately excellent movie, beautifully directed by no-not-that-Steve McQueen, and seemingly destined to make Chiwetel Ejiofor the star he has long deserved to be. I came out of the theater feeling both educated and uplifted. And I can never watch one frame of it again.
My collection is full of titles like that, for which I happily paid full price, and which collect dust on the shelf. Schindler’s List? Just thinking about it and I start picturing that little girl in the red coat. I had a copy of Capturing The Friedmans, but I loaned it to a friend, and now it sits on their shelf, collecting dust because they can never watch it again, and on and on like some messed-up documentary version of The Ring.
It’s less searing when it’s something as hamhandedly made as, say, The Passion Of The Christ, which is less a searing drama, and more an uncomfortable portrait of one filmmaker’s psyche. History will tell, hopefully, which one The Day The Clown Cried was.
So, see 12 Years A Slave if you haven’t. I’ll loan you my copy. No rush on giving it back.