NPR Talks to John Walker, editor of 12 Years a Slave:
“And we see him hanging, and doing this surreal dance with the tiptoes of his feet in the mud,” Walker says. “And we aren’t plying you with music, and we aren’t making big comments — and we’re not that close.” The physical distance allowed the filmmakers to not just show Solomon dangling from the tree in agony but also to see the other slaves, forced to carry on with their tasks all around him. “To me, it always felt like it was sort of a great way of realizing the casual nightmare of it all,” Walker adds quietly. He says he didn’t really have a hard time working on such scenes of brutality. What was hardest was when Northup’s freedom is eventually restored. “I was in tears in the cutting room when I saw that come in,” he says. “There wasn’t a single shot of that family reunion that wasn’t heartbreaking.” Perhaps those big emotions are — partly— why some people are afraid to see the film. It’s made less than $50 million in the United States. But most moviegoers who’ve seen it are happy they did. 12 Years A Slave is the best-reviewed film of the year, according to the website Rotten Tomatoes. (It sent McQueen its own award, the Golden Tomato.)
Tom O’Neil Skypes with his editor Paul Sheehan post-BAFTA.
Matt Zoller Seitz will be reading from his book The Wes Anderson Collection at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on February 20, 7:30pm.
Behind ‘American Hustle,’ a world of passion, humanity and clarity [LA Times]
Will American Hustle sweep the Oscars? [Bloomberg]
Alfonso Cuarón On ‘Gravity,’ Creationists, and Bonding with Sandra Bullock Over Divorce [Daily Beast]
Alfonso Cuaron on Gravity being named Best British Film:
“I don’t need to set the record straight,” Cuarón told reporters. “There’s a series of rules that make a film eligible for BAFTAs as a best British film or not. And ‘Gravity’ definitely has all the requirements, except a couple of Mexicans that came here — legally, I have to say … . And a couple of American stars. The rest is a film that was completely shot in this country, developed in this country.”