12 Years a Slave will begin hitting theaters on October 18 and it's beginning to look like I was very fortunate in seeing it in Toronto as a Seattle press screening has yet to be scheduled and, based on the current list of cities where the film will begin playing, it looks like Seattle audiences may have to wait for the November 1 nationwide release.
Just below is a new clip from the Steve McQueen's much-loved film along with a list of the cities and theaters where the film will begin screening on the 18th and I am quite surprised Seattle isn't on the list even though the studio does say additional cities for the expansion on the 25th will be announced. Clearly there are two goals for Fox Searchlight here, the first of which being money, but they also have an Oscar campaign to consider.
Coming out of the Toronto Film Festival where 12 Years won the People's Choice Award many were quick to declare it the Best Picture winner, forgetting there were still three months of films left to be released. Now it must plot out a campaign that keeps it at the tip of everyone's tongue and figure out a way to get general audience members to see what is an extraordinarily tough film to watch. Here's the quote from my review I ran with for the last trailer that was released:
[W]hat must absolutely be mentioned and reiterated is the absolute horror this movie is to watch. A scene involving a hanging leaves a man dangling, with only the tips of his toes negotiating the muddy ground below serving as the difference between life and possible death. Choking and gasping for air, the soft squish of the wet mud is like needles in your ears. McQueen and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt first focus on his feet, then move to a wide shot as fellow slaves in the background get back to work, leaving the man to hang, afraid to interfere. A couple white people stare from the plantation windows and porch, the whole time the wet squish beneath the man's feet continues as he chokes for a sliver of air. The scene goes on, and on, and on.
Similarly, a scene where another character is whipped, the flesh ripped from their skin into bloody tendrils, is one I had to close my eyes during. Yet, the sound of leather on flesh remained. I stopped counting at 35 lashes before it ended, I maybe saw ten of them with my own eyes, but couldn't avoid the sound of the other 25.
Now check out the clip below, which also features Michael K. Williams.
Cinemark Baldwin Hills
The Landmark (TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW)
AMC Empire 25
Regal Union Square
AMC River East (TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW)
Landmark Century Centre
Cinemark Evanston 18
Regal Gallery Place
Landmark Bethesda Row
Majestic Silver Springs
Regal Atlantic Station (TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW)
AMC Phipps Plaza
AMC Southlake Pavilion
OCTOBER 25 *
* Theaters TBD--more cities to be added soon