TORONTO – Veteran film director Cameron Crowe is no stranger to controversy, having unleashed polemics against fellow film makers such as David Lynch and Jane Campion in the past, but earlier today he reached a new pitch when he hurled a vitriolic attack against Steve McQueen‘s new film 12 Years a Slave, which has been garnering massive praise since its Telluride and Toronto screenings.
A source close to the director reported the Almost Famous director saying:
I had high hopes for 12 Years a Slave, having been a great fan of Steve McQueen ever since he tried to jump those barbed wire fences on a motor-bicycle during the Second World War. He didn’t make it but by God, he gave it his best shot. Whereas this film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender and produced by Brad Pitt, is just a huge disappointment. One long wet fart of a film.
“What’s wrong with it?” our source (who for legal reasons couldn’t possibly be the Studio Exec) asked.
Well, it tells the story of a freeman, a musician called Solomon Northup, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery where he is brutally mistreated. A damning indictment of American history and a moving chronicle of one man’s fight for freedom. So far so good. But not once does Solomon Northup buy a zoo. Not once. I mean, I know McQueen is principally an actor but this is film making 101. There isn’t even a soft rock montage where the protagonist learns to do something better. Not one. No bitter sweet romance, no you had me at hello. Nothing. Can you even call it a film? is my question.
Steve McQueen has refused to comment on Crowe’s outburst, though Michael Fassbender did respond saying he thought, although Mr. Crowe had a right to his opinion, “Elizabethtown was a big bag of sodden shite.”