like 12 years a slave for example


I’ve been very lucky at what’s happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine - anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I’d like Gary Oldman’s career: he’s the perfect example of it. I’ve love to have a really broad sweep of characters - to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable. (May 2005)

You accomplished that Benedict and we are very proud 


Benedict Cumberbatch interviewed by Style (n. 1-2 january/february 2014), magazine of Corriere della Sera newspaper.


For everyone who can’t understand italian I translate the interview. (please let me now if something sounds odd, it’s since high school that I don’t translate such a long text and my english is a bit rusty)

Magazine cover: Benedict Cumberbatch. Change life: an actor’s art.

page 51: Benedict Cumberbatch. Very british (I know, sounds a lot like the doge meme XD). He changed face and personality to interpret Julian Assange, the man who changed the rules and relationships in the world with his revelations. He is the coolest actor of the moment, for elegance, aristocratic charm, beauty changeable. And transformation. «I flee to change the routine. A year in a Tibetan monastery. Silence and English lessons»


page 53-55: He is considered a master of transformation. A true artist in changing private life. As well as the characters he portrays. From the most iconic of detectives, Sherlock Holmes (in the last english TV series), in that kind of digital detective who is Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. To Khan, the villan of the last Star Trek, Into Darkness, the sinister dragon (which lends facial expressions and, in the original, even the deep baritone voice), which gives the title to The Desolation of Smaug, the last chapter of The Hobbit saga. And then, even the actor in more mature films whitch could all wins Oscars: Catholic landowner and slaveholder, oscillating between pity and sadism, in the already praised 12 years a slave (in theaters from February 20); mentally unstable member of a disrupted family in August: Osage County with Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper (from February 6). So many different characters, only one face: the modern and aristocratic one of Benedict Cumberbatch, 37, englishman moved to Hollywood, one of the most popular actors at the time because of its elegant transformation. In his England where, thanks to Sherlock enjoys immense popularity, he is a reassuring presence for the charity events of prince Charles. Thanks to its style made of impeccably cut dresses, regimental ties or silk in shades of gray and worn elegance shoes. Plus a charm typical of certain characters that you meet in the pages of Evelyn Waugh or Julian Fellowes, Anglo-Saxon high society style. But in spite of the ancestors whorty Downtown Abbey is one of the faces of most contemporary cinema: rangy, ductile eclectic, able to embody the good and the bad, but most notably in trouble with the ugly. Cumberbatch looks in between the boy and the mature young man, away from the excesses and able to keep their emotions hidden, he is son of artists: the family, with strong theatrical traditions, has always supported his natural talent for acting (albeit with some invitation to graduate in Law). Even if you ask him how it ended its long relationship with actress Olivia Poulet, he avoid answering with British snobbery: “I do not like talking about myself, thank you. I had a serene childhood and adolescence, but introspection is in my nature. Talk about me to strangers it’s hard, I usually disappear behind my characters or litt run away ”

Where do you flee, mr Cumberbatch?

My last time I went with few, trusted friends on the Himalaya and I confirm that I spent a whole year in a place of silence and culture in a Tibetan monastery where I taught English.

You became Assange in The Fifth Estate: a character among the most topical and controversial.

When I am stimulated I give myself unreservedly. I feel admiration for what Assange tried to do to and his consistency; I support protests against cuts to culture in the UK and sending troops to Iraq. and then sometimes I have fun to embody the mysterious types, radicals and spies.

You graduated from the prestigious University of Manchester and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. What was your favorite subject?

Literature: I always found who knows how to translate the clarity or cluodiness of the ideas in enlightening words. Panting and film came soon after.

What is your favourite film? There is a director with whom you’d like to act in particular?

Among colleagues I have a great admiration for Gary Oldman and Daniel Day Llewis. Lawrence of Arabia is my film par excellence. It has everything, adventure, a good script able to project into the present, spendid and complex human portraits. My cinematographic imagination has been shaped forever by this great show, its actors, Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, by its wide open and limitless spaces and at the same time with limits and historical meanings, in which the film of David Lean was set. With the doubts of Hamlet, which I brought to the theater, this great film show is one of my references for an ideal world of entertainment that is culture.

Among directors, from which one would you like to be sign up?

I would be thrilled to be chosen by Paul Thomas Anderson: his films give something strong and true to the audience, and Martin Scorsese, who has a deep passion and knowledge of cinema. There is a sort of musical rhythm in all of his works.

What music do you prefer?

One that can translate into notes a thought, a state of mind. Just as I’m interested in painting that knows how to be read. There are some bands that I follow, like Radiohead.

How you spend a typical day of yours?

I do a job that takes away the anchors to habits. An example? We shot 12 years a slave mostly in New Orleans: a charming place, even disturbing and gothic. Although I often shut myself in the hotel, I was seized by this strong film and the history that I felt around.

You love to travel. Which of the places where you have shot a film was impressed in your memory?

I’ve played August: Osage County in Oklahoma and Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, with streets that were lost and an old house that seemed out of a painting by Edward Hooper. It had created a curious intimacy between us as actors: Meryl Streep, the great Chris Cooper, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Edwan McGregor. Even the small towns not far from the sets in the two Countries seemed as empty appearances, lost in the streets of America. Moreover, in these places often I lack the energy that London can give me; ah, I will never take permanent residence in Hollywood or Los Angeles.

Do you usually use your computer, smartphone or internet?

No, I don’t. But I find fascinating the parallel realities of cyberspace. The film about Assange has also represented a time of study and knowledge. After that, the books of J.R.R. Tolkien stimulate me more fantasies and mental journeys.

You have attended Catholic schools. Did they form or condition you?

I would not say that, and in a more mature age I chose the pacification also made of silences of Buddhism, though I do not practice any religious doctrine.

Even in Star Trek there is a form of longing for religion…

I prefer the word spirituality, I always liked Star Trek because it goes beyond life, as director JJ Abrams always says, a true visionary.

Be honest: do you like most Sherlock Holmes, the detective often depressed Baker Street or Dr. Watson, who loved women, playing cards and drinking?

They seem complementary to me: Holmes is an outsider, Watson the nicest. I like them both, they are two literary creatures of eternal fascination as Victorian England.


Do you think you have an Anglo-Saxon elegance?

I prefer classic dresses in men, but I’m comfortable in jeans and sweaters, and yes, I am convinced that the style of a person will reveal at least part of his/her character. Sometimes I wear shaved or ribs velvet suits, suitable for all hours; I could never pose as a model. I would feel absolutely ridiculous.

Do you consider yourself a snob or a elitist?

In some aspects yes, especially if I chat with someone who does not grasp the things I’m talking about. There is a difference between the words elitist and aristocratic. I prefer the first.

What do you ask in a friendship?

Energy, availability, advice if I need it and sincerity. Meryl Streep on the set of August: Osage County has proved to be an extraordinary and potential friend and a woman with a genuine, strong femininity.

What do you value most in a woman?

The ability to be herself, with spontaneity and without superstructures. The female world today is overpopulated by models.

The same can also be applied to men…

That’s true, today virility is showed off. Too much, which, in my opinion, hides fragility and insecurity.

How do you deal with the vanity that every actor has, even if he pretends that it is not so?

Reading, traveling, studying, being interested in the world. Usually I buy two newspapers, trying to avoid the ones that trample and manipulate reality through stereotypes, the exasperation of consumerism and the morbid hunting revelation about privacy of others.

Be a quick-change artis on the screen has changed some of your attitudes or habits?

Being an actor is a job of continuous adaptations and transformations. Due to these characteristics frees you from a lot of filth habit. On the other hand, I love the routine of walking to London, to feel free from any label, be Benedict Cumberbatch and nothing else.

anonymous asked:

12 Years A Slave also used to have an entry under "Anvilicious" with the explanation reading, in so many words "Okay, slavery is bad, we get it."


Most of the entries on “Anvilicious” are apt. Things like Reefer Madness and The Happening, for example, are about as subtle as skywriting. “Anvilicious” comes with the connotation of not just having a moral, but writing it poorly. Outright stating the moral several times, using strawmen with opposing opinions as antagonists, etc. Most disaster movies try to hammer in “Man is hurting nature!” without having the writing chops to make it, you know, good. Often times, though, they decide that having any theme at all is “Anvilicious.”

You know what a story without a theme is? Pointless. Or porn. Rarely does porn have an underlying message. Sometimes, even actually subtle themes and morals get added to the page. One half-joking line from X2 and suddenly it’s “We get it, they’re all gay, geez.”

With 12 Years a Slave, there was no room for subtly saying slavery was bad. It wasn’t a movie where Brad Pitt played an antebellum white man who looked onto a plantation and frowned, no matter what Italian movie posters implied. It was the real-life story of a man who was tricked into slavery and did his damnedest to survive. That movie helped show audiences the true horrors of slavery and someone on TVTropes thought “Stop talking about slavery, that was like a thousand years ago.”





Dexter R. Jones

I just finished watching


starring Brad Pitt and a bunch of other white guys + one Mexcian.  'Twas a great World War II film.  However, being a Black man with eyes wide open, my mind couldn’t help but wander over to thoughts of

12 Years A Slave

.  "What do these two movies have in common?“, you might ask.  Well, not much.  I’m sure this is all old news to a lot of you now but what I was really thinking about was all those people, Black and white alike, who kept saying that they were tired of seeing yet another slave movie.  I just heard Charlamagne Tha God say it again in his interview with Chris Rock recently.   I like watching WWII movies.  I don’t know why but for some reason I do.  One of my favorite movies happens to be

Saving Private Ryan

.  There’s just something about that war.  I don’t spend my good money to go see these films but I do enjoy them.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  Apparently so does the rest of America.  Within the first few seconds of watching


, I felt the need to point out to myself, and now to others, that in my lifetime, I have seen countless, I repeat COUNTLESS WWII films.  And upon release of these films not once did I ever hear someone complain that they were tired of seeing WWII films.  I do however remember Spike Lee consistently having to explain himself on why he decided to make one of his own in

Miracle at St. Anna

; a major WWII film that finally dared to remind Americans that Black men fought and died in their war too.  They made him explain his criticism of Clint Eastwood for the lack of Black presence in his WWII film,

Flags of our Fathers

.  But shouldn’t white America have to explain themselves at this point?  After all, we still live in a world where they think it’s perfectly acceptable to have ancient Egyptians played by an all white cast in


.  This is white supremacy at it’s most comical.  Seems quite silly, doesn’t it?  Well to people like myself and all those who find themselves marching and protesting in the streets as of late, it’s more than just silly.  It’s pretty damn insulting and no one seems to be ashamed.  Heck, I’m ashamed.  I’m ashamed to even be associated with the pro-white propagandists that we share the country with.  I’m ashamed that I actually once considered myself a fan of


director, Ridley Scott, who also directed one of my all-time favorite sci-fis in


.  I feel shame and they feel none.  This is just another indication that white supremacy is working and working well. Now before I go on, I would just like to point out that there really have not been many slave movies.  In my lifetime, I can only think of three:

12 Years A Slave



, and


.  That’s all.  I’ve looked it up.  All other movies were either Civil War films or simply used slavery as a backdrop for white protagonists, like


for example.   So…..why?  What is Charlamagne Tha God even talking about?  Why do we make very little room for "slave movies” but can never have enough room for white WWII movies?  For that matter, why do we have so much tolerance for our minds to be inundated with any & every kind of film lately?  We can watch a million superhero movies, medieval films with white men on horseback, post-apocalyptic movies, mafia films, and war films in general without a problem.  But we can barely let one more “slave movie” slip by.  Why?  As an artist and media maker it is a subject I have deep interest in.   The answer is simple:  To mainstream America, Black lives just DON’T matter.  It is written all across the silver screen and our television sets.  Apparently no one cares to be reminded of true stories of Black suffering on screen unless it’s by the hands of another Black man.  And though

12 Years A Slave

has had it’s successes, I continue to hear the same complaints about the film’s very existence.  Yet, I did not hear enough outcry about the fact that we have seen way too many movies about African genocide which quite gruesomely show Africans killing other Africans.   I believe the blatant agenda/propaganda serves to remind us not only of how conditioned we are from birth to value the lives of whites as well as their history over Blacks, but also that the conditioning must stop.  That we seem to have very little control over what we see of ourselves in mainstream media and we must take control.  We must exercise our power.  We must use whatever control we do have in a very conscientious way.  For we have millions of stories to tell and are quite rich in history that indeed does go further back than slavery and is independent of white American involvement.  This takes hard and very decisive work.   More importantly we should also be alert to the fact that all things are connected.  The things we see do not just have an affect on the psyche’s of Blacks.  They are coded messages that are subconsciously understood by all.  "Black lives still don’t matter".  This message is believed by far too many; particularly by the authority and unfortunately by ourselves.  And as far as our media is concerned, why should we matter?  So as we now see, it continues to play itself out in very real life & death scenarios throughout the country.  And to argue with a people who are suffering while at the same time struggling just to have their voices heard, that ALL lives matter is so……it’s just dumb.  But White America and White Supremacy is all we know and all we’ve lived.  So many of us will do all we can to defend it. -

sir dex

Over the years I have become less of a fan of the so-called awards season since on occasion Hollywood politics has a way of infiltration the system. However, I can not understand how a movie like “12 years of a Slave” which has cause it’s viewers to respond with overt visceral reactions has not received a significant award for the 2014 Golden Globes. An example is Lupita Nyong'o not attaining a Golden Globe award for her first international motion picture “12 years of a Slave” and acclaimed movie director Steve McQueen. Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress, however  Lupita Nyong'o impacted her audience in such a way that people were moved to tears. Some viewers were left distraught, yet Lupita Nyong'o was not awarded a Golden Globe for 2014 for her performance. Director Steve McQueen was also not recognized. I shall let others provide their insight on why these talented individuals was not given an award which was justly deserved.