When thinking of Steve McQueen and film, you might traditionally have thought of Hollywood and an infamous motorcycle leap. However, in recent years the name has begun to conjure up a very different image; one of British director and artist Steven 'Steve' Rodney McQueen.

With two feature films and several prestigious awards already behind him, McQueen is set to debut his third major release this September at Toronto Film Festival, 12 Years a Slave: The Extraordinary True Story of Solomon Northup.

  • 12 Years a Slave: The Extraordinary True Story of Solomon Northup

This commercial success has been built upon years of short films and visual art. With his 1993 Bear - shots of two undressed men wrestling with homoerotic and hostile behaviour - he showcased his ability to depict sharp and powerful imagery as well as theme in a covert and beautiful manner. This continued with his following short films and transcends through the feature films Hunger and Shame. In McQueen's world, a film about a sex addict (Shame) is by no means one necessarily about sex. He himself has often stated he is not interested in just one theme or idea such as race or sexuality. While all his films showcase passion, conflict and struggle they are not limited or repetitive. Similar in style yes but definitely not in content.

  • Hunger (2008)

It is his style as well as perhaps controversial subject matter McQueen is becoming renowned for. A McQueen film would not be what it is without tensing his audience through concentrated character dialogues or intense graphic sequences such as prisoners being beaten and washed in Hunger… as well as an appearance from Michael Fassbender.

  • Shame (2011)

Reuniting with Fassbender once again 12 Years a Slave: The Extraordinary True Story of Solomon Northup is set to be McQueen's most expensive and possibly most troubling piece yet telling the story of Solomon Northup, a free man tricked into slavery. With names such as Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Dano attached, 12 Years a Slave may make Steve McQueen a household name as well as the acclaimed director he already is. However from what the film trailer released this July suggests, he thankfully has not wavered from his place as an artist or Fassbender's seemingly favourite collaborator.