A widely praised conceptual artist-turned-filmmaker who had been called "a born provocateur" and "a reluctant subversive," Steve McQueen's features were captivating in their simplicity and minimalism. A devotee of the nouvelle vague style of the 1960s French New Wave, McQueen started his film career off with a series of experimental shorts exhibited in an unusual fashion, including screening without sound and/or on multiple art gallery walls rather than a conventional screen. Known for his meticulous sense of detail and guarded personality, McQueen maintained that his work was apolitical, though this was disputed, given its implied criticism of how the British government treated Irish Republican Army prisoners and displayed reluctance to suitably honor military personnel killed during the Iraq war. One of the few artists to garner instant acclaim upon transitioning to feature films, McQueen's "Hunger" (2008) and "Shame" (2011) - both starring Michael Fassbender - were heralded for their quiet, refined power and McQueen was cited as one of Britain's most promising and creative directors. This early promise was met in "12 Years a Slave" (2013), a harrowing period drama that won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for McQueen.