Category: City of God

Postcards from Rio & Rome

Postcard from… 

You are going to send a postcard home from the films version of the city we are in.

This should of course include multiple images from the films:

  • iconic images
  • locations & settings
  • The atmosphere
  • characters you have met
  • The events you witnessed (from the film)

Rome in The Bicycle Thieves


Rio de Janeiro in City of God


World Cinema Revision 5 – Narrative & Setting

REPRESENTATION OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT:

Another question, which crops up regularly is something like this:

Explore how stylistic choices contribute to the representation of the urban experience in the films you have studied for this topic.


What is the importance of cinematography and/or editing in communicating issues of power, poverty and conflict in the films you have studied for this topic?

These essays require you to have a really good knowledge of the specific micro techniques that the directors use to communicate their themes (messages and values) about the nature of the city.

Postcard from… 

You are going to send a postcard home from the films version of the city we are in.

This should of course include multiple images from the films:

  • iconic images
  • locations & settings
  • The atmosphere
  • characters you have met
  • The events you witnessed (from the film)

 

NARRATIVE

Here is a worksheet on narrative which explains it more precisely.

World Cinema Revision 2 – Cinematic Movements

CINEMATIC STYLE (ITALIAN NEO REALISM AND CINEMA NOVO)

A typical question which comes up in the exam is something like:

Discuss how far the ‘look’ created by cinematography and editing contributes to the impact of the films you have studied for this topic.


‘To find an international audience, films about local and particular problems need to use mainstream techniques such as those associated with Hollywood cinema.’ How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the films you have studied for this topic?

As noted above the best way to approach this sort of essay is using evidence of the cinematic movements that the films have used in their style.

CINEMA NOVO & ITALIAN NEO REALISM

Same as with context make a copy of this template and fill in the features of the particular movement and where you can see evidence of them in the films.

ANALYSIS / DEBATE

There are some nice debates to be had – especially with City of God – that maybe the style of the film outweighs and simplifies the themes of the film. This would be a useful idea to develop your analysis and include in your introduction and conclusion.

Read the articles in the pre reading and pick out 3 key quotes that you can use in your revision to help your analysis. Consider how The Bicycle Thieves fits within this as well.

Note: Please do not refer to the Bicycle Thieves as ‘boring’ just because the cinematic style is less obvious / energetic.

City of God Style Debate

Read this review

The motion is that the visual style of City of God (2002) Meirelles & Lund, overwhelms the substance of the narrative.

Our reaction to the film is purely one of reacting to the exhilarating images & sounds we are presented with and consequently our understanding of the themes and issues is diminished.

Debate with examples from the text.

Here is some extended reading for those of you who would like to read more about this debate.

We agree (Miss H class)

We agree (Miss H class) perfect points

We disagree (Miss H class) 

We disagree (Miss H class) perfect points

City of God – Contexts & Resources

As with Bicycle Thieves it is essential that we have an overview of the context of the film before doing our scene by scene analysis.

Again we will be considering those macro ideas but particularly focusing on context / representation of the city & film movements – which in this case is Cinema Novo.

Please research the following contexts surrounding City of God:

  1. The Favelas
  2. Drug wars in the Favelas
  3. The well known / glamourous representation of Rio de Janiero
  4. Cinema Novo
  5. Mirelles, Lund & Bazilian cinema
  6. The institutional / production context of City of God
  7. City of God critical reception (reviews & controversies)

Complete your notes as bullet points in the appropriate shared document

Mr Gregson 

Miss Hales

Resources for The City of God:

The department notes booklet

Cinema Novo – The Aesthetics of Hunger. Here is a key article on The City of God & Cinema Novo and to what degree the film follows the traditions of Cinema Novo, a movement which grew out of Italian Neo Realism.

Here is a review on The City of God, which explores the visual style, narrative structure, character journey, socio-economic and political contexts. It also explores one of the significant debates, which I hope we can have, which is whether City of God glamorizes and glorifies violence.

World Cinema Revision

CINEMATIC STYLE (ITALIAN NEO REALISM AND CINEMA NOVO)

A typical question which comes up in the exam is something like:

Discuss how far the ‘look’ created by cinematography and editing contributes to the impact of the films you have studied for this topic.

‘To find an international audience, films about local and particular problems need to use mainstream techniques such as those associated with Hollywood cinema.’ How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the films you have studied for this topic?

In fact this type of question did not come up last year and so is a good one to revise as it may be on the paper this year.

In a question like this you need to discuss your understanding of the cinematic features of Italian Neo Realism and Cinema Novo.

Here are the posters we made on those two topics.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONTEXT

Another question type (that also wasn’t in last year’s paper) is something like this:

How far have your contextual studies been important in understanding the specific urban locations and life experiences represented in the films you have studied for this topic?

How far should the films you have studied for this topic be seen in relation to their particular time and place?

Here you will have to be able to talk about 3-4 political, historical, social or artist contexts which you have researched and which have helped you understand the films. Here are the revision slideshows we worked on in class:

Additionally here are some mind maps that develop ideas about some of the key contexts in The Bicycle Thieves and City of God.

Contexts Folder 

REPRESENTATION OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT:

Another question, which crops up regularly is something like this:

Explore how stylistic choices contribute to the representation of the urban experience in the films you have studied for this topic.

What is the importance of cinematography and/or editing in communicating issues of power, poverty and conflict in the films you have studied for this topic?

These essays require you to have a really good knowledge of the specific micro techniques that the directors use to communicate their themes (messages and values).

Here are the micro analysis we did for key scenes – here is a link to the textual analysis form we used.

Bicycle Thieves Analysis

City of God Analysis

NARRATIVE

Here is a worksheet on narrative which explains it more precisely.

City of God Character Profile

You need to have a thorough understanding of the characters within The City of God and be able to illustrate your understanding with examples.

To be able to discuss character you need examples of:

  • What they say
  • What other people say about them (especially the narrator(Rocket))
  • What they do
  • What they look like
  • Their character ‘journeys’
  • What they say about The City (of God) (especially the narrator)

You should also include your thoughts on their function in the narrative; what role do they play and what themes do they illustrate?

In small groups please complete a character profile for:

  • Rocket
  • Li’l Zé
  • Bené
  • Knockout Ned
  • The Runts

Place your image in the center of an A3 piece of paper and surround it with quotes, images, examples of behaviour, stages in their narrative journey.

Character Profile of Bene
Character Profile of Knockout Ned
Character Profile of Lil Z
Character Profile of Rocket
Character Profile of The Runts

City of God Debate

Read this review

The motion is that the visual style of City of God (2002) Meirelles & Lund, overwhelms the substance of the narrative.

Our reaction to the film is purely one of reacting to the exhilarating images & sounds we are presented with and consequently our understanding of the themes and issues is diminished.

Debate with examples from the text.

Here is some extended reading for those of you who would like to read more about this debate.

Here are the notes from Miss Hales’ class debate…

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l-75rM0Kr6CuxdomkLZL8lxW0IUiJdTt8OEvRT6C-3g/edit?usp=sharing