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AaronGillespie

City of God (2002)

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Greetings!

First ever post to the forum! Spent the summer binge listening to the show, and now, after becoming fully caught-up and having seen most of the films inducted, I finally feel confident enough to make a movie suggestion. I'm going with:

CITY OF GOD (CIDADE DE DEUS), directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund

Firstly, because of diversity. The last live-action foreign film with a PoC cast we've had up for discussion was Pather Panchali, but even within those parameters, Brazil is one of the most under-represented cultures in the whole of cinema, and I feel that City of God is a more than worthy representative.

But even that aside, it's a remarkably watchable period crime drama, well-made (it won that BAFA for Best Editing for a reason), able to communicate a detached clinical journalistic nihilism, and an impassioned appreciation for the fragility of childhood and the all-consuming nature of violence with equal depth.

I know a common complaint has been the prevalence of "boys becoming men" movies in this Canon, Boyz n the Hood or Stand By Me possibly already filling in whatever thematic slots that might've had a place for City of God, but the sights, sounds, perspective, and voice of this film are unlike any currently in the Canon, and they definitely deserve a place within it.

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Bumping this recommendation. Best film of the aughts (00-10).

 

Harvey Weinstein kept this in theatres for almost an entire year to ensue it received the audience and acclaim it deserved.

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This is one of my absolute favorite films, and I hope they do it at some point, because it is one of the most energetic epics of all time. I love it.

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Bump. In addition to being truly great, this movie is still relatively unknown. That needs to change.

 

Maybe pair it up against another sprawling epic. City of God vs. Once Upon a Time in America?

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First of all: Yay to a canon-episode on City Of Gods. I agree with seemingly everyone in here, it's pretty much simply a masterpiece, if I've ever seen one.

 

Bump. In addition to being truly great, this movie is still relatively unknown. That needs to change.

 

Maybe pair it up against another sprawling epic. City of God vs. Once Upon a Time in America?

 

Can you elaborate? Honestly, I don't see much connections besides being epic in length and the subject matter of crime as a society-shaping force.

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I don't see much connections besides being epic in length and the subject matter of crime as a society-shaping force.

 

That was pretty much the extent of my thinking. I was just trying to come up with another epic-length gangster film that hadn't been submitted to the Canon yet, and OUATIA was the first one that popped into my head.

 

Upon further reflection, though, it occurred to me that there are some interesting structural similarities. Both movies begin by throwing the audience into the middle of a chase scene, which then segues into a flashback (as per the lead character's reminiscence) that introduces the protaganists as poverty-stricken street kids. We then follow the kids as they grow into adults, and watch their relationships evolve as they become more deeply enmeshed in gang culture, before eventually circling back to that opening sequence.

 

Of course, these are superficial similarities, and the two lead characters (Rocket and Noodles) couldn't be less similar in their respective paths. But I think both films are worthy of consideration, and it would be fun to see them square off against each other.

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