In my essay I will discuss the differences between national cinema and Hollywood cinema by using Rio de Janeiros famous film City of God. There will be three parts in my following main body, the first part is a simple review of the film City of God, I will try to use the review to show the film structure and some different new points from this, show the how did the Shocking, frightening, thrilling and funny (Nev Pierce) work in the film. The second part is my discussion parts; I will refer some typical Hollywood big name films such as Gangs in New York, Shawshanks Redemption, and Good Fellas to discuss the main differences between City of God and other national films. The third part is my summary, I will use my knowledge to analyse why there have big different between both kind of films and their advantages.
By simply review, I will say, "City of God" ("Cidade de Deus") is the story of a boy who lives in a "favela" what is the word of slum in english on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The "favela" is like a shantytown witch called "Cidade de Deus" in the film. And from the beginning to the end, throughout this stylish movie both the boy and the favela grow.
In the film, we can see the story telling styles are quite like the some Hollywood films such as Shawshanks Redemption. As Morgan Freeman been a narrator Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding in the film Shawshanks Redemption, The same roll in City of God is boy, Rocket (Buscap in Portuguese, played by Alexandre Rodrigues), who is born in Cidade de Deus and grows up in Cidade. He is quiet and easygoing, just a non-violent person seeking a way to survive in a brutal environment.
The director makes Rocket a narrator in this movie; I think the reason is find an intermediary between gangs and the press, inside of the evil world and the outside. So we can see, his voice that accompanies us throughout many of the stories that "City of God" has to offer by Rockets photography dream became true.
Still the same as Shawshanks Redemption, the main character also belongs to Andy Dufresne (by Tim Robbins). So in the City of God, The other main characters in City of God are the gangs, like Li'l Z (by Leandro Frimino) who was one of the boys that used to play soccer with Rocket, grow up to become a murderer and a drug lord, someone that makes his own laws. We could to say, Li'l Z probably represents to most dangerous kind of sociopath that the favela can produce.
Also, in my opinion, the "city" itself can be considered as anther main character, that starts merely as a couple of houses, but that grows immensely as years go by. The activities in which its inhabitants are involved also change, from petty robbery to organized crime that involves drug dealing and arms trafficking. (ROGER EBERT:2003). So we can say, from 60s to 80s, the gangs and Rockets growing are representing the City of Gods growing history. According to Urban Cinefile Critics, "A powerful and haunting film that explores the myriad of stories that lie deep within the slums of Rio, City Of God shocks, enlightens and above all affects us by taking us into a world where drugs and organised crime are a way of life."
As a Brazilian film, City of God got globe success at year 2002. Its highly stylistical and more concerned with action than with showing reality, and the 'film realism' and MTV-style editing pace and frantic camera work also helped it stands out from all the films made in 2002. "Rises so far above the conventions of genre and of most ordinary filmmaking that it's a transcendent experience? An exhilarating, two-feet-off-the-ground fireball of a movie." (Joshua Tanzer: 2003)
To find out what is the differences and why the differences can make City of God a classical film, we should discuss its making between Hollywood films.
For the Narrative and Directing, as a gangs film, City of God uses quite different way between Gangs in New York. A good example is the beginnings