Review: Simon Bell | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes; Theatrical trailer;
Production notes; Making of featurette 'Building A Better Mask';
Visual and special effects; Animation menus.
THE latest Star Trek may be
out, but my bet's on the non-Trekkies checking out this gangster
flick from Brazil. It's Cidade De Deus and follows two boys growing
up in a violent city neighbourhood who take different paths: one
becomes a skilled photographic journalist, the other a drug dealer
with all the charm of a junkyard dog.
Well the posters say it's about guns, drugs,
fashion, music, love and friendship. What more could you ask for
from a trip to the flicks? City of God definitely has everything.
Think Goodfellas put through a blender with Pulp
Fiction and Amores Perros
and then splashed across the dangerous streets of Rio De Janeiro's
It's pretty violent, but directed with utter style, driven by
a pacey narrative and charts the rise of the drugs bosses who,
over three decades, took control of 70 or so ghettoes each and
waged war on a grand scale.
Watching the young actors as kids growing up into ghetto godfathers
is mesmerizing. The film-makers conducted two thousand auditions
- all of them with amateurs - in downtown Rio (they couldn't shoot
in the real City of God
it's too dangerous). They then rehearsed
for ten months with the first-time performers, with not once letting
them look at a script!
Anyway, check out Alexandre Rodrigues as Buscapé in particular,
although Leandro Firmino da Hora as Zé Pequeno, his former
best mate, gives the protagonist a run for his (laundered drug)
American films are being taken over by foreigners, says the director
Fernando: Harry Potter III will be helmed by Mexican, Alfonso
Cuaron (he of Y Tu Mama Tambien
success), while Hulk will be made
angry by Ang Lee. One wonders what will this mean for Meirelles,
the latest bright spark from the surging New Latin American Cinema?
Well, he says he's already had tons of offers from Hollywood
and turned every one of them down.
City's soundtrack is pretty meaty too. Mixed
in with James Brown and Kool & The Gang there's hip hop, funk
and deep Brazilian beats. So forget the fact it's got subtitles,
because this is easily going to be one of indielondon's best films
of the year.
And it's also been nominated for a Golden
Globe as Best Foreign Film. So there.