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Explore How Stylistic Choices Are Used To Convey Key Themes In The Films

2072 words - 9 pages

Meirelles’ City of God (2002) depicts the struggles to escape a life of crime from the 1960’s to the 1980’s favela through the narration of our main protagonist Rocket. During the 1980’s, Brazil was beginning to see the rise of gangs, which led to violence and drug crimes taking place. Meirelles stylistic choices of using editing and cinematography contribute to the main themes of conflict and power to show how they affect characters. Whereas in the 1960’s Favela, there was also a lot of regeneration in the area with electricity, lampposts, and other equipment that focuses on Brazil modernizing. Meirelles’ stylistic choices to depict the major theme of poverty are presented by his use of sound and mise-en-scene to demonstrate the traditional culture in the 1960’s and in the present day in the film. Hood’s Tsotsi (2005) focuses on a journey of self-discovery based on our protagonist, David, and his change of character from a thug to a decent human being; despite living in an impoverished area where crime was the only way of living. South Africa is known for its history of the Apartheid and the effects of the apartheid are still evident in Hood’s film as he depicts the ever-lasting effects of the major theme of poverty through his stylistic choice of lighting to connote entrapment. Therefore, both directors’ stylistic choices of editing, lighting, sound, mise-en-scene and cinematography capture the themes and issues throughout the films to effectively portray the urban environment.
Firstly, the major theme of power is evident across the Meirelles and Hood’s films throughout. However, Meirelles stylistic choice of using editing to establish the significance of Lil’Dice killings in the motel demonstrates to audiences that he possesses the ultimate power and authority, despite being a child, which is reinforced later on in the film, as he becomes the leader of the major gang in the favela. This is evident with the panning shot of the dead people at the motel demonstrating that Lil’Dice felt empowered with the use of the gun and demonstrates that he is a force to be reckoned with. This sense of empowerment is also evident when he also manages to kill Goose because he has authority with the gun. However, the power that Lil’Zee has creates major conflict in throughout the film, especially between Knockout Ned and Rocket.
For example, Meirelles’ stylistic choice of the 360-degree shot of Rocket sandwiched between the police and Lil’Zee’s gang in the opening establishes that the audience are aware of the conflict between the three throughout the scene. Therefore, when Meirelles’ comes back to this particular scene in the end of the film, the audience are able to understand the tension between Lil’Zee and Rocket. However, the close-up of the sharpening of the knife in the opening is suggestible of many deaths in the film, which create conflicts between characters. The main conflict between Lil’Zee and Knockout Ned, when one of their members kills...

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