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Film Comparative: City Of God And Sexy Beast

2295 words - 9 pages

The films City of God and Sexy Beast are both crime films that share many similarities such as narrative shape, light, and in both films the narrative unravels in foreign countries. The on difference they have is the classification of crime genre. City of God 2002, directed by Fernando Meirelles depicts the Rocket’s past, how he became a photographer, and how he got out of the slums in a chilling sequence of flashbacks to the people he knew and the life he ends up leading, the whole film could play out as a drama. Sexy Beast 2001, directed by Jonathan Glazer showcases the life of Gal a retired British gangster living in Spain who is forced to commit a bank robbery when his wife, Dee Dee Dove; Don, a gangster recruiting him for his team of bank robbers, in order to come finally bury the past. Gal’s adventures are sometimes hilarious and resemble cartoons. City of God and Sexy Beast both depict the harsh reality of loyalty and the burden of guilt and the damage of the past through the devices employed in order to narrate the films.
A narrative film is a film that depicts a story through movement of pictures, sound, and words, it is audiovisual, and has two shapes. A narrative film can have a shape because it can interact with space and time; films mold space allowing the viewer to create perceptions about depth and can condense and speed up time. The two shapes that a film can are linear and circular. A linear narrative is a film in which the start, middle, and end transition smoothly and are unobstructed; the start runs into the middle and the middle leads to the end just like a fairytale has beginning, middle, and end. In contrast circular narratives are varied and can start anywhere in the film depicting flashbacks and transitions between different time periods. City of God is a circular narrative which starts towards the end of the film before the actions is resolved. The film uses transitions from the present to past and back to the present and also uses flashbacks as well as introducing fast editing and multiple shots of one scene to convey its story. City of God opens in the 80s with Rocket being trapped in a shoot down between two opposing gangs unbeknown to the audience, when the audience think Rocket is about to die the film cuts into the scene and the viewer is taken into the 60s where the film introduces a younger Rocket playing soccer. Every time the film transitions from one decade to another the scene spins around most notably when Lil Zé takes over the apartment and the film introduces the 70s. The film not only obstructs time transitions but also flashbacks; mainly Lil Zé rise to power and it also obstructs Benny’s death in a circular motion. Unlike City of God; Sexy Beast opens in the present and does not transition from different time periods to different time periods. Instead the film uses the circular narrative to expose plots which the audience does not know about. There is only two times in which the narrative is interrupted...

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