Compare and contrast pixote and city of God movie

Compare and contrast Pixote and city of God movie. You can read the following information and use it as a source.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles; written (in Portuguese, with English subtitles) by Braulio Mantovani, based on the novel by Paulo Lins; director of photography, Cesar Charlone; edited by Daniel Rezende; music by Antonio Pinto and Ed Cortes; art director, Tule Peake; produced by Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Mauricio Andrade Ramos; released by Miramax Films. At the Angelika Film Center, Mercer and Houston Streets, Greenwich Village. Running time: 130 minutes. This film is rated R.

WITH: Seu Jorge (Knockout Ned), Alexandre Rodrigues (Rocket), Leandro Firmino da Hora (Lil Ze), Phellipe Haagensen (Benny), Douglas Silva (Lil Dice ) and Darlan Cunha (Steak & Fries).


1) City of God is full of action, but no soul
By Wesley Morris, Globe Staff
01/24/2003

Maybe Ive seen too many fashion spreads of models flown to exotic locales, lusciously draped over some anonymous local, and photographed to plug couture swimsuits. But, darn, if the irritating new gangsta opera City of God doesnt feel like a particularly grisly layout for Vogue only, minus the beauties.

Set in an arid and packed favela of Rio de Janeiro called City of God, the film spans three decades and an extreme body count whose tally rises while your blood pressure is likely to stall. I dont mean to sound blase or to suggest that if youve seen one pack of young derelict hoods try to assassinate another, youve seen them all. But theres something distasteful in the rote way this film introduces us to two dozen hapless, heartless kids and doesnt care enough to make us feel for them. It would rather doll up the slum and memorialize the trigger-happy thugs infesting it.

The director Fernando Meirelles used to make commercials in his native Brazil, and playing exclusively to those instincts, hes more psyched about what his camera and editor can do than how his actors, most of them first-timers, can affect us. To wit, hes impressed with that increasingly expressionless Matrix shot the one where the camera rotates around a character while time stands still. The moment comes early and is designed to point only to the fact that the remaining two hours will be packed to the gills with nothing but verve.

Incidentally, the eye of that optical storm is a young photographer named Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues). Hes nearly caught in the crossfire between two gangs and the cops. But before the movie unleashes its mayhem, Rocket our narrator and Meirelless stand-in whisks us back to what were told is the 60s. Rockets older brother and two of his friends run around the city waving guns, robbing, pushing up on girls. But its their young charge, Lil Dice (the scarily good Douglas Silva), whom you should fear.

As a 10-year-old, hes the mannish crime visionary who shot Rockets brother. As a teenager in the 70s, hes a self-aggrandizing, drug-dealing killing machine who has rechristened himself Lil Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora), blowing people away as a matter of fact. By the 80s. he has started a cartel that basically controls the City of Gods underworld.

The guys got a lot on his mind. Hes defending his empire against both a gang of somehow more dangerous baby thugs and a guy called Knockaround Ned (Seu Jorge) whose girl Ze raped and whose family Ze slaughtered. By the time were treated to that, the film has been doused with enough sweat and adrenaline to make a machismo cocktail, which Meirelles serves with a little paper umbrella. For every truly horrifying scene (one in which Ze forces a young bandit to shoot a buddy comes to mind), theres another of touristic splendor, usually starring Rocket.

Meirelles made the picture with the help of Katia Lund, a documentary filmmaker. Presumably, she was brought on to keep the grains of truth from slipping between his fingers. And City of God is better than the pitying movies we usually get about the Latin poor, like David Rikers 1998 La Ciudad. Yet the film so expertly brandishes its pulp influences (GoodFellas, Pulp Fiction, Amores Perros) and ignores its forefathers (namely Luis Bunuels Los Olvidados), youre forced to wonder if its creators believe anything is happening in the actual ghettos of Brazil.

If theres an indictment here, it never surfaces. Taken from a Paulo Lins novel and based on a true story (as the film is happy to boast at its conclusion), the film sensualizes the violence cycle and makes a fetish of poverty. What ought to be devastating and tragic about City of God is discomfiting in its offhandedness. This isnt a movie; its a soulless pictorial.


2) Gangs of Rio
By Peter Rainer
Published Jan 13, 2003

Childs Play: The thuggery depicted in City of God has only intensified over the decades in the Brazilian projects. The dirt-poor brazilian housing project Cidade de Deus, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, was created in the sixties and quickly became a highly dangerous fiefdom of teen drug lords and gang chieftains. City of God which was directed by Fernando Meirelles and adapted from a popular novel by Paulo Lins that drew on eight years of research about the favela is an attempt to get at the visceral horror of day-to-day life in the Cidade de Deus as it spans three eras: the late sixties, with their teen (and younger) petty thievery and samba rhythms; the psychedelic seventies, with their intense cruelties; and the early eighties, when gang wars converted the territories into garrisons.

City of God is undeniably powerful, but also rather numbing. Meirelles is one of the most successful TV-commercial directors in Brazil, and at times he seems to be showing off the violence as if it were a new product line. The distinction between the depiction of violence and its exploitation is paper-thin. We are made to witness horrific acts of cruelty, and yet there is something unseemly in the way Meirelles glamorizes them with fancy effects: split screens, slo-mo, jump cuts. He s trying to turn us on. Meanwhile, the victims and perpetrators of the violence are mere stick figures in the choreography. This is what often happens, in somewhat different ways, in the films of Quentin Tarantino, where we are always aware of a cineast getting between us and the bloodshed he shows us. And as in Tarantino s films, there is in City of God a high quotient of overkill (literally). Meirelles is not a less-is-more kind of guy; the murder sprees and body counts are so nonstop that after a while we just tune out. What he doesn t realize is that in the movie-violence arena, it is almost always true that more is less.

Hector Babenco s Pixote, which also dealt with street urchins in Brazil, was a far greater experience than City of God because it put a human face on the misery. The faces in Meirelle s film are not much more than masks. This may be his point: Poverty and depravity have stripped these kids of any defining humanity and turned them into a race of grotesques. The film s central monster, Li l Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora), who murders as casually as most people yawn, is depicted from age 11 as beyond help or hope. But surely it is the artist s job to show us that the monster is, in fact, a human being. Otherwise, we might as well be watching a horror film which is essentially what City of God is.


3) Gangs of Rio de Janeiro
By Richard Corliss Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003

The toughest thug in the Rio slum of Cidade de Deus stands impatiently outside a brothel as his gang robs the patrons. Miffed at being excluded from the fun, he strides in and kills everyone. Its his first mass murder  the ideal calling card for a precocious psychopath. Lil Ze, as he will come to be known, is 9 years old.

Virtually all the punks in the City of God hood are teenage or younger. To be older is to be dead  killed for any reason or none, by rivals or the horde of infant pretenders. A kind of Menudo Mean Streets, Fernando Meirelles fact-based epic z