Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog #4: examples of great editing: The intro to "City of God"

At first, I wanted to choose a film by David Lynch, because I think his editing style is really unique, creative, and a little strange. I thought about the scene in "Wild at Heart" when Lula was dancing on the bed, with a close up of her feet moving rapidly, and then a seamless cut of her feet on the dance floor, but I could not find a clip.

I decided to choose the intro to "City of God", instead.

"City of God" is another one of my favorite films. From the excellent editing and non-stop action in every shot, the directors, Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund, really capture the chaos that is in the slums of Brazil, with a fantastic narrative and beautiful imagery. At the very start of the intro, we experience a series of fast-paced jump cuts, with a repeating shot of someone sharpening a knife, to the chaos of Brazilian streets, with chickens running loose, music being played, the roar of a crowd in the background, cutting of fresh vegetables, and food and drink being prepared. It then goes into character introduction, with more chaos. We see the young kids in a group running through the streets chasing a chicken, and one of the main characters laughing and yelling wildly. The music and action speak for itself as far as lawlessness and chaos is concerned.

The cuts are not seamless, but rather obvious and quick, but go well with the chaotic theme. There is a lot of color being using in the intro, however the tone is desaturated, leaning more towards the blue scale. We are then brought to what we eventually learn in the end of the film, in the beginning, with Rocket in between the chaos of the gang and the police.

We then are brought back to how it all began. The editing style for the intro was extremely compelling, and allowed the viewer to anticipate the excitement of what was next!

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