Monday, 8 June 2009

City Of God Essay!

Question: City Of God has been highly praised for raising awareness whilst also criticised for exploiting suffering. Where do you stand on this debate?

In the film of 'City Of God' by Fernando Meirelles there are many main themes running through it including violence, drugs, gun crime, death, poverty and very poor living conditions. This film is set in a Favela in Rio De Janeiro in a area called City Of God.

-The characters got paid minimum wage for the acting they did. This exploits and takes advantage of them. POS=== he used un famous people and now they are famous as have other parts in films which =gives the notion of escpaing the favela

-Made as a film not a documentary and uses un famous people to reinforce this notion.
- Raises awarness for Brazil about the favelas and hows bad they actually are
-Even though Meirelles said "Taratino uses violence as an amusement, simething funny and spectacular. City Of God does the opposite." even though he states this characters pose with guns and get money through the gum culture . POS===== even though it may glamourise gang culture it also shows the consequences. worst consequence off all which is death.

Sunday, 31 May 2009


Question: How has research into the social and/or cultural context of your Close Study film influenced your understanding of it?

After watching the film i was quite shocked as when you see Brazil advertised it is painted to be a lovely, exotic place especially when travel agents where trying to sell holidays to Rio. It showed the lovely weather, the clear sea, the sandy beaches and lots of carnivals. However City Of God paints a completely different picture by showing the favelas, rather than the posh and wealthy parts of Rio.

The opening scene of City Of God is the sharpening of knives and a close up shot of people dancing which would go with the original idea of Rio with all the carnivals. However it moves onto a chicken being slaughtered in front of the camera, such as the line or being killed, then the blood taken out, plucked and then ready to eat. This is all done in a market and you can already tell that it is a different picture to what you would think of when people would describe Rio. When another chicken escapes the first words you hear are " fuck, the chicken's got away." Then a gang of boys chance it holding guns and even threatening people. The group of boys age from men to very young which is worrying as they are shooting guns. This shows the different types of culture and how the favelas are in Rio. This scene is shot very close and has a claustrophobic feel to it. Compared to the adverts to Rio you can see it is completely different as you can see the graffiti on the walls, cracked floor, very limited space and the gun crime is a huge problem.

In looking more into the favelas of Rio, i found out the shocking reality that the life expectancy is about 21. This helped me understand a little more about the film, as it showed all ages of people dying from children to young adults. By now knowing the life expectancy it shows the worrying true reality of how young the population die in the slums. I looked at the statistics of murders in Brazil of minors who were killed and there were 3,937 between 1987 and 2001 compared to only 467 murders in Israel and Palestine. I found these statistics shocking as it shows the true reality or the brutal murders of young children and high the statistics are compared to other countries. In watching the film the only way to live is by breaking the law by either doing drugs, joining gangs or gun crime. But by joining one of these things will inevitable result in death and if you're born in the favella, you die in the favella. Throughout the film it's a vicious circle where you have to join a gang to live and have money but then you die for having it. An example of this is when Shaggy who was a member of The Tender Trio who tried to leave the favella's and start of fresh with his girlfriend Bernice, but as he tried to leave he was shot dead . However even if your not a member of a gang you can still be shot dead even if your innocent. As it shows in the film anyone can be shot by the police and then questions will be asked after even if the person had nothing to hide.

- gang members are all males and no females.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Is there such a thing as Genre?

Question: With refrence to the films you have studied, explore the controversial idea that genre is dead.

The term genre defines the type of film and audience will be influence to go and watch. They will be loured to watch a film depending on the genre as each genre has its own codes and conventions, for example an audience will go and watch a horror film to get the feeling of being scared and un safe. Within the different genres there are sub genres such as within horror there is slasher, gothic horror, sci-fi horror, gorno and many more. However there is an argument that many people believe that the whole idea of genre is dead. In this essay I will be looking into these films and discussing if there is such a thing as genre. The films I looked at are Hostel part 2 (Dir Eli Roth (2007)), Halloween (Dir John Carpenter (1978)), Scream (Dir Wes Craven (1996)) and Ringu (Dir Hideo Nakata (1998)).

According to Thomas Schatz he believes that genre is evolutionary and goes through phases, but these phases go around in a circular motion and will always goes back to the beginning of the cycle and so on. Schatz believes there is four phases, these phases start with when a genre begins and the framework is established where the audience with then on have expectations n conventions are made. This first phase is also known as the innovation phase. An example of this to many is Halloween as the Director John Carpenter made almost the first evolutionary horror film by setting up codes and conventions and also audience expectations.

The next stage is the peak where repetition happens which is also known as the classical phase. I personally believe that at this present time we are in this stage as I think it is harder in today’s society to be scared as such even though cinema has moved on a little I think it still has the same codes and conventions in it such as dramatic music, the last girl and the typical ‘monster’ .The audience get pleasure from watching these types of films, as they know when to expect and be prepared for such as when the music gets dramatic or stops the audience can expect a jumpy part.

The third stage is repetition and difference, which is also known as the parody phase. This would be an example of something such as Hostel part two. I think this is a good example as it has the normal codes and conventions of a typical gory horror film, however it has difference, as there are women killers, women bidding to slaughter someone but also women high up in the chain of the business and generally powerful women. This is different as women are normally shown to be the weaker sex who needs to be protected as they are seen as vulnerable.

The fourth stage is known as the deconstruction phase, where the films self reflect and the audience can notice that there are self referential parts within the film, such as other films being referenced within a new film. An example of this would be that within Scream she picked up a big knife in the kitchen and it was shot similarly to Halloween and Scream was made in 1996 and Halloween was made in 1978.

Thomas Schatz use these four phases in defining the different types of film genres rather than putting them into exact genres and sub genres.

Overall I believe that genre as a single word is dead such as just horror, however I believe that genre is not dead as people will be influenced to see a film according to their likes.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Hostel part 2

1 What you find interesting about the representations of men and women in Hostel 2?

In hostel part 2 i find it interesting and different how the two different genders are represented. At the beginning most characters follow the gender stereotypes as the women are up to be sold to be slaughtered but also it is mainly men bidding on them. However it goes against audience expectation as once again, the same as in the original Hostel the people who lour the people there is a female. I found Hostel part 2 interesting as for the 1st time it showed a female killer who tortured someone not men as usual. This is different as it shows the women as the killer and the dominant one but also she is killing another female. In most horror films it is the girl who is fliratious, sexual active, drinks alcohol, smoke, does drugs and a little tarty who die first, however in Hostel part 2 it is surprisingly a girl who is very innocent and only has a couple of drinks who is killed first. She is abductive by a man who leads her on a boat and accross the river.At the ending of the film when Beth is in the chamber and Stuart is torturing her, i think this shows in some films they represent women as manipulative and seductive and in this film she uses all this to her advantage. However i think the twist at the end twists the representation of women and men as she clamps his symbol of man hood off resulting in death but it shows the other side of women that you don't often see in film.

I think personally that the first Hostel showed the role reversal of different genders more than in part 2, as the people who trapped and persuaded the people to go to certain places in the originally Hostel were all female. However in Hostel part 2 it shows a female as a killer not only men. This is interesting as most films especially horrors show women as the victims rather than the killer or the stronger person.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft - Object of sexual desire for the male gaze or feminist icon? Support with examples from the text.

I believe Lara Croft is a mixture of both of these as she has strong qualities about her where she is independent, strong and unique. However i think her image is constructed for a male audience, as most action and adventure films are targeted at a male audience especially as this film started out as a video game which is also a male dominated area as it said men play video games more than women.

The first scene shows Lara Croft in her action role showing Independence, strong abilities, athletic and flexibility, however there are alot of shots that show fragmentation shots especially focusing on her thighs, hips, legs, torso and facial expression.

Looking at the film there are scenes that are in there purely for the pleasure of a male audience. For example the scene where Lara Croft is in the shower it shows her washing her hair and caressing her body, this scene does not drive the narrative forward in anyway but is there for a male audience satisfaction. After this scene she walks off and drops her towel where you see the side of her breast which is put in there for the exact same reasons however this scene is in there for a little part as the butler offers her a dress and she says no however in the end you see her in one where she shows he femininity.

However even though her character is represented as Strong and independent and quite a masculanised woman she still has stereotypical feminine qualities such as she does the quest just for her Dad as he didn't complete it. This shows the family element of the character and also she wants to use the powers to bring back her Dad to have more time spent with him. Also she uses her power to bring back the man she loves.

However i believe she is more of a feminist icon for people to look up to as she is independent, Strong, loving and she tries to do the right thing. However i do believe that the film is constructed for a male audience as her image is so closely constructed where she is in tiny shorts, tight tank top, she is skinny with big boobs which goes with some men's fantasies.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

My Shocking Scene

P.S I Love You
For my shocking sequence i have chosen P.S I Love You. It is mainly the first 10 minutes of the film. I find this scene very shocking as it was unexpected to me. The scene i chose is about a couple Holly and Gerry who have an argument but make up but their argument is funny for the audience, then the credits come up but after all you see is a room with people in it wearing black. First of all i found it very confusing but as soon as i relised what had happened i was completely shocked that Gerry had died.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Stuff i found out:

Looking into reviews:
I looked on a variety of different film review sites which consisted of:


Looking at all of these sites it revealed that American Beauty was the highest rated film followed by Kids and last was High School Musical. #

Setting up a debate:
I have also set up an account on which i have started a debate on the message boards about dyfunctional youth so far i have found these things out by what other people have said?

- The only one of those three movies I'm really familiar with is American Beauty, so I don't know how much help I can actually be, but I do think that's a very good choice for the topic at hand. Ricky with his odd combination of hippie-ish ideals and ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit; Angela, the beauty-obsessed, attention-starved sex kitten who's afraid of sex; and Jane, the stereotypical average teenager who just wants to be loved for who she is.

- I saw High School Musical 2 and the thing that struck me the most was how these teenagers started prancing around randomly in the dark on a field or a hill. I mean i can't remember the last time I saw a more explicit allusion to drug-taking in my life. Yeah, there's drugs in American Beauty too. So everybody does drugs...

These are the two main comments i have had back. I personally think the 1st statment is interesting and is very good but the 2nd comment is just what someone thought and shows how different people interpret a film.