Blog activity: Analyse a scene using film form
The opening sequence of City of God is comprised of all five elements of film form: editing, cinematography, sound, lighting and mise-en- scene. At first viewing, the most prominent of these are the editing, sound and cinematography.
Having never seen the film before, my first impression of the themes presented in this sequences- poverty, ambition and crime- This meaning is derived, primarily, from the editing, sound and cimematography.
Editing- Fast cuts suggest a fast pace, action driven story and build suspense in the lead up to the stand off between the locals and law enforcement.
Sound- The sound is particularly relevant to the meaning in terms of setting the scene for the story. The mix of blades being sharpened, people talking in both English and their local toung as well as the playing of local music creates a real sense of culture. While the music has a vibrant feel, the blade sharpening keeps the audience on edge and expecting something bad.
Cinematography- The use of multiple close ups puts the audience in the story. We see the chicken, then the blades, back to the chicken and then a close up of the local man yelling. We, as the audience, are compelled to empathise with the chicken who is running for its life. Being the opening sequence, we expect the film to tell a tale of someone who is in danger and on the run among dealing with the effects of poverty.