Being first introduced to cinematography, I was recommended to watch the City of God. I looked for important scenes in the film where the camera was utilized and the opening scene itself shows how much the camera is involved. From the camera angles to lighting, this scene captures what to look for in the movie.
What fascinated me about this scene was how the camera angle changed when Lil Ze’ (antagonist) was on shot. The camera angle was shot at a low angle to show his dominance and power. When we first meet Lil Ze’, if you look closely, the camera shot is somewhat blurry to show how unstable and crazy this guy is. Lighting plays a role in this scene also. When the children are running around the favela chasing the chicken, you only see silhouettes of the children and not necessarily their faces or what they look like. This shows how the children throughout the favela are basically “faceless” individuals whose lives are not deemed valuable. In addition to the lighting of the children, the lighting of the favela itself is dark and gloomy to show how living in the favelas is unsafe and not ideal living conditions for many.
I suggest you to watch this film if you haven’t! It is a great way to be introduced to cinematography! Even if you have, watch it again! I recently watched the movie again and picked up on hidden gems and symbolisms created just by the way the camera was shot.