Slum-set (or poverty dealing) fiction films <ul><li>Shoeshine  (Vittorio de Sica, 1946)   Once Were Warriors  (Lee Tamahor...
A couple of common features . . . <ul><li>Children/teenagers Violent crime </li></ul><ul><li>Shoeshine  (De Sica, 1946) Lo...
What and where are the cities? <ul><li>Europe   Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>Rome Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D...
A continuum of representation <ul><li>documentary   social realism   action/spectacle </li></ul><ul><li>1981   Pixote </li...
Pixote: a lei do mais fraco  (1981) <ul><li>sensational material:  gang rape, child abuse, armed robberies, drug dealing, ...
G. Kantaris,  “The young and the damned” <ul><li>Pixote  and its antecendent, Luis Buñuel’s  Los olvidados  (1950), along ...
Kantaris on vision and ‘making visible’ <ul><li>“ The insistence on vision, eyes, and the gaze in  Pixote  is only matched...
Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914) <ul><li>emigrated from Denmark to the U.S. at 21 for work </li></ul><ul><li>police reporter for ...
Street children,  How the Other Half Lives
Weegee (Arthur Fellig, 1899-1968) <ul><li>emigrated from Central Europe with family at 10 </li></ul><ul><li>a candid news ...
Children in Weegee’s world
Slumming it? What happened next . . . <ul><li>none of these films was directed by a (former) resident of the slums--they w...
1990s emendations / 1st world influences <ul><li>speed/velocity: short shots and fast editing,  fast moving camera (steadi...
Luc ía Nagib v. Ignacio M. Sánchez-Prado <ul><li>Nagib on  City of God : </li></ul><ul><li>[N]one of of the self-reflexive...
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Slumcinema

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Slumcinema

  1. 1. Slum-set (or poverty dealing) fiction films <ul><li>Shoeshine (Vittorio de Sica, 1946) Once Were Warriors (Lee Tamahori, 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948) Bye Bye (Karim Dridi, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Umberto D (De Sica, 1952) La Haine (Matthieu Kassovitz, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li> Pizza, Beer & Smokes (Adrián Caetono / Bruno </li></ul><ul><li> Stagnaro, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li> The Rose Seller (Victor Gaviria, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Los olvidados (Luis Bu ñuel 1950) Amores perros (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Rio 40 Degrees (Pereira dos Santos, 1955) Our Lady of the Assassins (Barbet Schroeder, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Cairo Station (Youssef Chahine, 1958) City of God ( Fernando Meirelles / Kátia Lund, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Slum Times Five (various, 1962) Tsotsi (Gavin Hood, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li> Secuestro Express (Jonathan Jacobowicz, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li> Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Insiang (Lino Brocka, 1976) Heena Maysra (Khalid Yousuf, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Pixote (Hector Babenco, 1981) Tirador ( Slingshot, Brillante Mendoza, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>People of Ko-bang Neighbourhood (Bae Chang-ho, 1982) </li></ul><ul><li>Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Rodrigo D: No Future (Victor Gaviria, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>City of Dreams (Sudhir Mishra, 1991) </li></ul>
  2. 2. A couple of common features . . . <ul><li>Children/teenagers Violent crime </li></ul><ul><li>Shoeshine (De Sica, 1946) Los Olvidados </li></ul><ul><li>Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948) Insiang (Brocka, 1976) </li></ul><ul><li>Los olvidados (Bu ñuel 1950) Pixote </li></ul><ul><li>Rio 40 Degrees (Pereira dos Santos, 1955) Salaam Bombay! </li></ul><ul><li>Slum Times Five (various, 1962) Rodrigo D: No Future </li></ul><ul><li>Pixote (Babenco, 1981) Once Were Warriors (Tamahori, 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Salaam Bombay! (Nair, 1988) La Haine (Kassovitz, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Rodrigo D: No Future (Gaviria, 1990) The Rose Seller </li></ul><ul><li>Bye Bye (Dridi, 1995) Amores perros (Iñárritu, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Pizza, Beer & Smokes (Caetono / Stagnaro, 1997) City of God </li></ul><ul><li>The Rose Seller (Gaviria, 1998) Our Lady of the Assassins </li></ul><ul><li>City of God ( Meirelles / Lund, 2002) Tsotsi </li></ul><ul><li>Our Lady of the Assassins (Schroeder, 2001) Secuestro Express (Jacobowicz, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Tsotsi (Hood, 2005) Tirador </li></ul><ul><li>Colossal Youth (Costa, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Tirador (Mendoza, 2007) </li></ul>
  3. 3. What and where are the cities? <ul><li>Europe Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>Rome Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D Mexico City Los olvidados, Amores perros </li></ul><ul><li>Paris La Haine Rio de Janeiro Rio 40 Degrees, Slum Times Five, </li></ul><ul><li>Marseilles Bye Bye City of God </li></ul><ul><li>Lisbon Colossal Youth S ã o Paulo Pixote Medell ín Rodrigo D, The Rose Seller, </li></ul><ul><li> Our Lady of the Assassins </li></ul><ul><li> Buenos Aires Pizza, Beer & Smokes </li></ul><ul><li>Africa Caracas Secuestro Express </li></ul><ul><li>Cairo Cairo Station, Heena Maysra </li></ul><ul><li>Johannesburg Tsotsi </li></ul><ul><li>Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Manila Insiang, Tirador </li></ul><ul><li>Seoul People of Ko-bang Neighbourhood </li></ul><ul><li>Mumbai Salaam Bombay! , City of Dreams , Heena Maysra </li></ul><ul><li>Auckland Once Were Warriors </li></ul>
  4. 4. A continuum of representation <ul><li>documentary social realism action/spectacle </li></ul><ul><li>1981 Pixote </li></ul><ul><li>1988 Salaam Bombay! </li></ul><ul><li>1991 Rodrigo D </li></ul><ul><li>1994 Once Were Warriors </li></ul><ul><li>1995 Bye Bye La Haine </li></ul><ul><li>1997 Pizza, Beer & Smokes </li></ul><ul><li>1998 The Rose Seller </li></ul><ul><li>2000 Amores perros </li></ul><ul><li>2001 Our Lady of the Assassins </li></ul><ul><li>2002 Bus 174 (Rio de Janeiro) City of God </li></ul><ul><li>2005 Tsotsi Favela Rising (Rio) Secuestro Express </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Ghosts of Cit é Soleil (Port-au-Prince) Colossal Youth </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Tirador </li></ul><ul><li>pink = actual documentaries </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pixote: a lei do mais fraco (1981) <ul><li>sensational material: gang rape, child abuse, armed robberies, drug dealing, underage sex, prostitution, self-abortion, murders (three by the titular, 10-year old protagonist) </li></ul><ul><li>brisk, deadpan direction; improvisational feel; slum kids with families cast for the film </li></ul><ul><li>Fernando Ramos da Silva’s life after the film: rejected brief window of opportunity playing in movies and TV shows to return to family in the slums and a life of crime like the character that made him famous </li></ul><ul><li>two subsequent films: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who Killed Pixote? (José Jofilly, Brazil 1996) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pixote, In Memoriam (Felipe Briso / Gilberto Topczewski, Brazil 2007) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. G. Kantaris, “The young and the damned” <ul><li>Pixote and its antecendent, Luis Buñuel’s Los olvidados (1950), along with more recent Latin American street films ( Pizza, Beer & Smokes , The Rose Seller , Amores perros ), “can be said to belong to the tradition of social realism in cinema, ultimately stemming from Italian neorealism, although each problematizes clear-cut categorization” (178). </li></ul><ul><li>“ In mass cultural globally marketed forms, the violence of social exclusion is almost always rendered monstrous or eroticized/fetishized . . . The violence registered in Latin American urban cinema is somehow more symptomatic. . . . The films I am looking at here refuse any fetishization of violence” (178-79). </li></ul><ul><li>Los olvidados and Pixote defetishize “their representations of poverty and social violence” by complicating our or moral responses, by questioning the voyeuristic status of the gaze, and by deploying shock images designed to desublimate our potential attachment to particular icons” (181). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Kantaris on vision and ‘making visible’ <ul><li>“ The insistence on vision, eyes, and the gaze in Pixote is only matched in intensity by the imagery concerning vision which suffuses the entirety of Los olvidados , but with a crucial difference which brings Pixote closer to the films of the 1990s: vision in the later film is mediatized, self-consciously played out over the screens of television and cinema” (181-82). </li></ul><ul><li>but: “vision,” “eyes,” and “the gaze” are not the same thing . . . </li></ul><ul><li>“ The film maker can use the representational power of cinema to ‘make visible’ the invisible lives of the socially excluded, although always at the risk of implicating the medium itself with the very structures of power . . . That produce social exclusion in the first place ” (178). </li></ul><ul><li>The Rose Seller was “largely shot in the twilight of Medellín’s night-time streets, lit up by here and there with garish Christmas illuminations, the flare of celebratory fireworks, and the lights of passing traffic. . . . [the filmmaker has talked] of the displaced light that bathed the production of this film: a nocturnal light that made visible, for a few fleeting weeks, ‘los días de la noche’—the night-time days of or the day-time nights—of Medellín’s street children and homeless youths” (184-85). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914) <ul><li>emigrated from Denmark to the U.S. at 21 for work </li></ul><ul><li>police reporter for various New York City newspapers from 1870-1880s, working the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city </li></ul><ul><li>one of the first Americans to use flash powder to penetrate the dark of night and capture the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats </li></ul><ul><li>“ Flashes from the Slums: Pictures Taken in Dark Places by the Lightning Process” published in Feb. 1888 in the New York Sun </li></ul><ul><li>in Dec. 1889, Scribner’s Magazine published Riis’s photographic essay on city life </li></ul><ul><li>How the Other Half Lives published 1891 </li></ul><ul><li>Bandit’s Roost (1888) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Street children, How the Other Half Lives
  10. 10. Weegee (Arthur Fellig, 1899-1968) <ul><li>emigrated from Central Europe with family at 10 </li></ul><ul><li>a candid news photographer in the 1930s and 1940s: the only New York newspaper reporter allowed a police-band shortwave radio, which he used to arrive quickly to photograph crime scenes at night (‘Ouija’) </li></ul><ul><li>used a flash to often startle his subjects and infrafred film to conceal his presence </li></ul><ul><li>initially sold his images via Acme Newspictures to major New York papers; frequent contributor 1940-45 to the slick P.M. Daily </li></ul><ul><li>MoMA includes his photos in 1943 exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>first book collection of photographs, Naked City (1945), inspiration for major 1948 movie The Naked City --”noir documentary” </li></ul><ul><li> Cop Killer (1941) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Children in Weegee’s world
  12. 12. Slumming it? What happened next . . . <ul><li>none of these films was directed by a (former) resident of the slums--they were all middle class, with some of the less or unestablished ones going on to big-budget, English-language filmmaking: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Babenco: Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Ironweed (1987), At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kassovitz: Gothika (2003), Babylon A.D. (2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iñárritu: 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meirelles: The Constant Gardener (2005), Blindness (2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hood: Rendition (2007), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (pre-production) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>several of these films featured non-professional actors, esp. street children: Shoeshine, Rio 40 Degrees , Pixote , Salaam Bombay!, Rodrigo D , The Rose Seller , City of God , Colossal Youth, Tirador </li></ul><ul><li>in at least two cases, the lead performers/street children met with sad fates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fernando Ramos Da Silva ( Pixote ) took up the criminal life after the film, was shot and killed by police in 1987 (aged 19) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leidy Tabares ( The Rose Seller ) was convicted along with her boyfriend of the robbery and murder of a taxi driver in 2003 (aged 21) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 1990s emendations / 1st world influences <ul><li>speed/velocity: short shots and fast editing, fast moving camera (steadicam as well as hand-held), extreme camera angles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>action cinema, advertising, “MTV-povera” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>first-person narrated crime saga with visceral violence, pulsating music track: narrative punishments do not necessarily overturn the spectacle of excitement </li></ul><ul><li>fragmented/serial/repeated narrative structures, self-consciousness and self-reflexivity (“mediatization”) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Luc ía Nagib v. Ignacio M. Sánchez-Prado <ul><li>Nagib on City of God : </li></ul><ul><li>[N]one of of the self-reflexive techniques used in the film creates a distancing effect, the most obvious one being the alter ego of the filmmaker personified by the character Rocket, the omniscient narrator of the film. Devised as a middleman, with access to the middle classes, he is also the film’s conscience. . . . Behaving, as the truth-keeper, he organizes, with his voice-over, the facts that make up the narrative . . . (249) </li></ul><ul><li>In truth, the film could easily have gone down the route of the postmodern language of a cinema of citation, such as that of Tarantino, who only ‘surfs’ the surface of reality. . . . But the film, just like the novel, avoids such schemes via the importance it gives to the narrative. (245-46) </li></ul><ul><li>S á nchez-Prado on Amores perros : </li></ul><ul><li>[The film] does not attempt to place the characters into a set of circumstances from which they measure their decisions, but rather creates an absolute moral compass that evaluates everyone using the same criteria. . . . This narrative structure has profound consequences in terms of the manner in which violence is understood by Mexico’s conservative middle-class, whose frames of reference are represented by this movie. (41, 42) </li></ul><ul><li>Amores perros operates within a new cinematographic world where violence is the new trademark of Latin America. . . . Its appropriation of this discourse of violence is based on a problematic interpretation of Pulp Fiction : the use of an essentially metacinematographic discourse for the expression of a social problematic. (49) </li></ul>
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