Transcript of 70mm’s City of God (2002) Episode.
SLIM Heeey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I’m joined by famous artists Danny Haas.
DANNY If that chicken in the beginning of this film made you question everything about your life, what did the rest of this film do to you? [Danny laughs]
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO I’ve heard a lot of people with those thoughts and I’ve reflected a lot upon that. And I’ve decided not to change.
SLIM And together as friends forever, we discuss recently watch movies. Later, in this very episode, we close out Latin American Movies Month with City of God. Roger Ebert says — and I quote — “one of the best films you will ever see.” It’s time to settle the score. Enjoy!
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
*SLIM Proto’s worst fears realized.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM We’ve hit 200 patrons. We will be officially doing the Harry Potter film franchise for our supporters. Actually, I think we did it all in one day. Coming in hot in Discord chat. We’re at I think 203 patrons as of recording. The very first Harry Potter film in Discord live. Proto, did you think this would happen? Hitting 200 patrons to start doing the Harry Potter movies?
PROTO A few months ago — I think when we first announced the goal, I thought maybe it won’t happen. But as time has gone on, it seemed pretty obvious that it was going to happen. And then we’d have to watch all these movies. Which might be a good thing. We’ll find out.
DANNY Have you seen them all Proto?
PROTO Yeah. Yeah. At some point.
SLIM I’m wondering — that was probably BLB though, right? You haven’t recently gone back to watch these?
PROTO Oh, no, no, no, no. I’ve never gone back to rewatch these. [Slim & Danny laugh] I think I saw Prisoner two or three times. But that’s about it.
*SLIM I think those are available in 4K, Dolby Vision UHD. So I wonder how those first two movies hold up. I think one of my older reviews of the first movie, I said something like “special effects from 1981.” Danny, your thoughts on the special effects in the first two, Christopher Columbus directed?
DANNY I’m not spoiling my thoughts on Harry Potter right now.
SLIM You’re not even going to give us a taste on the feed?
DANNY No. As I take off my Hufflepuff robe. [Danny laughs]
SLIM These episodes are going into the 70mm vault, you can only listen to the Harry Potter episodes — and The Matrix, which just recently was released to our supporters. Sign up on our Patreon, get access to those episodes. Otherwise, you’ll never hear those episodes. They’re not coming out. This is not like the Disney vault where we take them out for just a taste. They’re staying put behind the vault. We should call out the new friends that joined this week to put us over the 200 mark. Drew, Breck Hunter, Fran, Kate, Rachel, Jacob, Devin and Alex. All signed up patreon.com/70mm. Thank you so much for your support. We truly appreciate it. You can get discounts and we don’t talk about this too too much. But if you become a patron, you get discounts on Danny’s beautiful prints. On our storefront. You get access to our discord — which we do talk about. But the discount on prints. Danny’s beautiful prints. You want those bad boys framed on a wall?
DANNY At some point.
SLIM You can do so. Danny what movies did you watch this week? Anything good?
DANNY I’ll talk about one. I’ll give you guys just one. 1978’s Autumn Sonata. Ingmar Bergman’s.
DANNY I just watched Persona a couple weeks ago, and this one I had wanted to watch and it’s brought up on Dinner with Andre. And so it was back in my intention again, so I decided to watch it. And I didn’t really know what to expect I watched the trailer but I wasn’t — it’s an old trailer so it didn’t matter. And it’s a painful movie. It starts out quite cheery and loving and it’s gorgeous because it’s Ingmar and just really liked it. And then it just kind of deals with a lot of childhood trauma with the daughter and the mother and there’s some amazing performances in the final maybe 20, 30 minutes of this film. I gave it five stars. I’m just kind of in love with this film. I want to watch it again actually. Because I didn’t know what to expect. And I was kind of just shocked at the end of it. It’s so gorgeous. Ingmar — sorry, Ingrid Bergman’s in it. And Ingmar’s fav, Liv, is in it as well. So it’s a beautiful film.
*SLIM This might be a silly question. But like I said before, every day I stand up in front of that mirror.
PROTO Put yourself out there.
SLIM And I put myself out there. And I say I have to be brave. Are Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman related?
PROTO Connecting the dots right now.
DANNY Hey Google.
SLIM Guti says no in chat. Marcie says no. Alright.
DANNY I don’t think they are.
SLIM I appreciate the honesty from everybody.
*PROTO Danny, you’ve now seen three Bergmans. Can we get the official Danny Haas rankings of the three?
DANNY It would definitely go Persona, Autumn, Seventh Seal.
PROTO No hesitation.
DANNY No hesitation. Persona is pretty amazing. I love that film. Autumn Sonata surprised me and then I was just kind of taken back on the performances in that. Seventh seal is great. It’s just not as good as the other two. And I clicked on Ingmar’s Letterboxd and he had 70 director credits. So I was trying to figure out where I go next. That’s really what I’ve watched this week that I really want to talk about.
SLIM How about Big Hero 6?
DANNY I mean, what’s to say? It’s a great film.
SLIM Another five banger? What a week of five bangers from you.
DANNY Did I give it five?! I didn’t give Big Hero five.
PROTO Danny is stating a new trend where every movie he watches just gets five stars.
DANNY I only watch the good ones, okay?
SLIM I had some problems with Big Hero 6.
DANNY I read your review.
SLIM We’re not going to get into a right now.
DANNY If anyone wants to read Slim’s Big Hero review, go ahead.
SLIM 2015 I wrote this review. That’s a long time ago.
DANNY Yeah, you’re a new person.
SLIM Maybe it’s good?
DANNY I enjoy the brothers. I enjoy the hero and his brother. I enjoy the animation in this film a lot. There’s just some great stuff. It’s a beautiful film. It falls apart a bit for me with pacing and some of the bits but —
SLIM The villain.
DANNY The villain’s okay. I mean, I like the story aspect a lot.
*SLIM Man, that would be a big episode. Go back and get a Big Hero 6 episode.
PROTO Maybe the biggest we ever do! [Danny laughs]
SLIM That sounded like a southern boy.
DANNY That sounded exactly like you, Slim. That’s what you sound like. [Slim laughs] We should definitely have nailed down the Animation Month. That’d be a lot of fun.
SLIM Ohhhh. Okay.
DANNY But I don’t think I’d pick Big Hero. [Danny laughs]
SLIM I don’t know if we have the time. We’d be scheduling that in like Dune Pod, eight months in advance.
DANNY Yeah, that’s true, at this point.
SLIM PRoto, you had a busy week right? How many movies did you watch that you’re able to talk about on this episode this week?
PROTO I can talk about — I can talk about two. I watched The Matrix, which we’re doing for a special bonus episode and I watched City of God. And that’s all the movies I can talk about. So I have nothing. There’s no other movies.
SLIM I know behind the scenes you are working real hard on this podcast. So, I trust Proto.
DANNY Yes. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
*SLIM Yeah, we see the work happening behind the scenes. All will be revealed.
PROTO TikTok.com/70mmpod. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM How has your TikTok journey been going?
PROTO It’s been going good, it’s a lot of fun. You know, it’s a new medium. It’s a new world. I don’t fully understand it. But sometimes you just got to dive in, full body, and just drink from the TikTok pool. And that’s what I’ve been doing.
SLIM I’ve been — I usually use our Instagram. So it’s just funny having you post these TikTok videos and then these like replies coming in that it was so obtuse and I have no idea what they’re referencing. And then I see that you post TikTok video, and it’s just the funniest replies in our DMs. I have no idea what’s going on.
PROTO And then I don’t look at those DMs, so I have no idea. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Seems very Proto of you, though, in the end. Breaking news in chat Dale says “great news, just got booked for Big Hero 6 with Dune Pod.” [Slim laughs]
DANNY Oh, congrats Producer Dale.
SLIM I think it was Paul that said Ani-MAY-tion Month. Get it?
DANNY I don’t know. We’ll do the puns here. [Slim laughs]
*SLIM The one thing I did — speaking of Haitch, you know, the Dune movie is coming out soon our dear friend, disgraced former producer, who is usually in the past, the host of the Cinenauts podcast was on their episode talking about Face/Off. But they talked about Dune box office predictions. And I’m ready to say here now that we are going to be doing our darndest to scoop Dune Pod and do a Dune episode on this podcast feed. [Danny laughs] So you just know that behind the scenes, we’re trying to orchestrate something big. Okay?
DANNY The ol’ scoop job.
SLIM We’re trying to scoop that feed for Dune Pod. We’re trying to be first. Proto, how do you feel about Dune’s box office? 2021. Is it going to be bigger than Avengers Endgame? The hype is off the charts right now. Domestic?
PROTO Yeah, well, the hype is off the charts, but and I’ll be honest. You know, six months ago, when people were worried about this movie, I wasn’t at all because I could feel the Zeitgeist in the air. And I could tell that something was brewing. You know, everyone’s like, oh, pandemic, pandemic, COVID, oh. And I’m thinking no, no, no. No, no, no pappy. [Danny laughs] This is perfect timing, for what’s about to happen. So I think it’s gonna be big. I have no concept of box office numbers. I wouldn’t even know how to guess anything. So I’m not gonna put a number out there. But I will say it’s gonna be big.
SLIM Danny, you’ve already given this five stars, this movie.
DANNY I did? [Danny laughs]
SLIM Yeah, mentally.
DANNY Oh, mentally.
SLIM This is a five bagger from you.
DANNY Yeah, I mean, when I saw the preview I was — I think it’s more shocking to not only have expectations met, but kind of exceeded and just like a 10 minute preview. So I’m very excited to see the full thing.
SLIM We should talk about the winner of this week’s free year of Letterboxd Pro. Every week we give out a free year, get rid of those ads on Letterboxd if you haven’t upgraded to Pro or Patron yet. Get those fancy banner images on your profile and in reviews. And this week’s winner, sharing the show on social media, @ContraZoomPod on Twitter.
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM Just won a free year from Letterboxd Pro. Congratulations. The film podcast, film based podcast going in depth about varying movie related subjects.
SLIM Do you think they talked about the Dune box office?
DANNY They will now.
SLIM And if you want to upgrade to Letterboxd Pro or Patron status, you can do so at any time. Support letterbox at 70mmpod.com, there’s a link you can use. City of God.
DANNY Let’s do it.
SLIM Is the movie this week. This is our final pick for Latin American Movies Month. This is Proto’s pick. He’s trying to go big or go home. This is the big one. I’ve seen this on many lists. Proto, can you set the stage for the City of God?
[music from City of God plays]
PROTO Rocket, a young man living in a slum of Rio de Janeiro wants to take pictures with his camera. He has a crush on Angelica and would love to steal a kiss in exchange for a joint. But all around him, there are guns. Guns in the hands of friends, enemies, and the children that dictate the law. The law is this: if you run, the beast catches you. If you stay, the beast eats you. Rocket takes pictures. And he runs. He runs as all of those around him are eaten by the beast. And as Rocket grows, the slum grows and the crime grows. And The Beast chases rocket in the City of God.
[music from City of God ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
DANNY Talk about it.
SLIM I remember seeing the photo of him holding the camera and the poster. But for some reason, when this first had come out this obviously wasn’t on my radar. It’s a foreign film, first of all, you know, back then I probably push my nerdy glasses up and had no expectation to watch this. Do you remember hearing about this movie back then? Danny?
DANNY No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I only heard about this film when I joined Letterboxd actually. Did some sorting of lists and this one was always at the top of like the cream of the crop. This one was up there for all these movie lists. And when I — always intrigued by the poster but when I read the description, I never found myself mentally ready to watch this film. I knew what it was — I mean reading and figuring out what it’s going to be about but this film didn’t feel like it was for me at the time. So my journey with I think the podcast itself and love being on Letterboxd for longer than a few years now. It feels good to finally watch this film
SLIM Proto, did you hear about this movie in 2002 or 2004? It was in the Oscar contender and so it might have waited a little bit. But was this on your radar back then?
PROTO No the only thing that was on my radar is that the cover is something I remember seeing in, you know, Blockbuster over and over again. I feel like this cover has always intrigued me. And then I heard about it. Oh City of God, City of God. But similar to Danny, you know, I’d look at it and read the synopsis and get nothing from it. But always hearing amazing things about this movie. You know, in the category of you know, possibly greatest movie, you know, if not ever greatest movie of you know, the century or whatever.
SLIM Oh yeah, there’s that poster. Man, I remember seeing that on the rack at West Coast video. Big time. “One of the best films you’ll ever see.” — Roger Ebert. Ever heard of him?
PROTO Doesn’t get bigger than him. Rog.
SLIM The Rod, they call him. My first note for City of God. That poor little chicken. [Danny laughs] That little guy running around the front of this movie getting chased. Oh my God, he’s so adorable. I probably wouldn’t eat that chicken. He’d be my pet, you know?
PROTO How many times have you eaten that chicken though? [Danny & Slim laugh] 10,000 times?
SLIM I don’t know, but it’s a lot! I mean that chicken had me questioning everything in my life when I saw that little guy run. Am I wrong to eat meat? That’s what I was thinking when I saw him running.
DANNY If that chicken in the beginning of this film made you question everything about your life, what did the rest of this film do to you? [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Definitely made me think that I’m never visiting the City of God in any of my trips in the future, that’s for sure. Proto, what’s on your list for this viewing? You finally sat down to watch this. This is your pick to close out Latin American Movies Month. What’s the vibe?
PROTO The vibe — I think the biggest thing for me is really the start of this, other than the chicken, when they go flashback to the 60s. Because we see the 60s and then we see them when they’re older, you know, this group of kids that are growing up in the City of God. Just the idea that people this young would be running around with guns. It’s hard to compute this reality because, you know, of course all the talk about guns in America. But anytime you hear about any one at least for me, you know, I don’t live in a place with a lot of guns. But it’s usually, you know, we have one gun, it’s under lock and key, you know, inside of a safe blah blah blah you know, no one can reach it but me, it’s not loaded, whatever. You know, every safety precaution. The idea that there’s just children running around with revolvers, you know, and they’re like, everywhere. You know, you like turn on the tap and a gun falls out. It’s just like mind-boggling.
SLIM Yeah, this was at the time, I’m assuming everyone probably had the same idea. Like, oh, there’s, you know, this different culture. Different societies grow totally differently. And this is kind of like the most dangerous city of that era. But it’s so mind-boggling the amount of guns that everyone has. This is like Gotham City on on LSD, the amount of violence that could happen in this city any moment. I mean, when they corner the runts. Remember when Lil Dice and his gang corner the runts and they corner those two kids?
DANNY I don’t wanna talk about it.
SLIM What a scene. That kid crying like legit tears. Oh my god! I don’t even know where to start for that scene. But just in general, the amount of violence, obviously very eye opening. You know, really the point for most people like us that see this movie, and to be educated about how other societies live and what they go through. But it’s just so wild and so crazy. Where do they even get all these guns? Danny what’s on your list?
DANNY You know I look at my list and it’s random words because I don’t know how to talk about this film. The cinematography of this film is amazing it’s weird to just kind of nitpick on this stuff. But the whole story of that there’s just the society that has been built — the city is built because of people being displaced and they’re homeless. And it’s just poverty like to the bottom of the barrel. There’s nowhere for these people to go. And crime is born, like legit violence is born out of this poverty. And like violence not just like robbing your neighbor or you even see that quick robbery in the beginning where they steal the gas. Some of the killing, especially from kid Lil Z, is just kind of no care for human life, like and he’s a child. Like there’s just some real dark storytelling happening. And it’s really weird to watch this as entertainment. Or you know, you go into this not expecting kind of — like when you watch a documentary, you’re expected to be educated. When you watch a feature film it’s — you know, I don’t know.
PROTO Yeah, I think that that scene is really set apart from most of the rest of the movie because there’s the sense — and just even this view — that everyone is seems very carefree and almost not afraid to die. They look death in the face. A lot of them are laughing while they shoot guns or you know shoot then run away. Or just shooting somebody and having like a snide remark about it. Like no value of life like you said earlier. But that scene is like one of the few scenes — and this might be the only one — where really someone is, you know, having a gun pointed at them and you see just the fear and the terror in their eyes. I think it’s easily the hardest scene in the movie for that reason. And even like you’re saying about the tone of this movie. I feel like the the tone doesn’t really match the content. And it is kind of jarring because a lot of it is almost like just the editing and the style with the music it’s like very carefree and fun. It’s just people are dying constantly in this movie. As if, you know, it’s a dime a dozen for a life. It’s really shocking.
SLIM Yeah, I mean, just like waking up in the morning, kind of like realizing that you could just get shot for no reason by anyone that lives nearby. It’s just a whole different way of life. But the idea that the way the film is structured, feels like — I think someone’s review kind of called out the Quentin Tarantino is probably the more modern idea that maybe people are used to of movies that are shot this way. Like it starts you know, modern day, goes back, shows all the different ensemble cast of characters. I can’t remember a more recent film with such a large ensemble cast that was like this movie. Because you’re brought through so many different characters right off the start of the movie, and then it goes back in time and then it slowly comes back and then it comes full circle at the end of movie. So I didn’t know what the format of this film was when I first started watching it, but it’s very frenetic. Like the editing is so frenetic and it’s just very jarring. I think it’s hilarious that this movie we watch after Roma because they couldn’t be more different in terms of film production. You know, you’re kind of a fly on the wall in that movie. And the camera slowly moves to reveal what’s happening the surroundings but it’s the total opposite in this film. It’s very jarring. Paul calls out it’s like Man on Fire. Yeah. And the scene where — I don’t mean to go back to the child murder scene over and over again — but the scene that was filmed from like the on over his shoulder or behind his head and you know, his head just kind of like appears in front of the various kids right before one of them gets shot. Just wild shots like that, that I loved in the film. So outside of Man on Fire, I don’t remember a movie that is shot like this.
PROTO The only other movie I can think of is Romeo + Juliet that we did earlier. I feel like that kind of had that frenetic chaotic visual way of filming.
DANNY Yeah, I could see that.
SLIM What else is on your list Proto?
PROTO Yeah, you know, it was really hard to take notes during it, like Danny was saying. They’re kind of just scattered all over the place. But some of the characters I love. I love the character of Benny.
PROTO Yeah, he really stands out as someone maybe as kind of like, you know, an inverse of rocket who is rather than trying to run and reject this life, he embraces it but also wants to be free of it as well like he wants to get out. And then he’s also a younger brother of the tender trio. So Shaggy was his older brother. And you know, Rocket’s older brother was killed by Little Dice early in the beginning. So you know, that’s kind of interesting that they both come from, you know, the tender trio having older brothers there, but go in vastly different directions. And almost kind of wanting the same thing. You know, they want to escape this. But they kind of don’t know how. And one thing that seems strange to me. The Lil Dice character, so he’s Lil Dice in the beginning, then he’s Lil Z. But how, in the beginning, it looks like he’s younger than Rocket, but then later, he looks like he’s 15 years older. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Back to Lil Dice. I mean, when they — that heist of the hotel at the start of the movie. And he’s supposed to be like their little lookout, and he’s getting trolled by the older dude. And they leave and the cops find out that like all those people that were tied up or murdered. And then they show eventually what did happen to them, and he shoots them as a kid and it’s all off screen. And for the most part, and you just hear them screaming while he’s shooting at them tied up. And then eventually the screaming stops as he just continues to shoot. Holy god. What a freakin’ scene.
DANNY It’s insane.
SLIM And he’s like laughing when he’s going through. So you would think that he’s like, kind of, you know, sociopath in that moment, but then later, you see him like, kind of show care for Benny, who’s leaving town. And I guess, the only way he can kind of display emotion. I don’t know he’s just such an interesting character wrap your head around. It’s just like the sad cycle that I haven’t really seen explained like this. You know, I’m used to like mafia movies, where you have the local people like kind of getting 30% of like, the local businesses or whatever. And this stuff, the turf wars happened in those movies. But it’s never been explained as realistically as this movie, in my opinion. Because even when Lil X is running the show in the town for the drugs —
SLIM Lil Z. There’s no crime, you know, like they’re selling the drugs. And there’s no like murder. He’s protecting the town businesses. And it’s almost like you know, they’re paying off the cops, everything’s cool. And then the runts come in and then screw things up. And then that’s what kicks off this war. I don’t know. I just, I’ve seen that story told similarly in mafia movies, but it’s just felt more real here and more believable. And it was pretty powerful I thought.
DANNY I wanna talk about visually how well done this movie is. There’s so many framed shots that felt real intentional, like, it almost hurt, it was so good. And it got me at the end of the film, when when Rocket, he’s been sent back from the paper, and he’s got the camera and he is following around this war basically in the town. And just some of the angles they chose for him running, some of the wide shots, the close ups the city itself, and then when he gets to that brick wall at the end where he can see through their cut holes, and he’s finally watching the end of Z. And it’s just gorgeous. Like there’s so many gorgeous shots in this film when they’re tossing the drugs across the rooftops in the sunset. And the beach scenes are incredible. This film is — it’s just these really quick moments in throughout the chaos and the the death and the darkness of this film that kind of give you a second to breathe before more murder happens. It’s just like, they have to give you moments, a moment’s pause. And that’s what these beach scenes were with his friends and him with the camera. And it’s just, there’s just really smart choices in a film so full of like dread, to kind of give you a help getting through it. And I really appreciated that.
SLIM The sun on that mountain in the back of that beach?
DANNY It’s stupid. It was gorgeous.
SLIM Wuuut? I would never leave that beach. I’d just start a business on the beach. [Danny & Slim laugh] I mean, who’s patrol on that beach? There’s nobody patrolling that beach.
DANNY No, not at all.
*SLIM But one other note, too, that just jumped into my mind. You mentioned the beach. Was Angelica. His love interest. And he has the hots for her. They have this moment that’s ruined by the runts on the beach where they’re like kissing. And eventually it doesn’t work out. She starts to go with Benny. And then Benny is like, welcomed into the fold. The one aspect of this movie that I loved was there was there was almost like no grudges in between that friend group. Like even her other ex — was it Robert?
DANNY The Brazilian Timmy Chalamet. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Yeah, I noted that down.
SLIM There was there was like no — in any other movie Rocket could just be down in the dumps about that, and kind of hold grudges. But they’re all buddies! They’re all just still friends, they’re all hanging out. Benny wants the camera for Rocket. I don’t know, that just jumped out at me is like a kind of freewheeling young friendship that in an American movie, they just make a movie about how the angst. The sexual angst between all these friends. So that just jumped out at me.
PROTO Yeah, there’s something so pure about Rocket in this amidst, you know, having a sociopath like Z in it. But Rocket is kind of in every way, the opposite of that, where, you know, he when he tries to pursue the life of a hood, you know, where he goes out. And one night and he tries to, you know, knockout Ned, he tries to like, rob a store. And he just can’t do any of it. And I just love the aspect of him wanting to be a photographer, you know, just taking pictures and capturing the moments with his friends. And, you know, having like this special gift. And then one of the things that kind of, I didn’t really understand was when he took the pictures of Z and his gang inside the house. And then they get developed, and then the paper prints them. And then Rocket, you know, he says, “You don’t understand. You can’t do this, I can’t go back that, you know, Z’s gonna kill me.” And they’re like, “What are you talking about?” And I felt the same way. I was like, what are you talking about? Like, Z is gonna love this. You know, he’s gonna love that you’ve taken pictures. But then I realized that really, anybody who spends time around Z dies. [Proto laughs] So it was it was less about the pictures. And it was more just the fact that Rocket knew that he couldn’t spend time around this guy because he would just die eventually. And that didn’t really hit me at first. And just that like Rocket, more than anyone and even me watching this, just knew the danger of being around someone like him.
SLIM He’s like a real life Joker. I mean, he shoots that one guy. Remember, like after they get caught? And he’s like, trying to get into his favor as they’re walking down the alley. He just shoots him dead, because he’s annoying. Just like crazy scenes like that.
DANNY Yeah, hard to watch stuff.
SLIM Danny, what else?
DANNY Oh, goodness, let’s see. I thought one of the things I — it’s like the general theme that we’ve said a couple times. But I’m surprised on how well done it was told, was the cycle continuing, no matter what happens, no matter what changes were happening inside of the City of God. Like the cycle of poverty and who takes over next like, especially with the end of the film. When you see the cops, you know, being paid off, so that Lil Z gets away. But then the kids come by and kill Z. And then now they’re in charge of the of the slums. Like it’s not only one man now who has been running things is dead. Now it’s a group of kids who are more violent, more of them with guns. So the cycle even gets worse this time around. And there’s just so many, so many different storylines in this film, but all revolve around this cycle of violence and crime and poverty and how it all intertwines. And one causes the other to exist and how it just is never ending. And so it’s just fascinating how well done it is.
SLIM It’s hard to talk about this movie because it’s so depressing, but it’s so well done. I can’t remember the last movie I watched that was just like inherently depressing, but it’s like well but this is a really well made movie. And like you mentioned earlier, like I don’t know, Roma wasn’t depressing like this, I thought. Marcie suggested Roma.
PROTO Yeah to me this this looks beautiful in the way that watching a movie setting like L.A.can be beautiful, like just like a beautiful setting with gorgeous beaches but then it’s just like filled with death and murder constantly.
SLIM When Benny says I become a playboy, I thought that scene was great. [Danny laughs] Using the money to bring back those clothes.
PROTO That club?
DANNY Yeah that club scene is great.
SLIM I mentioned the mafia. The dice hooting montage. I think it was mentioned earlier in chat. That was very well done. Where it’s just the camera looking at him shooting the gun. Yeah, just an insane scene. Also when they — in the flashback of the 60s when they’re doing the heist and they get away and they crash into that bar and this character Shorty tells the cops that they’re you know hiding in the forest. That scene where they’re up in the tree and the cops are underneath them. And the like water is coming off a leaf and falling down there, that was super tense. But even then the scene where the one brother sleeps was Shorty’s wife and get and she gets caught and he like my god that hits her with the shovel. Oh god man it comes back around to show him digging a hole in his house. And the subtitle said that like he was being arrested for burying his wife alive. Like so she wasn’t dead when he started burying her. It’s like scenes like that are just like so shocking and like oh god what a scene. It just felt like you just you’re living in this slum and you do this — I mean you have this beautiful wife and she’s like dead now just because you know you got made in that moment and now your life is over! Like maybe your life was over before that but it’s just hard to wrap your head around some of these scenes.
PROTO It’s and also the way that the tender trio ended up as kind of like the the three the three paths for anyone in this world. Where Shaggy, he tries to escape but you know the police are after him so he gets killed by the police. Rocket’s older brother, I think his name wasn’t Benny, I can’t remember what his name was. But he gets killed by Lil Dice. So it’s like he gets killed by a hood. And then the third, he decides, you know, I’m done with this life. And I’m going to go I’m going to become a priest. And he basically does that and we never hear from him again. He’s just like out of the movie, he’s the only one who may be actually escaped this life. And how about that scene, where he’s walking back and the cops look at him. And they say you stop but there’s somebody behind him. And that kid is just filled with fear and runs so they chase him and he just keeps walking and escapes and then they kill that kid!
PROTO Oh my God, what a moment.
DANNY Was Shaggy the one that was trying to push the taxi out of town?
DANNY That whole tracking shot of him running through the city. Just getting shot and her following along with the VW, that was incredible. Like there’s just some incredible shots in this film. It’s just so hard to watch. And the end of this film, I didn’t know — I mean, I knew how I felt but I didn’t know — I don’t know what the right words are. I didn’t know like what to do with the information this film gives me in my head. Like obviously my — I don’t know. It’s just weird. This movie just brings up so much of reality that I didn’t — like in the back of my brain I knew realities like this on some level existed, but to watch it on film, so well done, so well performed, so well shot and storytelling that it kind of — I don’t know, changing me is a different, is stupid to say but it’s just a whole nother perspective on life.
SLIM How about the one scene where the kid is hiding out, you know, we talked about they eventually get to the VW. He asked her is like — I think I wrote it down. “You had a job. What’s it like?” Oh, he’s like, how old is he? He’s never had a job. He only knows the life that he’s grown up in as a hood. And he just asked her like, what’s that like? He has no idea. Anything else on your list Proto?
*PROTO Last thing was just how the beginning kind of felt like a Western to me with the Tender Trio but instead of having vast plains and cities far apart, it’s as if like the whole Wild West is condensed into like a single block of a city. And just the insanity of them, you know, running through there. Or just even doing a heist right in the middle of the street and then once it’s done the police come, you just skip the to the next block and just pretend to be playing soccer. Just insane. My final thoughts? Yeah, it’s an amazing movie visually. I really enjoyed it, but also to me so confusing how to feel when you’re when you’re seeing such like destruction and murder and death and especially by the people who are doing it. But it’s beautiful in the way that it’s told, it’s moving, you know, these characters. I wouldn’t say though, that I felt — like I don’t know, I didn’t feel like a ton of connection to many of the characters. I felt more like a fly on the wall watching this happen. So for me, this is a four star movie.
SLIM Paul in the chat says there’s some interesting trivia on it. Paul, give us the number one most interesting trivia from IMDb. My final thoughts, I think I posted in my review that this was nominated and lost in all categories to Lord of the Rings 3: Return of the King. And I was trying to think of back in 2002, you know, 2004 I think it was the year where it’s actually nominated. But like the reactions to this movie of kind of like realistic poverty and violence. It was probably like, I don’t want to say like revolutionary, but you know, 20 years ago, this is probably like, really eye opening. And I think it is today. But I just think there are other movies that have impacted me first. So I didn’t have like a visceral emotional connection to this movie. Like I did in, you know, more recently Roma. I guess it’s great filmmaking. But like I said, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. So I’m about four stars for this movie, City of God. And I don’t know — I don’t know if like 20 more years of filmmaking have like, worn on this movie where like, I seen other movies that are violent, that impacted me in a different way. I don’t know. It’s just hard to explain why it didn’t like, become this, like, one of the greatest movies of all time for me, at least in my viewing. So that’s what I was thinking about. Like, am I you know — it was like the Skinner meme. Am I out of touch? When I was watching this movie? [Danny & Proto laugh] But that’s my overall vibe. Danny what about you?
DANNY Yeah, I think I feel like I’ve given enough final thoughts. For me this film is pretty great. I feel like I’m gonna stick with a five star for now. I don’t know what would change it. It’s pretty incredible. There’s a lot of stuff I love about this film, so. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again. I don’t know what would drive me to watch this film again, but it will definitely stay in my brain for a while. A long time.
SLIM Yeah. Paul says “The scene where the gang prays for the war was not scripted. During the shooting a young boy he used to be in a real gang asked director if the group was not going to pray like they always did before any important confrontation with their enemies.” I don’t know how to pronounce the directors last name. “Meirelles told him to lead the prayer as they shot the scene.”
DANNY There you go. That’s amazing.
PROTO That’s wild.
DANNY It’s just knowing that they — people in this have been in these situations, like that’s wild to me that they’re in this film.
SLIM Yeah, yeah, I’m glad I finally checked this off the list.
DANNY For sure.
*PROTO Danny you said that this — you don’t know if you will want to rewatch this because of how hard it might be to rewatch. Is there a movie you would say is like the movie that fills that category the most of like a movie you know it was great, but you won’t rewatch it again because of how hard of a watch it is?
DANNY That’s a great question. I think I’ve said that before on another film.
SLIM The Dark Knight Rises. [Danny laughs]
DANNY Oh, man. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I know I’ve said it before.
SLIM Come and See, Ben says.
DANNY Casey may know the answer.
PROTO I feel like for me, the movie I always turn to is Moonlight. Have you guys seen Moonlight?
DANNY I know. Moonlight’s heavy.
PROTO Yeah, I just feel like it’s a movie that was so great but I just don’t want to watch it again.
SLIM Casey says Requiem for a Dream.
PROTO Requiem for a Dream is a good one.
DANNY Requiem is a very good one
SLIM Hereditary I probably would never want to watch again.
PROTO Really? But you love Hereditary.
SLIM I do.
DANNY I don’t want to watch it again. [Danny laughs]
SLIM I don’t know. I have to think about it if, if I want to sit and watch that again. Let’s see, we have some VMs to get to. You can leave us a VM, voicemail audio message or an email, a letter at 70mmpod.com. There’s links on there for you to click through and make that happen. We’ll see if this comes through the Discord, I think it should work.
VOICEMAIL Hey 70mm, it’s Haitch, and I just wanted to call in and say thank you so much for choosing City of God. I’ve wanted to watch this movie for almost 20 years, I went to Brazil a couple of times in the early 2000s. [Haitch Flex Alert sound plays] And had a weekend in Rio de Janeiro and just was so blown away by the city and the power, just the landscape and the country and the music and I don’t know, it just felt so vibrant and also was warned a lot to be really careful because it’s a very dangerous location and there’s so many elements of that just wrong intensely true in watching this film. Holy cow. Absolutely amazing, five stars for sure. That’s an easy five banger. Just really epic in scope and really glorious so thank you for choosing that. And also I just wanted to say congrats on 200, you guys have done a great job and bring on 500. See you soon. Ciao. And by soon, I mean in two days. Peace!
SLIM 500 patrons. I can’t imagine the state of things at 500. Although I couldn’t really imagine the state of things at 200, to be honest. 200 patrons.
PROTO Imagine it.
*DANNY If we’re being if we’re being honest, our goals, we’re pushing year three goals at year two.
SLIM Those were private goals.
DANNY No, listen, people need to know!
PROTO You can’t reveal the goals.
DANNY People need to know.
PROTO Everyone turn off your speakers. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Dale, can you wrangle him? We’re not even on the road yet.
DANNY Dale, step away from me.
PROTO Cut his mic.
SLIM Please. Turn the knobs. Thank you. Thank you Haitch.
DANNY Great voicemail.
SLIM Haitch — you know I would never normally bring this up — but Haitch somehow bringing in inside jokes to his own podcast into his VMs and I won’t stand for it. I won’t stand for one bit. Jason, come get your man’s in chat please.
PROTO Bleep that out real.
SLIM Quick letter from Scott who sent in about the City of God pick. Subject line: GREAT PICK WOWOWOW in caps. “City of God, amazing pick. Proto may even like this film. Sincerely, Scott.”
DANNY The people know.
PROTO Thank you Scott. You were right. [Slim laughs]
SLIM It’s no Holy Mountain, that’s for sure. [Slim laughs] Danny has still not emotionally recovered from the City of God viewing from the sounds of it.
DANNY That email.
SLIM Next VM. Final VM.
VOICEMAIL What a film. City of God definitely a favorite of mine and I’m sorry I didn’t expand the list to other Latin American countries. Maybe for next year, I can make the list more expansive. Eyes? Eyes? The campaign starts now for next year. City of God is so fantastic, intense and one of the first Brazilian moves that I had watched and what a start. You see Rio come alive into this movie from minute one and keeps it up the whole runtime. If you thought Uncut Gems is anxiety inducing, let me read off the first sentence in Art’s review. “Is there anything more unsettling than seeing a gun in the hands of the child?” Also, spoilers, skip ahead 10 seconds if you haven’t seen it, but that final shot showing the cycle continuing, chill. Anyway, another Brazilian movie that I recommend is Black Orpheus found over at the Criterion Channel. So happy that y’all have decided to take this journey and I’m keeping this VM short.
SLIM I respect it. Man after my own heart to let the music vibe out. Yeah, Uncut gems is a great comparison. Uncut gems is probably another movie that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to watch again.
PROTO I’d love to rewatch that. Anxiety Month.
SLIM Oh my god! [Slim laughs] Then we would definitely do Hereditary in Anxiety Month.
DANNY Oh lord have mercy.
SLIM All right. I think that is it for VMs. My goodness. What a week. What an episode. It’s gonna take us a while to recover from this but we can’t wait any long. What a journey we had. Thank you Ismael for the guidance on this journey, was well worth it. I mean I got Roma out of the deal. Did I reveal on the show that it’s in my top four now?
DANNY Did you put it there?
SLIM I did put it in my top box on Letterboxd.
DANNY Proud of you.
SLIM Big Day.
DANNY Big big.
SLIM Biiig day. Will it be bigger than Danny’s pick for next week?
DANNY I’m gonna say no.
SLIM We’re going to start — I don’t think we have a catchy name for it. Horror Month Vol. 2?
PROTO The usual.
SLIM The Usual Suspects. We did a horror month last year if you remember all the way back then. A lot of new friends since then. But we did The Fly with our friends at BAT & SPIDER.
DANNY What an episode.
SLIM Holy cow.
DANNY Love those boys.
SLIM We did — hold up, let me pull up our numbers.
DANNY You won’t reveal the numbers remember?
SLIM I misspoke. Not numbers. Boop beep boop beep boop beep boop boop boop. We did Halloween. We dropped Halloween I think on the night before Halloween. Remember that?
DANNY What a banger.
*SLIM Remember Proto’s thoughts on the movie Halloween?
DANNY No one’s recovered. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Yeah, the people I hurt.
SLIM You could not have predicted Proto’s comments on the movie and the music. People still haven’t recovered from that.
PROTO I’ve hurt a lot of people with with those thoughts and I’ve reflected a lot upon that. And I’ve decided not to change. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM The comments music alone. Oh my God. “Ben Tramer, is that the kid that exploded?” [Slim & Danny laugh] Remember that? His flaming corpse in that movie. Oh my god. I’m still cracking up at that. Cripes, we also did Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Thank you for pulling out this stuff.
DANNY Oh baby. What a great episode.
SLIM Holy cow. Love that movie. Scream! Remember the Scream ep? We also did The Man with the X-ray Eyes and just before that, another horrifying movie, Star Trek The Motion Picture. [Slim & Danny & Proto laugh] I couldn’t even say it. Oh my god. What a way to start off Horror Month was Star Trek The Motion Picture. Remember their turtlenecks in that movie? Oh my god. So Danny is kicking off this theme.
DANNY I can’t believe I gotta kick it off.
SLIM You got to kick it off just like you did for Latin American Movie Month. And no presh.
DANNY No pressure.
SLIM No pressure.
DANNY Okay, so you know, in finding a video — sorry, excuse me — a movie that the two of you have not — I wanted to do something where you guys had to at least put your first Letterboxd reviews. I know you may have seen this film. And I talk about on The Matrix episode, for those in the Patreon. What a great year 1999 is.
DANNY I’m gonna go with some hometown heroes of University of Central Florida. Daniel Merrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s The Blair Witch Project.
SLIM Oh my gosh! It’s all been leading to this.
DANNY Yeah. These boys started making this film in film school here at UCF. And it’s a movie that I’m excited to watch with you guys. None of us have logged on Letterboxd. Matt has a check mark. And I’m excited to watch this with you guys. I like this genre of horror. The found footage.
SLIM Yes! Yes!
DANNY It’s right up my alley.
SLIM Found Footage Month.
DANNY Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I’m excited to watch with you guys.
SLIM I don’t think I’ve seen this since I saw it in theaters with my sisters opening night.
DANNY Oh, so I think for the 20th anniversary here they have the directors come back in town and they watched it they screened it and I just wanted to go and I never got it. I didn’t do it. So here we go.
SLIM We’ll get into in the episode, but I can’t wait. Do you remember the MTV marketing campaign behind this movie where they had the fake documentary about The Blair Witch Project?
SLIM Oh my god!
SLIM That’s real. That is real. People were calling the TV stations thinking this was real life.
DANNY I know, it’s so wild! Love it. We’ll get into it next week to kick off. Proto, you look like you’re sweating. Are you sweating?
SLIM Proto is sweating right now. Do you have a story about Blair Witch Project?
PROTO No, I mean, I’ve never seen this.
SLIM Oh my God!
PROTO It’s not like — it’s not my thing. So we’ll how this goes. [Danny & Proto & Slim laugh] You guys know how I feel about horror.
SLIM Can you record you and Jenna watching this movie?
PROTO Jenna isn’t going to be in this house if it’s playing in here.
SLIM I need you to lock Jenna in the room in front of the TV to watch this with you. Great pick.
DANNY I’m excited.
SLIM Dale says the music sucks in this movie, Proto can’t wait. [Slim & Danny laugh] Will it be rated higher than Proto’s two star Halloween? We’ll find out.
DANNY Stay tuned.
SLIM Great pick. Fantastic pick. Proto, it’s time to say good night to everyone listening in podcast land.
PROTO Everyone, thanks for joining us on this Latin American Month journey that we’ve gone through. Thank you Ismael. I don’t really have anything else to say. But this has been great. I’m so glad that, you know, Dale is going to come on next week for Blair Witch. And I can’t wait to hear the episode.
SLIM And thank you so much to all 200 plus people that support us each and every month. Love you.
DANNY Yeah. Thank you guys.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM 70mm is a TAPEDECK production with original artwork provided by Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies created by Protolexus. Producer emeritus Dale_a. Transcript provided by Sophie Shin. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. Support our Patreon for access to the VHS Village Discord to talk movies with new friends, access to exclusive episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. To check out other TAPEDECK podcasts, find the link in the episode notes. And if you’d like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links at 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!