Check out this short review in Salon of City of Men, the TV miniseries by Fernando Meirelles (who directed the 2002 hit City of God)–which, like the film, aims its unflinching lens at teen culture in the mean streets of Rio de Janeiro. The series aired in Brazil from 2002 to 2005 and is now available in the US on DVD.
“Watching these charming, vulnerable kids grow up in such a damaging environment is painful,” critic (and fellow CRC alum) Megan Doll writes. “‘City of Men’ is not the bloodbath that ‘City of God’ is, but there are plenty of gangsters and pistols pressed to craniums. Shown as a banal aspect of life in the slums, these scenes of favela justice become all the more chilling.”
Meirelles, film buffs may be interested to know, has wrapped his latest film, an adaptation of Jose Saramago’s novel Blindness. It was pretty decisively slammed at the Cannes Film Festival a few weeks ago. But City of God was so intense and colorful, so well edited–and Blindness is such a brilliant allegory–that I think I’ll run out and see it anyway when it hits theaters in September. Besides, you could do a lot worse than a film starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Consider, for example, Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz in What Happens in Vegas.