One aspect within the film industry which I really admire and appreciate is the post production stage - The Editing.
A film which uses editing extremely well in manipulating and shocking its audience is Fernando Meirelles’ Cidade de Deus (2002) edited by Daniel Rezende. Cidade de Deus happens to have been Rezendes first feature film which he has edited, and the quality and expertise within his editing skills don’t make this apparent. He went on to win a BAFTA Award for Best Editing in 2003 for his work on Cidade de Deus. His use of editing to manipulate temporal and spacial verisimilitude is outstandingly effective. Rezende couldn’t have edited a better, more effective opening sequence even if he tried. It straight away sets the location, the theme and the narrative up effortlesly, being, in my opinion one of the best opening sequences I have seen in a long time. The opening credits come on in silence, to be met by a knife being sharpened against a large stone, this is cross cut with extreme close ups of people playing traditional music, a chicken, and women preparing food along side blank shots creating an effective opening montage. The use of traditional Brazilian music welcomes us, as the audience, to a Festa favela style. As the montage accelerates, and the music gets louder the audience is filled with anticipation which is then present throughout the whole film. In a scene where Lil Ze and his gang go off into the night and where they end up raping Galinha’s girlfriend, effective editing techniques are used to portray time and tension. As Lil ze and his gang leave their place, with a birds eye view shot, we see them walking almost ant like, with bursts of accelerated montage, adding to this effect. This happens again after the rape takes place. The rape scene too, like the opening sequence to the film, has a montage of action on screen, cut with blank, black shots. In the rape sequence, we have short burts of his girlfriend screaming, cross cut with the blaank shots and Galinhas reaction as they make him watch. This I feel works more affectively than just showing the audience all that happens, with these montages a lot is left to the audiences imagination, which I feel works effectivly, why give everything away? The sound within this sequence is beautifully worked out, with silence complementing the blank shots, making it almost deafing to the audience.
When asked what he learned from editing Cidade de Deus, Rezende states that “A lot! To be able to work on something of such good quality as my first job, something so authentic and innovative…. It was definitely not an easy film to edit. As none of the actors had actually read the script, all of the scenes evolved from the actors’ improvisations, and of course each take was unique. Literally no single take was the same as any other. Many of the interpretations were “created” at the cutting stage. I wouldn’t ever want to take away all the credit from the “non-actors”, who for me are the biggest key to the film, but to tell a story so rich in characters, with so many sub-plots, without a loss of rhythm seemed very challenging. And if that is what we have achieved then it’s imperative that I remember and use this experience throughout my whole life.”