Fernando Meirelles’ City of God was my #1 film of 2003 and my #4 film of the 2000s. It’s a vibrant, violent immersion into Brazil’s lawless favelas, and one of the most exhilarating films I’ve ever seen.
I haven’t watched it in full for close to a decade, I’d guess, but hearing this track from the movie’s soundtrack has me wanting to revisit it. The movie it is compared to the most is Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, and it shares that film’s dark humor and rewatchability.
This song, along with its brethren on the City of God soundtrack, represent the most exotic music in my library.
I’ve never been into “world music,” though I certainly appreciate it in its Americanized form thanks to Paul Simon, David Byrne and others. The only foreign language artist I listen to is Shakira, and that was more a happy accident than anything.
No, my music collection is pretty much an Anglo affair.
The end of the first decade of the 21st century is rapidly approaching and I’ve been thinking lately about my list of the best movies of the 00s. This final year has proved to be a stunner already, with Inglousious Basterds, Up , Where the Wild Things Are and A Serious Man in the mix for that decade list and a host of potential candidates left to see.
One thing I know for sure is that Fernando Meirelles’ City of God will show up very high on the list. In the seven years since I first saw it, it hasn’t diminished a bit in my estimation — on the contrary, it’s only grown in stature. I remember waiting months for the film to come out on DVD and then being pleasantly surprised when major Oscar buzz pushed it back into theaters. That was probably the only time I drove 45 minutes to an art theater to see a film for the second time.