From the people to the popular: fifty years of Brazilian film
Abstract (Summary)Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or available through Inter-Library Loan. This study analyses the construction of images of popular culture in Brazilian film from the 1940s, the era of the chanchada genre, through the Cinema Novo movement of the 1960s, the 'recarnivalisation' of cinema in the late 1970s, to the present day Retomada. Using the categories of popular rites, popular myth, exemplified in the images of carnival and female sensuality, and their overt links to the popular classes, I argue that many of the icons of national identity have been adopted from external visions of Brazil, Latin America, and, indeed, of the tropics in general. However, despite the impact of constructions of Brazil in the foreign imaginary, filmmakers have, at different times, actively attempted to reclaim these symbols of the nation, and reformulate them in a specific regional context. Fundamental to this trajectory has been the changing conceptualisation of what denotes 'the popular'; these developments are linked to the debate surrounding the intellectual's understanding of the role of the people in the nation and the contested space of popular cultural production. The cinematic eras examined in the present study show a transition from a popularised ‘people' to a politicised 'people', and to what can now be seen as a hybrid concept of the 'popular'. This metamorphosis is placed within a socio-political context, which reveals the impact of the nation's history on the formation of popular culture and its alternating position as a valorised or dismissed sector of national cultural production.
School Location:New Zealand
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2004