The five features and nine shorts made by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade constitute one of the major oeuvres of Brazil’s Cinema Novo. Their poetics are a shock to the system: playful, lewd, spontaneous, courting controversy, juggling contradictions, panegyrical even in their condemnations, and entirely political.
Brazilian cinema today looks provincial and pallid compared with the exuberance and overabundance of Cinema Novo, which aligned itself with the late-Sixties cultural ferment known as Tropicalism.
Mixing indigenous customs and forms with whatever was fresh from here, there, and everywhere, Tropicalism was a sensual pop-art movement in which polymorphous perversion and social subversion ran wild. Its roots lay in the modernist Anthropophagy movement of the Twenties, which sought to define Brazilian culture in terms of eclecticism, experimentation, mutation, and heterogeneous collectivity, while refuting Western classicism, linear development, and realism—in other words… read more