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Appropriations of melodrama in contemporary Brazilian cinema

Grant number: 20/06447-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2020
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal researcher:Pedro Maciel Guimarães Junior
Grantee:David Ken Gomes Terao
Home Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

After the period known as Brazilian cinema Retaken, between 1994 and 2003, Brazilian cinema found a stable production structure compared to previous years. This allowed the renewal of an independent and authorial segment. Cinema as established in those years, between chronicles of customs, light comedies, historical dramas and crime films, was mostly settled from a naturalist-realistic record of staging and acting. This aesthetic tendencies gave way to the dual formal path of the frontier between fiction and documentary and the renewal of film genre conventions. Among these genres, melodrama was appropriated in a much more flagrant way than before and proved to be a means of discussing various issues regarding social classes, gender, sexuality, the idea of the unity of the Brazilian people, as well as exclusions and inequalities in its society. This appropriation of the melodramatic matrices can be identified in four main tendencies: the narratives of integration in the double scenario of the sertão/favela, key to the revisitation of the debates of Cinema Novo in the Brazilian cinema Retaken; the popular song as an element of gathering of the people; the family melodrama as a metonym for the socioeconomic transformations of the society; and camp as a place of queer expression and self-reflexivity in the melodramatic form. This path reveals at the same time the transition from naturalism to a self-conscious form of staging and the paradigm shift from a notion of a unified people to the vision of the communities of the excluded. (AU)

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