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Cinema and history, fiction and memory: O homem do Pau-Brasil (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1981) and the long Brazilian modernism

Grant number: 20/05428-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal researcher:Marcos Francisco Napolitano de Eugenio
Grantee:Luiz Octavio Gracini Ancona
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This research will analyze the film O homem do Pau-Brasil (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1981), biography of the Modernist writer Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954). We will watch the film systematically, making its decoupage and analyzing each of its shots and sequences, together with the Oswaldian texts that served as its basis. Thus, we will identify the representations and memories built on the life and work of the biographee, on the Brazilian Modernism and on the Brazilian past. Furthermore, we will map the debates around the Oswaldian heritage over the decades, right up to the moment of the film's production, identifying which traditions and memories he dialogued with and which he criticized or refused. Finally, we will also analyze the film's stages of production and reception. The investigation will evaluate the following hypothesis: O homem do Pau-Brasil incorporated essential elements from the Oswaldian work and from different readings of his heritage, but he did it in order to expose the limits and contradictions of Oswald's performance and of the Brazilian Modernism - understood in its long-term duration, between the 1920's and 1970's, and of which the director himself was an important leading role. In this sense, in a perspective that was also self-critical, the film exposed the farcical caricature of the inexorable failure of a reformist Brazilian elite's project. Such historical representation is the cinematic expression of the perception of the end of a process, the Long Brazilian Modernism. Thus, our objective is to historically understand aspects of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade's cinema; of the Brazilian Modernism and its reinterpretations; and of the Brazilian culture in the film's context of production, the "opening", the final years of the military dictatorship. (AU)

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