Realism, Urban Conflict and Spatial Segregation in New Brazilian Cinema
The New Brazilian Cinema (from the mid-1990s) has been celebrated as a period of re-birth for the national film industry. Not only has there been a considerable increase in film releases, but during this period, Brazilian cinema has also achieved expanded international acclaim. Although presenting diverse themes, these films tend to converge around explicit depictions of violence and poverty. Additionally, in order to secure commercial success, filmmakers associated with the New Brazilian Cinema have represented social and urban inequality through appropriation of diverse sources, ranging from earlier radical film movements to mainstream media aesthetics.This thesis aims to both understand and challenge the construction of realism in New Brazilian Cinema by carefully examining the strategies employed in the films City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund, 2002), Carandiru (Hector Babenco, 2003) and Last Stop 174 (Bruno Barreto, 2008). Specifically, I hope to analyse the political and ideological implications of the films’ applications of strategies of aesthetic realism to locations associated with traditions of social realism. In this regard, the three main settings I will be examining in these films are the favela, prison and streets, all of which are constructed as segregated cinematic spaces, remote from other urban areas. Despite their supposed isolation, however, these settings are also represented as interconnected through the violence of their marginalised inhabitants who are depicted as being enclosed within a cycle of social and spatial exclusion.
Advisor: Devadas, Vijay; Fisher, Kevin
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Media, Film & Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Brazilian Cinema; Realism; City of God; Carandiru; Last Stop 174; Pixote; Latin American Cinema; Contemporary Social Realism; favelas
Research Type: Thesis