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Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)

Brazilian Cinema Novo Author(s): Randal Johnson Reviewed work(s): Source: Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 3, No. 2 (1984), pp. 95-106 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3338256 . Accessed: 09/05/2012 19:53
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Brazilian

Cinema RANDAL

Novo1

JOHNSON

University ofFlorida

Over two decades have passed since Cinema Novo burst upon and profoundly altered the Brazilian cinematic and cultural scene. In these two decades, many things have changed in Brazil. The populist government of the early 1960s was quite unceremoniously removed by a 1964 military coup dfetat and replaced by a military regime which only now appears to be losing its hold on power. With them, Brazil's military rulers brought a reign of repression and torture, which intensified in 1969 and began to ebb only in the mid-1970s. the repression was a period of growth known as the 'economic Accompanying which meant the brutal redistribution of already poorly distributed miracle', wealth from the working classes to the upper classes. The miracle, in turn, has given way to the nightmare, a 100 billion dollar foreign debt, the servicing of which consumes virtually all ofthe country's export earnings and which threatens to tear asunder the country's social fabric. Brazilian cinema has changed as well. In the early 1960s, Glauber Rocha summarized the concerns of the initial phase of Cinema Novo in his Fanonianinspired manifesto, 'An Aesthetic of Hunger', also known as 'An Aesthetic of Violence'. In this manifesto he wrote: . . . hunger in Latin America is not simply an alarming symptom; it is the essence of our society. Herein lies the tragic originality of Cinema Novo in relation to world cinema. Our originality is our hunger and our greatest misery is that this hunger is felt but not intellectually understood . . . . . . only a culture of hunger can qualitatively surpass its own structures by undermining and destroying them. The most noble cultural manifestation of hunger is violence. Cinema Novo reveals that violence is normal behaviour for the starving. The violence of a starving man is not a sign of a primitive mentality . . . Cinema Novo teaches that the aesthetics of violence are revolutionary rather than primitive. The moment of violence is the moment when the colonizer becomes aware of the existence of the colonized. Only when he is confronted with violence can the colonizer understand, through horror, the strength of the culture he exploits. As long as he does not take up arms, the colonized man remains a slave.2 Although the manifesto clearly aligns itself with Fanon and the struggle for Third World liberation, Rocha is speaking not of real violence in a revolutionary situation, but rather of an aesthetic of violence, a metaphorical usage of violence in a situation (he was writing after the military coup of 1964) which was far from revolutionary.3 His statement is an admittedly extreme and in many ways contradictory formulation of the thrust of early Cinema Novo, but it is none the

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less representative. Rocha and Cinema Novo called for an alternative form of cinematic practice which would combat the idealistic illusionism of dominant cinema and at the same time participate in the struggle for national liberation. Contrast that with the situation of the 1970s and 1980s, when, as Robert Stam has put it, the aesthetic of hunger sometimes seems to have evolved into an aesthetic of gluttony?and perhaps only Rocha himself, with his highly idiowhich a concern syncratic films, can be exempted from this evolution?in with success in the national and international marketplace appears to have neutralized the political concerns of the early phase of Cinema Novo. The situation becomes even more complex, and seemingly more contradictory, when one realizes that since 1973 the Brazilian government has co-produced or other? wise financed the most significant national film production, including virtually all films made after that date by Cinema Novo participants, including Glauber Rocha. The current success of Brazilian cinema, with films such as Dofia Flor and Her Two Husbands, Bye Bye Brasil, Gaijin, Pixote, I Love You, and They Dont Wear Black-Tie, among others, results largely, in fact, from an alliance or marriage of convenience between Cinema Novo and the authoritarian Brazilian state. The current situation of Brazilian cinema?an apparent mercantilistic atti? tude supported by the state?does not in fact represent a radical break with positions held in the early 1960s. It would be simplistic to speak of cooptation by the military regime or to suggest that filmmakers became starstruck by commercial success. Rather, the current situation is an outgrowth of a number of contradictions and paradoxes existing within Cinema Novo from the very beginning. Despite Rocha's revolutionary statements, a certain distance always existed between the rhetoric and the reality of Cinema Novo. In this paper I propose to discuss some of these contradictions, examining how Cinema Novo arose and evolved during the 1960s. A movement such as Cinema Novo cannot be isolated from its historical context, for in many ways it responds to and is influenced by the political development of Brazilian society, it positions itself in relation to the historical evolution of Brazilian cinema, and it participates in and reflects ideological debates of the period in which it arose. By reexamining Cinema Novo in its various contexts, I in no way mean to belittle the considerable achievements of the movement, which is largely responsible for the best that Brazilian cinema has had to offer during the last twenty years and continues to offer today. In a very real sense, Cinema Novo is synonymous with Brazilian cinema, and its contradictions are the contradictions of Brazilian cinema as a whole and Brazilian intellectuals in general. The question might be asked if it is valid to speak of Cinema Novo existing today. Many historical analyses of the movement have said that Cinema Novo had ceased to exist by 1972, if not earlier. And yet the movement's only collec? tive manifesto, known as the 'Luz e Aqdo Manifesto', was published only in 1973.4 Although Brazilian cinema has grown considerably over the last twenty years, now producing some 100 films per year, four times the annual production of the early 1960s, Cinema Novo directors such as Leon Hirszman, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Carlos Diegues, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, and Arnaldo Jabor, among others, clearly dominate Brazilian cinema today. They dominate not only with their films; they also dominate the state cinematic apparatus

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(Embrafilme). Leon Hirszman's award-winning 1981 film ElesNao Usam BlackTie (They Don't Wear Black-Tie) was upon its release referred to as 'Cinema Novo de novo' (Cinema Novo anew). Diegues has recently claimed, and not without a bit of self-serving exaggeration, that he and other leaders of Brazilian cinema since they are free cinema are the 'new barbarians' of international from the gadgetry and large budgets of Hollywood and from the high culture and correct ideological lines of European cinema.5 When asked in a recent inter? view if Cinema Novo directors still discussed film projects as they did in the early 1960s, Hirszman responded: In a way, we have never stopped discussing our films. There have been some personal rifts, but the discussion goes on. But then the collaboration at the beginning was never quite as intense as people thought. It's a bit like the Beatles: they never were really as united before as people thought, nor really as separated afterward.6 We can thus refer to Cinema Novo existing today if seen as an open-ended pro? cess of cinematic activity, but clearly not as a narrowly defined, tightly-knit movement or school. Cinema Novo arose in the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of a broad, of cultural transformation that involved theatre, movement heterogeneous popular music, and literature, as well as the cinema. It evolved through a num? ber of discernible phases, each of which corresponds to a specific sociopolitical conjuncture. The seeds of Cinema Novo took root in the early 1950s, especially in three film industry congresses held in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in 1952 and 1953. It was in these congresses that filmmakers such as Alex Viany, Rodolfo Nanni and Nelson Pereira dos Santos first articulated ideas for the creation of an independent national cinema.7 The country had only recently seen the and the process of redemoend of Getulio Vargas's Estado Novo (1937-1945), cratization dramatically increased the level of political and cultural activity of Brazil's middle sectors. Vargas was reelected to the presidency in 1951 in the guise of a populist reformer who attempted to mobilize support through, among other things, a nationalist discourse revolving around the creation of a state petroleum industry. Vargas committed suicide in 1954, leaving a quasi-socialist, anti-imperialist message for the Brazilian people. Despite Vargas's death, the nationalist euphoria he helped create continued and was strengthened with the election of Juscelino Kubitschek in 1955. Kubitschek, promising fifty years of development in five, embarked on an ambitious plan of economic expansion and industrial development. He was one of only two presidents in the 1930-64 period to remain in office, legally, throughout his designated term, partially because of his ability to rally the Brazilian people around a common ideology, known as developmentalism or developmentalistnationalism.8 Brasflia, with its ultramodern architecture, is perhaps the most perfect symbol of Kubitschek's developmentalist ideology. His brand of developmentalism, however, was fraught with contradiction. Although it was a means of mobilizing support and guaranteeing the system's stability, it was also an effective tool for controlling social and political tensions.

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It toyed with the people's nationalist sentiments, but based its programme of industrialization on foreign investment. Former Sao Paulo governor Janio Quadros succeeded Kubitschek in 1961, but resigned after a mere seven months in office. Quadros was replaced by his vice-president, Vargas protege Joan Goulart, who was intensely disliked by the military. Goulart's brief administration, marked by a number of institutional crises, witnessed a turn to the Left in domestic and foreign policy as the presi? dent attempted to implement structural changes such as agrarian reform. He was overthrown by the military in 1964. Within this historical context, middleclass artists and intellectuals, such as those who created Cinema Novo, became increasingly politicized and sought to commit their art to the transformation of Brazilian society, a transformation they erroneously thought to be imminent. After a preparatory period, from 1955-1960, the first phase of Cinema Novo goes from 1960 to 1964, a period in which 'national questions' were debated at every level of society. The films of this period attempted to contribute to the debate with films about the country's lumpen, often depicted in rural settings (dos Santos's Vidas Secas, Guerra's Os Fuzis, Rocha's Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol). The second phase of Cinema Novo extends from 1964 to 1968, the year of the Fifth Institutional Act, which inaugurated a period of extremely repressive military rule. Although political liberties were restricted and censorship increased, there was still a degree of space available for discussion and debate. During this period, the focus of Cinema Novo shifted from rural to urban Brazil, as film-makers turned their cameras, so to speak, on themselves in an attempt to understand the failure of the Left in 1964 (Saraceni's O Desafio, Rocha's Terra em Transe, Dahl's O Bravo Guerreiro, dos Santos's Fome de Amor). A third phase runs from 1968 until around 1972. During this period of extremely harsh military rule, it was difficult for film-makers to express opinions directly, and allegory became the preferred mode of cinematic discourse of what is known as Tropicalism' in Brazilian cinema (Andxade's Macunaima, dos Santos's At the same time a burgeonComo era gostoso o meu frances, labor'sPindorama). movement challenged Cinema Novo from the Left, saying that it ing underground had sold out to commercial interests (Sganzerla's O Bandido da Luz Vermelha, Bressane'sMatou afamiliae foi ao cinema, among others). Stylistic and thematic pluralism under the aegis of Embrafilme has marked the period since 1973.9 Cinema Novo, as part of an ongoing process of cultural transformation, reflects the ideological contradictions of Brazilian society as a whole. The initial phase of Cinema Novo was informed by a number of historical factors and influenced to a large degree by the formulations of the Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros (Higher Institute of Brazilian Studies), which was created by Kubitschek in 1955 with the express purpose of formulating a national ideology of development. Although it would be simplistic to see Cinema Novo at times Cinema Novo merely as a reflection of the ideology of ISEB?indeed, it is films directly or indirectly revealed the contradictions of that ideology? none the less important to be aware of the kinds of political and ideological discussions that were taking place and examine how Cinema Novo relates to them.10 The ISEB was composed of intellectuals of various political persuasions, including Helio Jaguaribe, Candido Mendes, Alvaro Vieira Pinto, Nelson Werneck

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Sodre, and Roland Corbisier. Although members of the institute did not always coincide precisely in the concepts used, they did share a number of fundamental ideas. First of all, they saw autonomous, national, industrial development as an end to be achieved through a variety of absolute value, as an unequestionable means. And perhaps paradoxically, given the makeup of the Institute, the development they spoke of was based on a capitalist mode of production. It was only after a stage of advanced capitalism was achieved that the question of alternative modes of production could be contemplated. The members of ISEB formulated a nationalist thesis based on a radical which was caused by what they called awareness of Brazil's underdevelopment, to advanced the country's 'colonial situation', its relations of dependence industrial powers. They saw the continuation of such relations as an impediment to autonomous development. They therefore conceived the major contradiction of Brazilian society as being not capital versus labour, but rather as the 'Nation' (that which is authentic) versus the 'anti-Nation' (that which is alienated from the 'Nation's' true historical being). The contradiction was set forth in these terms, rather than, for example, foreign versus national, because they saw imperialism not as an external determinant but rather as an internal or 'internalized' force in Brazilian society. The 'Nation', seen as the modern, progressive sector of society, included the industrial bourgeoisie, the urban and rural proletariat, and the productive sector of the middle-class. The 'anti-Nation', or the traditional, retrograde, archaic sector of society, included large landowners, export-import groups, the nonproductive sector of the middle-class and certain portions of the proletariat, in other words, sectors whose interests lie not with national development but rather with the continued foreign domination of the nation's economy. This dichotomy reflects a dualist vision of society with, on the one hand, a feudalrural sector dominated by an oligarchy whose interests are tied, through an to those of industrialized countries, and, on the other, a export economy, modern, urban, industrial society led by a supposedly progressive national industrial bourgeoisie dedicated to autonomous national capitalist development. The 'Nation'/'anti-Nation' as formulated by ISEB cuts across class dichotomy lines and thus attempts to efface or ignore questions of class conflict, which, once again, are conveniently postponed until after full capitalist development is achieved. The intellectuals associated with ISEB felt that for autonomous national development to occur, it was necessary for an enlightened intelligentsia to create an authentic, national, critical consciousness ofthe country's underdevelopment and its causes and thereby overcome the country's alienation from its true historical being and lead to a process of social transformation and national liberation. Such liberation would come through what they called a 'bourgeois revolution', i.e., transformation led by enlightened intellectuals such as them? selves and progressive elements of the national bourgeoisie. Although I have merely summarized some of ISEB's positions, the contradictions of this developmentalist ideology are immense. But it is important to note that large sectors of the Left, including the Brazilian Communist Party, shared, these views, forming a 'populist pact', which Glauber Rocha so brilliantly dissected in Terra em Transe (Land in Anguish, 1967).

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In general terms, Cinema Novo saw itself as part of this process of 'deor consciousness-raising. alienation' through a strategy of conscientizacao, It sought, at least during its initial phase, to show the Brazilian people the true face of the country's underdevelopment in the hope that they would gain a critical consciousness and participate in the struggle for national liberation. As Rocha wrote in 'An Aesthetic of Hunger', Cinema Novo 7s not a single film but an evolving complex of films that will ultimately make the public aware of its own misery.' Similar to the ideologues of ISEB, Cinema Novo tended to see the major conflict of Brazilian society as 'colonizer' versus 'colonized', to use Rocha's words, rather than analyse it in terms of class. The movement was engaged in a struggle to create an authentic national culture in opposition to the interests of the colonizer. It also tended to adopt a dualist vision of society, opposing a traditional, feudal, backward Brazil tied to imperialist interests with a progressive, modern Brazil led by sectors ofthe national bourgeoisie. Cinema Novo's alliance with supposedly progressive sectors of the national bourgeoisie is revealed not only in its choice of themes, but also in its sources of financing. Many pre-1964 Cinema Novo films, including classics such as Nelson Pereira dos Santos's Vidas Secas (1967), Ruy Guerra's Os Fuzis (1964), and Glauber Rocha's Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964), were financed by the National Bank of Minas Gerais, which was owned by the family of politician Magalhaes Pinto, one of the civilian conspirators in the coup d'etat of 1964. In their attempt to de-alienate the Brazilian people, filmmakers initially attempted to search out the areas of Brazil where social contradictions were most apparent: poor fishing villages, urban slums, and the impoverished Northeast, where the three films just mentioned were set. In other words, early Cinema Novo films tended to focus on the traditional or backward areas of Brazil, denouncing that backwardness and the economic sectors (the 'antiNation', in ISEB's formulation) held responsible for it. Dos Santos's Vidas Secas outlines a conflict between a landowner and a peasant family during a period of drought; Guerra's Os Fuzis concerns soldiers who guard a landowner's food warehouse from starving peasants; and Rocha's Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, while focusing speciflcally on the twin alienations of religious mysticism and anarchistic cangaceiro violence, indirectly discusses the feudal structure that impedes a more just distribution of land in the Northeast. With the possible of Guerra's nouvelle vague-inspiied Os Cafajestes (The Hustlers, exception 1962), which denounces the reification of human beings in capitalist society, not a single film of the 1960-1964 period critically examines the contradictions of the bourgeoisie or the supposedly progressive sector that was to lead the country along the road to development.11 Such a critique would appear only after 1964 in such films as Paulo Cesar Saraceni's 0 Desafio (The Challenge, 1965) and Rocha's Terra em Transe, when the failure of the 'populist pact' was painfully apparent. Paradoxically, however, a curious inversion occurs in these early Cinema Novo films.12 If, on the one hand, Cinema Novo aligned itself with the modern and progressive forces of urban, industrial society, on the other it tended to value as authentically Brazilian, authentically national, the cultural forms of the traditional sector. Rocha's first two films, Barravento (The Turning Wind,

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1962) and Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol exemplify this tendency. The former, on one level, denounces Afro-Brazilian religion as a form of alienation, and yet on another it affirms that religion's values as a means of preserving cultural identity and as a potential site of collective resistance.13 Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, on the other hand, uses traditional, oral forms of cultural expres? a structuring device.14 Authentic sion?the cordel ballad, to be specific?as Brazilian culture, these films seem to be saying, comes not from the urban, industrial Brazil, but rather from the more traditional areas ofthe country. The valorization of traditional cultural forms brings with it another paradox, for the cinema itself is an urban, industrial form of cultural and artistic expres? sion. The early 1960s witnessed an intense debate, which to a certain extent is being repeated today, about the nature of the 'national' and the 'popular' in reference to cultural production.15 While on the one hand Cinema Novo tended to preserve and value the cultural expression of the lower classes, on the other it tended to empty it of its content and use its form to transmit ostensibly revolutionary messages. In other words, it expropriated empirically given modes of popular culture and substituted them with modes of constructed through dis? course. Film-makers attempted to impose their own values, their own conception of what popular culture should be, on the forms of popular culture as they really existed. Such paternalism is, in the final analysis, authoritarian. It is Cinema Novo's version of the Isebian idea that enlightened intellectuals should lead the people to social transformation. Closely linked to the central dichotomy set forth by Cinema Novo?colonizer the movement's attitude toward the development of the versus colonized?is film industry and toward questions of film aesthetics. To understand Cinema we must see the movement within Novo's concept of industrial development, the historical evolution of Brazilian cinema generally. The cinema has a long history in Brazil, but until recently it had never attained sufficient levels of for one basic reason. Since around World War I, the industrial development Brazilian market has been dominated by foreign, primarily North American, film distributors. Such domination has had two basic results: first, since it has been unable to depend even on the small domestic market for a return on Brazilian cinema has lacked the capital to maintain continuous investments, production on an industrial scale, causing development to be cyclical and unstable. Second, foreign films brought with them a level of technical perfection unattainable by the undercapitalized Brazilian film industry. The public soon became accustomed to the production values of foreign films, which early on became the standard by which all films would be judged. For this reason, Brazilian cinema has often been considered to be of poor quality and unworthy of support, which has further weakened its position in the market and its drive to attain at least minimal levels of stability. Because of the international success of American cinema, the dream of Brazilian producers historically has been to emulate that cinema and create a national film industry based on large studios. Two attempts at such industrializa? tion are particularly relevant to the present discussion. In 1943, several producers joined together to form the Atlantida Studios, which became the most successful industrialization in the history of Brazilian cinema. attempt at concentrated Atlantida was particularly successful after 1947, when it was acquired by Luis

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Serveriano Ribeiro, the owner of the country's largest exhibition circuit as well as the largest national distributor. His acquisition of Atlantida provided it with a vertically integrated system of production, distribution, and exhibition. Atlan? tida combined its advantageous position in the market with a mode of produc? tion geared toward and based on the commercial potential of that market to make a series of relatively inexpensive but immensely popular film genres such as the chanchada, or light musical comedy, frequently set during Carnival. Its heyday was the period from 1945 tc 1960. After that the growing influence of television caused the chanchada to lose appeal, and Atlantida ceased produc? ing rather than diversify its production. Cinema Novo, with a more politicized vision of Brazilian society, was in part a reaction to the frivolous merrymaking of the chanchada. In sharp contrast to Atlantida were the Vera Cruz Studios, founded in Sao Paulo in 1949 and modelled on Hollywood's MGM studios. The films of Vera Cruz improved the technical quality of Brazilian films, increased capital invest? ments in cinema, and incorporated into national cinema the 'international cinematic language', with its panoply of conventional devices. Vera Cruz set up an expensive and luxurious system without the economic infrastructure on which to base such a system. It tried to conquer the world market before consolidating the Brazilian market. In contrast to Atlantida, Vera Cruz drove production costs far above the lucrative potential of the Brazilian market. Unable to recoup its investments in the domestic market and unable to reach the international market, Vera Cruz went bankrupt in 1954 and took under with it the perhaps unrealistic dream of developing a film industry based on the large-scale studio system.16 The emergence of a new mentality among Brazilian producers coincided with the final years of Vera Cruz. They began to reject the artificiality and expense of the studio system in favour of an independent, artisan mode of production. This new mentality would later blossom into Cinema Novo. At the genesis of Cinema Novo, therefore, was a new attitude toward the structure of the film industry. Influenced by Italian neo-realism and based on the failure of Vera Cruz and the undermining of the chanchada by television, Cinema Novo correctly determined that the foreign-controlled Brazilian market could not provide an adequate return on expensive studio production and opted instead for an independent and inexpensive mode of production using small crews, location shooting and non-professional actors. This was the first time in the history of Brazilian cinema that such a mode of production was adopted by ideological and aesthetic choice rather than by circumstance.17 Glauber Rocha perhaps best expresses Cinema Novo's attitude toward models of film production in his 1963 book Revisdo Critica do Cinema Brasileiro. He aligns himself with the nouvelle vague and its struggle to free itself from the rigidity of industrial cinema and its norms, while at the same time politicizing the nouvelle vague's concept of auteur. The auteur, according to Rocha, revolts against the mercantilist mentality of industrial cinema, which puts profitability and easy communication above art. While quoting Truffaut, Bazin and Godard, Rocha goes a step further than the initial formulation of the nouvelle vague and proposes an opposition between 'commercial cinema' (illusionistic technique and untruth) and 'auteur cinema' (freedom of expression and truth). In Rocha's

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words, 'If commercial cinema is the tradition, auteur cinema is the revolution. The politics of a modern auteur are revolutionary politics: and today it is not even necessary to qualify an auteur as revolutionary, because auteur is a totalizing noun . . . The auteur is responsible for the truth: his esthetics are his ethics, his mise-en-scene his politics.'18 Rocha not only defends individual expression, but claims that it is revolutionary. In Rocha's formulation of the problem, we see resonances of the colonizer/ colonized dichotomy of 'An Aesthetic of Hunger'. Cinema Novo rejected the studio system, a model borrowed from the metropolis, as being by definition of reality. Because of an extreme scarcity of dedicated to the falsification finance capital for film production, Cinema Novo could not hope to equal the technical level of most foreign films. So rather than imitate dominant cinema, which would make their work merely symptomatic of underdevelopment, they chose to resist by turning 'scarcity into a signifier'.19 Rocha's manifesto is the theoretical expression of this conscious resistance. The model of neo-realism served Cinema Novo well as a production and aesthetic strategy, especially during the first phase of the movement, as filmmakers attempted to portray what they saw as the true face of Brazilian under? development. The critical realism of films marked by the 'aesthetic of hunger'? an important tactical and sad, ugly, screaming films, in Rocha's words?served function by expressing the radical 'otherness' of Brazilian cinema in political relation to world cinema.20 In short, as part of their project of decolonizing Brazilian cinema and attempting to create a critical consciousness in the Brazilian fostered by Hollywood, people, in opposition to the alienated consciousness Cinema Novo adopted a new attitude toward the industrial development of Brazilian cinema and a new attitude toward the aesthetics of film, privileging ideas over technical perfection. The movement's slogan?uma camera na mao e uma ideia na cabeca?summarizes these attitudes. Despite the movement's real contributions along these lines, a paradox also appears in their strategies. Although it opposed traditional modes of cinematic production and the aesthetic forms accompanying them, its participants made no real attempt to create alternative or parallel exhibition circuits. Rather, they released their films in established commercial circuits which had been built primarily for the exhibition of foreign films. The Brazilian public, long conditioned by the illusionism of Hollywood, was generaUy unreceptive to the films of Cinema Novo, which became in many ways a group of films made by and for an enlightened, intellectual elite, and not for broad sectors of the filmgoing public, much less for Brazil's impoverished masses. Even Cinema Novo's low-cost production methods soon began to show their limitations. Like Vera Cruz before it, Cinema Novo made the mistake of assuming that simply making a film was sufficient for it to be successfully placed on the market. Directors and producers came to depend on distributors and even exhibitors for postproduction financing, which put them in the disadvantageous of having to pay a larger percentage than usual for the distribution and position exhibition of their films. The problem of a return on investments became critical. Exhibitors argued that Cinema Novo films were too intellectual for success in the market, and the production of more popular films thus became imperative if Cinema Novo was to continue to exist. As Gustavo Dahl once said,

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the making of popular films became the sine qua non of political action in the cinema. The struggle for the market became a priority. Cinema Novo took a number of steps to ameliorate the problem of reaching a broad audience. First, together with Luis Carlos Barreto, producers and direc? tors formed the distribution cooperative Difilm as a strategy for placing their films more easily in the multinational-controlled market. This measure was important, since it is on the level of distribution that American cinema dominates the Brazilian market. In 1973 Embrafilme, the government film enterprise created in 1969, took up and expanded the idea of a central distributor for Brazilian films. Second, they began to make films with a more popular appeal. On the one hand they turned toward literary classics: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade's 0 Padre e a Moca (The Priest and the Girl, 1965) is based on a poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade; Walter Lima Jr.'s Menino de Engenho (Plantation Boy, 1965) on a novel by Jose Lins do Rego; Roberto Santos's A Hora e Vez de Augusto Matraga (Matraga, 1966) on a short story by Joao Guimaraes Rosa; and Paulo Cesar Saraceni's Capitu (1968) is based on Machado de Assis's masterpiece, Dom Casmurro. On the other hand, comedy became an acceptable mode of discourse, with such films as Nelson Pereira dos Santos's El Justiceiro (The Enforcer, 1967), Domingos de Oliveira's Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (All the Women in the World, 1967), and Roberto Farias's Toda Donzela Tem un Pai que e uma Fera (Every Maiden Has a Father Who Is a Beast, 1967). Even so, the major problem of Cinema Novo continued to be production financing, and very early on they looked toward the state for financial assistance. In late 1963, Guanabara Governor Carlos Lacerda, a strong supporter of the 1964 coup, signed into law a decree creating CAIC, the Comissao de Auxilio a Industria Cinematogrdfica (Commission for Aid to the Film Industry). CAIC would administer two basic programmes of financial assistance to the industry: (1) a system of cash awards or subsidies for producers according to the gross income of films exhibited in the state, and (2) a programme of film pro? duction financing.21 Lacerda's decree was not the first measure, on the state level, to directly aid the industry, but it was the first attempt to exert ideo? logical control over the industry. The decree founding CAIC stated that the benefits of the law would be denied any script or film advocating, among other things, the use of violence to subvert the political and social order, racial or class prejudice, propaganda against the democratic system based on party pluralism or against private property, and so on. In fact, the restrictions of the decree were more flexible than they may at first appear, and CAIC was one of the major sources of funding for Cinema Novo filmmakers. Almost coinciding with the 1964 coup, therefore, was the beginning of a tacit alliance between the state and Cinema Novo, an alliance that would continue with the federal government's creation of the Instituto Nacional do Cinema (National Film Institute) in 1966 and Embrafilme in 1969 and that would become formalized in 1973 when Roberto Farias, Cinema Novo's chosen candidate, became head of Embrafilme. Among Cinema Novo films partially financed by CAIC were Walter Lima Jr.'s Menino de Engenho, Roberto Santos's Matraga, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade's O Padre e a Moca, and Arnaldo Jabor's documentary about the middle class, Opiniao Publica

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(Public Opinion, 1967). In subsequent years, films such as Andrade's Macunaima (1969), Carlos Diegues's OsHerdeiros (The Heirs, 1968), and dos Santos's Como era gostoso o meu frances (How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, 1971) would also be financed by state-sponsored programmes. If state support was important for the development of Cinema Novo, it was also responsible for its first major rift, a rift which in many ways continues until today. Divisions arose within Cinema Novo concerning the position filmmakers should take in relation to CAIC's programme of financing, especially given the ideological restrictions written into the law. Ruy Guerra saw such Most of the others disagreed, and Guerra financing as a form of cooptation. soon found himself distanced from the movement as a whole. The 1964 debate is echoed in the current conjuncture of Brazilian cinema. Whereas other Cinema Novo participants have rushed to support Embrafilme and its policy of co-productions, Guerra has warned of the dangers of too close a relationship with the state. He opposes those who he feels have adopted a 'public at all cost' philosophy and have abandoned a critical vision of society for commercial success. Hehas been critical as well of Nelson Pereira dos Santos's recent campaign for a 'popular cinema', saying instead that Brazilian cinema will be popular only when there is a radical transformation of the economic structures of Brazilian society. In conclusion, there has not been a radical change in the propositions of Cinema Novo and its associates over the last twenty years. Film-makers are now more concerned with production values and with success in the marketplace, but this concern derives largely from an early decision to use established com? mercial circuits for the exhibition of their films and to make the marketplace the site of struggle against the colonizer. Association with the state has increased dramatically, especially during the last ten years, but it too has roots in the early 1960s and in the seemingly eternal problem of the undercapitalization of the industry. It would be simplistic to say that the political concerns of Cinema Novo have disappeared all together. Nelson Pereira dos Santos is now of the Estado filming Graciliano Ramos's Prison Memoirs, a denunciation Novo's authoritarianism and repression. Roberto Farias, who has always been more commercially-oriented than some of his counterparts, recently made Pra Frente Brasil (Onward Brasil, 1982), about torture and repression in the early 1970s. Carlos Diegues is completing what is in many ways a sequel tohis 1963 film Ganga Zumba, about the Republic of Palmares which was set up by runaway slaves in 17th century Brazil. And Leon Hirszman's award-winning Eles nao usam Black-Tie (They Don't Wear Black Tie, 1981), which was totally financed by Embrafilme, deals with labour struggles in contemporary Sao Paulo. These films and others express political concerns and are at the same time much more communicative than most early Cinema Novo films. To quote Hirszman once again: The true path to both the national and the popular passes the valorization of popular emotion. One should not manipulate in the manner of mass culture, in the manner of TV. But without you cannot communicate your ideas. There has to be a dialectic and emotion.22 through emotion emotion, of reason

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That, perhaps, is the greatest lesson Cinema Novo learned over the last twenty years. NOTES 1. Portions of this paper appear in my forthcoming Cinema Novo x 5: Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Film, University of Texas Press, Austin. 2. 'Uma Estetica da Fome\ Revista Civilizagdo Brasileira, no. 3 (July 1965); English version in Randal Johnson and Robert Stam (eds.) (1982), Brazilian Cinema, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Rutherford, N.J., pp. 68-71; reprinted in Michael Chanan (ed.) (1983), Twenty-flve Years of the New Latin American Cinema, British Film Institute/Channel Four Television, London, pp. 13-14. 3. Ismail Xavier (1983), Sertdo Mar: Glauber Rocha e a estetica da fome, Brasiliense/ Embrafilme, Sao Paulo, pp. 153-67. 4. English translation in Brazilian Cinema, pp. 90-2. 5. ChristianScienceMonitor, 22 March 1984. 6. Randal Johnson and Robert Stam, 'Recovering Popular Emotion: An Interview with Leon Hirszman,) Cineaste, XIII, no. 2 (1984), pp. 20-3, 58. 7. Maria Rita Galvao, 'O desenvolvimento das ideias sobre cinema independente', Cinema BR (Sao Paulo), no. 1 (September 1977), pp. 15-19. The second part of this article is in Cinema BR, no. 2 (December 1977), pp. 10-17. Complete article reprinted in 30 Anos de Cinema Paulista, Cadernos da Cinemateca 4 (Sao Paulo: Fundagao Cinemateca Brasileira, 1980), pp. 13-23. 8. For a discussion of this period, see Thomas E. Skidmore (1967), Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 163-86; and Maria Victoria de Mesquita Benevides (1976), O Governo Kubitschek, Paz e Terra, Rio de Janeiro. 9. Randal Johnson and Robert Stam, 'The Shape of Brazilian Film History', in Brazilian Cinema, pp. 15-51. 10. The following summary of some of the ideas of the Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros was extracted from Caio Navarro de Toledo (1978), ISEB: Fdbrica de Ideologias, Atica, Sao Paulo. 11. Jean-Claude Bernardet (1979), Cinema BrasUeiro:Propostas para uma Historia, Paz e Terra, Rio de Janeiro, p. 48. 12. Xavier, op. cit. 13. Ibid., pp. 17-41. 14. Ismail Xavier, 'Black God, White Devil: The Representation of History', in Brazilian Cinema, pp. 134-48; also Sertdo Mar, pp. 69-119,153-67. 15. Xavier, Sertdo Mar, pp. 153-67. 16. For a discussion of Vera Cruz, see Maria Rita Galvao (1981), Burguesia e Cinema: o Caso Vera Cruz, Civiliza9ao Brasileira/Embrafilme, Rio de Janeiro; and idem., 'Vera Cruz: A BrazilianHollywood', in Brazilian Cinema, pp. 270-80. 17. Johnson and Stam, 'The Shape of Brazilian Film History*. 18. Revisdo Critica do Cinema BrasUeiro (1963), Civilizagao Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro, pp.13-14. 19. Ismail Xavier (1982), 'Allegories of Underdevelopment: From the "Aesthetics of Hunger" to the "Aesthetics of Garbage"', Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University, p. 18. 20. Ibid., pp. 18-21. 21. Estado de Sao Paulo, 12 January 1963. 22. Johnson and Stam, 'Recovering Popular Emotion: An Interview with Leon Hirszman'.