Cinema of Cannibalism – The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade
Joaquim Pedro de Andrade was a key figure of the Brazilian Cinema Novo movement. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1932, Andrade developed his passion for cinema at the film club of the university where he studied physics. Popular Brazilian cinema at the time, which mainly consisted of light come-dies, was in a state of decline in the 1950s. The Cinema Novo that began filling this gap had the ambition of not only capturing Brazilian reality in a fresh and realistic manner, but also of entering into a dialog with society and changing it through cinema. The aim was an in all respects independent cinema that detached itself from all foreign models, especially those of Hollywood, and invented its own aesthetic. The Cinema Novo was part of the cultural and economic spirit of a new beginning that gripped Brazil starting in the mid-1950s, the most visible expression of this being the new capital, Brasilia, which was built from scratch in the middle of the jungle. The military coup in 1964, which installed a regime that lasted more than twenty years, did not make itself especially noticeable in regard to culture at first. Only from 1968 on did repression and censorship in the field of culture increase. Many directors went into exile or, if they stayed in the country, were only able to address reality in their films with the help of metaphoric ciphering and shifts. During this time, "tropicalism" emerged, a cinema full of metaphors that made use of the most various influences and, regarding its richness of images, became as unambiguous as possible and as invulnerable as necessary. An important point of reference for the Cinema Novo was the Brazilian Modernismo movement of the 1920s. In the pivotal text of the movement, the Cannibalist Manifesto written by Oswald de Andrade, the call was made to incorporate the most various European and also indige-nous influences so as to achieve an own, impure, wild, and free form of expression.