From the Aesthetics of Hunger to the Cosmetics of Hunger in Brazilian Cinema: Meirelles’ City of God

From the Aesthetics of Hunger to the Cosmetics of Hunger in Brazilian Cinema: Meirelles’ City... sophiA A. mCCLEnnEn In 1965, Glauber Rocha presented his political film manifesto "Eztétyka da fome" ("Aesthetics of Hunger") in Italy. Linked to the Brazilian film movement known as cinema nôvo, Rocha was part of a generation of filmmakers across Latin America that understood cinema as a central weapon in revolutionary struggle. Key to Rocha's film theory was the idea of hunger as a complex, contradictory cinematic mode of cultural practice. According to Rocha, films with an aesthetic of hunger "narrated, described, poeticized, discussed, analyzed, and stimulated the themes of hunger: characters eating dirt and roots, characters stealing to eat, characters killing to eat, characters fleeing to eat" (par. 10). But for Rocha, hunger is more than the prelude to starvation, it is a state of craving, of need, of desire. These are the bases for his aesthetics of hunger: "Economic and political conditioning has led us to philosophical weakness and impotence.... It is for this reason that the hunger of Latin America is not simply an alarming symptom: it is the essence of our society" (par. 3). Hunger here is more than a lack; it is actually a form of violent expression and a source of critical power. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

From the Aesthetics of Hunger to the Cosmetics of Hunger in Brazilian Cinema: Meirelles’ City of God

symploke, Volume 19 (1) – Jan 7, 2011

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University of Nebraska Press
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Copyright © symploke.
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1534-0627
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Abstract

sophiA A. mCCLEnnEn In 1965, Glauber Rocha presented his political film manifesto "Eztétyka da fome" ("Aesthetics of Hunger") in Italy. Linked to the Brazilian film movement known as cinema nôvo, Rocha was part of a generation of filmmakers across Latin America that understood cinema as a central weapon in revolutionary struggle. Key to Rocha's film theory was the idea of hunger as a complex, contradictory cinematic mode of cultural practice. According to Rocha, films with an aesthetic of hunger "narrated, described, poeticized, discussed, analyzed, and stimulated the themes of hunger: characters eating dirt and roots, characters stealing to eat, characters killing to eat, characters fleeing to eat" (par. 10). But for Rocha, hunger is more than the prelude to starvation, it is a state of craving, of need, of desire. These are the bases for his aesthetics of hunger: "Economic and political conditioning has led us to philosophical weakness and impotence.... It is for this reason that the hunger of Latin America is not simply an alarming symptom: it is the essence of our society" (par. 3). Hunger here is more than a lack; it is actually a form of violent expression and a source of critical power.

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symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 7, 2011

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