The cultural origins of popular cinema in Brazil
in Popular cinema in Brazil, 1930–2001
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Brazilian popular cinema, at least until the 1980s, can be seen as a direct descendant of other shared cultural experiences. This chapter maps the key sites of mediation between popular cinema and wider cultural traditions in Brazil. Popular cinema in Brazil has often engaged with elements of the nation's most famous and pervasive festival, carnival. During the silent era, carnival was the focus of much interest among Brazilian filmmakers, and it has been estimated that between 1906 and the arrival of the talkies in the early 1930s around fifty shorts were produced using footage from the annual celebrations in Rio. Popular film in Brazil is littered with examples of carnivalesque inversions of societal norms and established hierarchies. The various influences on popular film that have been examined here serve to establish the shared cultural repertoire of film audiences in Brazil.


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