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This book provides a chronological study of popular cinema in Brazil since the introduction of sound at the beginning of the 1930s. It begins the study with a brief discussion of how people understand the term 'popular cinema', particularly within a Latin American context. The focus is on films that have intentionally engaged with 'low-brow' cultural products, whose origins lie in pre-industrial traditions, and which have been enjoyed by wide sectors of the population, chiefly at the lower end of the social hierarchy. Perhaps the most important contribution of the chanchada of the 1950s was to render visible a social class within Brazil's socio-cultural landscape, and to champion the underdog, who succeeds in triumphing, through malandragem, over more powerful opponents. Brazilian popular cinema, at least until the 1980s, can be seen as a direct descendant of other shared cultural experiences. Popular film in Brazil is littered with examples of carnivalesque inversions of societal norms and established hierarchies. The 1930s witnessed the rise of the radio, the record industry and the talking cinema. The first half of the 1940s witnessed a continuation of Getúlio Vargas's quest for economic expansion based on the creation of a dignified workforce, rewarded for its efforts by improvements in the welfare system. The book also looks at three very popular cinematic sub-genres which provided a continuation of the chanchada tradition in Brazilian filmmaking: the films of Amacio Mazzaropi; those of the comedic quartet known as the Trapalhoes; and the so-called pornochanchada series of films.

Stephanie Dennison and Lisa Shaw

Brazilian popular cinema, at least until the 1980s, can be seen as a direct descendant of other shared cultural experiences. Just as a line can be traced from British music hall, via saucy picture postcards, radio comedy and holidays at the seaside to the Carry On films with their contemporary references, so too is it possible to read the special intimacy which popular films in Brazil achieved with their

in Popular cinema in Brazil, 1930–2001
Abstract only
Stephanie Dennison and Lisa Shaw

actually modern and what is not; in the forced co-existence of mismatched relationships, cultures juxtaposed and thereby disfigured.’ 22 Cinematic endeavour within Latin America has always been bound up with notions of national self-definition. As Renato Ortiz and Carlos Monsiváis contend, the media as a whole have played a leading role in consolidating national identities within the continent. 23 In Brazil, popular cinema has

in Popular cinema in Brazil, 1930–2001