Seeing, Filming, and Imagining Space

In: Film and Music

Submitted By joegriff18
Words 377
Pages 2
Maria Helena Braga e Vaz da Costa’s, “Seeing, Filming, and Imagining Space: Images of (Post)Modern Cityscapes in Contemporary Brazilian Cinema” is a scholarly article discussing the use of urban and architectural cityscape within Brazilian cinema. In films, the city can be used for multiple purposes and makes up the ‘cinematic city plot’, comprised of the city’s buildings, streets, cars, and the actions of the people within the city using these structures for travel, self-reflection, and escape (7). In the essay, the authors dissect how the city plays a role in Brazilian film, particularly exploring films with that are set in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. They analyze how films make use of urban space and what these spaces represent and function as in each particular film, especially those that mimic the classical Hollywood film aesthetic.
Throughout the essay, Braga and Costa go into great detail on the connection between Hollywood cinema and the “’urban-oriented’ Brazilian films that emerged later in the 1980s” (9). During this period, a lot of films emerged with a primary focus on the urban problem of the country, particularly violence. Through the incorporation of real lived space in the films, an aesthetic of realism was created. The authors note, “Rather than being an accidental setting, the city in any given film functions as a particularly privileged site for representing an important alternative to the dominant discourses of and about the culture they represent” (8). The city is used as more of a character in itself, incorporating buildings, landmarks, and views that have meaning to the country. Even further, they go on to explain that “‘objects’, buildings for instance, or even the entire city, …have meanings of their own that have nothing to do with the script, and which configure a strong case to study the cinematic city as something that…...

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