Brazilian Cinema is either experimental or nothing at all

with excerpts of texts graciously cannibalized from The Experimental in National Cinema (1993), by Julio Bressane and Manifesto Antropofágico (1928), by Oswald de Andrade.
Brazilian cinema is either experimental or nothing at all, said the poet Julio Bressane, cradled by the muddy waters of Mario Peixoto's Limite (1930). Brazilian cinema either begins at sea or does not begin at all, said the lover who writes in the lead of Bernardo Zanotta's Heart of Hunger (2018). Especially in the lead of a film by a young Brazilian filmmaker who weaves his references crossing the Atlantic, engulfing and regurgitating his images, sounds and words in a kaleidoscope that refracts the hymn of France, a letter by Rilke, the light of Caravaggio and the atmosphere of Werner Schroeter.

In the face of the Tupi or not Tupi dilemma, and the obvious and defensive response of today's globalized reality: Tupi, Zanotta boldly opts for the cannibal doubt. I'm only interested in what is not mine, said Oswald de Andrade two years before Peixoto made cinema pure, himself, in Mangaratiba! Pure or contaminated, the camera that ignites Heart of Hunger refers to the episode that Bressane has described as inaugurating film history in Brazil: the images of the Guanabara Bay, shot by the Secretto brothers (!), from the deck of the ship that brought them from Europe.

In the invented memory of the prophet (as the original film has been destroyed) the first cinematographic images conceived on Brazilian soil were oscillating, tidal, bossa-novistas. Thus, Zanotta presents us his cinema; old and new, like the Atlantic that brought us the film apparatus.

From the German spirit, Zanotta's hungry heart chooses the bodies of Schroeter. Bodies in four dimensions, palpable under the warm light of the theater. The spirit refuses to conceive the spirit without a body. It chooses the bodies of the tragic clowns of the German filmmaker, who leave the false mask to wear the true theatrical mask, the unveiling mask. Sensitive to the performance of Hinke-Ann Eleveld, who generously presents and presentifies Rilke's astonishment in Requiem for a Friend. The filmmaker rubs his youth to the marks of the faces kissed by the lens.

Routes. Scripts. Routes. Scripts. Routes. Scripts. Routes. Not only foreigners live our cinema. Cannibal is the one who eats the meat itself, and Latin American meat is also devoured by the evocation of what resembles the macabre rituals of our military dictatorships commissioned by the leaden years.

This time the water drowns the body rather than rocks it. Still tasting the sister flesh, Zanotta vomits a magical realism, anthropomorphic, man is man's hen. From now on eroticism flows from the paintings of Heart of Hunger. Kant's egg, Bataille's egg, the solitary pleasure of aesthetic experience. The image that smudges the hands and smells like grass.

The sweet, masculine body is stuck in the chest by hungry youths and perverted childish curiosity (and is not curiosity about the other’s body a child perversity par excellence?).

What is given is not a sublimation of the sexual instinct. It is the thermometric scale of the anthropophagic instinct. From carnal, he becomes elective and creates friendship. Affective, love. Speculative, science. The hunger of the heart peers at the thermometric scale of the bodies marked, exposed and at the same time hidden, like baroque paintings guilty, ashamed, or even alienated from our voyeur look.

Thus the Brazilian cinema is born: experimental. It was because we never had grammars (the pure cinema, himself, in Mangaratiba!), Nor collections of old vegetables. And we never knew what was urban, suburban, borderline and continental. This is why we can Caravaggé in cold, strobe light. The marginal Baroque painter, cannibal of Christianity, who shaped the virgin of the whore and the saint of the beggar, is revered by the young filmmaker in a sequence of static images, revealing the celebration of the bodies. Also here is the carnival. We were not colonized.

From the water you have come, to the water you shall return. The boat goes and the evening falls, day of light, party of sun. It will be alright, if we make it ‘round the horn! it will be alright, if we make it ‘round the horn!