Contemporary Brazilian Cinema
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0171
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0171
At first glance, contemporary Brazilian cinema seems to be the byproduct of a mid-1990s renaissance in national film production. Accordingly, to better understand contemporary Brazilian cinema, it is advisable to recall the Brazilian film industry’s situation in the 1980s. An unsteady period followed by a major decline in national film production in the late-1980s and early-1990s, these were years illustrated by the dismantling of Embrafilme (Empresa Brasileira de Filmes), culminating in the complete eradication of the state-run film production and distribution company in March 1990. Around 1993–1994, however, a renaissance of Brazilian cinema occurred, in terms of film production and ticket sales, which has been called “Cinema da Retomada.” A cinematic phenomenon, fundamentally fueled by the industry’s access to new sources of state funding, the Retomada was predominately brought about by fiscal exemptions allowed by the Audiovisual Law (Lei do Audiovisual), as well as by grants such as the “Prêmio Resgate do Cinema Brasileiro,” coming from the Ministry of Culture. Later, the Rouanet Law (Lei Rouanet) strengthened the funding not only for film, but for cultural projects and events as a whole. Likewise, municipal and state laws promoting fiscal exemptions also had a fundamental role in the recovery of film production in the country. All these laws allowed the private initiative to redirect funds from taxes to film production. This article will provide a basic bibliography of the aforementioned topics, addressing the economic, sociological, and aesthetic issues related to contemporary Brazilian cinema.
A comprehensive resource here is Ramos and Miranda 2004, a reliable reference book in which one can find introductory information on various topics regarding contemporary Brazilian cinema. As seen in Ramos and Miranda 2004, the history of 1990s Brazilian cinema starts with two political acts: (1) the stamping out of the governmental agencies Embrafilme, Concine, and Fundação do Cinema Brasileiro, by President Fernando Collor de Mello in 1990; and (2) the validation of the Audiovisual Law (Lei do Audiovisual, no. 8.695/93) on July 20, 1993, a law that promotes the funding of Brazilian feature films by means of fiscal exemption. While in the beginning of the 1990s, only three Brazilian feature films were being screened each year, between 1995 and 1997, thirty-one films were produced and exhibited. The feature film that most remarkably represents this Brazilian cinema renaissance is Carla Camurati’s Carlota Joaquina—Princeza do Brasil (1994). Some critics and scholars advocate that, as a cycle, Cinema da Retomada came to an end with Walter Salles’s Central Station (Central do Brasil, released in 1998). Others deem Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s City of God (Cidade de Deus, released in 2002) as the true closing milestone of this renaissance. And a third perspective has considered Cinema da Retomada as a hitherto unending film cycle, given the persistence of the fiscal exemption mechanisms that prompted market recovery back in 1993/1994. Useful for further discussions on contemporary film production, a straightforward history of Brazilian cinema can be found in Stam and Johnson 1979. This work charts the shape of Brazilian cinema up until the late 1970s, when the state production and distribution company Embrafilme was already in full operation. A variety of works by experienced authors concerned with the economic, sociological, and aesthetic aspects affecting the new rise of the Brazilian film industry from the mid-1990s onwards can be found in Nagib 2003. Bernardet 2009 provides a number of essays and film critiques that help to “connect the dots” in terms of the context leading up to the early-1990s renaissance in Brazilian film production, the renaissance itself and the nascent horizons of contemporary Brazilian cinema. Butcher 2005 offers a short introduction to Brazilian cinema’s recent history while addressing aesthetic issues related to recent films. Finally, Bayman and Pinazza 2013 presents an updated selection of essays covering the history and aesthetics of Brazilian cinema, its main movements and achievements.
Bayman, Louis, and Natália Pinazza, eds. Directory of World Cinema: Brazil. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2013.
This collection of essays on the history and aesthetics of Brazilian cinema provides introductory information on some outstanding movements, film genres, and issues (such as gender and ethnicity) that have appeared throughout the history of Brazilian cinema.
Bernardet, Jean-Claude. Cinema Brasileiro: Propostas para uma História. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 2009.
With this collection of essays, first published in 1979, Bernardet closely examines the history of Brazilian cinema. This revised and enhanced edition includes thoughts on Brazilian film production, which preempted the early-1990s crisis in film production and followed its revival in 1994/1995.
Butcher, Pedro. Cinema Brasileiro Hoje. São Paulo, Brazil: Publifolha, 2005.
With a focus on contemporary Brazilian film production, Butcher compiles his impressions as a film critic in this work. This is a non-academic and very short introduction to the recent Brazilian film scene that benefits from the author’s work in the press.
Nagib, Lúcia, ed. The New Brazilian Cinema. London: I. B. Tauris, 2003.
A collection of high quality essays on contemporary Brazilian cinema, this work is written by renowned film scholars such as Ismail Xavier, João Luiz Vieira, and Fernão Ramos. The book provides new perspectives and vocabularies for the academic critique of the New Brazilian Cinema, such as the idea of the “resentful character” (Xavier) or “narcissism turned inside out” (Ramos).
Ramos, Fernão, and Luiz Felipe Miranda, eds. Enciclopédia do Cinema Brasileiro. 2d ed. São Paulo, Brazil: Editora Senac, 2004,
This work represents a reliable and comprehensive reference book that provides useful introductory information on a broad variety of topics related to Brazilian cinema, including information on recent film production, such as the entry Contemporary Brazilian Cinema (The 1990s) [Cinema Brasileiro Contemporâneo (Anos 90)].
Stam, Robert, and Johnson, Randal. “Beyond Cinema Novo.” Jump Cut 21 (November 1979).
Stam and Johnson provide a useful overview of Brazilian cinema from the silent era up until the late 1970s. Emerging from the aftermath of Cinema Novo in 1964 (an influential modern cinema movement in Brazil), the 1970s was a period when the state production and distribution company Embrafilme was already in full operation.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
- Agricultural Technologies
- Andean Contributions to Rethinking the State and the Natio...
- Antislavery Narratives
- Arab Diaspora in Latin America, The
- Argentina in the Era of Mass Immigration
- Argentina, Slavery in
- Argentine Literature
- Army of Chile in the 19th Century
- Asian Art and Its Impact in the Americas, 1565–1840
- Asian-Peruvian Literature
- Baroque and Neo-baroque Literary Tradition
- Bello, Andrés
- Black Experience in Colonial Latin America, The
- Black Experience in Modern Latin America, The
- Borderlands in Latin America, Conquest of
- Bourbon Reforms, The
- Brazilian Northeast, History of the
- Buenos Aires
- Caribbean Philosophical Association, The
- Caribbean, The Archaeology of the
- Cartagena de Indias
- Caste War of Yucatán, The
- Caudillos, 19th Century
- Cádiz Constitution and Liberalism, The
- Chaco War
- Children, History of
- Chile's Struggle for Independence
- Chronicle, The
- Church in Colonial Latin America, The
- Chávez, Hugo, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela
- Cinema, Contemporary Brazilian
- Cinema, Latin American
- Colonial Central America
- Colonial Portuguese Amazon Region, from the 17th to 18th C...
- Contemporary Maya, The
- Costa Rica
- Cárdenas and Cardenismo
- Cuban Revolution, The
- Development of Architecture in New Spain, 1500-1810, The
- Development of Painting in Peru, 1520–1820, The
- Drug Trades in Latin America
- Early Colonial Forms of Native Expression in Mexico and Pe...
- Ecuador, La Generación del 30 in
- El Salvador
- Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish Ame...
- Environmental History
- Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911, The
- Family History
- Film, Science Fiction
- Football (Soccer) in Latin America
- Gender in Colonial Brazil
- Gender in Postcolonial Latin America
- Guatemala and Yucatan, Conquest of
- Guatemala City
- Haitian Revolution, The
- Health and Disease in Modern Latin America, History of
- History, Cultural
- History, Food
- Honor in Latin America to 1900
- Horror in Literature and Film in Latin America
- Human Rights in Latin America
- Immigration in Latin America
- Indigenous Elites in the Colonial Andes
- Indigenous Population and Justice System in Central Mexico...
- Indigenous Voices in Literature
- Japanese Presence in Latin America
- Jewish Presence in Latin America, The
- Las Casas, Bartolomé de
- Latin American Independence
- Latin American Urbanism, 1850-1950
- Law and Society in Latin America since 1800
- Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
- Legal History of the State and Church in 18th Century New ...
- Literature, Argentinian
- Machado de Assis
- Maroon Societies in Latin America
- Martí, José, and Cuba
- Mestizaje and the Legacy of José María Arguedas
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940, The
- Mexican-US Relations
- Mexico, Conquest of
- Mexico, Education in
- Migration to the United States
- Military and Modern Latin America, The
- Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990
- Military Institution in Colonial Latin America, The
- Modern Decorative Arts and Design, 1900–2000
- Modern Populism in Latin America
- Modernity and Decoloniality
- Musical Tradition in Latin America, The
- Native Presence in Postconquest Central Peru
- New Conquest History and the New Philology in Colonial Mes...
- New Left in Latin America, The
- Novel, Chronology of the Venezuelan
- Novel of the Mexican Revolution, The
- Novel, 19th Century Haitian
- Novel, The Colombian
- Oaxaca, Conquest and Colonial
- Painting in New Spain, 1521–1820
- Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
- Perón and Peronism
- Peru, Colonial
- Peru, Conquest of
- Peru, Slavery in
- Philippines Under Spanish Rule, 1571-1898
- Photography in the History of Race and Nation
- Political Exile in Latin America
- Popular Culture and Globalization
- Popular Movements in 19th-Century Latin America
- Post Conquest Aztecs
- Post-Conquest Demographic Collapse
- Poverty in Latin America
- Preconquest Incas
- Pre-Revolutionary Mexico, State and Nation Formation in
- Printing and the Book
- Prints and the Circulation of Colonial Images
- Protestantism in Latin America
- Revolution and Reaction in Central America
- Rosas, Juan Manuel de
- Sandinista Revolution and the FSLN, The
- Science and Empire in the Iberian Atlantic
- Sexualities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- São Paulo
- Spanish and Portuguese Trade, 1500–1750
- Spanish Caribbean In The Colonial Period, The
- Spanish Colonial Decorative Arts, 1500-1825
- Spanish Florida
- Textile Traditions of the Andes
- 16th-Century New Spain
- Transculturation and Literature
- Trujillo, Rafael
- Tupac Amaru Rebellion, The
- United States and Castro's Cuba in the Cold War, The
- United States and the Guatemalan Revolution, The
- United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic, 1961–196...
- Urban History
- Urbanization in the 20th Century, Latin America’s
- U.S.-Latin American Relations During the Cold War
- Vargas, Getúlio
- Women and Labor in 20th-Century Latin America
- Women in Colonial Latin American History
- Women in Modern Latin American History
- Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas