Notes on Brazilian CinemaJan 13th 2014
The world was first introduced to Brazil’s film industry during the success of the chanchadas (Brazilian, comedy musicals) 1930’s- early 1960’s modeled after Hollywood broadway style. Portuguese-Brazilian actress Carmen Miranda signs up with Hollywood in the 1940’s. Carmen Miranda is a success as the Brazilian singing bombshell in her famous tutti frutti hat. Miranda acted on 14 Hollywood movies becoming the highest paid actor in the United States in 1945.
The chanchada movement era in the early 1960’s came to a fall as the Cinema Novo was taking cinema to a revolutionary fight against racism and inequality.
"I am the Cinema Novo" Glauber Rocha says, A Bahian Revolutionary filmmaker. The 1960’s we saw the rise of the Cinema Novo influenced by Italian neorealism and the French new Wave on Social and political inequality. Glauber Rocha, along with several other directors, Ruy Guerra, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Carlos Diegues to name a few, took the cameras to the streets of Brazil. This time they were looking to find the people, the fisherman, the cattle rancher, the slums, and the inequality.
After the 1970’s the Cinema Novo slowed down. The film production dismantled as Brazil’s film industry was heavily dependent on government funding. The 90’s cinema grew with the reformation started by Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government increasing funding, discount rates, encouraging partnerships with private business, and larger proportion of income taxes available to cinema.
The budgetary increase allowed the revival of cinematic production in Brazil. In the 90’s the Foreign movie industry welcomed back Brazil with the City of God, Central Station, Carandiru, Besouro, Chico Xavier, Four Days in September, Waste Land, Xingu, Black Orpheus, Only When I Dance, Secrets of the Tribe, Elite Squad, Two Sons of Francisco and many more.