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TitleOn Cinema
PublisherI.B. Tauris
ISBN 139781780767031
CategoryArts - Film
File Size8.5 MB
Total Pages321
Table of Contents
Author Biography
Tauris World Cinema Series
Title Page
List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgements by Lúcia Nagib
Introduction by Ismail Xavier
	Glauber Rocha’s On Cinema
Revisão Crítica do Cinema Brasileiro/Critical Review of Brazilian Cinema
	Humberto Mauro and the Historical Situation
Revolução do Cinema Novo
/The Cinema Novo Revolution
	The Cinema Process (1961)
	Barren Lives (Vidas secas) (1964)
	An Aesthetics of Hunger (1965)
	Revolution is an Aesthetics (1967)
	The Cinematographic Revolution (1967)
	Tricontinental (1967)
	Positif (1967)
	Cinema Novo and the Adventure of Creation (1968)
	Tropicalism, Anthropology, Myth, Ideography (1969)
	América Nuestra (1969)
	Discussion of the Concept of Aesthetics and its Political Function
	This Is How the Revolution in Cinema Is Made (1970)
	An Aesthetics of Dreams (1971)
O Século do Cinema/The Century of Cinema
	James Dean – Angel and Myth
	David Lean
	Juvenile Delinquency
	John Huston – Physical Technique and Aesthetic Technique
	Stanley Kubrick
	Western – Introduction to the Genre and to the Hero
	The Searchers
	The New Western
	The 12 Commandments of Our Lord Buñuel
	The Morality of a New Christ
	The Neorealism of Rossellini
	Filmic Dramaturgy: Visconti
	Cinema’s Form and Sense
	Visconti and the Nerves of Rocco
	Viscontian Baroque
	The Splendour of a God
	Funeral Space
	Glauber Fellini
	New Cinema in the World
	Do You Like Jean-Luc Godard? (if not, you’re out)
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Glauber Rocha (1939–1981) is Brazil’s most important filmmaker and
founder of the 1960s and ’70s Cinema Novo movement. His films are
landmarks of Brazilian and world film history. He was also a prolific writer
and film critic, whose critical thought made a decisive contribution to the
notion of Third Cinema.

Ismail Xavier is Professor of Film at the University of São Paulo. His

marks a milestone in Brazilian cinema studies.

Page 160

sound the hands move heavily across the ring, flailing, reaching a
crescendo until an abstract shot of a crazed, demented image is
created, which only highlights, as an element exterior to the fighters
themselves, the lights which shine directly into their eyes. The editing
thus creates a cinematographic rhythm which arises from a real
rhythm (the movement of the sparring men).

(b) The second fight at the end of the film, between the boxing hero and the
gangster in a shop-dummy factory. Returning once more to the theme
of violence, Kubrick creates another editing, this time with a
psychological slant. The first fight, as detailed above, was a one-on-
one for financial gain: a boxer fights in return for a salary. The fight in
the shop-dummy factory, however, is on the level of emotional violence.
The cause is self-defence and revenge. The motive, therefore, is
psychological. The editing, for that reason, is not made up of rhythmic
shocks but of a slow and detailed narrative of the fear felt by each of the
adversaries faced with his armed foe. The images move slowly, like
shadows in the sea of shop dummies, grey men illuminated by Kubrick
himself who, in this film, is also cinematographer as well as editor,
director, producer and screenwriter. The reflections of the fight are
objectified in the images of the shop dummies which seem to be actively
participating. Cuts on faces in the most varied of human expressions
create a state of perpetual agony which doesn’t end until the death of
one of the opponents, in this case, the gangster, as the structure of the
story is true to that of the classic American crime genre.

Through this exercise in search of pure filmic expression, Kubrick launches
the premise of a new cinema.

Kubrick is revolutionary because he breaks with the traditional line of
direct, chronological narrative, going backwards in a predominantly
dramatic time, running the risk of destroying the rhythm of suspense,
desired and vital to the film’s ending itself. In the assault sequence in The
Killing, three parallel actions take place at once: (a) the fight in the bar
intended to attract the attention of security guards in charge of the money;
(b) the killing of the horse on the racetrack by a professional marksman,
intended to distract the public’s attention; (c) the entry of Johnny, the
robber, into the office where the safes are, where he goes on to steal two and
a half million dollars.

O Século do Cinema


Page 161

Delivering a direct blow to the emotions of the public, Kubrick takes
two decisive courses of action; the fight in the bar is told from start to finish
and concludes with the stealthy entrance of Johnny through the door
through which the last security guard had left to go and deal with the
troublemaker. From there Kubrick doesn’t follow Johnny’s story; the
action is interrupted in its main plotline as if the image had been frozen,
and then the action goes back in time to a few hours earlier, showing us the
marksman preparing to shoot the horse, up to the fulfilment of the act
ending with the killing of the criminal by a racetrack guard. From there,
Kubrick cuts again to the last scene of the first sequence (of the fight), and
starts to recount the tale of the robbery with Johnny already in the offices,
covering his face and armed with a machine gun, throwing a bag full of
money out of a window which we don’t see from the outside. Later on,
when the other thieves are talking about the robbery, one of them states:
‘The bag was thrown to me.’ The scene is cut and the dialogue interspersed
with a shot of the window viewed from the outside, from where the bag
falls, in a continuation of the interrupted scene.

It is at that moment, thanks to this show of disrespect for the
cinematographic monster of time and continuity, that Kubrick, who had
behaved so well, who was secure in his well-constructed editing, even so far
as making it dignified, for having rested the film’s narrative and climatic
suspense within it, emerges as a filmmaker who has caused the critics to
pause and fully consider the possibility that there was something new afoot
in the Kingdom of Hollywood. This time it wasn’t the exuberant talent of
Robert Aldrich (more courage than creation); it was instead something
warm, visually rich. Kubrick is a disciple of John Huston, influenced by the
fever of Orson Welles.

But it’s not only in this revolution in the narrative in which Kubrick’s
style reveals its inner workings: on a par with the external editing of the
narrative is the interior rhythm of the film, the composition, the role of décor
over and above that of the decoration. Here we see the inheritance from
Orson Welles which he himself had, in turn, learnt from the visual richness
found in the cinema of the past: the lesson of how light can be a key tool in
the editing, not as in darkening a part of the image, but as in the light
composing and decomposing the face of the actor in the internal editing.

A lampshade is present in the majority of the interior shots, focusing
the light directly onto the faces of the actors. When a character moves away

On Cinema


Page 320

century of the cinema as the century of
violence, 11

hunger and, 44
poetics of violence, 27, 242
Western genre, 156–7
youth and, 138, 139, 141, 142

Visconti, Luchino, 8, 15, 32, 38, 61, 104, 105,
108, 162, 174, 210, 212, 214, 219, 226,
239, 261, 262, 265

characters, 208
‘Cinema’s Form and Sense’, 192–3
communism, 16
editing, 187
expressionism, 261
‘Filmic Dramaturgy: Visconti’, 187–92
Italian opera, 10, 219
Marxism, 197, 204, 212, 240, 254, 261
mise-en-scène, 188, 189–90, 193, 194,

198, 201
montage, 207, 208
neorealism, 190, 201
politics 194, 195–7, 207
rhythm, 188–9
‘The Splendour of a God’, 9, 204–209
time, 188, 191–2, 200
tragedy, 197, 198, 200, 202, 203, 208–209,

‘Visconti and the Nerves of Rocco’,

‘Viscontian Baroque’, 9, 199–204
zoom, 207
see also Visconti’s filmography

Visconti’s filmography:
América Nuestra, 105
The Damned/La caduta degli dei,

The Earth Trembles/La terra trema, 194
The Foreigner, 207
The Innocent/L’innocente, 233
The Leopard/Il gattopardo, 207, 261, 265
Obsession/Ossessione, 10, 192, 194, 201
Rocco and His Brothers/Rocco e i suoi

fratelli, 193, 196, 199, 200–204, 207,
208, 209, 254

Sandra of a Thousand Delights/Vaghe
stelle dell’Orsa, 204, 207

Senso, 10, 187–8, 190, 191, 200, 209
The Stranger/Lo straniero, 204, 229

White Nights/Le notti bianche, 192, 193,
200, 207

Wajda, Andrzej 174, 175, 247
Walsh, Raoul, 263
war film, 148–9
Warhol, Andy:

Blood for Dracula, 232
Flesh for Frankenstein, 232

Watkins, Peter, 247
Welles, Orson, 9, 22, 38, 39, 72, 105, 129–32,

146, 237, 244, 254, 262
characters, 130, 131, 132, 226
Citizen Kane, 11, 32, 118, 121, 130–2,

178, 212, 226, 260
class struggle, 131
expressionism, 110, 260
Hollywood, 130
imperialism, 130, 131–2
The Magnificent Ambersons, 131
RKO and, 39
Rocha’s admired filmmaker, 9, 130
Touch of Evil, 130
The Trial, 131, 212

Western genre, 9, 17, 18, 72, 76–7, 102,
136, 263

cowboy, 138, 150–1, 152, 154
epic Western, 154
Ford, John, 27, 57, 138, 152, 153
hat, 138, 150, 225
hero, 150–1, 152, 153, 154, 159
historical Western, 154
‘The New Western’, 154–9
psychology/psychological Western, 31,

155, 156, 159
rhythm, 138, 154, 155, 157, 158
‘The Searchers’, 152–4
social aesthetic, 152, 153
tragedy, 158
violence, 156–7
‘Western – Introduction to the Genre

and to the Hero’, 150–1
see also Ford, John

Widerberg, Bo: Elvira Madigan, 248
Wiene, Robert: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari/

Das Kabinet Des Doktor Caligari, 110
Wilder, Billy, 142
Wise, Robert: The Set-Up, 144



Page 321

World War II, 19, 174, 178, 179, 223
Wright, Basil, 20
Wyler, William, 20, 21, 22, 142, 243

Ben Hur, 253
Detective Story, 140, 143

Yé-Yé movement, 252

cultural background of, 60, 63

‘Juvenile Delinquency’, 136–42
leather jacket, 138, 139, 141
rebellious youth, 136, 138, 140, 142
violence, 138, 139, 141, 142

Yugoslavia, 247, 248

Zavattini, Cesare, 163, 181, 219, 261
Zinnemann, Fred: High Noon, 143, 154,

155, 156, 157

On Cinema


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