Brazilian cinema has always practiced alternative strategies of bringing the past into fresh relations with the present. Artists affiliated with Tropicália often sought out seemingly antiquated materials and myths, ironically emphasising how little Brazilian society had actually progressed. And since the dawn of the digital age, found footage filmmakers have increasingly mined the national archive for lost images, salvaging celluloid threatened by decay and appropriating familiar materials in new ways.
This programme features four recent found footage films that give new currency to images at risk of vanishing from the historical record. Several figures of cultural significance who passed before their time can also be seen in these works. In paying tribute to the departed, these works unsurprisingly take on a melancholic tone. But there is a certain joy in the gesture of the found footage filmmaker, too, as expressed in the concept of saudade: longing, sadness, absence, but also the pleasure of being able to experience and express such feelings.
Karen Akerman and Miguel Seabra Lopes, Confidente [Confident], Brazil 2016, 35mm and 16mm transferred to HD video, black and white, sound, 13 min, Portuguese with English subtitles
Joel Pizzini, Glauces: Estudo de um Rosto [Glauces: Study of a Face], Brazil 2001, 35mm, black and white, sound, 30 min, Portuguese with English subtitles
Carlos Adriano, A Voz e o Vazio: A Vez de Vassourinha [Vassourinha: The Voice and the Void], Brazil 1998, 35mm, colour, sound, 17 min
Carlos Adriano, Sem Titulo #1: Dance of Leitfossil [Untitled #1: Dance of Leitfossil], Brazil 2013–4, digital, colour, sound, 6 min, Portuguese with English subtitles
The programme is followed by a discussion with Carlos Adriano and an audience Q&A.