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Tate Modern film screenings will explore Brazilian artistic protest movement – University of Reading

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Tate Modern film screenings will explore Brazilian artistic protest movement

Release Date 08 November 2017

Still from Arthur Omar's film, 'Triste TrĂ³pico' (Sad Tropics, 1974)

A series of films exploring an anarchistic Brazilian artistic movement that fought against repressive military rule in the 1960s is set to be screened at the Tate Modern, London.

The films, curated by Dr Stefan Solomon from the Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading, explore the role of cinema in the Brazilian Tropicália cultural movement.

Tropicália is most commonly associated with the music and visual arts of the late-1960s, when traditional rhythms merged with rock and roll to form a distinctive new style that became a target for censorship by the military regime of the time.  This film series emphasises the importance of the movement for filmmakers from that period, as well as those of the following generation.

The screenings take place between 9-12 November at the Tate Modern’s Starr Cinema and forms a part of Tate Film’s ‘Counter-Histories’ series. They bring together a range of key filmmakers and scholars in the field.

Dr Solomon said: “By establishing connections between different modes of film practice and aesthetics, ‘Tropicália and Beyond’ invites viewers to revisit an intense period of cultural production in Brazil, and to consider its relevance for artists working today.”

Dr Solomon’s series, entitled ‘Tropicália and Beyond: Dialogues in Brazilian Film History’, includes five feature films and 14 short films.  A variety of international guests, including filmmakers such as Ana Vaz and Carlos Adriano, actors Antônio Pitanga and Camila Pitanga, and scholars Robert Stam and Ismail Xavier, will introduce the films, and will join audiences in conversation after the screenings, participating in interviews and Q&A sessions.

The programme stems from Dr Solomon’s research into the relationship between the Tropicália cultural movement and cinema and forms part of a larger study led by Reading’s Professor Lucia Nagib1, which explores intermediality as a historiographic method for the study of film.

The film series coincides with the Tate’s exhibition of the installation work ‘Tropicália’ by the neo-concrete artist Hélio Oiticica, which gave the movement its name. The work, created in 1966, is currently on display on Level 3 of the Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building and includes a winding gravel path flanked by tropical plants and slogans written by the artist on wooden boards.

Through collaborative discussions with the Tate Modern’s curators, Dr Solomon’s work means the installation – usually cordoned off – will be fully accessible to visitors during the film series, allowing visitors to wander through the installation, thereby creating an immersive experience, as the artist intended.

Dr Solomon has also edited a comprehensive catalogue to accompany the film series: Tropicália and Beyond: Dialogues in Brazilian Film History (Archive Books, 2017). The catalogue features a wide array of essays, interviews, and manifestos from some of the most important names in Brazilian filmmaking and scholarship also includes an in-depth introduction, written by Dr Solomon.

Tickets for individual events and weekend tickets are available to purchase from the Tate Modern website.

  1. ‘Towards an Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema: Exploring Intermediality as a Historiographic Method’ (IntermIdia). This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)


Image credit: Arthur Omar, Triste Trópico (Sad Tropics, 1974) film still

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