The premiere of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade: “O Mestre de Apipucos” and “O Poeta do Castelo”

Alberto da Veiga Guignard, Landscape


Considerations on the two short films

Joaquim Pedro's debut short films already say something about the trajectory of this central filmmaker of Cinema Novo, and by extension of modern cinema in Brazil.[1] The Master of Apipucos e The Poet of the Castle, both from 1959, are presented as documents of Brazilian culture, a project whose original intention was to film the daily lives of great Brazilian writers then alive, such as Guimarães Rosa and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who kindly declined the invitation, out of horror at exposure.[2]

Reconstructing Gilberto Freyre's and Manuel Bandeira's daily life respectively, they represent, each in its own way, two precious documents — the second, a true masterpiece, and the first, more dated, more frozen in time, but equally capable of surprising. a certain face of the portrayed, and even, despite the overinterpretation, a certain historical constancy of our moral and intellectual life; just as they document, portraitist and portrayed, each in their own way, a certain experience of the disintegration of the Brazilian patriarchy.

Those portrayed, and the content of his first project, even though it was not fully realized, attest to his umbilical connection with Brazilian Modernism. Born into a good family from Minas Gerais, son of Rodrigo Mello Franco de Andrade, the godson of Manuel Bandeira himself, the filmmaker mentioned several times his creation among the exponents of the modernist movement, Mário de Andrade, Drummond, Pedro Nava, in addition to Bandeira himself. , who then frequented their father's house, a friend of all of them and dear to all, wealthy as he was, as the poet says in his Pasargada itinerary, with the “genius of friendship”. It doesn't hurt to remember, for example, to top off the vast paternal connections, the end of the preface to the first edition of Big House & Senzala, dated Lisbon, 1931, and Pernambuco, 1933: “One name I still need to associate with this essay: that of my friend Rodrigo MF de Andrade. He was the one who encouraged me to write and publish it”.

However, the director's distinctive feature is not to be found, however, in the much vaunted connection with the Modernism of the 20s. His films are not, after all, about Macunaima e The Man of Pau Brasil. The cannibal Joaquim, concretely “anthropophagic”, no matter how positive his last films are, no matter how delicious the tropical watermelon was,[3] should not make us forget, much less silence the bitter aftertaste of its nuclear trilogy.[4] In other words, devouring taking place, a discerning critic would warn,[5] we enter as a feast, not as a guest. Anthropophagy? If they want, why not? but negative.

Not even the connection with Brazilian literature in general can account for the director's peculiarity, a trait common to almost all of our modern filmmakers, cinema nouvists or not, whose number and quality of adaptations testify to the commitment of the new art to consecrate itself, in the manner of the national novel, as an “instrument of discovery and interpretation”, in the words of Antonio Candido in a famous subchapter.[6]

The esteem, to stay in the most visible, of Glauber Rocha for Euclides da Cunha and Guimarães Rosa, of Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Leon Hirszman for Graciliano Ramos and Lima Barreto, of Paulo César Saraceni for Lúcio Cardoso, of Roberto Santos is well known. by Guimarães Rosa, and so on – exempting me from listing the names of so many inspired, notorious and notable films for various titles. A certain literary background, a certain cultivation of letters, certain personal literary obsessions, confessed or not, a certain centrality of literature, in short, was frankly the norm in Brazil until more or less the middle of the XNUMXth century, when audiovisual and media culture was still obviously far from becoming autonomous, it is not surprising, therefore, that letters are a resource always at hand.

If we were to say that Joaquim Pedro problematizes his literary sources, critically updating them, we would still not find his trademark. All CinemaNovistas, to a greater or lesser extent, with greater or lesser talent, shared the same program, concerned that they were transposing the Brazilian reality to the screen. It is in no other sense that analogies between Modernism and Cinema Novo are accused, a kind of politicization of the “cultural nationalism and aesthetic experimentation” of the former.[7] All the CinemaNovists, easy to predict in eminently political cinema, could not do without a reflective and investigative approach; otherwise… they would be nothing more than academics.

If it is not exclusively the connection with literature that distinguishes Joaquim Pedro, nor with certain literature, the Modernism of the 20s, as is often partially pointed out, nor the problematization of literary texts, with their critical updating and the renewal of their power to fire, an almost obligatory prerogative of a politicized aesthetic movement like Cinema Novo, would there really be some previous birthmark?

Literature, 20's Modernism, problematizing sources, critical updating, politicizing texts, are all traits that evidently help design the director's profile, but do not single him out in the midst of the cinemanovista movement. What sets him apart, without necessarily acquiring superiority, is his attraction to the almost unfilmable, his fascination with the almost unadaptable.

In other words, Joaquim problematizes texts that are already highly problematic for any film company. His choices are, from this point of view, more disturbing. It's not just novels, so to speak, more resistant to literary adaptation, that make it to the screen, such as the Macunaímic rhapsody, but also poems, case reports, short stories, even manifestos and prefaces... It's not just about adapting fiction, modernist, modern, what do I know? would not leave you indifferent either. Just think of his latest project, properly scripted: filming Big House & Senzala.[8]

(To misjudge what we lost with the filmmaker's premature death in 1988, at the age of 56, pr'além d'The imponderable Bento against the Flying Creole,O

Deceased, a project founded on the voluminous memoirs of Pedro Nava,[9] it's enough to see, produced for GNT in 2001 in four episodes of almost an hour each, the Big House & Senzala by Nelson Pereira dos Santos… touristic, incensory, demagogue, nauseating.)

Gilda de Mello e Souza observes, appealing to the psychology of the creator, a “peculiar method” of the filmmaker, always ready to go against expectations, to take the most tortuous paths of text transposition, as opposed to obviously more natural paths.[10] Let us calculate the effects of this contra method, therefore, applied to more or less insubordinate matter. It will be the reverse of the reverse of the reverse... which can work, without a doubt, and it did many times, as it can also result in the misuse of cinematographic resources.[11]

Boldness knowingly pays its price, and collecting it is part of good intellectual commerce. We are convinced that everyone, their spectators and admirers, feels more than well paid, gratified. The booty is precious. Aesthetic responsibility, however, also takes its toll, encouraging new generations to expand the accumulated symbolic capital.

It is his audacity, personal and collective at the same time, individual and national to a certain extent, — the aesthetic adventure of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, in short, artistic and political, with its ups and downs, assumed, however, with the rigor and honesty of great art, which must occupy the reflective task. A challenge that we modestly accept, to the extent of our strength, without omitting, out of fidelity to principles and respect for the moral and intellectual integrity of our author, the eventual abrasions from side to side, painful certainly, but natural in a body to body with aloof works of an equally aloof temperament.

There will be no greater praise than criticism.

Sleeping Giant

In the plane that opens The master, there we see him descending from the imposing manor house of Santo Antônio de Apipucos in Recife (today the Gilberto Freyre Foundation); strolling in the early morning through the “rustic” garden, among “hoses and jackfruit trees”; writing on a “riga pine board”, stretched out in an armchair, in his vast library, taking up several rooms; drinking “frugal coffee with milk”, served by his wife Madalena, while reading the correspondence brought on a tray by Manuel, “with our family for many years”, a black servant in costume; resting on Boa Viagem beach, whose “color of the sea” Mestre never tires of admiring since he was a boy; paternally placing a hand on the shoulder of Bia, the cook, frying “the best fish in Pernambuco, mackerel leg-of-girl”, always “under the direction of Madalena, my wife”; preparing, “when there are guests”, a beat of pitanga, passion fruit and mint, “all from the Apipucos farm”; lying in the afternoon in “Ceará's hammock”, with the cat at his feet and the woman by his side, knitting, while enjoying a pipe, “reading or rereading some book outside my specialty”.

If we didn't know who it was, we would probably continue in the same situation of ignorance. There we see a gentleman, in his sixties, listing his properties and parading through them, a large house with old Portuguese tiles, a tropical garden, a very respectable library, a good wife and a faithful servant (or vice versa), coming out of God knows what catacomb of history with that livery, a practically private beach, a dedicated cook, preparing the best fish in the region, native ingredients for a good beat, in case of visitors, to emphasize the social importance of distinction, a good hammock to rest the bones of his trade, surrounded by his wife and pet cat (or vice versa), with a good pipe and a good book of poetry, to distract him from his ingaia science .

To the work of the famous sociologist, however, nothing, no direct reference. It is true that here and there allusions emerge, that, right at the opening of the film, we find ourselves face to face with that whole big house… a big house! taking over the entire screen almost, that the character is a methodical scholar, for the monumental library, for the daily work in it, for the mention of his “specialty”… About what he did or does, about his past or present work or to come — nothing .

Justifiable silence, no doubt. It was not an ordinary documentary, the aim was to capture the man in his day to day life, to reproduce in images what he himself had written about his daily activities. Furthermore, the sociologist and his work needed no introduction. Justifiable, no doubt. Just to notice that he was not an ordinary “author”, that converting him into a “man” would be one step away from converting him into your “character”…

This is how, through an almost simple operation, patriarchal Brazil in person appears before our eyes, a kind of living but ghostly presence of a past that still haunts. Beyond or below the author, we see a certain historical family character looming, the illustrious son of the manor house, the literate nobleman and lover of genealogies and honors, always ready to proclaim distinction, be it the “more than 20 thousand volumes spread over several rooms”, or the tiles from the XNUMXth century, coming from Portugal, from his “old mill house”.

Before the celebrated scholar of Brazilian patriarchy, we find his devoted worshiper; more than the thinker, than the plantation owner who was once powerful in the happy mobilization of the various human sciences, “whose great book [Big House & Senzala] shook an entire generation, provoking in it a dazzle as there must have been few in the mental history of Brazil”,[12] we find the oligarch, the rural aristocrat, the owner, in short, jealous of the awards and trophies accumulated throughout his career of glory.

As can be seen, we are far from the revolutionary Freyre here, who, with his investigation of the patriarchal family, revolving his intimacy, helped to understand the absence of alterity in Brazilian society, thanks to the invasion of the other, whose possession the landlord could enjoy August.[13] Here we cannot even imagine “that Gilberto” that Antonio Candido remembers on the occasion of his death in 1987, “that Gilberto” from 1933 to 1945, “one of the greatest examples of resistance and radical awareness in Brazil”, for his fight against dictatorship of the Estado Novo, that “master of radicalism” who subverted “the conception of social history, speaking with delicious relief about sex, family relationships, food, clothing”, in addition to the “enlightened discernment with which he suggested the importance of minor traits, humble facts: the greeting, the candy recipe, the patron saint's party, the mustache, the newspaper advertisement, the anecdote", to the point of tearing up, without any exaggeration, "a new horizon, forcing everyone to face African heritage, shifting the interpretive axis from race to culture, dosing with extraordinary inventiveness the simultaneous role of the physical landscape, the house, the diet, domestic relations, the economic system, the forms of command, social sadism”.[14]

We are not, however, in the cauldron of the 1960s, before Gilberto excommunicated by the left with assuming increasingly reactionary positions, fighting the Peasant Leagues, reviling international communism, supporting the military regime, making a program for the Arena, and so on. out.[15]

At the end of the 50s, we are faced with that other Gilberto, pacified over the years, whose then-recent books were constituting the “official philosophy of Portuguese colonialism” in Africa;[16] that other lusotropicalist Gilberto, for export and usufruct of the Portuguese empire,[17] whose facet of ideologue, however — it should be noted — was somewhat clandestine at the time.[18]

It will be the Gilberto of the 50s, the comforted and reassured patriarch, who will set Joaquim Pedro's first short film. Neither the revolutionary of the first hour nor the reactionary of the 60s, nor the semi-clandestine ideologue of Portuguese imperialism. The short film focuses on the conservative Gilberto, more or less reproducing the vision that grew around the misguided ways of the Master of Apipucos.

In this sense, what the film cleverly does is to exchange it, as we have seen, from subject to object, from author to character in the book itself. Taking advantage of one of the least happy pieces of prose by the admirable prose writer who was Freyre in his first works, by Big House & Senzala, from 1933, of the Houses and Mocambos, from 1936, and appearing only to reproduce in images the narration of the Master himself, in his prosaic reconstitution of everyday life, the short, malicious, seems to delight in accentuating the weaknesses, the provincialism of the great lord, in converting him into a kind of survivor , of the living remnant of its research object.

Let's not fool ourselves, however. Once the focus is fixed, not everything is seen clearly and distinctly. The portrait, severe, sometimes seems to soften. Overlapping Freyre's words, written in his own hand and narrated in his own voice, are images of the director that create a certain game, a certain duplicity between portrait, ironic, and self-portrait, commemorative, which can sometimes confuse, leading us to suspend judgment, to ask to what extent it is really irony or mockery on the part of the young son of the old friend. More emphatically, we can ask ourselves to what extent image and voice are even disconnected.

There are extenuating circumstances, there is no doubt. The actor, let's face it, didn't help, such was the lack of naturalness, the clumsiness of self-incarnation — reading the correspondence at the breakfast table, the kiss on the woman's forehead, the hand on her stomach in hunger... bordering on the mazzaropic. Afterwards, who knows, it could all be nothing more than a misunderstanding, a clumsiness on both sides, an old intellectual intimidated by the exhibition and a still clumsy young director, apprentice to the new job and its mysteries. But when we stop at some scenes, not to mention the imposed speech, suspicion arises. Put a patriarchally familiar hand on the cook's shoulder? Reduce him to a kitten licking his lips in satisfaction? (Lapse of continuity?) Reading to the hammock, pipe, while the woman sews? And the final touch of class: having him served by the liveried black servant?

(By the way, it should be said in parentheses, the young son of the old friend's mischief could well enter, as he noted on a sheet of paper on a “riga pine board”, in the work that Freyre thought: “A book that someone needs to write is this: the story of student life in Brazil”.)

If at times the ambiguity between portrait and self-portrait can persist, if the young director did not know how, due to inexperience, to balance his hand, going from a light joke, to humorously framing the “particular order” of his work desk, cluttered with books and notes, to almost teasing, approaching him to a satisfied pussy, — if there was not finally a deliberate mocking intention, the opening sequence, in any case, can resume irony through almost every pore of the film. The main house, made huge in the middle side shot, and surrounded by the Marist singing of the neighbors, evokes a church, a true temple, triggering almost uncontrollable resonances. Coming out of a temple…!? strolling through paradise…!? demigod? Adam of the New World? trailblazer? discoverer…? but with a cane!?

Interpreted in this clef the opening, and as far as we can talk about it in such a short short, of nine minutes, the development continues in a minor key. From Adam of the New World, although old, lord of the tropical paradise, although stumbling, he descends to learned nobleman, entangled in a forest of books; he becomes an owner, worshiping his own personality in front of a tiled altar; passes for a nostalgic patriarch, nostalgic for his eight years; assumes the condition of a distinguished national aristocrat, cultivating popular traditions, as befits the nobility of the land, with a good beat; it tames itself into a harmless kitten, until it ends up patriarchally enmeshed in a good net.

In such ascents and descents, for better or for worse, with more or less somersaults, with more or less playful intentions, the distance that one goes to in the end digging is such that one wonders if we are really in front of a discoverer of the country... But we are. As if the opening house were not enough, the music by Villa-Lobos Discovery of Brazil,[19] orchestral suite originally composed for the homonymous film by Humberto Mauro, from 1937, leaves no doubt.[20] It alludes to the theme of the discovery of the country by the sociologist in the 30s.

The mention of the work, however, in the style of the opening “musical background”, continues to confirm the distance between the past and the present, the figure and the background, between the conservative of that time and the revolutionary of the early days. The chosen step, of “evocation of the calm of the sea”,[21] underlines the calm, post-epic times, so to speak, that the retired sailor enjoyed at the time, forgetting the seas never sailed before. In the same way, in the library, instead of the “long passionate”, as one might expect, “suggesting the determination” of the conqueror, as the music critic says, we listen wistfully… Bach![22] When leaving the kitchen[23] after coffee, open a door and, as it were, see the infinite horizon, or on the beach, walking towards the epic sea, you miss another opportunity. instead of “long passionate”, as one might expect, “suggesting the determination” of the conqueror, another Bach returns… slow, grave, melancholic. Back in the kitchen, he enters with Villa-Lobos and his Prelude #2 for guitar, traditionally taken as a tribute to the carioca malandro, brejeiro…[24]

Brejeiro, Freyre?! Cappadocian?[25]

Perhaps the word “capadocio”, in its semantic evolution, manifests more than the ambivalence of the young left-wing director, a mixture of (little) reverence and (a lot) irreverence, in the face of his father's conservative friend. From “seresteiro”, modernist, to “cabotino”, from the past, — could there be a more reliable portrait?

Discovery of Brazil, finally, opening the short, accentuates, in its serene passage, the process of accommodation of the intellectual. From an original thinker, truly inaugural, with the right, in a positive glimpse, to step down from a temple, played by sacred music and lord of a tropical paradise, where he roams with his fierce staff, we find him again at the end, reviewing the daily life of an enlightened owner, like a retired plantation owner (in both senses, always)… entangled in the net.[26]

The network is not new and catches a lot of people.

It is not, however, in the conversion of subject into object, from the studious Freyre to the patriarch Freyre, from the author of Big house in the character of the manor house, where he resides — today, in our view, the main interest of the short film. From the beginning, the Master of Apipucos never hid his social origins, boasting, moreover, with pride, his status as an egregious member of an illustrious lineage of the northeastern oligarchy. The reflection, the interrogation that can inspire us in the film, more acute and contemporary, goes through this characterization, more or less given away by everyone and always assumed by the character himself, without being limited to it.

What is this common trajectory that seems to spare almost no one? From Freyre to Fernando Henrique, history repeats itself, like tragedy, over and over again. What country is this that puts the best minds to sleep? What is this deep sleep that makes us forget the best dreams?

With that, we do not want to unduly generalize a personal trajectory, reassembling the records against Brazilian intellectuals, incapable of radically breaking with their class ties. It is perhaps a question of sharpening our eyes and ears to perceive how much alienation can still subsist in our intellectual condition, whose activity, even when transforming, runs the always imminent risk of lulling ourselves into the deep sleep of the sleeping giant.

Joaquin's distrust would reappear a decade or so later, in other historical circumstances, with The Inconfidentes, from 1972. In any case, it cannot be denied, reasonably founded, we believe, already certain prejudice of the young filmmaker with the intellectuals of his circle, and class.

popular flag

The alienation, the confinement, the intellectual “castellation”, could prove it too, were it not explored in a diametrically opposite direction, the other short film, The Poet of the Castle, a small masterpiece dating from the same year d'The Master of Apipucos, 1959, and with which he composed a type of diptych.

Though brutally truncated,[27] the opening of the film about Manuel Bandeira lets out a lightning shot of the chapel in Glória and the beginning of “Poema do alley”, in the poet’s voice: “What matters is the landscape”.[28] The decapitated couplet, said when the camera closed on the book that the Mestre was reading on the hammock, Poems, surmounted by the name of his cousin, announced the first incarnation of the Poet of the Castle.

Immediately following Freyre's reasonably comfortable life, the poet's fragile figure makes a deep impression, walking down the “alley”, a dirty street, between ugly buildings, arriving at the little shop to buy milk, coughing the same old cough. In this situation, from the “casa-grande” to the “mocambos” of downtown Rio de Janeiro, what does the landscape of ancient Brazil matter, the glory of patriarchal Brazil, if what you see is the “alley” of Brazil? — seems to suggest the opening of the short film.

And the poet walks, behind crates of drinks, until he reaches the door of the grocery store, stops at the entrance, passes the empty liter of milk to the owner, lowers his head and coughs with his hand over his mouth, gently. While waiting for the milk, the camera takes advantage and takes a walk around the place, accentuating its ugliness and dirt. In possession of the full liter, the poet walks slowly, stops, a suffering look, and releases, as if thinking, the first three verses of “Belo Belo”: “Beautiful beautiful my beautiful / I have everything I don't want / I have nothing I want”. Returning to walk, the poet is seen diving, from above, through the rubbish on the street, tiny, “minor”, ​​almost an orphan, milk in hand, until he reaches the building, when a counter-dip shot makes the building grow frighteningly , making it a kind of impassable sentry and indicating the poet's feeling of oppression and imprisonment.

The first sequence of the film, governed by the second movement (Prelude/Modinha) the Bachianas n.º 1, sad, sad, naturally brings to mind the poet who lived, in a “street at an elbow, in the heart of Lapa”, his alley, from 1933 to 1942, and who watched from his bedroom window, as he narrates at the Pasargada itinerary, from 1954, “the dirty little alley, down below, where so many poor people lived — washerwomen and seamstresses, photographers from the Passeio Público, waiters in cafes”, diverting his eyes from the more touristic and pleasant landscape, “the treetops of the Passeio Public, the courtyards of the Convento do Carmo, the bay, the chapel of Glória do Outeiro”. And the poet completes: “That feeling of solidarity with misery is what I tried to put in 'Poema do Beco' (…)”.

Continuing the poetic record of poverty, it is also the humble daily life,[29] started with the purchase of milk on the corner, which will set the tone for the second sequence, when the sentinel-building is converted, via an analogue cut, into the faggot, a “building” of pots and pans, seen from the bottom up, in counter-dip, from which the poet takes out a small pan to heat the coffee and milk.

Inside the apartment's kitchen, we then find the poet in a bathrobe, slowly preparing his breakfast, opening shelves, heating the milk in a small pan, making two pieces of toast in the toaster, taking the cup under the bell, arranging the tray, going to the table to the window, opening it, sitting down, buttering his bread, and starting to drink his coffee. Amid prosaic and leisurely gestures, the poet's voice unfolds his famous "Testament".[30]

Seeing him like that, in a bathrobe, preparing his own coffee, blowing the mouth of the old stove, poor and lonely, to catch fire, we cannot help but go back even further in time, to 1920, when the poet, having lost his father and moving to Rua do Curvelo, he realizes the extent of his orphanhood: “it was just that he would have to face poverty and death”. As he states in Itinerary, along with the “toughest and bravest poverty”, which he saw from his window, and the “paths of childhood”, which he relearned with “the kids without law or king”, restoring him to his childhood in Pernambuco, the poet credits to the “environment of Morro do Curvelo”,[31] where he lived until 1933, “the element of humble everyday life that since then began to be felt in my poetry”.

Continuing with the reconstitution of his “humble daily life”, we find him next in the library room, after opening the window, starting his daily work, and we think we discern something of his personal and literary mythology, among the books, memories and portraits (of the young father? by Jaime Ovalle?), such as the companion “little plaster statue”.[32] The poet bends down to pick up a book, leafs through it, returns it, looking for another one, picking it up… In a cut, we already catch him without his bathrobe, lying down on the bed, pulling out the typewriter, putting the paper on, starting to write. to work. In this sequence, the camera dedicates a fervent yet delicate cult to him, taking him from the front, in profile, as if spinning around him, lightly incensing him, focusing his hands on the typewriter, consulting the dictionary... It is only at this moment that we realize that the poet we see is not exactly the poet from Lapa, or the poet from Curvelo; that this poet is not exactly the poet of the alley.

In 1959, at the age of 73, 74, relatively famous, the Poet of the Castle enjoyed the just privilege of recognition in life. We even remember, in passing, his sculpted bust, in the library... (and one shot seeks to highlight, almost side by side, both busts, the bronze one and the poet's, crouching down, looking for a book and turning his head towards back, as if at the director's request). With almost twenty years at the Academy, which he entered in 1940, we are, in fact, before the consecrated poet, and almost literally, since the previous year, in 1958, the edition of his works by Editora Aguilar had been published on bible paper. As if the consecrating lights of cinema were not enough (whose aura was then more luminous), the poet could now afford to publicly “deny himself”, stopping and going to check in the dictionary the vernacular imprint of a word.[33] In short, I was in that position of someone who had tired of being modern in order to be eternal...

Only here do we realize that the short took a long time back, as if returning to the poet from Lapa and the poet from Curvelo, their life in the 20s and 30s, recreating, from the first plans, the alley poet, announced in the truncated aperture.

The funneling, in the passage from the “alley” to the kitchen, does not mean, as we have seen, any rupture. Poor and sick, destitute, “languid and lamenting”, imprisoned and barred by the sentry building, this is the poet who arrives for breakfast. In the same humble atmosphere, preparing a modest breakfast, the poet seems to attest, by the successive losses that his “Testament” lists, — the funneling of his life… it, too, turned into a dead end. (Which way he left, and which way he found men, testify to his “humble” work.)

In bed,[34] Consult the dictionary interrupted by the phone ringing, the poet answers it, and laughs so heartily that we can almost hear it in his frank laughter. After turning it off, after a brief hesitation, threatening to go back to work, he jumps out of bed decidedly, in a fugue or fugato rhythm, and begins to get ready, unbuttoning his pajamas.[35] This is when the final sequence begins, towards Pasárgada, under the auspices of the popular poem.[36]

In trousers and a shirt, sitting on the bed, in complete intimacy, “the friend of the king” puts on his socks with holes, puts his tie on the terrace, with Santos Dumont in the background, finally learning the lesson of leaving that the airport gave him “all the mornings”.[37] In the living room, in a jacket, ready, he opens a piece of furniture to get money, documents, — not without first planning to take a while with his long-suffering “commercial plaster”, like an old friend’s farewell, — and stick them in the pocket. Already on the street, in another continuous cut, we see him taking his hand out of his pocket and paying for the newspaper at the newsstand, walking along the sidewalk, reading the headlines a little, interested, meeting a passerby (friend? admirer?), hugging her the Brazilian way, crossing the street, to the central median of the avenue, passing in front of the Academia Brasileira de Letras, continuing to walk along the avenue, under the canopy of trees, with firm and resolute steps. The camera that accompanies him, proceeds at the end with a lightning movement of elevation, transcendent, from the ground to the sky, as if following his shadow (soul?), to his final destination, Pasárgada… The other world?[38]

Once the short is over, we cannot help noticing that the torpedo-poet, firm, resolute, free, is far from that fragile, desolate and melancholy old man of the first part of the film. Resolutely walking towards us, frontally, almost marching, the contrast is striking. How did it come about, and so naturally that we almost blurted it out?

Recomposing the short film in general terms, we do not really observe ruptures. The transitions, smooth, are usually conducted by the songs, which mark the spiritual progress of the poet. Mournful in the alley, under the “modinha” of Villa-Lobos, intimate and melancholic in the library, at the touch of the Pavana for orchestra and flute (op. 50), by Fauré, and… gazetteer at the end, following in the footsteps of Pasárgada.[39] Even in the sequence in the library or on the bed, incensed by the godson, the change, the passage of time, is barely perceptible. It is as if his literary activity, long looked at and admired (a minute and a half!), suddenly called our attention, throwing open the “temporal ellipse”,[40] the leap from the past to the present, from the alley poet to the Castle Poet. The only instant in which the inner harmony of the film could falter, suspended in verses and chords, marks the beginning of the last sequence. The film's only ambient noise, the telephone ringing, insistent,[41] reproduces the call of the world, Pasárgada and its promise of earthly happiness.

The naturalness achieved is already the work of a certain virtuosity on the part of the director, as Joaquim Pedro seems to make a point of perfecting his framing and chaining.[42] But the evidence of temporal discontinuity forces us to review the unity of the film, recomposing, in more detail, its fictional aspect.

Much of this naturalness is due to the musical tempo, as we said, which signals the poet's states of mind, but much of his success is also due to the integration of perspectives from one and the other, the certain fusion of points of view, provided by the game, It is often difficult to distinguish between the subjective camera, the poet's “gaze”, and the objective camera, the director's. In this direction, the alley plans not only describe the ugliness and dirt of the place, but translate the poet's look, if not his feeling.

So the camera, after a few “portraits” of the closed alley, moves, slowly climbs (climbing?) the floors and, after turning around, perhaps expressing the impossibility of the adventure, the impassable wall of buildings, slides (disappointingly?) , joined by a barred trade door. Indicating the poet's "prison", the camera, which had been sliding off the wall, "continues" (in a new continuous cut) sliding through the barred door, showing it almost completely closed, ajar only at the bottom, and through whose gap, anticipating the In the last movement of the film, we can imagine Bandeira's future flight towards Pasárgada.

Duplicity of the look, slipping into identity; smooth transitions, spatial and temporal; calculated anticipations… The naturalness was evidently not conquered except through the wise use of fictional procedures. Resources aside, however, that's not all. The short, the documentary is, to a certain extent, entirely fictional, if we think that it outlines a fable of liberation, practically in three times, past, present and future (or on the way to it). From the poet of the alley to the Poet of the Castle, and from this to the poet of Pasárgada, the narrative builds diverse articulations, favoring that game of echoes and mirrors, of symmetries and coincidences, which produces every finished work. Let us go over, as a reminder, the mirror game between image and poetry, with the poet's "minority" and "orphanage" anticipating the verses of the "Testament", visible in the top shot, diving, of the poet, small and with milk in hand in the lonely alley; between image and state of mind, with the abrupt appearance of the sentinel building; between musical tempo and spiritual tempo, present throughout the film, or between music and poetry, sensitive in the sequence of Pasárgada, with the melody “imitating” the shenanigans of the poem, and so on.

The narrative articulation reaches the refinement, deliberate or not, it doesn't matter, of even proposing unusual homologies, one of which, incidentally, would make any constructivist drool. Thus, in the kitchen, for example, making coffee, the poet unfolds his “Testament”. If we pay close attention, we will notice that the poem unfolds exactly like the barred trade door, the “prison”, — also leaving an opening for evasion. Indeed, after deploying his absolute “minority” throughout the verses, the funneling of his destiny towards poetry, and through which, on the other hand, he irrigated and enriched the subtracted life, — the last stanza contemplates a way out, a willingness to fight, the very possibility of enlisting, let's say, to keep us in the same rhetorical field:

I don't do war poems.
I don't because I don't know.
But in a suicide torpedo
I will gladly give my life
In the fight I didn't fight!

His “Testament”, written in the middle of the war, would not fail to be, in its very discreet way, a libel of struggle.

However, it does not lie in aesthetic refinement, in the specular game between poem and figurative prison, which is decisive. The most important thing is that the articulation also opens the gap through which one poet jumps from the other… naturally, always. The alley poet, in other words, already carries within himself the “suicidal torpedo” that will lead him to freedom. The poet of prison already carries the poet of liberation within himself.

If there weren't, at the very heart of the documentary, a fable, the story of emancipation, it goes without saying that the poem served at breakfast could be another, among many in the poet's work, and that would fit perfectly in the humble picture of the kitchen.[43] Not that the “Testament” is not “typically” Bandeirian, in a serene, resolved tone, each-things-in-its-place. However, the chosen poem has a peculiarity; belongs to those who, although very personal, exude “social emotion”, as the poet clarifies in the Itinerary.[44] A handpicked poem,[45] in which, along with the biographical synthesis, conveyed in a confessional tone, always enticing, and in the most popular meter of the language (the largest round, the verse of seven syllables), consolation and reconciliation, Bandeira's hallmarks, do not suppress the disposition of sacrifice, the final battle cry. In such a way that personal resignation does not amount to apathy or conformism.

Thus, if the “Testament” is chosen for its double face (personal and social), accompanying the “Poema do alley” and its solidarity with misery; if the “poet from the alley” declines only the first three verses of “Belo Belo” and abolishes the rest of the poem (due to its excessively personal mythology?[46]), in order to deeply mark the poet’s lack of solidarity, it is not surprising that “I’m going to go to Pasárgada” is also displaced in time and space.

We know by Itinerary that the poem hit the poet twice, on Curvelo Hill, in states of “deep discouragement”. The first attempt failed, which did not go beyond the “absurd cry”, he left the second “without effort”, years later, “in identical circumstances of boredom and dismay”. In the film, in turn, in a moment of serene recollection, of concentrated work, it is the telephone call (the king's voice? from Pasárgada?) that seems to wake him up. The world invited him (summoned?). The poet did not hesitate and fell for it.[47] In this narrative, therefore, unlike the literary one, the cry is not born of any interior, internal, profound movement; it is not born from any alley of existence. In other words, attenuated the lyrical charge that surrounds the genesis of the poem, the cry of independence has more air of decision than the imperative of the “subconscious”.

In summary, the poet from the alley is not the Poet from the Castle who is not the poet from Pasárgada… He is not, but he could be — this is what the film affirms in its artistic integrity. And, since that is so, we can ask ourselves, with an eye now on continuity: what can it mean to make one come out naturally from the other, —naturally, of course, in the constructive terms that we have been analyzing, — the poet of the Castle of the poet of the alley, the poet of Pasárgada by the poet of the Castle? What can it mean to make the torpedo-poet out of the consecrated poet, numb at work? What can it mean to make the “social” poet emerge naturally from the “humble” poet? Wouldn't the film be hinting at a new itinerary for Pasárgada?

I do not mean by this that the film magically pulls out, from within the poet of the alley, a public, popular, participant, militant, kamikaze poet, almost in uniform... , great poet, minor poet, major poet, great minor poet, but — popular poet!? Popular flag?! in the ideological, political sense? And how popular — without people? And they don't even ask for large concentrations! But not even a little gathering? anything? at most a couple of catwalks, taken at a glance, probably watching the filming from the terraces? and then the worst comes... Because if we believe in a Popular Flag... that's it! Pasárgada soon becomes a collective utopia. Since he is a “friend of the king” and there is all the freedom in the world, from Pasárgada to the “kingdom of freedom” is a tyrico… And Joaquim Pedro, leaving the poet to his left, would have produced a new itinerary for Pasárgada!!!

Behold, we enter the pure realm of ambiguity, and, at the limit of interpretation, we barely distinguish between the poet and the director, the director and this author... But the pure realm of ambiguity does not mean the realm of interpretive freedom — absolute. There are ambiguities and ambiguities, and by adjusting the degrees, we can save some floors.

The fictional character of the documentary, reconstructing the poet's itinerary, from the alley to Pasárgada, from prison to freedom, creates an opening that legitimizes speculation. It is not a matter of discussing the generic statute of the short film, whether fiction, whether documentary, whether... byzantine discussion today. After all, this is nothing new. The treatment, the fictional game, both the director had already assumed[48] as already pointed out by specialized critics. It is about thinking, or speculating, in a good sense, the internal coherence that fictional procedures impose on the succession of sounds and images, to the point of making the documentary façade falter, in the strict sense. In a word, it is a question of sharpening your eyes and ears and seeing and hearing on what basis the emancipation script is built.

The Poet of the Alley and his “humble everyday life”, with its long time delay, is an exquisite, painstaking construction, taking about five minutes, — quite reasonable time, let's face it, for a ten short film. It is not a question of falsification, of course, but of fixing an old and popular image of the poet, appealing to the collective memory. In the construction of the fragile and imprisoned figure, it is sometimes not possible to decide, thanks to the negation of the subjective/objective movement, where the poet's end ends and the director's gaze begins. Thus, if the camera, in the alley sequence, translates, on the one hand, Bandeira's feeling of imprisonment, and the difficulty of escaping, jumping over buildings; on the other hand, descriptive, objective, it cannot be denied a certain power of generalization. Would it be very different from the “humble” condition of the poet (in part, constructed,) the condition of his fellows, apartment below or above? Didn't the alley poet himself evoke the poverty around him? the alleys, the hills, the “brave poverty” and everyday life? Your humble style, to say with Davi Arrigucci, didn't it suppose a community of life and feelings? does not represent him, the humble style, the “population” of Bandeira, perhaps giving him even greater representative strength? Why demand popular presence, if absence, stylized, can be more powerful? Doesn't the very dramatic nature of his characterization, recognized by the poet, seek to awaken our “social emotion”?[49]

A popular Bandeira in this sense, considered the affinity of life and the poetic stylization of humility, is not exactly an excrescence, nor an aberration. If he is a poor poet, if he is a “poet from the alley”, why not a people's poet? The short film seems to teach us that from a “man of the people” to a “poet of the people” maybe it wasn't enough more than a step, and a short one. A bridge that could authorize his “humble” work.

If such a popular poet, in that human measure, betrays, almost sibilantly, in the last stanza of his “Testament”, “intense desire to participate”, the itinerary of Pasárgada that has been retelling the film undergoes a generalizing inflection, albeit slight.

Social utopia… Pasárgada? Pasárgada… another world? collective dream?

Valuing the poet's humility and humanity, his itinerary from the alley to Pasárgada, from prison to release, we have no doubt that Joaquim Pedro recreates a Popular Flag. Opening up a larger horizon, as far as this popular goes or as far as the poet, with his essential solidarity with the poor and his “social emotion”, embodies his “humble people”, the short film itself does not resolve, within its limited borders. Joaquim Pedro was just beginning his itinerary…

This new itinerary, if new, may have been inspired by the “vo-me-emborismo popular and national” found by Mário de Andrade in the poet of Pasárgada.[50] The insinuation of a popular Bandeira, if not the suspicion, for the most sensitive — above all in the political-ideological sense that the national-popular came to assume in the 60s — certainly suits modularity. The alley poet, however, charged with “social emotion”, and equipped with a testament with a warlike seal, does not fail to fertilize the historical imagination, in his journey of liberation to Pasárgada, in his “escape to the world”, even more in a time of effervescence, of a more frank struggle, to the point of acquiring appearances of a broader social script, always humble and humiliated.

Finally, if we think about what comes next from Joaquim Pedro, in a cat leather,[51] of 61, in which the popular lyric is consolidated, or in a Garrincha, Joy of the People,[52] of 63, in which the “joy of the people” also rises as a flag, with its humble and “poetic” life, it may be that we do not need to modulate so much the meaning of “popular”.

*Airton Paschoa is a writer, author, among other books, of see ships (e-galaxia, 2021, 2nd edition, magazine).

Except for occasional adjustments and a certain update of the soundtrack, published under the title “The premiere of Joaquim Pedro: sleeping giant and Popular Flag” in USP Magazine No. 63, Sep/Oct/Nov/2004.


[1] Nelson Pereira dos Santos, with River, Forty Degrees (1955) and Rio, North Zone (1957), as if inaugurating modern cinema in the country, “a plural movement of styles and ideas that, like other cinematographies, produced here the convergence between the 'authors' policy', low-budget films and the renewal of cinematography. language, traits that mark modern cinema, as opposed to the classic and the more fully industrial” (Ismail Xavier, “O Cinema Moderno Brasileiro”, cinemas n.º 4, Rio de Janeiro, March/April 1997, p. 43).

[2] To accompany exhaustive research on the so-called first phase of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, involving production and reception of films, in addition to aesthetic discussions, of course, see the excellent work by Luciana [Sá Leitão Corrêa de] Araújo, “Joaquim Pedro de Andrade: Primeiros Tempos ”, PhD Thesis, 1999, mimeo.

[3] “Tropical Path” (1976), fourth episode of Erotic Tales.

[4] Macunaima (1968) The Inconfidentes (1972) and marital war (1974)

[5] Ismail Xavier.

[6] From chap. 3 (“Appearance of fiction”) of the second volume of Formation of Brazilian Literature.

[7] Ismail Xavier, on. cit., P. 49.

[8] See the beautiful book organized by Ana Maria Galano Joaquim Pedro de Andrade — Casa-grande, Senzala & Cia. — Screenplay and diary (RJ, Airplane, 2001).

[9][9] Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, The imponderable Bento against the Flying Creole (SP, Marco Zero/Cinemateca Brasileira, 1990).

[10] "The Inconfidents", reading exercises (São Paulo, Two Cities, 1980, p. 197).

[11] Roberto Schwarz, regarding the baba-dictatorship chronicles of Nélson Rodrigues, speaks somewhere, amusingly, of “misappropriation of literary resources”.

[12] Antonio Candido, cuts (São Paulo, Cia. das Letras, 1993, p. 82).

[13] Francisco de Oliveira, “Formação da Sociedade Brasileira”, cycle of seminars of the graduate program in the field of Brazilian literature (FFLCH/USP), first half of 1999.

[14] Candid, on. cit., P. 82-83.

[15] “(…) Take as a starting point his political arrest in 1934, when he was associated with the Democratic Left, by virtue of having organized the 1943st Afro-Brazilian Congress. In this ascending, controversial and creative phase, Gilberto was even acclaimed in 1946 in the National Congress as a leader of the Northeast, in the movement that aimed at the liberation of fascism.// Deputy elected by the UDN to the Federal Chamber, he served from 1950 to 1952, and in the Câmara was considered the great hope of the 'aristocratic left' of the Northeast. (…) In XNUMX, he signed some positions that, according to some critics, represented a rapprochement with Getúlio Vargas, his former executioner (…). One of the popular newspapers of the time, Last Minute, made a complaint that same year, stating that Freyre wanted to get closer to Getúlio to be appointed ambassador or minister, forgetting that he had been a deputy for the UDN…// A decade later, in 1962, his conservative positions were defined more clearly, in the radicalization of the political and social process: in an interview with the newspaper The State of S. Paul accuses Francisco Julião of being a paid agitator from abroad and… affirms his convictions in the Alliance for Progress, a US aid program.// In 1963 he analyzes the meaning of the word 'left', for the same periodical, stating that communism in the Brazil attracts the masses, since it corresponds to the messianic aspirations of the population. The following year, 1964, he writes to Time, indicating that communism in its most archaic form was taking over Brazil.// After the 1964 military coup, he received an invitation from President Castelo Branco to be Minister of Education. As he placed, in order to accept, the condition that all university presidents and councils should be dismissed, he did not hold the post. He was also invited to be Brazil's ambassador to France, but declined the invitation so as not to leave Apipucos.// In 1969, in the radicalization of the process, and shortly after the student demonstrations, he declared that the glory of Brazil is not young people. (…)// Periodically the author of Big House & Senzala makes some pronouncements: in 1969 he invited idlers from all over the world to gather in associations to prevent idleness from being channeled into addictions, sex and drugs. More recently, asked by Arena to develop a political program, he carried it out, reporting his task to the country's periodical press (...)” (Carlos Guilherme Mota, Ideology of Brazilian culture (1933-1974), São Paulo, Ática, 1977, 3rd ed., p. 70-72). The thesis that gives rise to the book dates from 1975.

[16] João Medina, “Gilberto Freyre contested: Lusotropicalism criticized in the Portuguese colonies as a colonial alibi of Salazarism”, USP Magazine No. 45, Mar/Apr/May 2000, p. 50.

[17] The Salazarist state “exploited in depth the complicity of Gilberto Freyre, especially from 1951-52 — when the man from Pernambuco accepted the invitation of the Minister of Colonies of Portugal, Sarmento Rodrigues (1899-1979), to visit the Portuguese colonies from Guinea, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique and India (Freyre would not visit Timor) — even editing the written texts in several languages and following the best practices by the thinker from Recife, as happened with the work The Portuguese and the tropics (Lisbon, 1961) or adventure and routine (ed. in Brazil: 1953; ed. Portuguese: Lisbon, 1954), the first being printed after the beginning, in 1961, of the cycle of wars for the liberation of the Portuguese colonies, works that, curiously, were not always published in Brazil — let us remember yet another title edited in Portugal: Portuguese integration in the tropics (Lisbon, 1954)” (Id., P. 50).

[18] The Brazilian left, perhaps due to addiction to nationalism, seems not to have accused his activity as an “official” ideologue of Portuguese colonialism. It is enough to see the real hole that opened up, between 52 and 62, in the summary biography of him by Carlos Guilherme Mota, commentator who, in possession of those peppery spices, certainly would not have spared him, gladly covering the enormous gap (on. cit., P. 71-72).

[19] The discovery of the songs, chosen by Zito Batista and Carlos Sussekind, I owe to a young and talented musician, Guilherme de Camargo, precocious master of plucked strings of old instruments, such as vihuela, tiorba, lute, archlute, baroque guitar, romantic guitar, and who knows how many more ancestors! The young master and friend, it must be clarified, is not responsible, however, for our anxieties and dissonances.

[20] “All the material really intended for the film was reworked by him as a large concert score divided into four suites for large orchestra [whose first full audition, conducted by the composer himself, took place on February 28, 1952 at the Champs Elysées Theater]. The result achieved would be, in his own words, the translation of Pero Vaz de Caminha's text 'into musical images suitable for evoking the atmosphere of the time and the soul of the characters' (…) The four suites [First Suite: 1. Introduction (long); 2. Joy; Second Suite: 3. Moorish impression; 4. Sentimental adage; 5. The rattlesnake; Third Suite: 6. Iberian printing; 7. Party in the wilds; 8. Ualalocê (view of the sailors); Fourth Suite: 9. Procession of the Cross; 10. Primeira Missa no Brasil] are divided into ten parts: the first six refer to navigation, the last four to the discovered land and its inhabitants. Civilized at first, music gains in savagery as we approach the New World. Choirs intervene in the last two parts” (Pierre Vidal, CD insert Heitor Villa-Lobos, Discovery of Brazil, Suites nº 1-4, Slovak Philharmonic Choir (Choirmaster: Jan Rozehnal); Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Brastislava); Roberto Duarte, Conductor: recorded at the Slovak Radio Concert Hall in Bratislava, May 10-16, 1993).

[21] "First Suite – Introduction – The score opens on a long passionate sixteen bars, suggesting the determination of the conquerors, whose theme will be developed in the 'Ibérica Impression' of the Third Suite. This episode contains Portuguese dances, an evocation of the calm of the sea, called fanfares from the four corners of the horizon, seeming to figure dialogues of caravels in the night” (Pierre Vidal, on. cit.).

[22] Unfortunately, I was unable to explore at the time the masterful article by Luíza Beatriz [AM] Alvim: “Music and sound in three Brazilian documentaries, short films from 1959: nationalisms, tradition, modernisms and Brazilian identity”, DOC online — Documentary film digital magazine, n.º 22, “Sounds of the documentary”, Sep/2017, p. 163-184. Notes the author, in table on p. 169, that, “in the library”, Bach hears the Adagio do Concerto for Oboe and Violin (BWV 1060).

[23] In the kitchen, during the frugal breakfast, an environment of nature that is obviously not used to epics, the music, half wacky, reminds us of Portuguese dances, in line with the Portuguese tiles of the XNUMXth century. Less dilettante, observes Luíza Beatriz Alvim: “At the moment when Freyre, at the kitchen door, looks outside, he starts to Siciliana da Violin Sonata No. 1 by Bach transcribed for guitar by Andrès Segóvia, with an ellipse because, in the next shot, we see the sea and the writer on Boa Viagem beach. (...)” (on. cit., P. 170).

[24] And the scholar’s ​​lesson continues: “Although the main tonality of the Bach sonata is G minor, its third movement, the Siciliana, is in the relative major key, B flat major (...) the major key is one of the reasons for its lightness, in addition to emphasizing its dance character (...) some important violinists interpret it highlighting the same seriousness present in the other movements of the piece . Such is our impression regarding Segovia's arrangement for guitar and the interpretation we hear in the film: a certain slowness and gravity, and, perhaps because of this, a melancholy (...) in the images of Gilberto Freyre on the beach, alone” (id., ibid.).

[25] "The Prelude for Guitar #2 by Villa-Lobos is entitled 'Homage to the Cappadocian man' and contains precisely a series of elements that refer to crying, such as the brejeiro character (...) In the film, its first part, in which these elements are more present, is heard twice: first, on the images of Gilberto Freyre watching the cook prepare the fish; later, when he himself prepares 'a beat of pitanga, passion fruit and mint', typical local cuisine and drink (…)” (Luíza Beatriz Alvim, on. cit., P. 171).

[26] The music is by Alberto Nepomuceno, hammock nap, third part of Brazilian Suite (1887-1897), detects Luíza Beatriz Alvim (id., ibid.).

[27] For the “dismemberment” of the diptych’s original unit, Luciana Araújo lists some reasons: “(…) perhaps for a simple matter of duration (the complement [of the national film, when the short film premiered commercially, in February 1960] cannot exceed the ten minutes), but I also wouldn’t leave out the difference in reception between the two films and Joaquim Pedro’s personal preference for the short about Bandeira” (op. quoted, P. 73). Among the negative, and perhaps decisive, reception stands out the reaction of Gilberto Freyre, who did not like being portrayed, according to him, as a “wealth snob” (p. 58-60).

[28] The poem, from 1933, is part of the Morning Star (1936): “What does the landscape, Gloria, the bay, the skyline matter?/ — What I see is the alley".

[29] My interpretation, in so far as it may be correct, is due to the analysis of Davi Arrigucci Jr., more than the footnotes could indicate. See the author, for a comprehensive understanding of the poet, Humility, Passion and Death — The Poetry of Manuel Bandeira (São Paulo, Cia. das Letras, 1990) and The cactus and the ruins — poetry among other arts (São Paulo, Duas Cidades, 1997), especially the first essay, dedicated to Bandeira, “Humble and rough beauty”.

[30] The poem, dated 28/1/1943, according to the autograph of the Aguilar edition, appears in the Lira of the Fifty Yearsin Complete Poetry (1948): “What I don't have and desire/ Is what enriches me better./ I had some money — I lost it…/ I had loves — I forgot them./ But in the greatest despair/ I prayed: I won that prayer.// I saw lands of my land. / I wandered through other lands./ But what remained in my tired eyes/ In my tired gaze,/ Those were lands that I invented.// I really like children:/ I didn't have a child of my own./ A son!… It wasn't right…/ But I carry inside my chest/ My unborn son.// He raised me, since I was a boy,/ My father became an architect./ One day my health failed…/ Did I become an architect? I couldn't!/ I'm a minor poet, forgive me!// I don't write war verses./ I don't because I don't know./ But in a suicide torpedo/ I'll gladly give my life/ In the fight I didn't fight!"

[31] “In fact, the hill was Santa Teresa, but that was how Bandeira referred to his home at the time” (Davi Arrigucci, The cactus and the ruins, on. cit., P. 71, note 4).

[32] The poem is called “Gesso” and is found inThe Dissolute Rhythm, part of the volume Poems (1924): “This little plaster statue of mine, when new/ — The plaster was very white, the lines very pure, —/ Barely suggested an image of life/ (Although the figure was crying)./ I have had it with me for many years./ Time has aged it. , ate it up, stained it with a dirty yellow patina./ My eyes, from looking at it so much,/ Impregnated it with my ironic humanity of consumption.// One day a stupid hand/ Inadvertently dropped it and left./ Then I knelt down in anger, picked up those sad fragments, put the crying figure back together./ And time on the wounds darkened even more the dirty mordant of the patina…// Today this little commercial plaster/ It is touching and it lives, and it made me reflect now/ What only what has already suffered is truly alive".

[33] I am referring to the verse-stanza of “Poética”, belonging to Licentiousness (1930): “I'm fed up with measured lyricism / well-behaved lyricism / civil servant lyricism with a log book, protocol and expressions of appreciation to Mr. director // I'm tired of the lyricism that stops and goes to find out the vernacular imprint of a word in the dictionary // (…) ”

[34] After the library, “the next sequence takes place in Bandeira’s room (with a quick shot of his balcony) and has two movements as a soundtrack, Forgivetuoso (II) and Allegro (III), from the famous Fifth Brandenburg Concerto BWV 1050 of Bach (…)” (Luíza Beatriz Alvim, on. cit., P. 175).

[35] “Shortly after Bandeira hangs up the phone, as soon as he gives up on working (he pushes the board away with the typewriter) and gets up to change his clothes, the Allegro by Bach. The faster tempo of the song matches the series of actions by Bandeira getting ready to leave the house” (Luíza Beatriz Alvim, on. cit., P. 176).

[36] The poem belongs to Licentiousness, from 1930: “I'm leaving for Pasárgada/ There I'm a friend of the king/ There I have the woman I want/ In the bed I'll choose/ I'm leaving for Pasárgada// I'm leaving for Pasárgada/ Here I'm not happy/ There is existence It's an adventure / So inconsequential / That Joana the Mad of Spain / Queen and fake demented / Becomes a counterpart / Of the daughter-in-law I never had / And how I'll do gymnastics / I'll ride a bike / I'll ride a wild donkey / I'll climb a stick / I'll take a bath in the sea! / And when I'm tired / I lie down on the riverbank / I send for the mother of water / To tell me the stories / That when I was a boy / Rosa used to tell me / I'm going to I leave for Pasárgada// In Pasárgada there is everything/ It is another civilization/ It has a safe process/ To prevent conception/ It has an automatic telephone/ There is alkaloid at will/ There are pretty prostitutes/ For us to date// And when I am more sad/ But sad at not being able to do it/ When I feel like killing myself at night/ — I'm a friend of the king there/ I'll have the woman I want/ In the bed I choose/ I'm leaving for Pasárgada".

[37] “New Moon”, dated August 1953 (later added to Opus 10, whose first edition dates from 1952), greeted the poet's new home, who had moved to another apartment, facing the front, in the same building on Avenida Beira-mar, the one we see in the short film, in Castelo, an old neighborhood close to the center of River: "My new room/ Facing the east:/ My room, again overlooking the entrance to the bar.// After ten years in the courtyard/ I come to know the dawn again./ I bathe my eyes again in the bloodless menstruum of dawn. // Every morning the airport in front gives me lessons on how to leave.// (…) ”

[38] Our work modestly hopes to help discourage mythical, religious, or similar temptations capable of sullying such earthly Pasargadae. The director admitted the heretical ending, in terms of the film, who ignored the solution proposed by Bandeira: “Because I loved the poet, I liked the film. I think the character withstood well the director's inabilities, who, today, reconsidering what he did, would let the poet walk away along Avenida Presidente Wilson, at the end of the film, reading his newspaper” (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, “O Poet filmed”, Diário de Notícias of 17/4/1966).

[39] The music that accompanies Pasárgada's steps, chosen, like the others, by Zito Batista and Carlos Sussekind, unfortunately we could not recognize it. In any case, based on piano and wind, lots of wind (whistles?), it brings something tomboyish and mischievous, reminiscent of Bandeira's childhood paradise. Luíza Beatriz Alvim teaches in the enlightening article: “The musical piece that accompanies all of this from the first image of the sequence (the newsstand’s newspapers and magazines) is the fourth movement, Allegro, Music for a Farce, a 1938 piece by Paul Bowles for clarinet, trumpet, piano and percussion. The fast tempo, the mischievous character given in part by the rhythm and timbres of the clarinet and trumpet and the jazz traits are common characteristics and usually associated, in the use of music in cinema, with an urban environment. // Paul Bowles was an American writer and composer who studied with Aaron Copland, was part of Gertrud Stein's circle in Paris and moved permanently to Morocco from 1947 onwards, where his home was a meeting point for the generation beat. Bowles was therefore part of the literary and musical modernisms of the XNUMXth century, which, in a way, infiltrate the last sequence of Joaquim Pedro’s film”. The researcher also recalls in a note that “it was in Morocco that [Bowles] set his best-known book, The sky that protects us, adapted for the cinema by Bernardo Bertollucci”.

[40] Luciana Araújo (on. cit., P. 68) rightly captures, in our view, the “temporal ellipse” in the camera movement from the kitchen window to the living room window, still closed, a few seconds in which our character disappears from the scene, and as if opening it the poet was already in the library twenty years later.

[41] The sound/image desynchronization in the telephone episode, which continues to ring even after being answered, attributes Joaquim Pedro to the revenge of one of the editors, Giuseppe Baldacconi, who “decided to harass me in this unusual way”, — pissed off, presumably. if, from the well-known perfectionism of the director (“The filmed poet”, on. cit.).

[42] Also recognizing a certain exhibitionism of the young director, eager to “show himself to be a skilled craftsman”, Luciana Araújo draws attention to his “impeccable exercise in classic decoupage”, with his cuts in motion, avoiding jumps, softening the cuts, changing angles, and “creating a more continuous flow of plans” (on. cit., P. 68).

[43] I am thinking, for example, of “Poema só para Jaime Ovalle”, so well revealed in the depths of its poetic mystery by Davi Arrigucci Jr. (Humility, passion and death, on. cit., esp. “Passion Collected”, p. 45-87): “When I woke up today, it was still dark/ (Although the morning was already late)./ It was raining./ It was raining a sad rain of resignation/ As a contrast and consolation to the stormy heat of the night./ So I got up,/ I drank the coffee I made myself. I prepared,/ Then I lay down again, lit a cigarette and kept thinking.../ — Humbly thinking about life and the women I loved”.

[44] "In 'Chanson des Petits Esclaves' and 'Trucidaram o Rio' social emotion appears for the first time in my poetry. She will later reappear in 'The Hammer' and 'Testament' (Lira of the Fifty Years), in 'In Yours and in My Heart' (beautiful beautiful), and in the 'Lira do Brigadeiro' (Mafuá do Malungo). One should not judge by these few and brief notes my emotional charge of this kind: intense is my desire to participate, but I know for certain that I am a minor poet. In such heights, only the poet who wrote the feeling of the world and People's Rose".

[45] In her study of the various scripts prepared by the director, Luciana Araújo states that Joaquim Pedro came to consider “37 titles” of Bandeira’s work, that is, it was “a lot of poems for little footage”, as he concludes with good humor (on. cit., P. 52). It must not have been easy, presumably, the debugging process, for only four of them to take advantage of. Or, on the other hand, it must have been a painful, thoughtful process.

[46] Here is the rest of the second “Belo Belo”, belonging to the homonymous book, from 1948: “(…) I don't want glasses or a cough / I don't want to vote / I want / I want the solitude of the peaks / The water from the hidden source / The rose that bloomed / On the inaccessible cliff / The light of the first star / Blinking in the twilight / I want I want / I want to go around the world / Only on a sailing ship / I want to see Pernambuco again / I want to see Baghdad and Cusco / I want / I want Estela's dark hair / I want Elisa's whiteness / I want Bela's saliva / I want Adalgisa's freckles / I want, I want so many things/ Beautiful beautiful/ But enough of the lero-lero/ Life nines out of zero [Petrópolis, February, 1947]”.

[47] “Evasion to the world” is, in the opinion of Davi Arrigucci, in his analysis of the Itinerary (“Poetry in transit: revelation of a poetics”, Humility... on. cit., P. 134), “an accurate expression by Sérgio Buarque de Holanda” in naming Bandeira’s escapism.

[48] “Even so and even now, I think that the data of the film's composition, perhaps because they are so apparent and declared, work like the proposition of a game, as in the work of fiction, and set up an efficient process to apprehend and convey a true impression. , or at least sincere about the filmed poet” (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, on. cit.).

[49] It is said that the poet defended the dramatization of the opening, appealing to the truth of art, let's say roughly: “Sensitive to these problems [of fiction and its game], Manuel Bandeira informed a large number of people that the operation of buying milk, carried out several times a week, had nothing of the poignancy with which it appeared in the film. It was, for him, an action devoid of emotionalism. And that, in this case, as in other filmed episodes, the immediate, realistic truth was replaced by the truth of a representation, of an interpretive vision, as legitimately as in the ascent to heaven that the poet practices in life, at the end of the film. Through this process, the script intended to compress the representation of his life into the poet's daily morning” (Id.).

[50] The thesis is discussed, and refuted, by Sérgio Buarque de Holanda in a 1948 article on Bandeira, “Trajectory of a poetry”, which bets on a cultured tradition (invoking Yeats, for example, and his “Sailing to Bizâncio”), — in the perhaps a trace of the poet's mention of Baudelaire and his “Invitation to travel”, — to explain the poetry of evasion (to the world) of the poet of Pasárgada. Both the article by Sérgio Buarque and Mário de Andrade, both classics, can be found in the Aguilar edition. The first precedes the Itinerary; And the second, Licentiousness.

[51] Cf. “Relics of ancient Rio”, article by me, in the magazine cinemas n.º 35.

[52] Cf. article of my authorship, “Mané, flag of the people”, in the magazine New Cebrap Studies n.º 67, Nov/2003.

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