Fantasies and pleasures – the cinema of Ana Carolina

Dalton Paula, The news, 2013.


“Mar de rosas”, “Das tripas Coração” and “Sonho de valsa”, anti-realist films, potentiate comedy as a critique of the current order

Ana Carolina's cinema exposes the patriarchal basis of social formation. She is the first to use exotic comedy to criticize the prevailing order. Different from the films of other contemporary directors, sea ​​of ​​roses (1977) from the guts heart (1982) and Milk Chocolate bonbon (1987) give up realism, favoring the aesthetics of carnivalization. This explains, to a certain extent, the difficulty that traditional academic studies of Latin American film criticism have in dealing with their films, studies that often emphasize the social and political aspects and functions of films.

At the same time that film scholars have been exploring the ways in which films like Patriamada, by Yamasaki (1984), and Camila, by Bemberg (1984), address specific historical facts, seem bewildered by what some have labeled “surrealism”[1] by Ana Carolina and the lack of explicit historical references in her films. Generously sprinkled with elements of the absurd, her films relentlessly parody the patriarchal order and question its relationship to dreams and fantasies.

Ana Carolina's films expose the strategies discussed by Robert Stam in Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film [Subversive pleasures: Bakhtin, cultural criticism and cinema], where the subversive potential of Mikhail Bakhtin's formulations of carnivalization and carnivalesque is explored. “Turning the world upside down”, privileging turbulent polyphony over authoritarian monologue, exalting the body, carnivalesque articulations challenge (if not subvert) established hierarchies (political, social, aesthetic) and, consequently, the prevailing order. As Stam puts it: Bakhtin's theories "promote (...) the subversive use of language by those without social power (...)" and are particularly useful for an "analysis of opposition and marginal practices, be they Third World, feminist or avant-garde.[2]

The carnivalization of Latin America and, particularly, of Ana Carolina's Brazil, is literal and metaphorical – present in the miscegenation of cultures (African, European, indigenous) in the annual festival and in cultural life.[3] Although Stam does not specifically discuss Ana Carolina's films,[4] its polyphony, with its emphasis on the voice of the “body of the little ones” (powerless groups), on the discourse (about sex and other functions of the body) and on the general use of the inversion of order beg for analysis. This essay will demonstrate that the use of carnivalization strategies from the guts heart, by Ana Carolina, gives her the possibility to criticize patriarchy in a way that other female filmmakers, who work with realism, cannot.

This analysis challenges numerous theoretical trends in both Latin American and feminist film criticism. Latin American film criticism has, by and large, ignored the usefulness of psychoanalytically informed film theories. The critique of psychoanalysis in cultural studies in Latin America is often based on the premise that there is a rupture in the region with the “western” traditions of the individual and the family nucleus, which form the context behind the origin and applicability of psychoanalysis, the way it is articulated by Freud and Lacan.[5] Despite perhaps being convincing in terms of the cultural expression of indigenous groups, this premise is not supported when it comes to the work of artists such as Ana Carolina, who clearly develops and circulates within a cultural field tremendously influenced by “western” concepts.[6] The films of her aforementioned “trilogy” focus on the development of the female subject throughout her “adolescence, youth and maturity”.[7] They work on the relationships between sexuality, family, law and the subject within psychoanalytic theory. In sea ​​of ​​roses, a middle-class young woman tries to kill her mother, who had tried to kill her father. In Milk Chocolate bonbon, a woman struggles with incestuous desire for her brother while yearning for independence.

At the same time, Ana Carolina's films make evident some obscure points of the theory of female cinema, as they have been articulated based on the analysis of American and European cinema. The carnivalization strategies used in her films problematize the paradigms of criticism, which focus on an analysis of the gaze and the image, and exclude sound. Despite Laura Mulvey, E. Ann Kaplan and Mary Ann Doane,[8] among others, persuasively attack the conventional visual mechanisms used to represent women, they maintain a biased view and fail to account for the role of aura mechanisms in establishing gender hierarchies in cinema.

The first major text to raise this issue and speak in favor of the progressive potential of the voice in cinematographic texts was The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema [The acoustic mirror: the female voice in psychoanalysis and cinema], by Kaja Silverman, on which I will base myself.[9] Silverman's discussion of the voice in cinematographic texts is a very productive complement to Bakhtin's formulations, which normally favor metaphors of aura, such as polyphony and heteroglossia. As Stam puts it, “Bakhtin's insistence on the presence of 'voices' alongside 'images' (…)” can function as a critique of “Western male imagination [which] is strongly 'visual', positing cultural facts as things observed or seen rather than heard, transcribed or invented by dialogues”.[10]

The role of the voice is fundamental to Ana Carolina's project of creating a different kind of cinematic pleasure. Although it is a spectacle, the comic of from the guts heart it does not depend on the reproduction of a privileged patriarchal/male gaze. Rather than offering self-reflexive representations as the only adequate alternative to this phallocentric visual (or assuming that the only alternative to patriarchal pleasure is displeasure), from the guts heart and the other two films in the trilogy articulate pleasure as multisensory. As Born in Flames (Born in Flames, 1983), by Lizzie Borden, from the guts heart produces a complex sound, which provokes pleasure/laughter in the spectator through its creative polyphony.[11] Its parody of patriarchal fantasy relies primarily on the aura of the story, which is perfectly in keeping with the etymological root of the word. Often referred to as “double voice”, parody comes from the Greek parody or from Latin parody, meaning “song of derision.” As will be discussed later in this essay, the pleasure in Ana Carolina's film is the result of the articulation of subversive voices that destabilize the authoritarian discourse.


Projections of patriarchy and voices that break

At the beginning of from the guts heart, a state inspector goes to an all-girls school with the intention of closing the institution, due to what he characterizes as mismanagement by the headmistress. While waiting for the faculty in the conference room, he asks the cleaning lady if the professors are young and pretty. After receiving confirmation from her, he falls asleep in front of the clock, which reads 4:55 pm. This sequence works as a narrative frame that reappears in the last minute of the film, when he wakes up at 5 am with the entrance of the teaching staff.

The body of the film is the inspector's dream about what happens at the school the day before it closes. He fantasizes about the obsessive love of two teachers (Miriam and Renata), about the undisciplined behavior of the students who talk and sing about dick and masturbate en masse, about the carnal desires of the school priest who can barely contain himself when a girl does peeing in the side aisle of the church during mass, and about the mismanagement of the director and her assistant, who characterizes the behavior suspected of pure orgy by the students as “communist”. He imagines the girls' school as the place of unbridled passions, where the students trample on authority, terrorizing Olivina, the chemistry teacher, until she collapses. After taking over another class, the students invite not only their instructor, but also Flannel, the repairman for the school, and the cleaning crew to join them in singing and dancing.

According to the inspector's dream, the girls' undisciplined behavior levels teachers, staff and students, causing a clear break with the hierarchy of authority and social control. In other words, school is an “upside down world”. The hyperbolic nature of these sequences points to the absurdity of his fantasy. In allegorical terms, the narrative frame ridicules the patriarchal state's projections of the consequences of relaxing surveillance.

The narcissistic nature of these projections becomes obvious when the inspector imagines himself as Guido, the school's single teacher. The film shows Guido as a self-centered egotist, who wanders the corridors muttering an eternal monologue about heterosexual love while trying to place himself at the center of sexual desire and school conflicts. The position assumed by him is a mirror of the role of the state inspector, who calls himself an intervenor when he arrives at the school. Just as the arrival of the inspector reorganized the school hierarchy to assume control, Guido's statements try to interpellate the students as functions of his desire. During the last class, he pontificates, “… Madness is a source of pride… Here I show my madness and you will represent it”.[12] He continues with the sermon on the need to release inner madness and free oneself from social constraints.

The sequence parodies the self-centered nature of his monologue through varying levels of sound. Throughout it, the professor's words are interrupted by giggles and whispers from the students divided between those who pay attention and those who don't care about his advice. As he rambles on about himself, they ask each other questions ("What's he saying?", "I don't know."), sing dirty little songs ("My mother's dead, everybody's praying./ Yours is alive, always giving"), whistle, laugh, whisper. The girls' irreverent demonstrations challenge his authority. While some respond to his words, others create a discreet circuit of articulations among their own colleagues. At the beginning of the sequence, Guido's words compete with the girls' voices, which are set to almost the same volume. When the scene begins with a focus behind the rows of students, the visual images do not draw the viewer-listener's attention to it.

The sequence emphasizes polyphony, a term that Bakhtin uses for the orchestration of a plurality of voices that “do not merge into a single consciousness, but exist in different registers, generating a dialogic dynamism between them”.[13] While Guido doesn't seem to recognize any voices other than his own, the girls (and the viewer-listener) clearly do. Their polyphonic exchange creates an atmosphere of carnivalization that disrupts and disrupts his attempt to indoctrinate them into the social order. Therefore, the film undermines Guido/state inspector's attempts to position himself as the subject whose enunciations place the girls as “other”, simple objects of his desire.

The classroom sequence echoes another that takes place during the last church mass. As the priest talks about the “joys of being a woman”, multiple voices can be heard, again creating a polyphonic atmosphere. At the beginning of the scene, a hasid enters the church; his lengthy discussion with the school principal about whether or not he handles situations well drowns out the priest's words. Minutes later, the cleaning lady talks about a fictitious sexual orientation. On both occasions, the presence of the priest is registered only by a muffled voice, in off. The authority of the priest's heated assertions about the sanctity of women is further undermined by images that contradict his words. When his voice in off compares the “little hands” of the girls in the church with those of the Virgin Mary who bathed Christ's forehead, the focus of the image shows the hands of a girl holding a pornographic picture (on one side the Virgin Mary, on the other, a fellatio in Close) of Flannel to pass it on to her companions. This sequence and that of the classroom suggest that while the discourse of state and church education sets the terms of desire and rebellion, it effectively fails to place the female subject in a position of submission and subservience.

Em The Acoustic Mirror (The Acoustic Mirror), Silverman argues that classic Hollywood films remove the threat of failure from the male subject, placing it on the female subject through the visual and aura conventions cited by Laura Mulvey.[14] Silverman argues that Hollywood films do this by linking the female voice to a female body within the diegesis, while associating the male voice with the power of enunciation of the cinematographic apparatus itself. By allowing only the male voice to serve as a disembodied voice, Hollywood lets the female voice speak only from “inside” a series of enclosures: (1) a text within the diegesis (a musical performance, a film within a film); (2) through hypnosis and the mediation of a physician who compels her to confess; or (3) through a strong pronunciation that marks the materiality of the voice. These three strategies position the female voice within the diegesis “in a way that can be seen and heard”.[15] Therefore, the female voice, like the female body, is held in place by an imperious male subject.

This paradigm is not suitable for referring to the function of sounds in from the guts heart, which really “encloses” female voices without producing the effects that Silverman attributes to Hollywood movies. Ana Carolina's film has a particular structure. Female characters speak from within a male fantasy (that is, through its mediation). In fact, at the beginning of the inspector's dream, Miriam and Renata remember the events of the last day of school in overlapping voices; hence his dreams about their memory of that day. While situated as projections of a male subject (that is, in the position of being heard and observed by him), female subjects in from the guts heart they do not conform to their impositions (by Guido/inspector). Rather, they act in visual and aura terms in order to make the male subject's inadequacy audible and visible (as I will discuss later).

Despite these divergences with Silverman's model, from the guts heart follow him in other ways. Silverman argues that one of the basic conventions for anchoring the (particularly female) voice to the body is synchrony. Similar to the experimental feminist films discussed by him, from the guts heart often singles out the female voice from a specific diegetic body. In Guido's classroom sequence, the girls' voices are almost disembodied. While they seem to work with this diegetic space, the shots rarely synchronize the voice with the screen image.

Instead, the voices are launched from points, which are not visually identifiable, as distinct units. They function as a kind of chorus that circles around Guido. Even more disturbing is the lack of sound sync. While this can be attributed to post-synchronization problems to some extent, I would say that, taking into account Ana Carolina's experience as sound director on Rogério Sganzerla's 1969 film, everyone's woman (which features a provocative blend of rock americano com samba) and, consequently, his awareness of the subversive potential of the gift, the “bad” dubbing of from the guts heart it's purposeful[16]. (This is also evident in other parts of the film where the dubbing technique is “good” – that is, the voices are lip-synced to the “proper” character.) At the beginning of the film, one of the students walks along with the inspector, asking non-stop what he was doing there, while an extra-diegetic female chorus encourages the “Students of Brazil” to “work for the truth and for their generation” and to “fight tirelessly for enlightenment.” The girls' lack of synchrony, or “highlighted” voice, competes with the advice of the extra-diegetic chorus, doing away with the realistic pretensions of the visual range.

A final example indicates the way in which sound helps to break with the roles established by the dominant ideology. In a particularly absurd sequence, Joana, a young woman played by an actor, tells the priest about a serious dilemma that nobody at school knows about. He/she exclaims in a high-pitched, out-of-sync voice, “I am a man, Father” and lifts up her skirt to prove it. The scene emphasizes several inconsistencies: Joana's (female) dress does not match her (male) body, and her voice (sounding like a high-pitched male voice imitating a female voice) is not synchronized with the body. In this way, the film focuses on the visual and aura codes that would identify Joana as both a boy and a girl. While the priest tries to persuade her that she is a girl who has simply identified with her “masculine side”, he proposes, “Let's be close friends, Joana”, after she has lifted her skirt, thereby suggesting that he “recognized her ” as a man and possible homosexual partner. Through the priest's double-entendre speech, the sequence ridicules the precarious basis of gender divisions that are part of the dominant discourse. It emphasizes sex as a visual and aura representation, rather than an unmediated reflection of an already constituted “internal” coherence. As Judith Butler observes in gender problem [The problem of the sexes], the transvestite parodies the very notion of an “original or primary gender identity”.[17] The priest's ambiguous response is a mockery of the apparent rigidity of the patriarchal system's gender division that he himself tries to impose.


The spectacle of/and male desire

So far I have argued that the film's use of parody offers a successful critique of patriarchal fantasy. However, parody does not necessarily shake or break with the dominant ideology. Linda Hutcheon's definition of parody – “different repetition” – questions the degree of convention disruption it provokes.[18]. Stam makes a similar point when he observes that carnivalization is not essentially or necessarily subversive. While emphasizing the subversive potential of transvestite as parody, Butler states that it “has been used to accentuate a politics of despair, which asserts an apparently inevitable exclusion of marginal sex from the territory of the natural and the real”.[19] Given these definitions, what are the limits of parody in from the guts heart? I've been arguing about the subversive function of sound, but what about images? Does the echo of the film's particular conventions support its potential? The viewer identifies with the voyeurism of the inspector because he/she sees through your eyes/dreams?

Despite featuring few nude bodies, the film is one sexual spectacle after another for the - perhaps - viewers' enjoyment. voyeurs. The girls touch each other and each other, two of the teachers (Miriam and Renata) participate in a threesome with Guido; and the cleaning staff rubs themselves in Flannel. In fact, placing the sexual spectacle in the foreground makes the film bridge with pornochanchadas, common in the 70s in Brazil, and which were replaced by a heavier variant in the later decade, when from the guts heart emerged[20]. Therefore, while hyperbolic, these visual representations may also encourage the traditional kinds of enjoyment of a spectacle and downplay, or at least downplay, the subversive potential of sound. However, there are at least two ways in which the film avoids this and celebrates perverted pleasures.

First, from the guts heart deviates from the cinematographic tradition by associating failure with the male subject. As Silverman theorized, classic Hollywood cinema re-enacts and softens certain psychotic traumas that reaffirm the hierarchies of sex, associating lack – a necessary condition of man, as well as woman's subjectivity – exclusively with the latter.[21] Fundamental in this process is the film's construction of an ideal male ego, with which the viewer can identify. The male character's ability to overcome the diegetic world (to reach his goal and satisfy his desire) and the stylistic mechanisms that sustain this condition on the male spectator's awareness of his own failure.

In a different way, from the guts heart emphasizes the impotence of the male subject. In the narrative framework, heterosexual male desire is an impediment to pleasurable unions; only lesbian liaisons are presented as satisfactory. When Guido repeatedly and literally places himself between Miriam and Renata, who are lovers, the conflict between the three culminates in a threesome which does not satisfy any of them. After they pull away from him, each responds to the question “Did you enjoy?” with a resounding “No”. The unsatisfactory conclusion of the threesome it is a mockery of Guido's (or the inspector's) phallocentric notions of sexuality.[22]

The result of threesome anticipates the frustrated attempt of another teacher, who returns to the school to say goodbye and to have sex with a cleaning lady in the student's room. boiler. Despite his efforts to get her where he wants her (literally placing himself on top of her and metaphorically doing so by repeating “maid, housemaid, maid”), the professor is helpless. Through these sequences, the film does away with the traditional omnipotence of the male character. As the teachers try to direct the women towards their desires, the film emphasizes their flaws. It ridicules Guido's earlier assertion to the students that the penis is the source from which gods and mortals flourish, underlining his lack of correspondence with the phallus. Rather than eliminating the male viewer's awareness of his own failures, the film/dream protagonist exacerbates it.[23] Consequently, it perhaps elicits little sense of complicity between the spectator and the inspector/Guido.

Second, while highlighting the flaw of the male character, from the guts heart it also manages to do away with the conventional, “dirtying” the spectacle and diminishing its “passive contemplation”, through the use of another carnivalization strategy: revealed in all the placements of the body. The film reverses the traditional hierarchies that value certain parts of the body. This leveling effectively prevents the formation of fetishes about the female body and thus fuels the subversive project of the film.

In order to transgress all conventions of representation, Ana Carolina's film does a new job with some of the strategies used by filmmakers of the underground or Brazilian udigrudi from the late 60s and early 70s. His films, known as garbage cinema, try to create a “dirty canvas”, aggressively violating the canons of good taste. everyone's woman, by Sganzerla, ridicules the kind of soft pornography that dominated Brazil's screens. The film follows the adventures of a sexually voracious woman who has sex with one of her many partners in the bathroom. In this way, Sganzerla's work disregards the norms of what is “presentable” and plays with the notion of “dirty film”. As in Sganzerla's presentation of irreverent transgression, from the guts heart it makes a spectacle out of the act of vomiting and pissing, just as it does the act of making love.

When Olivina, the chemistry teacher, collapses in class after being chased and ultimately physically attacked by the students, she is sent home. Helped by Guido to get to the waiting car, Olivina vomits on every step of the school. After the cleaners say goodbye to the car, the camera follows their efforts to clean up the vomit. Angling gradually, it shows the progress of the vomit as it trickles down the steps. The camera's “refusal” to deviate denotes a reading outside of the film's conventions of the body as a spectacle. The sequence is an example of the film's grotesque realism, a term Bakhtin used to refer to an "anti-illusory style that remains physical, carnal and material (...)".[24] The materiality of the sequence is less a product of the “observation” of unmediated vomiting than its refusal to deliver the expected. His insistence on “breaking boundaries” between what is a “convenient” or “inconvenient” presentation provokes visceral and unexpected reactions from audience-listeners, who are not used to it.

The film also establishes unconventional links between bodily functions, with the aim of mocking the arousing power of female bodies. the height of coup-de-grace of the priest's sermon on the sanctity of women happens when one of the students draws attention to herself by peeing in the nave, in front of the altar, to win a bet. When the girls come out of the chapel screaming “She won the bet. She won the bet ”, the director and her assistant have to hold the priest who was threatening to relieve himself in the same place. Having not been able to control his own body at the beginning of the film (when he urinates behind a statue), his reaction to the situation can be understood in two ways. Either he is trying to urinate – which, in this case, emphasizes his lack of control over his body –, or he is trying to ejaculate – which challenges the conventions between spectacle and sexual pleasure, placing the act of urinating as a sexual stimulus. Whatever the case, the film “dirty” the screen by presenting profane acts in spaces of the sacred. In this way, it reduces the erotic aspect of the female body, or places the erotic body in the field of the perverse.

Another sequence levels the pleasures of the body in a profane space, when Flannel, the repairman, starts cleaning a bathroom while the girls are there. An overhead shot reveals two girls putting on lipstick; another pair caressing and kissing; and a fifth girl smoking alone. Excited by their behavior – that is, by his perception (or imagination?) – He enters a bathroom door to masturbate. The sequence intersperses shots of the girls exiting the bathrooms with shots of Flannel getting more and more excited. Encouraged by them, who throw a pair of panties into the bathroom, he finally ejaculates. As he cums with one hand that doesn't appear on screen, he flushes the toilet with the other that appears. In a particularly carnivalizing move, the scene eliminates the erotic from his excitement, by drawing a comic parallel between the power of releasing different types of body excretions. By linking the timing of ejaculation to discharge, the film breaks with the conventional position of the penis ejaculating as the film's climax.

The sequence deviates from what Stam calls the "monological" nature of conventional sexual imagery, "which subordinates everything to the male imagination" and ultimately to "veneration of the ejaculating penis/phallus as a measure of pleasure" (in the words of Robert Stam). . While Flannel's climax "settles" the tension between him and the girls teasing him, it's not the only focus of the sequence, which spends more time on the girls' interactions with each other. The scene comes to a head in the water fight that erupts between them, before the director's abrupt entrance puts an end to the shenanigans and the sequence itself.


allegories about deviation

The subversive content of the film can be perceived not only in its polyphonic sound and dirty spectacle, but above all in the way in which it works as an allegory about the contemporary situation in Brazil and about the relations between power and desire. Made in 1982, during the military government that dominated the country since 1964, from the guts heart criticizes the regime's economic logic and repressive tactics. When the state inspector enters the school, he justifies its presence as a response to its economic failure and promises to replace it with a new business. His concern with financial aspects and his bureaucratic language allude to the developmental discourse favored by the military government, while the closing of the school symbolizes repressive actions against sectors considered subversive. Ana Carolina commented on the allegorical function of the film in an interview with Brazilian sociologist Vivian Schelling, comparing Brazil to “a big school – when the teacher is present, everyone behaves, but as soon as he leaves, the mess begins”.[25]. His comment addresses the inability of the military regime to indoctrinate the Brazilian people, who do not internalize its ideology, and the inability of civil society to provide alternatives. Consequently, the government has to maintain constant vigilance through various social institutions. Ana Carolina's films celebrate the rupture of these institutional imperatives. sea ​​of ​​roses focuses on the collapse of a middle-class family, from the guts heart in the disintegration of state and religious education, and Milk Chocolate bonbon in the failure of the socialization of the female subject.

His films reveal a special interest in relating the function of these institutions to the establishment and maintenance of sex hierarchies. His trilogy explores how structures of desire operate through the exercise of power, and how social control acts as an aphrodisiac for certain dominant groups. In from the guts heart, the priest is excited precisely by the taboo (for example, urinating in front of the altar) and by the transgression (Joana, the girl-boy). He is excited by things/acts that defy the boundaries erected by the Church (sacred and profane, woman and man) to effectively discipline libidinous impulses that are unproductive and considered dangerous by the social order. In a Buñuelian way, Ana Carolina's film suggests that the repressive force of social institutions, such as the Church, provokes the libidinal desires that ostensibly try to control[26].

Following the threesome, Miriam's gaze (on Guido's shoulder, which she embraces) is linked to the life-size image of Christ, which hangs on the wall. In place of the image, there is Guido/inspector, who asks her to “Suck”. Rather than chastising her for her actions, the Christ-image encourages her to do what he (and) Guido (and) inspector wants. The shot clearly aligns several patriarchal institutions (state, school and church) through the figure of the inspector/Guido/Christ, in order to reveal their complicity in soliciting a feminine behavior that they seem to condemn.

Finally, the attack from the guts heart to the Brazilian military government specifically targets censorship. After 1968, the military government established tight controls on political expression through the implementation of Institutional Act number five (AI-5). During this time, independent filmmakers began to fill Brazilian cinemas with independents began to fill Brazilian cinemas with pornochanchadas. Ana Carolina’s film ridicules the fact that the State accepts pornography and, at the same time, censors political criticism “using the conventions of pornochanchadas to escape censorship while making a disguised critique of the social order”[27]. Celebrating corporeal images, from the guts heart effectively plays the rules of the dominant political order against itself in order to criticize repression.[28]

*Laura Podalsky is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Ohio State University (USA). Author, among other books, of Specular City: Transforming Culture, Consumption, and Space in Buenos Aires, 1955-1973 (Temple University Press).

Originally published in the magazine cinemas no. 16, March-April 1999.



[1] See David França Mendes' critique of Ana Carolina's work at Agenda of the magazine Tabu issue 39, July 1989, page IV, guide to the monthly schedule of Cineclube Estação Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro; see also Luís Trelles Plazaola, Cine and women in Latin America: directors of long fiction films. Rio Piedras: Editorial de La Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1991, page 88; and the aforementioned text by João Carlos Rodrigues in Framework page 77.

[2] Robert Stam, Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film: John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1989, pages 18, 21 and 22.

[3] Stam, cited work pages 126 to 129.

[4] He does mention her briefly in a footnote in the chapter “The Grotesque Body and Cinematic Eroticism”, in which he characterizes her, Luisa Buñuel and Pedro Almodovar's work as having “undermined the vein of sexual sacrilege”, page 254.

[5] This logic seems to be behind the theorization of Teshome Gabriel de Third Cinema (The third cinema) as anti-psychological. While never specifically calling it psychoanalysis, Gabriel's formulation characterizes analytical frameworks that focus on the individual as inappropriate for Third World texts. See Julianne Burton's discussion of the subject in “Marginal Cinemas and Mainstream Critical Theory,” at Screen 26, 1985, pages 16-18.

[6] See her use of psychoanalytic references in the interview given to Hartog mentioned above.

[7] Vivian Scelling, “Ana Carolina Teixeira: Audacity in the cinema” in Index on Censorship 14/5, 1985, page 60.

[8] While Doane's current work focuses on the visual, she has done some important work with sound. “Voice in the Cinema: The Articulation of Body and Space” (first published in Yale French Studies 60, 1980, pages 30 to 50) deals with the role of sound in the ideological work of a film and briefly discusses its relation to sex. It can be considered a precursor to the work of Kaja Silverman and Amy Lawrence.

[9] Kaja Silverman, The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and the Cinema: Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1988. Amy Lawrence has recently resumed this project in Echo and Narcisus: Women's Voices in Classical Hollywood Cinema: University of California Press, Berkeley, 1991 and in “Women's Voices in Third World Cinema” in Sound Theory, Sound Practice. Rick Altman, ed.: Routledge, New York, 1992.

[10] Stam, cited work page 19. There are also disagreements between Silverman and Stam. While the latter makes a link between Bakhtin's project and Luce Irigaray's (both emphasize the plurality and multiplicity of the subject and, above all, favor the voice as liberator), the former criticizes French feminism for suggesting that the voice is somehow less culturally mediated than the visual record. Silverman also criticizes French feminists in the Western tradition for associating voice with presence with the inner essence of the speaker. Silverman's critique of Irigaray does not diminish her questioning of film theory's visual bias; it is simply wary of festive placements of the voice as something “outside” ideological control. Bakhtin understands the voice as socially constituted all along, and therefore his formulations remained in sync with those of Silverman.

[11] See Teresa de Lauretis in “Aesthetic and Feminist Theory: Rethinking Women's Cinema”, in Technologies of Gender: Indiana University Press, 1987, where he discusses the way in which the polyphonic sound of Born in Flames addresses a female and heterogeneous audience.

[12] The film uses Paulo Martins, the intellectual who constantly ponders his own madness in Glauber Rocha's 1967 film, earth in trance, as a model for Guido. Glauber Rocha's film criticizes Paulo for his failure to reject utopian dreams and act decisively within a concrete political universe. earth in trance represents Paulo's indecisions between a revolutionary senator and a populist governor as an unsolvable struggle between two fathers. Ana Carolina's film again activates the figure of the narcissistic man to explore what was implicit, although not studied, in Glauber's film: the phallocentric logic of traditional political regimes.

[13] Stam, work cited page 229.

[14] Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” and “After-thoughts on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema inspired by duel in the sun" in Feminism and Film Theory. Constance Penley, ed.: Routledge, New York, 1988.

[15] Silverman, work cited page 62.

[16] The influence of Glauber Rocha's work on Ana Carolina is also evident in its complex mix of sounds. Glauber, for example, created complex mixes using Villa Lobos and Afro-Brazilian rhythms in his films. See Bruce Graham, “Music in Glauber Rocha's Films” at jump cut 22, May 1982, pages 15 to 18.

[17] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity: Routledge, New York, 1990, pages 137 to 139.

[18] Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms: Metheun, New York, 1985, page 32.

[19] Butler, work cited page 146.

[20] Randal Johnson argues that "between 1981 and 1988, hardcore pornography accounted for an average of nearly 68% of total productions." See: “The Rise and Fall of Brazilian Cinema, 1960-1990” in Iris, 1994, pages 89 to 110.

[21] Kaja Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics: Oxford University Press, New York, 1988.

[22] The soft lighting and the naked breasts of the actresses representing Miriam (Xuxa Lopes) and Renata (Dina Sfat) can generate a different reading, since they succumb to the conventions of eroticization of the female body. However, with the threesome are interspersed with shots of events in two other diegetic spaces, the voyeurism of the spectator is successively interrupted.

[23] Silverman's book, Male Subjectivity at the Margins: Routledge, New York, 1992, deals with films such as The Best Years of Our Lives e It's a Wonderful Life / Happiness can't be bought, that emphasize the male flaw. However, unlike from the guts heart, those films end up removing male failure.

[24] Stam, work cited page 236.

[25] Schelling, work cited page 60.

[26] See Stam's discussion placing Buñuel as a carnavalizador in Subversive Pleasures, pages 102 to 107.

[27] Schelling, work cited page 59.

[28] I would like to thank Julianne Burton-Carvajal for her suggestions.

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