Synopses & Reviews
provides a major study of race in Brazilian culture through the most complete critical analysis of Brazilian cinema in any language. Focusing on representations of multicultural themes involving Euro- and Afro-Brazilians, other immigrants, and indigenous peoples in the rich tradition of Brazilian fictional feature film, Robert Stam puts Brazilian culture at the center of a wide-ranging analysis of race, representation, history, and film. Drawing parallels between the histories of colonialism, slavery, and immigration in Brazil and the United States, he also contends that questions of ethnic and racial representations are best viewed within the larger context of a comparative analysis of racially plural societies.
Stam examines the broad historical and cultural links that connect Brazil and the United States before considering multicultural imagery in Brazilian film as it has changed from the silent era to the present. His analysis moves through the comic chanchadas of the 1930s and 1940s, to the Hollywood-style films from Sao Paulo in the 1950s, and the diverse phases of Cinema Novo beginning in the 1960s. He explores a wealth of subjects, including the submerged andquot;blacknessandquot; of Carmen Miranda, the anti-racist agenda of Orson Wellesandrsquo;s never-released Brazilian film Itandrsquo;s All True, the international background behind Black Orpheus, the career of Grande Otelo (Brazilandrsquo;s greatest black film star), the allegorical andquot;cannibalisticandquot; films like How Tasty Was My Frenchman, and andquot;indigenous mediaandquot;andmdash;the attempt by Brazilian andquot;indiansandquot; to use camcorders and VCRs for their own cultural and political purposes. Tropical Multiculturalism is simultaneously a history of Brazilian cinema from the standpoint of race, a history of Brazil itself through its cinematic representations, a comparative study of racial formations in Brazil and the United States, and a theorized analysis of racialized representations.
andquot;Tropical Multiculturalism establishes Robert Stam as the foremost authority on the intersection of race, culture, and film in Brazil. Some think of blacks in Brazilian film as samba and sound but Stam liberates us all with a gorgeously argued relational text that is destined to become a classic in film criticism.andquot;andmdash;Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University
andquot;With Tropical Multiculturalism, Robert Stamandmdash;one of the most sophisticated theorists of contemporary cultural representationsandmdash;provides a much needed, historicized model for the analysis of non-European and Afro-diasporic cinemas and cultures.andquot;andmdash;Monthia Diawara, New York University
Focusing on the representations of multicultural themes involving Euro- and Afro-Brazilians, other immigrants, and indigenous peoples, in the rich tradition of the Brazilian fictional feature film, Robert Stam provides a major study of race in Brazilian culture through a critical analysis of Brazilian cinema. 136 photos.
Simultaneously a history of Brazilian cinema from the standpoint of race, a history of Brazil itself through its cinematic representations, a comparative study of racial formation in Brazil and the US and a theorized analysis of racialized representation
Includes bibliographical references (p. 393-402) and index.
About the Author
Robert Stam is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. He is the author of Subversive Pleasures and coauthor of Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media, and Brazilian Cinema.