7684 - Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures: the Brazilian cinema on the road

In this paper we consider the contemporary status of the Brazilian movie focusing on the contributions of the last decade, in particular, the 2005 film Cinema Aspirinas e Urubus, (Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures) selected in Cannes, and other 60 festivals, directed by Marcelo Gomes. It is a road movie about two men traveling the dusty byways of Brazil's desert-like Sertão in 1942. It portrays the casual meeting between a German (played by the German actor Peter Ketnath) who fled his country to avoid World War II, surviving on the sales of a new miraculous drug, Aspirin, to the Brazilian back country, and a Brazilian (the Brazilian actor João Miguel), who hitched a ride away from the drought and suffering of his region in search of a better life. Our intention is to bring back space and time on the agenda of cultural theory in general and a Cultural Studies approach to road movies in particular. The road, as a metaphor for life itself, is represented in the film, not so much as a romanticized existential personal experience, but rather as an ambivalent site of personal discovery - while Johann's journey is inward, leading far from his German roots, Ranulpho´s escape is outward, a refugee from Brazil's drought-plagued north. Each everyday moment captured from the two men´s eyes in the cab of a Bayer Aspirin truck whose driver take a portable movie projector and screen privilege space-time-relations in terms of the Cultural Geography agenda – space is understood as social; time as historical; and place as the socially and culturally marked intersection of space and time.

Palabras claves: Brazilian cinema; Cultural Studies; space and time; road movies

Autores: Hanna, Vera (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Brazil / Brasilien)


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