Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

"Revisiting the Backlands: Rurality and Crisis in Contemporary Argentine and Brazilian Cinema," a lecture by Jens Andermann

September 16th, 2011
4:00 pm

Greenleaf Conference Room,
100A Jones Hall

This event is sponsored by Tulane School of Liberal Arts, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The Film Studies Program and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. For more information please contact Antonio Gomez or 865-5518.

Jens Andermann‘€™s presentation will compare four recent films that could be taken as exemplary of a wider concern in contemporary Argentine and Brazilian cinema with the rural world of the interior or ‘€˜the backlands‘€™: Los muertos (L. Alonso, 2004), Opus (M. Donoso, 2005), Serras da Desordem (A. Tonacci, 2006), and Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque te Amo (K. Aïnouz, 2009). It will try to show in what ways these films are at once indicative of this wider movement, in the way they employ landscape as a means of interrogating the history of (national) modernity at a moment of crisis and singular in their self-reflexive and metacinematic employment of a poetics of movement and the gaze. The landscape, in all four films, exceeds the function of a mere setting; and this turns its visual apprehension on behalf of both the camera and the spectator into an epistemological and ethical problem. In all films, furthermore, the encounter with the rural lanscape is self-consciously a return or re-visiting, which both brings to the fore questions of theatricality and restaging and of the validity of a previous tradition of cinematic ruralism in Latin America and its affinities with notions of peasant struggle, land reform, etc. The presentation will tease out these dialogues and subtexts, arguing that these filmic ‘€˜revisitings‘€™ of the backlands stage both the defeat of the politicized ruralism of the Sixties and Seventies and the need to re-engage with its propositions.

On the speaker
Jens Andermann is renowned for his work on spatial configurations, collections and exhibitions in Latin American literature and visual culture of the 19th and 20th century, in particular on Argentina, Brazil, and the Southern Cone. His current research focuses on landscape as an expressive form as well as a material object of representing, and intervening into, Latin American modernity as an experience of crisis. He has just completed a book on the new Argentine cinema, and is coordinating an international research network on contemporary realisms in Brazilian and Argentine film, involving major film makers and scholars from both countries.

The author and editor of four books, Jens Andermann integrates the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies and is an advisor to the book series Nexos y Diferencias (Iberoamericana, Madrid), the journal Grumo: Pensamento e cultura (Rio de Janeiro – Buenos Aires) and the Centro de Estudios Patagónicos (Neuquén, Argentina).

He regularly participates in international conferences and symposia and is coordinating Birkbeck College‘€™s Iberoamerican Museum of Visual Culture on the Web project.

Selected Publications:
  • New Argentine Cinema, forthcoming from IB Tauris.
  • The Optic of the State: Visuality and Power in Argentina and Brazil. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh Press, 2007.
  • Galerías del progreso: museos, exposiciones y cultura visual en América Latina. Co-edited with Beatriz González Stephan. Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo, 2006.
  • Images of Power: Iconography, Culture and State in Latin America. Co-edited with William Rowe. New York : Berghahn, 2005.
  • Mapas de poder: una arqueología literaria del espacio argentino. Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo, 2000.
Argentina + People
Rebecca Atencio
Associate Professor - Spanish and Portuguese