- New Trends in Argentine and Brazilian Cinema ed. by Cacilda Rêgo and Carolina Rocha
The essays collected in New Trends in Argentine and Brazilian Cinema explore the state of film production, distribution, and consumption in Argentina and Brazil following the changes in funding structures for both countries. In the introduction, Rêgo and Rocha describe the policies of Presidents Fernando Collor de Mello in Brazil and Carlos Menem in Argentina that directly affected film in their respective countries and provide a useful overview of the specific laws that were enacted, including Law 24,377 in Argentina in addition to the Rouanet Law and the Audiovisual Law in Brazil. The first was implemented in 1995 and included the creation of the National Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, or INCAA), and the next two, put into practice in 1991 and 1993, respectively, encouraged financial support for films through tax incentives. As the editors explain, the laws were enacted “to offset the dire effects of the legislation that did away with state support” (2). In the introduction, Rêgo and Rocha also present a brief overview of scholarship on Argentine and Brazilian film, distinguishing their edition from other studies by its focus on the effects of political and economic policies on post-1995 films in Argentina and Brazil. This collection divides the essays into three parts: first, film production and direct studies of the aforementioned laws; second, the impact of neoliberal policies and globalization on specific films; and third, gender issues in Argentine and Brazilian film.
The first essay, “Contemporary Argentine Cinema during Neoliberalism,” by Carolina Rocha, is a study of the effects of Law 24,377 on Argentine film from 1996 to 2006, including an increased number of national films exhibited. This chapter is also an invaluable resource for statistics on national film production and consumption as well as spectatorship, in terms of numbers of spectators per film. As with the majority of the chapters, Rocha’s bibliography is also a useful resource for those studying and writing on Argentine film. The second essay, “The Fall and Rise of Brazilian Cinema,” by Cacilda Rêgo, is a succinct introduction to recent film production in Brazil, corresponding to the period directly following the end of Embrafilme. Rêgo then discusses the rise of Brazilian film from 1995 to 2005 and connects this turnaround to the growing internationalization of Brazilian [End Page 184] film as well as Globo Networks’ introduction of Globo Filmes (production) and Globo Video (distribution). As Rocha does in her chapter, Rêgo also directly addresses the laws that affected Brazilian film during this time period, namely the Rouanet and Sarney laws.
The following three chapters address issues of funding and production in terms of production companies, Southern Cone cultural policies, and video collectives. Courtney Brannon Donoghue’s chapter gives an introduction to the period known as the pós-retomada in Brazil, when film was on the rise again, and she discusses the role of the Globo network in this upsurge. Donoghue explains how Globo’s star system—using stars from its television programs in its films—helped promote the big-screen industry and its strategy of utilizing all of the markets at Globo’s disposal (television programming, film production, and video distribution). Marina Moguillansky’s chapter elucidates Brazil and Argentina’s partnership in Mercosur (1995), which created policies that were meant to benefit both film industries by eliminating some of the cumbersome aspects of film production and distribution across borders. Unfortunately, as Moguillansky explains, bureaucracy, lack of communication, and with respect to Argentina, a lack of theaters dedicated to “art cinema” hampered these efforts (73). Tamara L. Falicov’s essay focuses on Patagonian filmmakers and their efforts to decentralize the Argentine film industry by creating local film cooperatives. As Falicov explains, these filmmakers are interested in portraying other aspects of Patagonia, namely the daily life of the region’s inhabitants and not just the beauty of its...