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Representations of the grotesque, horror and violence in Brazilian X-rated movies of the 1980s.

Grant number: 10/18787-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2011
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal Investigator:Rogerio Ferraraz
Grantee:Lucio de Franciscis dos Reis Piedade
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria Acadêmica. Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM). Instituto Superior de Comunicação Publicitária (ISCP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research study proposes to explore the grotesque and horror in Brazilian porn movies of 1980s. This non-conventional and discredited universe, in which the representation of the extravagant and bizarre shapes the world in reverse, has been mostly ignored by critics and researchers. The main focus of this kind of production is to represent the abject and the eschatological, built by the appropriation and transfiguration of narrative forms, conventions, and paradigms. This viewpoint occurs in a stream of the narrative construction that finds its roots in the early 1960s with José Mojica Marins. This trend continued with filmmakers of "Cinema Marginal" and is evident in part of the Brazilian production classified under the comprehensive designation of "Pornochanchada". Historically, it was during the stage of explicit sex, following the release of pornography in the first half of the 1980s, that the extreme grotesque coupled with horror spread in the movies. The result was a creation of movies with exceeding limits of perversion, aberrations, eschatology, kinky sex, violence, depictions of rape, and bloody scenes. The paper aims to critically rediscover this path within the field of historical research of audiovisual arts in Brazil. The research agenda includes an investigation of how these representations have appeared in movies, their cultural context, and the background of their protagonists: producers, directors, and cast. Moreover, it aims to show that this segment of Brazilian cinema, rather than simply using at the grotesque as a tool to boost box office sales, was establishing a very popular form of communication with the public. The research will be founded on a data collection from bibliographic survey and filmic sources, coupled with a theoretical base drawn from authors that focused not only on the field of cinema, such as Fernão Ramos, Nuno Abreu, Jairo Ferreira, Bernadette Lyra, Gelson Santana, Luiz Nazario, but also on produced studies on the grotesque in other areas such as psychology, sociology, and aesthetics, as Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Bakhtin, Georges Bataille, Oscar Cesarotto Wolfgang Kayser, Julia Kristeva and Muniz Sodre, among others.

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