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May the silents speak up: sound, cinema and cultural circulation in Brazil (1894 to 1922)

Grant number: 15/06383-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2015
Effective date (End): September 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Communications - Visual Communication
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Victorio Morettin
Grantee:Danielle Crepaldi Carvalho
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The silent cinema has recurred to sound from its beginnings. Despite the importance of the connection between these two spheres, only recently foreigner scholars began to study the uses the cinema made of sound. Here in Brazil, researches of the kind are only beginning. This Post-Doctoral project aims to recuperate the uses the silent movies made of sound in national ground, from the first experiences with the kinetoscope (in the ends of 1894) to the beginning of the 1920s, when the place of the music in the cinematographic spectacle is stabilized. This project has a transdisciplinary perspective, intending to prove that the cinematographic scene from its beginnings until 1922 (date chosen to close the research, for it was then that took place the emblematic Week of Modern Art - a programmatic event that aimed the revolution of the national artistic mentality) integrated a context of cultural circulation: when popular music and songs of the domains of the circus, the vaudevilles or the opera were used as accompaniment for the silent films; impregnating the cinematograph with former meanings, as well as constructing new meanings - ones that mixed the moving shadows of the artists to the social polyphony. The work will be divided between the research of primary sources and the analyses of the theory produced about the sound in the silent cinema. This project is inserted in the tradition of the historic researches about the cinema from the midst of 1890 until the first decades of the century - an unavoidable step to construct the theoretical thought of the subject. Therefore we intend to develop the research in two simultaneous axes: 1- the archive research, intending to put into charts the newspaper sections that were dedicated to the movies; 2- the analysis of the data, in relation with the theory about the subject produced in Brazil and abroad.

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