1968 - 1980

Cinema in Sao Paulo in the Seventies

Museu da Imagem e do Som

Production and behind the scenes of the movie scene of Sao Paulo in the 70s in the collection of MIS
Museu da Imagem e do Som/2013

The films produced in São Paulo in the 1970s became well-known for their experimentation, creativity and daring, and they were all characteristically striking in their thematic and aesthetic diversity.

Such diversity can also be found in the MIS archive: photographs, objects, videos and films that tell various stories about São Paulo’s art and culture. One of these stories is the subject of this exhibition, put together from materials that have been researched within the museum’s collections, regarding the films produced in São Paulo between 1968 and 1980 and the filmmakers who were active in the city during this period.

Rogério Sganzerla, José Mojica Marins (Zé do Caixão), Júlio Bressane and Ivan Cardoso during the documentary “Horror Palace Hotel” by Jairo Ferreira.
Franciso Luiz de Almeida Sales, film critic [in a suit, on the right] in front of the ‘Bar and Restaurant Soberano’, in Triunfo Street.


 in action!

Greater São Paulo was host to a significant cinematic event for Brazilian Cinema in the 1950s: the founding of the Cinematográfica Vera Cruz production company. As a result of the company’s development, the city of São Paulo came to be home to film schools, such as the São Paulo Cinema Studies Centre and the São Luiz Film School of Higher Education, which produced some of the young artists who would later become renowned in Brazilian cinema in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.

Part of the interview with the filmmaker Rogério Sganzerla to MIS in 1990.
Carlos Reichenbach during an interview at MIS in 1989.

Jairo Ferreira, a critic, filmmaker, and actor born in São Paulo, was a close friend of many of the contemporary filmmakers and was well-versed in what he called “The Cinema of Invention”. He penned powerful phrases which he used to identify some of the directors who are paid tribute to here: “Ozualdo Candeias – An Advanced Departure Point”; “Rogério Sganzerla – Hidden Earthquake”; “Carlos Reichenbach – Synergy of Cineutopia” and “José Mojica Marins – Total Genius. (Jairo Ferreira, “The Cinema of Invention. São Paulo: Limiar, 2000).

The filmmaker Ana Carolina during an interview at MIS in 1989.
Part of the interview with the filmmaker Ana Carolina to MIS in 1989.

Many more talents appeared in São Paulo during this time, such as Roberto Santos, Luis Sérgio Person, Walter Hugo Khouri, Ana Carolina, João Batista de Andrade, Carlos Ebert, Hermano Penna, Hector Babenco, João Silvério Trevisan, Jairo Ferreira, Júlio Calasso Júnior, José Agripino de Paula, Andrea Tonacci, among others.

Roberto Santos during filming in the 70s.
Part of an interview with the filmmaker Walter Hugo Khouri at MIS in 1989.
“Ozualdo Candeias, America’s rebel”
Part of an interview with the filmmaker João Batista de Andrade at MIS in 1989.

In movie theaters...

Peripheral, underground, “da boca”, political, experimental, innovative… Many labels were used to attempt to define the films produced in São Paulo in the 1970s. A number of the productions from this period, some of which have been represented in this exhibition, were markedly auteur films.

It was during this same period that auteur cinema made great strides, producing such fascinating films like Bang-bang (Andrea Tonacci), Awakening of the Beast (José Mojica Marins), The Prophet of Hunger (Maurice Capovilla), Nenê Bandalho (Emílio Fontana) , Orgy or the Man Who Gave Birth (João Silvério Trevisan), Sea of Roses (Ana Carolina), The Woman of Everyone (Rogério Sganzerla), The Angel of the Night (Walter Hugo Khouri), Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind (José Mojica Marins), Love, Prostitute Word (Carlos Reichenbach).

Scene from the movie “Cordélia Cordélia” by Rodolfo Nanni, with the actress Lilian Lemmertz [Photo by Lúcio Kodato]

After beginning his career as a film critic and filmmaker in São Paulo, Rogério Sganzerla directed and produced “The Abyss” in Rio de Janeiro, which included songs by Jimi Hendrix and memorable interpretations by Norma Bengell, Jorge Loredo and José Mojica Marins.

Photo door movie of “O Abismo” starring the actress Norma Bengell [Dpp-Embrafilme]
Photo door movie of “O Abismo” starring the actor Jorge Loredo [Dpp-Embrafilme]
Bulletin Board of “Doramundo” by João Batista de Andrade.
Scenes of “Pixote: a lei do mais fraco” by Hector Babenco, filmed in the 70s and launched in September, 1980 [Photo by Ayrton Magalhães]
Movie poster “A herança” by Ozualdo Candeias [LF. Longfilm]
Scenes of “A herança” [Photos by Ozualdo Candeias]
Movie pôster “Os amantes da chuva” by Roberto Santos [DPP-Embrafilme]
Lima Duarte and Fernando Bezerra in scene of “Sargento Getúlio” by Hermano Penna [Photo by Marcos Maciel]
Movie poster “A lenda de Ubirajara” by André Luiz Oliveira [Art by Laerte Fernandes and Victor Alves de Castro]
Scene of “Lilian M: Confissões amorosas (relatório confidencial)” by Carlos Reichenbach {Photo by Belmiro Zenha Filho]
Scenes of “Meu nome é Tonho” by Ozualdo Candeias.
Movie poster “As três mortes de Solano” by Roberto Santos {Art by Diego Peñuela]
Scene of “Jornal do sertão” by Geraldo Sarno, produced by Thomas Farkas.
Paulo José and Paulinho da Viola in a scene of “O homem nu” by Roberto Santos [Photo by Atila Miranda]
Backstage of "O homem nu"  [Photo by Atila Miranda]
Movie poster "Cristais de sangue" by Luna Alkalay [Art by Môca]

With a more popular appeal and commercial tendencies, the films produced by and starring Amácio Mazzaropi grew to be successful in the 1970s following the opening of his own film studios in the city of Taubaté, in the state of São Paulo.

Movies scene from "Uma pistola para D'Jeca" by Ary Fernandes, produced and starred by Amácio Mazzaropi. 
Amácio Mazzaropi in a scene of "Uma pistola para D'Jeca".

The strength of political cinema in the ‘70s.

Some filmmakers became involved in more politically questionable productions. Regarding these films, notable highlights include behind-the-scenes and promotional material pertaining to productions such as “Arms Crossed, Machines Stopped”, “Colonel Delmiro Gouveia” and “The Man Who Became Juice”.

Movie poster "Braços cruzados máquinas paradas" by Sérgio Segall and Roberto Gervitz.
Photos on the cinema front doors of "Coronel Delmiro Gouveia"  by Geraldo Sarno [Art by Mello Menezes]
José Dumont in a scene of "O homem que virou suco" by João Batista de Andrade. [Photo by João Farkas and Nellie Solitrenick]
João Batista de Andrade, José Dumont and staff during the filming of "O homem que virou suco". [Photo by João Farkas and Nellie Solitrenick]

“Super 8: just a hobby or genuine cinema?

At its inception, it was merely something of leisure for those who had skill, taste and some money. Weddings, parties, graduations or holidays were no longer reproduced via the antiquated frames of slides. The fever in the homes led to more common usage in the industry, such as tests for adverts, sales promotions or in the field of training. Meanwhile, the Super 8 camera was also being given a definitive significance following a strong cinematic movement of festivals in various states around Brazil.

The countless technical innovations that were released – some of which were very close to professional standards – were proof of the potential of Super 8 from the very beginning. It was aggressively embraced around the world and especially in Brazil. And Brazilians revealed that aside from being musicians, poets, doctors and lunatics, they were also filmmakers”.

Text by Abrão Berman and published in a pamphlet for the 7th Super National Super 8 Film FestivalSão Paulo, 1979.

Cover of a publishing brochure of the “VII Super National Festival of Super 8 Film” [Art by Antônio Carlos Espilotro and Manuel Nunes Ferreira]
Abrão Berman.

Abrão Berman was one of the most important filmmakers of the Super 8 movement, and founded the GRIFE in 1972 (the Group for Independent Filmmakers of Experimental Productions), which became responsible for the organisation of the Super National Super 8 Film Festival between 1973 and 1983. The GRIFE was also a teaching centre for Super 8 beginners.

Abrão Berman [Photo by Armando de Sylos]

Super 8 productions reached their peak during the 1970s. At the beginning of the 1980s, the format quickly became obsolete, principally due to the popularisation of video.

The MIS archive contains an important collection of Super 8 films that have been screened at various editions of the Super National Super 8 Film Festival.Aside from the films, film equipment can also be found among the archive, such as the cameras on display here.

All of the content in this exhibition belongs to the MIS Archive and can be viewed on the website or at the Mediateca.

Credits: Story

Supervisão geral — André Sturm
Curadoria — Patrícia Lira e Renan Daniel
Pesquisa em vídeo — Jorge D´Ângelo, Patrícia Lira, Renan Daniel e Wilson Basso Neto
Digitalização de cartazes — Letícia Godoy
Digitalização de fotos — Gildo J. Rocha
Edição de vídeos — Gildo J. Rocha
Conselho de Administração — Cosette Alves (presidente), Antônio Hermann (vice-presidente), Cecília Ribeiro, James Sinclair, Marcello Hallake, Max Perlingeiro, Nilton Guedes, Olivio Guedes e Simone Gil Braz

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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