Visual Culture Seminar

Abstract, Andréa C. Scansani

The image in cinema, on the vast majority of times, is presented in a transparent, discreet, and sober way. It is elaborated in favor of a narrative that reigns sovereignty, and any emphasis given to its particularities can interrupt the desired fruition of the ideas concatenated in the work. Its submission to the world of stories is unquestionable and, understandably, convenient. However, even if its matter is not explicit, which would maculate its crystalline and servile character, it is on it that the history of cinema is built. It is on it (matter) that the cinematographic gestures (camera and actor movements, scenery, colors, textures, etc.) are inscribed in the film, and it is through it that its kinetic force is transported. A plastic matter, whose malleability becomes an instrument of creation and that, throughout the history of cinema, has been explored in the most diverse ways. Thus, we bring to this conversation the analysis of a small and forgotten Paraguayan film, El pueblo (Carlos Saguier, 1969), which escapes the genre classifications and enjoys free transit between the fields of documentary and fiction, between facts and beliefs, and between material temporalities and spiritual atemporalities. In approaching the history of a country marked by repeated wars that leave it with a “great catastrophe of memories” (Roa Bastos), the film suggests a synthesis of a non-linear, cyclical time, in an elaborate cadence of overlapping layers of time in a past-present-future sculpted in the earth, in the dry skins and bare feet that draw the volumes of this body called cinema. Andréa Scansani’s communication is available here.





Andréa C. Scansani; Martin Dale