On Mário Peixoto’s Limite

In: Avant-Garde Film
Michael Korfmann
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Discussions about avant-garde films of the 1920s usually relate to European, Soviet or North-American productions, while South American films such as Limite (1931), written and directed by Mário Peixoto (1908-1992) and, at least in Brazil, one of the most important cult movies, are hardly ever mentioned in this context. Classic works on film history frequently do not offer more than very short, general and sometimes incorrect comments on Brazilian films of the 1920s. This article will therefore present a more accurate and detailed account of its genesis within the international avant-garde scene, its reception and importance for the Brazilian film and cultural debates throughout the last decades, as well as a critical evaluation of its aesthetic foundations. Even though Limite results partially from European artistic influences, it may still be seen as a very singular and unique attempt to explore the cinematographic potentials in search for a visual poem of great intensity and timeless significance.

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