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Flesh for the Author: Filmic Presence in the Documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho

Sayad, Cecilia (2010) Flesh for the Author: Filmic Presence in the Documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 51 (1). pp. 134-150. ISSN 0306-7661. (doi:10.1353/frm.0.0061)

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This essay examines the questions of authorship and national cinema through the concept of filmic presence. Drawing from Tom Gunning’s valorization of “instants” and “presentation” in the cinema of attractions and from Deleuze’s “cinema of bodies,” the essay studies self-inscription through the director’s photographic image. Key to this analysis is Barthes’s idea of authorial figuration, which privileges physical presence over self-expression.

The object of this investigation is the work of Brazilian documentarian Eduardo Coutinho, who in the past decade has revised the role of sociologist that once defined Latin American filmmakers by shunning interpretation and analysis. Coutinho stresses the encounter between camera and subject, structuring his documentaries as talking heads. In this scenario, the author functions as a catalyst inspiring specific “performances” and narratives. By the same token, Coutinho’s documentaries emphasise the subjects’ body language, syntax and accent. Narrative and self-expression are thus replaced by process and presence.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/frm.0.0061
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Cecilia Sayad
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2011 11:37 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 14:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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