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Title: Male homosexuality in Brazilian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s
Author: Hodgson, James Neil
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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The representation of homosexuality in the Brazilian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s is generally dismissed as homophobic on the grounds that it confirms stereotypical and oppressive views of homosexual men. While it is true that many films produced during the era repeat conventional notions of sexual identity, this dismissal arguably overlooks a variety of subtle and subversive representations of homosexuality. To contest the prevailing view, eleven films have been selected from important movements of Brazilian cinema of the period; these include examples of avant-garde and popular filmmaking. An analytical approach informed by queer theory – a critical account of homosexuality and sexual identity – is used to make a series of close readings of narrative form and content. It is suggested that the apparent heterosexism of many of the films is shown to be tacitly or accidentally subverted via the implication that sexual identity is unstable and contested. A number of films are shown to illustrate ways in which oppressive hierarchies might be disabled through a reconfiguring of homosexual identity. It is argued that film form – the films’ self-referential or reflexive aspects, as well as the way in which the films construct spectating positions – is the central factor in subverting conventional views of homosexuality. Such form facilitates multiple readings of the content, therefore enabling a queer interpretation to be posited. Ultimately, it is argued that the value of these films lies in the sometimes contradictory fashion in which they present oppressive notions of homosexuality on-screen while at the same time gesturing towards ways in which such oppression could be challenged.
Supervisor: Perriam, Christopher; Posso, Karl Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: male homosexuality ; Brazilian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s ; queer studies ; film studies