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Backwardness and Modernity in the Rural Tradition of Mazzaropi Comedies

  • Maurício de Bragança
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)

Abstract

Amácio Mazzaropi, an important actor and producer of Brazilian comedies, was an invariable presence in movie theater screens for a long period of time, from 1952 to 1980. In over 30 films, Mazzaropi presented the caipira1—a character typical of a specific rural culture, who shaped a relevant imagery of good-hearted, naïve country people. Mazzaropi comes from a lineage of popular artists who began their careers in the circus. Highly influenced by theatrical texts based on a deeply moralist melodramatic tone, his films mix his comic verve with his ability to touch the audience with a humanist discourse. As an actor, he was already a big hit on the radio, and debuted in 1946 on a caipira show called Rancho Alegre (Merry Ranch), and crossed over to television in 1950. Two years later, in 1952, he would make his film debut in a movie entitled Sai da frente (Get out of the way), which told, in a humorous way, of the everyday adventures of a country man in a big city, São Paulo. This circularity was very important to develop a language marked by the crossing intersection of media, as evidenced by Luiz Otavio de Santi:

The language of this character, the Mazzaropian Jeca, is an amalgam composed of several dramatic signs. Crossing multiple languages: gestures and improvisation are born in the circus, the actor matures in street theater, the voice comes to life on the radio, the form and the image mature in TV, and the image is defined in the cinema. All aspects of a carnivalesque allegory.

(Santi 36)

Keywords

National Identity Brazilian Society Movie Theater Political Project Popular Artist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Maurício de Bragança 2016

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  • Maurício de Bragança

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