Patrícia Mourão de Andrade offers an impassioned portrait of the actress and filmmaker Helena Ignez, a foundational figure in Brazilian filmmaking of the 1960s and 1970s. Long ignored by a national historiography blinded by its own patriarchal distortions, Ignez has only gained recognition in the last fifteen years for her contributions to Brazilian cinema. Moving behind the camera for the first time in 2005, Ignez has created a body of work that brings the anarchic spirit of the Cinema Marginal movement of the late 1960s to Brazilian cinema of the 2000s. This article offers a comprehensive survey and assessment of Ignez’s career, from her first film, O pátio (1959), directed by Glauber Rocha, who became her first husband, to her memorable performances of the 1960s, to her years of political exile, to her recent, late renaissance.
Helena Ignez, an Incendiary Monster of Brazilian Cinema
Patrícia Mourão de Andrade is a post-doctoral fellow at the School of Arts of the University of São Paulo, where she received her PhD in 2016. Her academic interests focus on experimental film and video art in Brazil and North America, with an emphasis on intermedial and cross-disciplinary practices. She is a film curator and has organized thematic series and directors’ retrospectives at different venues and festivals. She has edited books on artists including David Pedro Costa and Straub-Huillet and has published on Carolee Schneemann, Chantal Akerman, Jonas Mekas and Harun Farocki among others.
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Patrícia Mourão de Andrade, Bruno Guaraná; Helena Ignez, an Incendiary Monster of Brazilian Cinema. Film Quarterly 1 March 2021; 74 (3): 23–34. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2021.74.3.23
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