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    Thinking the revolution in Alberto Seixas Santos’s "Mild Manners" and "Gestures and Fragments"

    Trindade, Luis (2014) Thinking the revolution in Alberto Seixas Santos’s "Mild Manners" and "Gestures and Fragments". Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image 5 , pp. 48-64. ISSN 1647-8991.

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    Abstract

    The 1974-75 revolutionary process in Portugal is particularly challenging to historical and filmic representation. This is partly a consequence of the specific nature of the period stretching from the 1950s to the 1970s, what historians have called the long 1960s, a historical moment marked by sudden social transformation and dramatic political events. But this challenge is also a consequence of transformations occurring at a different level. As Fredric Jameson has convincingly shown, this was the moment of a decisive shift in the order of representation, one in which the realm of culture — as a set of discourses, thoughts and narratives about the world — spread so widely that it became hard to disentangle from the objects it was supposed to represent.1 More specifically, culture became gradually equated with audiovisual forms that are now seen as constitutive, indeed structural, aspects of society and politics. Cinema played a key role in this process, by emerging as a critical instance of contemporary visual forms. To analyze the relations between cinema and the 1974-75 Revolution is thus particularly relevant not only because the revolution was intensely filmed, but also in the sense that it broke, like all revolutions, the historical continuum, somehow turning traditional forms of representation obsolete.2 This brings me to the problem I would to raise with this article, in which the work of the Portuguese filmmaker Alberto Seixas Santos will be contextualized as an important example of that broader critique of dominant cultural forms performed by cinema during the long 1960s.

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