The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade
Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Brazil, 1974, 35mm, 93 min., Portuguese w/ English subtitles
When asked to describe his second to last feature film, Conjugal Warfare, Andrade said it
combined “domestic bondage, rotten kisses, varicose veins [with] senile lust,
slaps, delirium of flowering flesh…and even the final victory of prostitution
over old age.” More than an anticipation of Pedro Almodóvar’s 1980s sexual
comedies, Conjugal Warfare is widely considered to be a critique of pornochanchadas,
a genre of sexploitation films produced in Brazil. Here, Andrade adapts sixteen
short stories by writer Dalton Trevisan, a chronicler of working class stories
set in Curitiba, into a three-part film focused on a seductive lawyer, an
elderly couple in an abusive relationship, and a young man with perverse sexual
About The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade
collaboration with Kino Lorber, Lightbox presents a retrospective of the work
of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, one of the most important figures in the Cinema
Novo movement that transformed Brazilian film in the 1960s and ’70s.
Andrade’s oeuvre has been overshadowed to some extent by the success of his
1969 masterpiece, Macunaíma,
yet his career encompassed four additional features, as well as numerous short
films and the hour-long documentary Garrincha:
Hero of the Jungle (1963), all of which are remarkable accomplishments that would
suffice to establish his place in the pantheon of Brazilian filmmakers.
Hailing from a culturally prominent family in Rio de Janeiro, Andrade grew up in close contact with some of the country’s greatest artists, writers, and scholars. Abandoning his university education to pursue filmmaking, he would soon join in the formally and politically audacious Cinema Novo. Like those of his fellow Cinema Novo-associated filmmakers, such as Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Leon Hirszman, Ruy Guerra, and many others, Andrade’s films combined a sophisticated, modernist approach with an uncompromisingly critical, often outrageous, and uniquely Brazilian sensibility that makes his work every bit as vital today as it was when he made it.