Coutinho at the 2021 Video Essay Film Festival


Many thanks to Michael Temple for the brilliant and stimulating Eduardo Coutinho day yesterday at Birbeck. I hope if and when we return to normal, we continue to do events like this digitally. I wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise and it was a real privilege to see the Coutinho films and hear Lucia Nagib, Victor Guinmarães, and Cecilia Sayad talk about Cabra marcada para morrer/ Man Marked for Death.  It wasn’t just how the discussion expanded and enhanced my understanding of the film, not only as a political documentary but in its inventiveness with form and also, as the film unfolds,  its transformation from a sociological documentary to a self-reflexive essay film. I also loved all the asides in the chat function, where subsequent films on the same family could be found, what other films to see, different kinds of contexts and links, Coutinho being a bridge between the CPC and Cinema Novo, etc. The second talk by Fabio Andrade, drawing on the Coutinho archive, was also brilliant. And I was able to listen and participate whilst trying out a new version of the ginger/ pear cake for that evening’s dinner. I was sad to have to miss the final session of the day and I will be very sad if these events don’t continue digitally or at least with a digital component. Many thanks to all involved.

José Arroyo

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