Listening to Others

Eduardo Coutinho's Documentary Cinema

Expected to ship: 2024-05-01

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Listening to Others in Eduardo Coutinho's Documentary Cinema
Natalia Brizuela

Part I: Media Ecologies

1. Coutinho's Ecology: Space, Place, and the Disappearing Location
Jens Andermann

2. Returning to the Sertão in the Films of Eduardo Coutinho
Ashley Brock

3. The Audiovisual Record and the Corporeal Present: Another Dialogue in Eduardo Coutinho's Cinema of Conversation
Gustavo Procopio Furtado

Part II: Politics and the Documentary Image

4. From CPC to Videofilmes: Eduardo Coutinho's Trajectory as a Political Filmmaker
Krista Brune

5. Cinema of/as Garbage: Eduardo Coutinho's Politics of Image from Jogo de cena to Boca de lixo
Luz Horne

6. Eduardo Coutinho and Globo Repórter: Between Social Documentary and the Mass Media in Dictatorship-Era Brazil
Rielle Navitski

Part III: Performing the Self and Others

7. Um dia na vida: Copy, Enunciation, Chatter
Adriana Johnson

8. To Act or to Act: Present, Presence, and Representation in Eduardo Coutinho's Jogo de cena
Brenno Kenji Kaneyasu

9. Song, Self, and Sound in Eduardo Coutinho's Cinema
Fernando Pérez Villalón

Part IV: On Time and Endings

10. Open Futures: On Ends and Endings in the Conversational Documentaries of Eduardo Coutinho and Errol Morris
Bruno Carvalho

11. Parting Glances: The Posthumous Coutinho
Nilo Fernando Couret

12. The Right Moment: Kairos and the Documentary Cinema of Eduardo Coutinho
Vinicius Navarro

Part V: Coutinho in His Own Words (translations by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux)

13. Gaze in Documentary: Statement/Letter to Paulo Paranaguá
Eduardo Coutinho

14. The Melancholy of Twilight
Eduardo Coutinho

15. A Latin Hollywood in Search of Markets
Eduardo Coutinho

16. A Chess Match Between Death and the Knight
Eduardo Coutinho

Part VI: Critical Insights from Coutinho's Contemporaries (translations by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux)

17. On the Film That Never Was
Ferreira Gullar

18. Brazil by Our Own Selves
José Carlos Avellar

19. Mouth Full of Trash
José Carlos Avellar

20. Victory Over the Ash Heap of History
Jean-Claude Bernardet

21. Jogo de cena
Jean-Claude Bernardet


A collection of original essays and previously untranslated critical writings on the renowned Brazilian documentary filmmaker, Eduardo Coutinho.


Listening to Others is the first English-language volume dedicated solely to the vast corpus of the preeminent Brazilian director, Eduardo Coutinho (1933–2014). From his early work in the 1960s to his last, posthumous film in 2015, Coutinho transformed documentary filmmaking in Brazil and beyond. Described as an informal linguist and savage anthropologist, Coutinho filmed encounters with people different from himself that foregrounded their voices and his role as an attentive listener, creating a "cinema of listening." This collection brings together leading scholars of film, literature, visual culture, Brazilian studies, and Latin American studies, from the United States and Latin America, to examine both Coutinho's masterpieces and less studied films. Using a range of approaches, the contributors invite new ways of understanding the documentarian's trajectory and importance as his work transformed in response to dictatorship, democratization, and other political, social, and technological changes over the course of five decades. The volume also features original translations of a selection of Coutinho's writings and key texts by Brazilian critics to offer a historical perspective on his filmmaking and its reception.

Natalia Brizuela is Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Film & Media at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author (with Jodi Roberts) of The Matter of Photography in the Americas, among other books. Krista Brune is Associate Professor of Portuguese and Spanish and Director of the Global and International Studies program at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Creative Transformations: Travels and Translations of Brazil in the Americas, also published by SUNY Press.


"Listening to Others offers diverse engagement with the work of Eduardo Coutinho and its various ethics of open conversation between cinematic subjects. While nearly all of Coutinho's films are examined, many of the essays dialogue with one another and offer analyses of the same films from different critical angles. The result is a rich reading experience that allows for further critical engagement with Coutinho's work and with documentary cinema as a whole." — Andrew C. Rajca, author of Dissensual Subjects: Memory, Human Rights, and Postdictatorship in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay