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Porous CityA Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro$
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Bruno Carvalho

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319754

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319754.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Future Revisited: Where Has the Past Gone and Where Will it Go?

Conclusion: The Future Revisited: Where Has the Past Gone and Where Will it Go?

(p.192) Conclusion: The Future Revisited: Where Has the Past Gone and Where Will it Go?
Porous City

Bruno Carvalho

Liverpool University Press

The chapter discusses the President Vargas Avenue’s construction in the context of global changes, and retrieves the voices of local musicians who opposed it. Orson Welles’s experience in Rio, in 1942, provides insight into some of the foreseeable consequences of the urban reforms. The director captures part of the public sentiment around them. Analyses focus on his relationship with popular samba musicians, and prescient realization of the soon to be razed Praça Onze’s importance to Rio’s cultural landscape. Combining existing scholarship and original archival research, the chapter argues that the Praça Onze square would be an integral component of his aborted film, It’s All True. It brings to light unpublished studies commissioned by the director, his portrayal of Afro-Brazilians, innovative use of musical forms to structure the film, and informed references to places well outside of the usual foreigner’s itinerary or contemporary cinematic gaze. One of the crucial scenes in Welles’s film would have been a performance of the song ‘Praça Onze’, by Herivelto Martins and Grande Otelo. Amidst a nationalist and authoritarian state, they composed one of carnival’s most memorable songs to lament the demise of the public square, stimulating a reflection about memory and cultural production.

Keywords:   Orson Welles, President Vargas Avenue, It’s All True, Praça Onze, Carnival, Samba, Herivelto Martins, Grande Otelo

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