Twice chosen as the most important Brazilian film [Brazilian Cinematheque 1988, Brazilian Association of Film Critics 2015], “Limite” [Boundary] (1931), by Mário Peixoto, is still predominantly read in isolation from the history of Brazilian cinema and culture. Projecting decadence, stagnation, and melancholy of the landscape, “Limite” is permeated by an erotic tension of homosexual desire repressed by convention, society, and the sense of “normality.” Approaching “Limite” beyond its delimitation to an experimental tradition, Denilson Lopes maps the intellectual and affective network in which Mário Peixoto was immersed, creating a dialogue between cinema and other arts, especially literature. He analyses seventy [unpublished] testimonies from Peixoto’s relatives, friends, and colleagues expanding understandings of Mário Peixoto and his work, and the intellectual scene of Rio de Janeiro in the 1930s. Proposing another Modernism –avant-garde movement related to the Modern Week of Art (São Paulo, 1922) – Lopes critically examines the decadence of extractivism and its place in the creation of an historical sensibility.
Denilson Lopes is professor at the School of Communication of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He is the author of Mário Peixoto antes e depois de Limite (São Paulo, egaláxia, 2021), Afetos, Experiências e Encontros com Filmes Brasileiros Contemporâneos (São Paulo, Hucitec, 2016), No Coração do Mundo: Paisagens Transculturais (Rio de Janeiro, Rocco, 2012); A Delicadeza: Estética, Experiência e Paisagens (Brasília, EdUnB, 2007), O Homem que Amava Rapazes e Outros Ensaios (Rio de Janeiro, Aeroplano, 2002), Nós os Mortos: Melancolia e Neo-Barroco (Rio de Janeiro, 7Letras, 1999).