This was an amazing year in that I was able to make two trips to Brazil. The first, in February, was to participate in a set of dialogues with Peter Forgacs whose films were shown in a major retrospective that travelled, as we did, from Rio to Sao Paolo to Brasilia. The came just a few months after the publication of Cinema’s Alchemist, a terrific collection of essays edited by myself and Michael Renov. [See Books for more info.]
The second was in November when I had an opportunity to give a series of lecturs at universities in Salvador, Cachoeria, and Campinas. The talks were on aspects of documentary and were to audiences of over 100, a clear sign of the vitality and depth of film fever in Brazil. Even if commercial opportunities are not enormous they do exist and unversity students have a vivid passion for the study and making of films. Documentary film is exceptionally diverse and imaginative in its range and complexity. It was a great learning experience. I am preparing at least one of the lectures, on “The Ironic Text” for publication as a fresh look at the mockumentary as a key part of a larger category better described by irony than mockery or parody.