Editor's Corner

corner: n. 1. a. The position at which two lines or surfaces meet. b. The immediate interior or exterior or exterior region of the angle formed at this position, bounded by the two lines or surfaces. 2. A vertex, esp. the interior region of a vertex, formed by the sides of roads or streets that join, meet, or intersect. 3. A threatening or embarrassing position, esp. one from which escape is difficult or impossible. 4.a. A part, quarter or region. b. A remote, secluded, or secret place. 5. A guard or decoration fitted on a corner, as of a bookbinding. 6. A speculative monopoly of a stock or commodity created by purchasing all or most of the available supply in order to raise its price.

(The American Heritage Dictionary)

In his "Cinema as an Instrument of Poetry", Luis Buñuel wrote that cinema is "an instrument of poetry, with all that this latter word holds of a sense of liberation, subversion of reality, a passage into the marvelous world of the subconscious, and nonconformity to the restrictive society that surrounds us." [1] Honoring the Spanish Filmmaker's writings on cinema, this Corner celebrates Buñuel's birth a hundred years ago on February 22, 1900. This issue enlarges the scope of its original "Call for Papers" and includes five essays with diverse approaches to contemporary cinema. Their authors reveal an equal fascination with images and cinematographic language, offering alternative visions to our reader's views on cinema.

Héctor Mario Cavallari's, "El poder del significante: acercamiento analítico al lenguaje fílmico de Viridiana, de Luis Buñuel" is a semiotic analysis of one of Buñuel's most fascinating films. Viridiana (1961) is a devastating attack on religion and society, and one that develop an explicit theme of disruptive desire. Buñuel considered Viridiana a picture of l'humour noir, "without doubt corrosive, but unplanned and spontaneous, in which I express certain erotic and religious obsessions of my childhood" (229).[2] Cavallari studies the analytical context of the relationship between the "public" language of the social culture and the "private" one of the unconscious, and supports Raymond Durgnat's observation that "Buñuel's mind moves with exceptional smoothness from the rational logic of the conscious mind to the symbolic system of the unconscious." [3]

The British filmmaker Peter Greenaway has admitted, in several statements and interviews, the importance that the Latin-American fantastic has had for his artistic development. He also attributes the resonance in his work to the oeuvre of Jorge Luis Borges, whom he considers, along with Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, one of his 20th century "heroes", outside of the world of cinema. In fact, the elements which, in Greenaway, have affinities with the fictional procedures of the Argentine writer are not few, especially in what touches the conscious practice of fictional artifices, the encyclopedic view of the world, the exercise of fantastic taxonomies, the authorial ruses, the dizzying citations, the conception of the universe as a "Library of Babel". These are procedures that Greenaway radicalizes and intensifies, on making them visually baroque through a sophisticated technological apparatus, together with the intersection of various aesthetic languages and disciplinary fields. In Maria Esther Maciel's, "An Encyclopedic Imagination, Peter Greenaway in the light of Jorge Luis Borges" aims both to investigate these links between Greenaway and Borges and to show the conscious, critical insertion of the British director in the contemporary cultural context, notable for, among other aspects, the assemblage of cultures from various eras and origins, as well as the accelerated proliferation of the so-called "technologies of the virtual" in daily life. It also intends to discuss how he presents a disturbing and overflowing cinema aimed at the disruption of the established systems of knowledge and classification. Maciel also contributes a valuable Greenaway Filmography.

Fuencisla Zomeño's, "Perceptions of the Feminine through Art in the European Union" explores how women and the concept of feminine have been perceived by the European Union and how this perception has been reflected in art, in particular literature and film. Zomeño has selected two artistic expressions from two European countries, Spain and France. The example chosen from Spain is Los canardos, a novel by Dolores Soler-Espiauba, which illustrates the role of Spanish women in the cultural unification of Europe in the 80s. The example selected from France is Krzysztof Kieslowski's movie Blue, filmed in the 90s.

Eva Paulino Bueno, "Ficções de paternidade em dois filmes de fim de século; The Truman Show e Central do Brasil" discusses how the 1998 films The Truman Show and Central Station are narratives interested in discussing the figure of the father. In the first, the father proliferates. He is the actor who plays the father in Truman Burbank's life; he is Christof, the director of the show which is responsible for the existence of the world Truman knows, and he is the biological father, of whom nothing is known. In Central Station, Josué, an orphaned boy is helped by a woman, Dora, in his effort to leave the big city and return to the place of origin-the Northeast-looking for his father, only to find out that he no longer lives there. Each narrative proposes a solution to the problem posed by the anxiety about the father, as well as about the dilemma of what to do when the father either does not exist or does not matter.

Rosario Torres, "El pájaro de la felicidad : la nación desde una nueva perspectiva formal-significadora" discusses how the cinematographic language of Pilar Miró's film of 1992 redefines the concept of nation. The essay approaches the Spanish film in the context of contemporary debates in film studies, focusing in particular on questions of identity and sexuality.

Corner's Reader offers Darién J. Davis's review of Eva Paulino Bueno's O artista do povo: Mazzaropi e Jeca Tatu no Cinema do Brasil as well as a selected bibliography, which we consider essential reading for any contemporary film lover.



[1]An Unspeakable Betrayal. Selected Writings of Luis Buñuel. University of California Press, 2000. 136.
[2]"Viridiana", in An Unspeakable Betrayal, 229.
[3]Luis Buñuel. University of California Press, 1977. 55.