Abject Eroticism. The construction of (female) sexuality in O Palácio dos Anjos (1970)


Hannah Peuker


In the so-called Boca do Lixo, the Garbage Mouth of São Paulo, a number of films between aesthetic experimentation (Cinema Marginal) and commercial sexualization (Pornochanchada) became formative of the Brazilian cinema of the late 1960s and 1970s. In that context, filmmaker Walter Hugo Khouri represents an ambivalent figure: The poster child of the Cinema da Boca do Lixo for some but despised for his alienating aestheticization by others, his films evade all forms of strict categorization. Instead, they borrow aesthetic characteristics from different Brazilian film genres and combine them into something new. Based on Khouri’s O Palácio dos Anjos (1970), the following text will argue that a paradigm of abject eroticism arises from the combination of elements from the popular Pornochanchadas with underground aesthetics of the Cinema Marginal and that this abject eroticism prevails both intimate and political spheres, subliminally addressed in the film.



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