Manoel de Barros in film: The nature of language and the language of nature | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2050-4837
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4845



My concern here is to discuss three adaptations of Brazilian poet Manoel de Barros’ work to cinema: Joel Pizzini’s (1986) prizewinning Caramujo-Flor, my own short Wenceslau e a árvore do gramofone (2008) and Pedro César’s documentary Só dez por cento é mentira (2008). I use the word ‘adaptation’ ironically, because actually the three films are everything but adaptations. They are rather ‘devices’ created to somehow ‘read’ and interpret Manoel de Barros’ poetry in cinematic terms. In doing so, they compel cinematographic language to change its ‘nature’ just as nature compels Manoel de Barros to change his poetry. I also clarify the distinction between poetry and cinema, and expansive terms such as Pasolini’s ‘cinema di poesia’ and Jean Cocteau’s ‘poésie de cinéma’, aiming to illuminate the possible connections between art forms apparently diametrically opposed to one another in the way they function relative to their media. In other words, poetry and cinema can live together as long as some process of intermediality takes place.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Cocteau; intermediality; Manoel de Barros; Pasolini; poetic cinema
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