Category Archives: English

Macunaíma THE MOVIE

The film was made in 1969, whereas the novel was published in 1928. While not untrue to the novel, the film is also a product of and an intervention in its own times.

Some reviews, both academic and popular:

Film Fest Journal (2007)
Molotnick, J.R. Macunaíma: Revenge of the Jungle Freaks. In Jump Cut, no. 12/13, 1976, pp. 22-24.
New York Times (2004)
Report from the Lumière Reader (New Zealand)
Shock Cinema (1992)

Some clips:

Opening scene: Far away in the virgin forest, our hero is born fully grown. No subtitles.
Trailer for restored version: Shows snippets of a panoply of scenes. French subtitles.
Swimming pool scene: in S. Paulo with the giant Wenceslau Pietro Pietra. No subtitles, but almost doesn’t need them it is so funny.

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Posted by on January 18, 2008 in English, Film, Macunaíma



This is the site for Leslie Bary’s course Jungle Books at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. If you click on the tabs at the top of this page, you will see the course reading list, syllabus, video list, and list of secondary sources. These pages will expand as more material is added, so visit often.

During the semester we will post comment in this space on primary and secondary readings, assignments, and class discussion. Anyone in the course can post an entry, and anyone can comment on any entry.

In this course:

We are studying narratives of voyages to and from jungles – stories which engage the apparent dichotomies of barbarism and “civilization,” primitive and modern, margin and center. Why it is that the jungle trope is so salient in modern Latin American literature, and how the Latin American texts interact with their European counterparts – also obsessed with jungles – is our main inquiry.

In Spring 2008 this course can be taken as Spanish 442 (Latin American Literature II) or Honors 385 (Modern Problems in the Humanities). The workload involves active participation in class discussion, a journal, an oral presentation, and a take-home midterm and final. Lecture and discussion will be in English. Students may do readings in English or in the original, and may write papers in any language I can read. Spanish majors and minors must complete reading and writing assignments in Spanish.

Our primary readings and films this semester are:

M. de Andrade, Macunaíma.
Blank, L. Burden of Dreams.
Carpentier A., Los pasos perdidos / The Lost Steps.
Conrad, J., Heart of Darkness.
Kipling, R., The Jungle Book.
Rivera, J. E., La Vorágine / The Vortex.
Sarmiento, D. F., Facundo, or, Civilization and Barbarism.
Vargas Llosa, M., La casa verde / The Green House.
Voltaire, F., Candide.

Our secondary readings and films (to be used for research, as background, and/or as material for oral presentations) are:

Williams, R. The Country and the City
Torgovnick, M. Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives
Said, E. Orientalism
Price, S. Primitive Art in Civilized Places


La muralla verde

Apocalypse Now

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Posted by on January 16, 2008 in Bibliography, English