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The Forest and the City: Rio as an Immersive Landscape


This essay aims at reflecting upon the ways aerial perspective and verticality were instrumental in reiterating a rich traditional iconography that persisted upon an image of Brazil (and South America) firmly based on traditional dichotomies such as city/jungle, wilderness/civilization, nature/culture. For this purpose, I look at a sequence of the third travel documentary (travelogue) produced in the mid-1950s using the new technology of Cinerama, Seven Wonders of the World (1956). A breathtaking aerial sequence shot in Rio epitomizes aforeign North American literal and symbolic point of view during the immediate post warperiod, combined with the overwhelming sensorial immersive realism championed by Cinerama around the world during the immediate post-war period.

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