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Reordering (social) sensibilities: Balancing realisms in Neighbouring Sounds

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This article treats the film O Som Ao Redor/Neighbouring Sounds (Mendonça Filho, 2012), one of the most innovative Brazilian films in recent years. The film is examined as an example of a Latin American film that renovates film form and contributes to new debates concerning conceptual and sensorial realism. The film intervenes at sensory thresholds, combining realist and surrealist strategies and a hypo-real soundscape to reflect on deep social disjunctions and an uncertain social landscape. Neighbouring Sounds appears to portray the everyday activities of residents in an upper-middle class neighbourhood in Recife but it subtly reveals feelings of ennui and fear to offer a broader reflection on tensions between interdependent social classes and debates concerning contemporary social transformation. In its reflection on changing social sensibilities, Neighbouring Sounds develops a particular aesthetic and political liminality and plays on tensions between the visible and invisible.
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Keywords: Kleber Mendonça Filho; Neighbouring Sounds; conceptual realism; hyperreal; hypo-real; middle class in Brazil

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Georgia State University

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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