Retrato e Fisionomia do Mundo em Cristóvão Colombo, o enigma

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This article considers how Portuguese cinema questions the possibility of any cinematic representation of national identity. By exposing the subjective mechanisms and the artistic construction of Manoel de Oliveira’s Cristóvão Colombo, o enigma (2007), I argue that the film serves as a portrait despite being an affective landscape—what John Caspar Lavater has referred to as a physiognomic. Oliveira achieves this through the atemporal depiction of his own experience of the facts and fictions of Portuguese history. I also
examine the Wagnerian concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (“total art”) along with more recent conceptions of “impure cinema.”
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)76-91
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Lusophone Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Manoel de Oliveira
  • art value
  • total art
  • physiognomy
  • portrait
  • Portuguese cinema

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