Anna-Sophie Philippi: Phagic Images – Poetologies of Brazilian Film in the 1970s

The PhD project explores poetic patterns generated by Brazilian film at the time of the country's military dictatorship. The formula 'phagic images' draws on a culturally specific discourse around concepts such as 'hunger' and 'cannibalism' and develops it further in terms of film analysis.

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This PhD project in film studies is dedicated to Brazilian film and focuses on a turbulent decade, which in Brazil was characterized by the arrangement with and the resistance to the military dictatorship. Under these circumstances, the early 1970s saw a reorientation and diversification within Brazilian film culture, which filmmaker Cacá Diegues describes as a "segunda dentição" ("second toothing"). The choice of this metaphor is not coincidental at all, but refers to an important Brazil-specific and historically discursive context involving phagic terms such as 'incorporation', 'devouring', 'hunger' or 'gluttony'.

Using the formula 'phagic images' - i.e. 'devouring images' - this path is now being developed within the framework of film studies. The thesis analyzes how and on which levels selected feature films draw on the phagic field of discourse poetically and which new aspects they bring up. Which phagic concepts do the films create? How do they reflect upon themselves as a specific mediality? The aim is on the one hand to find answers to these questions and to understand them in their socio-political context, and on the other hand to draw film-philosophical consequences from them. In this process, the leading thesis argues, the idea of one encompassing 'poetological mode' will prove to be untenable.

  • Project lead: Anna-Sophie Philippi
  • Contact: a-s.philippi(at)
  • CV: Anna-Sophie Philippi is a PhD candidate as well as academic assistant in the Media Studies program at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. She is guest editor of the thematic issue "Brazil" of the academic journal montage AV (2021) as well as co-organizer of the Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium (ffk) 2021. In addition, together with Dr. Maike Sarah Reinerth, she recently conducted the research project "Creating Knowledge. Videographic-essayistic research as an epistemological instrument". Anna-Sophie Philippi also worked as a freelance film producer, co-founded the film production company Contando Films and was involved in the organization of several film festivals.
  • PhD Advisors: 
  • Scientific PhD in the discipline:  Media Studies