Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More vintage film magazines online: Brazil

Last week, we wrote about some of the vintage American film periodicals which can be found online. Among them are old trade and fan magazines like Photoplay, Motion Picture ClassicMoving Picture World, and The Reel Journal (the predecessor to Boxoffice). 

[We forgot to mention then that the Internet Archive also has a long run of the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, dating from 1930-1954, along with a synopses of papers published 1916-1930.]

Of course, American film periodicals are not the only ones which can be found online. Magazines from other countries are being added on a slow but steady basis. For example, if one knows where to look online, the industrious researcher can also find English, Swedish, Austrian, French, Italian, and Spanish magazines from the silent film era. 

Today, we highlight two vintage magazines from Brazil.

Each of these Brazilian magazines is part of the Biblioteca Digital das Artes do Espetaculo. The site has digitized runs of A Scena Muda (1921-1955) and Cinearte (1926-1942). While it’s certainly helpful to know Portuguese, without a knowledge of the language one can still glean information from the reviews, articles, photographs, and advertisements contained within. And then their are the covers,  which often feature American stars like Leatrice Joy,  Rudolph Valentino, Dolores Del Rio and Clara Bow. These covers are a visual feast in themselves.

The site is relatively easy to navigate. Under "Revistas," there is a drop down menu for each of the Brazilian titles. Choose one, and you will be presented with secondary drop-down menus which enable browsing by year or issue number.

A search by year, for example, will result in a row of thumbnails depicting the front covers of various issues. Click on one. And then use the directional arrow keys to navigate through the periodical. The magazines are in PDF format, and don’t appear to be searchable. However, there is an advanced search option, found under "Pesquisa" on the main page, where one can search across both journals by key word or name.

There is a lot to be found - including a lot of material about various American and European stars and films. And of course, there is a good deal of material about the Brazilian motion picture industry. The table of contents found in each issue is also useful in figuring out what's what.


  1. Hi there - I'm a regular reader of your fine blog. It's good to see you highlight the silent film journals which are starting to appear on the Web. However, your account of the Brazilian journals has clearly been taken from my post on this collection, in some cases almost word for word. http://bioscopic.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/the-brazilian-scene/

    I know it's mostly functional details, but it's still polite to name your sources where you have made significant use of prior information, much as my post acknowledges the Italian researcher who first alerted me to the Brazilian collection.

  2. Dear Bioscope,

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, indeed, I was aware of your excellent 2009 post (at http://bioscopic.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/the-brazilian-scene/) detailing the Biblioteca Digital das Artes do Espetaculo and its digitized runs of A Scena Muda and Cinearte.

    My post summarized some of the "functional details" found in your post, and, I think, added a bit more. My apologies for not acknowledging you, and for any paraphrasing that occurred.

    For the record, I too am a regular reader of your fine blog - which I think is one of the very best going in the arena of silent film. Anyone who enjoys reading about the silent cinema should visit "The Bioscope" (http://bioscopic.wordpress.com/) right away!

  3. Hello!!!! how you doing!?
    i found your blog very interesting and well done let me tell you,
    it's amazing how you write about that kind of things, can't wait to see another one from you!!! ñ_ñ

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