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Aesthetical Techniques in Third Cinema: The Hour of the Furnaces

In the documentary called “The Hour of the Furnaces” (1968), the audience encounters with Octavio Getino’s and Fernando Solanas’ style of making political film which is derived its political message from the aesthetical techniques such as sound, narrative style, juxtapositions, collages, and camera techniques.

“the Argentine film makers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino proposed that art, and cinema in particular can be a powerful weapon in revealing these truths and aid a revolutionary movement. They point to the connection that art can make with the revolutionary and how, by aiding the revolutionary act it too can become revolutionary.”
Video: Kevin Ryan

First of all, in “The Hour of the Furnaces,” Getino and Solanas use Einsenstien’s montage technique in the film. They use juxtaposing images by editing to create independent meanings to give the political idea, which means that they gather ideological and artistic context together. They want to show the connection between exploitation and consumerism through his montage technique. For example, when the narrative of the film talks about the history, the stills of old colonial paintings, moving images of golf game, statistics to note the domination of the continent by the outside interests, and within the information that historically have been 41 armed interventions by the U.S. military are juxtaposed respectively in the film. The aim of that is to indicate the neo-colonialism system which is brought by the outer forces into the Argentina. That message is wanted to give by Getino and Solanas for stimulating the audiences to fight for liberation.

Also, they combine images or scenes which are related to the culled from the world of advertising and the scenes of cows being slaughtered. There can be so many messages from that combination. One of them is that the advertisements of the colonizer societies look very innocent. Yet, they impose their culture, they are aimed to increase their sale profits by exploiting Latin America and that exploitation is associated with the violence. Moreover, other message is that towards their aim of exploitation, colonized societies have to be violent rigidly like the worker who is slaughtering the cows and give reaction to struggle for liberation.

A slaughtering scene from The Hour of the Furnaces by xumeng0829/

Getino and Solamas use audiovisual techniques such as collage to direct cinema. By doing that, the audiences have a chance to make a connection and find contradictions between the working class and the country’s liberal intellectuals who become instruments of European culture. For example, countryside and city, Buenos Aires, are juxtaposed for indicating the audiences the contradictions of system’s logic.

As a conclusion, Third Cinema is a Latin American film movement, which criticizes neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema. It is obviously for political purposes. Because of that, when a film which belongs to Third Cinema is discussed, the political agenda is on the center of the discussion. The unification of political theory and aesthetical cinematic form makes the audience incite to action for liberation, which is Getino’s and Solanas’ goal. Therefore, “The Hour of the Furnaces” proves the importance of aesthetics.

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