Created during and between military coups, civil wars, diverse authoritarian regimes, and invasions led by the United States, experimental cinema in Latin America has not escaped the impact diverse forms of social upheavals and violence. In many of these contexts, resistance, even social commentary, can be a precarious, even dangerous, project, and tonight’s program surveys some of these expressions. In the war-torn El Salvador of 1980, the collective “Los Vagos” shot documentaries and one fiction film, Zona intertidal, a poetic treatment of the politically motivated assassination of a leftist professor by death squads. In 2014, in the town of Iguala, in Southern Mexico, 43 students from a rural teachers’ college were detained by the military and handed over to a local criminal organization. Forensic specialists have only been able to identify the remains of two of the students among the numerous mass graves excavated during the ensuing search for clues to their disappearance, a process which Bruno Varela comments upon in Materia Oscura (2016). Zigmunt Cedinsky takes a satirical approach in La Guerra sin fin (I’m very Happy) (2006), while the Colombian filmmaker Camilo Restrepo’s Impresión de una Guerra (2015) visits textile factories, tattoo parlors, print shops, and punk rock concerts to offer up an essayistic reflection on the lasting legacies of decades on his homeland.
Featuring the California premiere of the Pardino d'argento award in Locarno in 2015, Impresión de una Guerra, by Camilo Restrepo; the US premiere of Materia Oscura (Dark Matter), by Bruno Varela; a brand new 16mm print of Zona intertidal (Intertidal Zone), by Grupo Los Vagos; and a 35mm print of La Guerra sin fin (I’m very happy) [The Unfinished war (I’m very happy)], by Zigmunt Cedinsky!
- Zona intertidal (Intertidal Zone) (Grupo Los Vagos, 1980, 14 min, 16mm, color, sound, El Salvador)
- Tristezas (Sorrows) (Paz Encina, 2016, 7 min, digital, color, sound, Paraguay)
- Materia Oscura (Dark Matter) (Bruno Varela, 2016, 8 min, digital, b&w and color, sound, Mexico)
- Post-Military Cinema (Bea Santiago Muñoz, 2014, 11 min., HD video, color, sound, Puerto Rico.)
- La Guerra sin fin (I’m very happy) [The Unfinished war (I’m very happy)] (Zigmunt Cedinsky, 2006, 7:30 min, 35mm, color, sound, Venezuela.)
- Impresión de una Guerra (Impression of a War) (Camilo Restrepo, 2015. 26 min., 16mm/DCP, color, sound, Colombia/Francia.)
Tickets: $10 general; $6 for students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at http://bpt.me/3103989 or at the door.
For more information: 323-377-7238 or www.lafilmforum.org
These screenings are part of Los Angeles Filmforum’s screening series Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine experimental en América Latina). Ism, Ism, Ism is an unprecedented, five-month film series—the first in the U.S.—that surveys Latin America’s vibrant experimental production from the 1930s through today. Revisiting classic titles and introducing recent works by key figures and emerging artists, Ism, Ism, Ism takes viewers on a journey through a wealth of materials culled from unexpected corners of Latin American film archives. Key historical and contemporary works from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, México, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the United States will be featured. Many of the works in the series are largely unknown in the United States and most screenings will include national and area premieres, with many including Q&A discussions with filmmakers and scholars following the screening. The film series will continue through January 2018 at multiple venues, organized by Filmforum. www.ismismism.org
Lead support for Ism, Ism, Ism is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.
Significant additional support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.