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Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America

October 6, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Free at the Viaduct

Friday, October 6, 2017, 7:00pm

Los Angeles Filmforum and Los Angeles State Historic Park present

Ism, Ism, Ism: Urban Harmonies/Dissonant Cities

At The Viaduct @ Los Angeles State Historic Park. Under the Historic North Broadway Bridge, 1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Enter at the north end of the Park. Set your maps to 1799 Baker Street for parking and location.  Plentiful parking on Baker and Spring Streets. Screening takes place under the Broadway bridge.

Free; no tickets needed. Site available at 7:00 pm; screening starts about 8:00 pm.


Filmmaker Alexandra Cuesta in person!


INFO: www.lafilmforum.org, 323-377-7238, http://lashp.com/, 323-441-8819


At the end of the silent era of cinema, there was an international cycle of films that depicted the nature of the modern city. These films, known as city symphonies or film symphonies, were edited as if following a musical score. The rhythm and succession of the images were immensely important for the filmmakers. In Latin America, some of the earliest experimental films participated in this cycle of city symphonies. For example, São Paulo: a Sinfonia da Metrópole (1929), by Rodolfo Rex Lustig and Adalberto Kemeny, and Humberto Mauro’s film-poem about his home town in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Sinfonia de Cataguases (1929). Ever since those early efforts many filmmakers have maintained a fascination with the city, as Latin American cities were transformed by unfettered growth, industrialization, and massive rural to urban migrations. This FREE program offers a range of urban visions—some more celebratory, others more critical—of the architecture, daily life, public spaces, and transportation of cities such as Buenos Aires, Havana, Lima, Bogotá, Los Angeles, Santiago, and London.


Tickets: Free, no tickets required




Habana Solo

Juan Carlos Alom

2000, 15 min, b&w, 16mm transferred to digital, Cuba

In Habana Solo some of the most important Cuban musicians from the most diverse musical tendencies of today, showing us the city in them and the city they inhabit with no other words than the music solos they improvise _ in solitary space and without restrictions, and we can see through the free lens of the camera, freedom based on undertaking the translation of the sounds of their music and the city’s, into an uninterrupted visual solo in which images concatenate each other, in the same way the musicians are composing in the real instant their improvised pieces, with the rhythmical and harmonical intensity of the music that happens, and with the same dose of abstraction _, making palpable the spirit of the city possessed by its musical sounds in the same proportion they sound, beat and visualize, with a texture that doesn’t betray its reality, possessed by her. Franklin J. Díaz


Inùtil Paisagem

Louise Botkay,

2010, 6 min, b&w, 16mm transferred to digital, Brazil

In a musical mood shifted and carried by the figure of Bob Estrela, a city and a girl blend into solitude in urban areas


Machinery No. 1 (Maquinaria No. 1)

Luis Soldevilla

2011, 3 min, color, sound, video, Perú

This video explores – in an abstract way – the motion generated by machines that “carry away” the citizens and how this machine at the same time transport the necessary energy to keep the city´s vital flow. By means of combining the inner motion of the devices (ladders, trains an elevators) with an external motion (camera movements) these ideas of motion, energy and transportation acquire a new meaning, generating a sort of vertigo and the idea of no point or direction.


Constitución (Constitution)

Melisa Aller

2013, 4 min, b&w, sound, Super 8 transferred to digital, Argentina

No insides and outsides. The margins do not exist. Constitution is an intensive burst which does not seek individuals and forms, but seeks the different speeds and slownesses. Immanence. Distributing the affects, the intensities. There is no difference in the artificial from the natural. Because, the important is to know what a body is able to afford in a way of life.


Despedida (Farewell)

Alexandra Cuesta

2013, 10 min, color, sound, 16mm transferred to digital, Ecuador/USA

Shot in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, this transitory neighborhood resonates with the poetry of local resident Mapkaulu Roger Nduku. Verses about endings, looking, and passing through, open up the space projected. A string of tableaux gather a portrait of place and compose a goodbye letter to an ephemeral home.


La Poubelle

Felipe Ehrenberg

1970, 16 min, color, sound, video transferred to digital, México

La Poubelle a film by Felipe Ehrenberg about his garbage walks around London at the time of the strikes in 1970


Rapsodia en Bogotá

José María Arzuaga

1963, 24 min, color, sound, 35mm transferred to digital, Colombia



Melisa Aller was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied Political Science at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Filmmaking and Video at CIEVYC. She also studied with the directors Claudio Caldini and Ernesto Baca. In recent years, she has been working particularly with the Super 8 format, filming and editing all on camera without any digital intervention. In 2013 she was invited to the Panorama Section of the 28th International Film Festival of Mar del Plata, which showed six of her films, and to Toma Única 2013 of Arco Iris Lab. In 2014 she was selected for Proyecto Documental of the Torcuato Di Tella University. In 2015 she filmed her first feature film, Formal Decisions, about a trans girl. Her audiovisual works have been selected and awarded in festivals and exhibitions in the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Spain, Poland, England, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, México, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Argentina. She also won the fellowship Pensar con los ojos in 2015. She is currently writing her second feature film.

This screening is 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

Ism, Ism, Ism is accompanied by a bilingual publication, Ism, Ism, Ism / Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza, editors, University of California Press, 2017) placing Latino and Latin American experimental cinema within a broader dialogue that explores different periods, cultural contexts, image-making models, and considerations of these filmmakers within international cinema. Available worldwide, https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520296084.

Ism, Ism, Ism is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Explore more at www.ismismism.orglafilmforum.org, and www.pacificstandardtime.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.

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.


This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.


Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2017 is our 42nd year.


Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:


Oct 8 – Ism, Ism, Ism: Films by David Lamelas – at the University Art Museum, Cal State University at Long Beach – free

Oct 21 – Ism, Ism, Ism: Claudio Caldini in person from Argentina, at USC

Oct 22 – Ism, Ism, Ism: Claudio Caldini in person, super 8 films, at the Echo Park Film Center

Oct 23 – Ism, Ism, Ism: Claudio Caldini in person with super 8 films and perforance, at REDCAT


Memberships available, $70 single, $115 dual, or $50 single student

Contact us at lafilmforum@yahoo.com.

Find us online at http://lafilmforum.org.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LosAngFilmforum!



October 6, 2017
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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