• Rafael Montañez Ortiz: Cowboy and “Indian” Film

schedule

Ism, Ism, Ism: Recycled Film in Latin America

  • Introduction

    Jesse Lerner is a documentary filmmaker, curator, and writer based in Los Angeles. Tonight we celebrate the publication of Ism, Ism, Ism / Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Experimental Cinema in Latin America, which he coedited with Luciano Piazza. The bilingual book is available in the BAMPFA Store.

A 1960 Cuban newsreel (Number 49) shows triumphant supporters of the Revolution atop the former offices of Warner Brothers and United Artists on the island, smashing the signage of those Hollywood distributors with sledgehammers. Over the images of the large, illuminated letters falling one by one, an unseen narrator intones soberly: “for many years, North American films poisoned the screens of Cuban cinemas, justifying imperialism and preaching violence and crime. . . . Now we can see the revolutionary films from all over the world.” With these and other expropriations, the new Cuban administration also seized countless reels of commercial films, later to be fragmented and repurposed in a variety of ICAIC productions. The reuse of Hollywood footage (as well as fragments from other national cinemas, including its own) in postrevolutionary Cuban cinema resonates with an important tradition of appropriation and recycling within the history of the Latin American avant-garde. In Oswald de Andrade’s landmark 1928 provocation, Manifesto antropófago, the polemical poet calls for seizure and ingestion: “I am only concerned with what is not mine. Law of Man. Law of the cannibal.” The practice of experimental filmmaking with appropriated fragments of preexisting movies suggests the cannibal archetype functions not just as a paradigm for a critical cinematic practice, but also more broadly as a strategy of decolonization and as a powerful model for Latin American cultural production.

—Jesse Lerner

Films in this Screening

No D.R.

Alfredo Salomón, Mexico, 2002

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W/Color
  • Digital file
  • 2 mins

Newsreel 49
(Noticiero 49)

Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos, Cuba, 1960

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 2 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 35mm

Cowboy and “Indian” Film

Rafael Montañez Ortiz, Puerto Rico, United States, 1958

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 2 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 16mm

Desde la Havana !1969! Recordar

Nicolás Guillén Landrián, Cuba, 1969

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 17 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 35mm

The Big Whack

Ricardo Nicolayevsky, Mexico, 2002

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 3 mins

Oración por Marilyn Monroe

Marisol Trujillo, Miriam Talavera, Pepín Rodríguez, Cuba, 1983

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 8 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 35mm

Air Strike on Washington
(El bombardeo de Washington)

Luis Ospina, Colombia, United States, 1972

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W
  • Digital file
  • 1 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 16mm

Apoohcalypse Now

Artemio, Mexico, 2002

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • Digital file
  • 8 mins

The Women of Pinochet
(Las mujeres de Pinochet)

Eduardo Menz, Chile, Canada, 2004

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • Digital file
  • 12 mins

Las ruinas de Bahía Blanca

Nicolás Testoni, Argentina, 2012

FILM DETAILS 
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  • B&W/Color
  • Digital file
  • 6 mins

Pobre del cantor

Taller Independiente de Cine Experimental, Mexico, 1978

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • Digital file
  • 6 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from Super-8

Chapucerías

Enrique Colina, Cuba, 1987

FILM DETAILS 
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  • Color
  • Digital file
  • 11 mins
Additional Info
  • transferred from 35mm