• The Suitcase

schedule

Dreams of Suitcases and a Blue Lobster: Latin Surrealism

  • Introduction

    Curator and scholar Tarek Elhaik, an associate professor of anthropology at UC Davis, is the author of The Incurable-Image: Curating Post-Mexican Film & Media Arts and the founder of AIL: the Anthropology of the Image Lab.

This program brings together short films that share an interest in exploring cinema’s oneiric, disturbing, and irrational potential. Within The Blue Lobster, a lost treasure from Barranquilla, Colombia, about a foreign secret agent investigating radioactive lobsters, one can detect the roots of what would later become magic realism. Álvaro Cepeda Zamudio [and co-filmmaker Gabriel García Márquez] avoid the literary, the theatrical, and the picturesque. Luis Ernesto Arocha, also from Barranquilla, is represented with a work about the sculptures of Bernardo Salcedo. The frenetic editing and dense and fragmented soundtrack bewilder the viewer’s perception. Photographer Horacio Coppola created the short Freudian exercise Traum while a student at the Bauhaus. Raúl Ruiz’s first film, a surreal mix of suitcases and somnambulists, was lost for decades in a Chilean archive during Pinochet’s military rule. Mariana Botey’s The Magic of the Smoked Mirror, made in collaboration with the actor-director-artist Juan José Gurrola, represents an intersection between two generations of Mexico’s avant-garde.

—Luciano Piazzo and Jesse Lerner, cocurators, Ism, Ism, Ism

This program is part of the touring series Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America; the related catalog is available in the Museum Store.

Films in this Screening

Traum
(Sueño)
(Dream)

Horacio Coppola, Argentina, 1933

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • Digital transfer from 16mm
  • Silent
  • 2 mins
source
  • Filmforum

Las ventanas de Salcedo

Luís Ernesto Arocha, Colombia, 1966

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • Digital transfer from 16mm
  • 6 mins
source
  • Filmforum

The Blue Lobster
(La langosta azul)

Álvaro Cepeda Zamudio, Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia, 1954

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • Digital transfer from 16mm
  • Silent
  • 29 mins
source
  • Filmforum

The Suitcase
(La maleta)

Raúl Ruiz, Chile, 1963–2008

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • Digital transfer from 16mm
  • 20 mins
source
  • Filmforum

The Magic of the Smoked Mirror
(El dedal de rosas)

Mariana Botey, Mexico, 1998

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • Color
  • Digital file
  • 13 mins
source
  • Filmforum