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Ism, Ism, Ism: Misreadings / Malas Lecturas + Book Launch

Ism, Ism, Ism: Misreadings / Malas Lecturas + Book Launch

Coffea Arábiga, by Nicolas Gullén Landrián (1966)

Sunday, 21 January 2018 - 2:00 pm

Book launch at 2:00: In person: Luis Ospina, Poli Marichal, Jesse Lerner, Luciano Piazza, and Federico Windhausen

At the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Billy Wilder Theatre, UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Screening at 3:00: Ism, Ism, Ism: Misreadings / Malas Lecturas

Tickets: Now free for everyone.  Tickets available in advance at or at the door.

In the era of silent cinema, the interplay between text and image on the screen was a constant. A major figure in the Brazilian avant-garde, Humberto Mauro, believed that spoken dialogues and intertitles detracted from the moving image, and integrated text, in the form of speech bubbles, in his experimental cinematic melodrama, Ganga Bruta (1932). The use of text on the screen finds a master of ambiguity and irony in Cuba, with Nicolás Guillén Landrián. Following Santiago Alvarez' tradition, Guillén Landrián, nephew of the poet laureate Nicolás Guillén, playfully uses text in interaction with images on many different levels, generating a corrosive sense of irony and confusion rather than clarification in allegedly “didactic” educational documentaries. The starting point of this program is Guillen Landrián’s masterpiece Coffea Arábiga (1968), a parody of the utopian 1968 Green-belt agricultural project, to more contemporary exploration of the combination of typography and film syntax.

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.

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,

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,, and

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.

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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. 2018 is our 43rd year.