Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 8:00pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Ism, Ism, Ism: Diego Rísquez’ Amerika Trilogy, part 1: Bolivar, Tropikal Symphony
At the Downtown Independent, 251 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
INFO: www.lafilmforum.org, 323-377-7238
In the 1980s, the multifaceted artist, painter and filmmaker from Venezuela, Diego Rísquez, undertook the daunting project of a trilogy about the real and mythical histories of the Latin American continent and made his first feature film: Bolivar, Tropikal Symphony, which became the first Super 8 film to be selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. We screen it tonight in what might be its Los Angeles premiere.
“With stunningly rich and complex visual images, Rísquez’ films eschew all dialogue yet present a coherent and critical reinterpretation of Venezuelan history.” —Ana M. López
The second film of the trilogy, Orinoko, Nueva Mundo, is screening Sunday afternoon at the Autry Museum of the American West at 4 pm. www.lafilmforum.org
The third film of the trilogy, Amérika, Terra Incógnita, originally shot in Super 16mm and later blown up to 35mm, is composed like tableaux vivants offering a visual journey into the reverse perspective of European colonialism—the journey of a captive Indian into the Spanish court. It screens Monday at REDCAT. http://tinyurl.com/yb97cawu
Diego Risquez’s visit made possible by the generous support of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Tickets: $10 general; $6 for students/seniors; free for Filmforum and Autry Museum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.
For more information: visit www.lafilmforum.org and https://theautry.org/events or call 323-377-7238 or 323-667-2000
Bolivar, Tropikal Symphony
1984, 35mm, 103 min., color, sound, Venezuela
Diego Risquez (b. 1949, Juan Griego, Venezuela) is a multifaceted artist, painter and filmmaker, who has been actively working in the film world for the past five decades. Risquez became a referent of Latin-American Cinema experimenting with all sorts of genres and formats. His feature-length Super 8 film Bolívar Sinfonía Tropical (Bolivar Tropical Symphony, 1979) was part of the rich avant-garde art scene that characterized Caracas during the 70s. He achieved international recognition the experimental trilogy on the European conquest of South America,Orinoko Nuevo Mundo (Orinoko New World, 1984) and Amérika Terra Incógnita (Amerika Unknown Territory, 1988).
John King in Magic Reels shares his thoughts on why Risquez became an international cult figure: "Risquez shows an expansive imagination in creating sweeping, sensual, painterly canvases with very few resources: basic equipment and a group of non-professional actors, mainly friends, who take on the roles of emblematic figures of history and myth.”
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.org, lafilmforum.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.
Memberships available, $70 single, $115 dual, or $50 single student
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