Book reviews

On the latest publications on cinema.

ISM, ISM, ISM. EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA IN LATIN AMERICA

By Mónica Delgado

By the end of last year, Ism Ism Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America was published, a book edited by Jesse Lerner and Luciana Piazza, product of a series of film curatorships organized by Los Angeles FilmForum within the framework of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, and supported by the Getty Foundation. It turned out to be a fundamental book, as in it groups new essays which contextualize different experiences if South America (especially from the opportunities that Super8 gives), and also because it recovers different manifestos, opinions, letters, drawings, frames or fragments of articles that give account of the sensibilities of the authors and characters that were protagonists in the history of experimental, in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Venezuela or Cuba.   

8 SUPER 8 BY ELENA DUQUE

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Both an indelible document of love, and a manifesto for the persistence of a work which refuses to leave behind the insuperable qualities of light and touch, 8 super 8 es a unique book-object, a testimony of eight years of work by the team of (S8) Peripheral Cinema Festival (Mostra de Cinema Periferico), through the words and images of a vast numbers of collaborators. 

THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAUMA IN MOVING IMAGE ART BY DIRK DE BRUYN

Review by Adrian Martin

Dirk de Bruyn’s book is a bold and original piece of in-depth, sustained research that brings together two areas have never been brought into relationship in this way, at this length. On the one hand, there is the lineage of experimental audiovisual work. (I personally dislike the visual-centric term ‘moving image art’ – sound has been around for a while now! – but each person chooses their own label, wisely or not.)

FLICKERING EMPIRE: HOW CHICAGO INVENTED THE U.S. FILM INDUSTRY

Review by Therese Grisham

This is an under-appreciated, under-analyzed, but vital time in the life of Chicago, as well as in the early film industry. Most of the important players at this time started out in Chicago–such as Gilbert “Broncho Billy”Anderson–or worked in Chicago (Chaplin, Micheaux), so the omission of Chicago from histories of early film is egregious. Flickering Empire rectifies this omission.